El Gouna 7 1200x800 - El Gouna

El Gouna

Egypt

Egypt has a lot of very nice flatwater spots with turquoise crystal-clear water. While I have traveled to many different kite spots in Egypt, most of them are at all-inclusive hotels with nothing but desert surrounding them. Which is totally fine if you just want to kite, eat, sleep, repeat, but I was missing a more normal life – the opportunity to go out to a restaurant at night or even just move outside of your accommodation. When I first arrived in El Gouna, which a kite teacher once described to me as ‘Egyptian Disneyland’ I realized it is a one-of-a-kind spot for kiting and enjoying life.

THEKITEMAG ISSUE #44
WORDS: Miriam Tymiec

El Gouna is a town built specifically for holidaymakers and water sports enthusiasts. It is super clean and well-organized, and with all its canals almost seems like the Egyptian version of Venice. It’s an ideal spot for both learning kitesurfing and progressing your tricks, thanks to the flat or slightly choppy water and a big area that you can stand up in. For beginners it’s best to wear neoprene shoes as there are some shells and rocks, depending which kite station you kite at. Also be aware of the tides – at some kite stations you have to walk all the way out to deeper water at low tide, at others you can kite straight from the station even at low tide. The kite stations are very well equipped, and with a relaxed, laid-back vibe are fun to hang out at before and after your sessions. There are many cool ones to choose from, like Kiteboarding Club, Element, Red Sea Zone and many more. Besides storage for your kite gear and a rescue boat you usually have nice chill-out areas, restaurants and massage services. Makani Beach Club even has a sauna, fitness space and meeting room in case you need to do some work while you’re there.

El Gouna 4 - El Gouna

Generally El Gouna is a year-round spot although the summer months from June to September have the best wind stats as the thermal kicks in with the warmer temperatures. The summer months can get very hot (around 40 degrees Celsius) but if you don’t mind the heat the wind is good. I’ve often visited in spring or autumn and even though some days were windless I was still happy with the overall kiting, vibe and holiday feel, as well as being in warmer temperatures than Europe at that time of year. You never really know what you’ll get though, sometimes you might have a week with wind every day, sometimes you might have five to seven days without wind. If you have the time I would recommend visiting for more than a week, ideally 10 to 14 days, to get some proper kiting in.

If you want to experience another kite spot you can also do a day trip to Tawila Island by boat. Many kite stations organize it on a weekly basis and it’s a beautiful spot with offshore wind, perfect flat water, and stunning scenery of blue water against the desert island. Or go for a whole week of kite safari and let the kite tour operators take you to small islands and spots with the best wind and least crowds.

Once you’ve kited your heart out you can enjoy the Marina and El Gouna Downtown, stroll through the beautiful streets and shops of this artificially designed place, and visit the big choice of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It’s a nice spot to meet other kiters and, compared to other Egyptian spots, has quite an active nightlife. One of the things I love about El Gouna is that you can easily move around with tuk tuks, which are literally at every corner and have fixed rates, so there is none of the usual haggling. This made it super easy for me traveling on my own to get to the kite spot or the Marina for dinners. If you want to self-cater there are a few small supermarkets, although eating out is pretty cheap. The food standard is high overall and, personally, I love Egyptian food.

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No wind days are perfect for diving or snorkeling – it’s astonishing how much sea life there is in the Red Sea – or you can hit the Sliders Cable Park for some wakeboarding, whether you want to have a go yourself or just watch the locals killing it. It has four different cables for all levels of rider, and a cafe. All in all, El Gouna is catered towards all tourist needs so it’s an easy getaway if you don’t want to plan a lot and want a laid-back, easy-to-organize kite holiday with crystal-clear, Caribbean-like water.

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