Cairo, Imma let you finish, but Gouna has the best life of ALL TIIIME! Slightly outdated reference aside, the season of sun, sea and sand is all but upon us, and with it comes new hope of a brighter tomorrow. We’re being a tad over-the-top, but if you’ve had it with the capital’s heat and crave a weekend or two or seven in the Red Sea town of El Gouna, we’ve decided to help you out by making your workday a little miserable and listing all the things you could be enjoying in Gouna right now. Sorry, not sorry.
1. It’s a foodie’s heaven…
Photo courtesy of Maritim on Facebook
Roughly 50% of the Cairo Gossip team travel regularly to Gouna for the simple pleasure of dining at Le Deauville, Maritim, Pier 88 and Jobo’s. Maybe it’s the excellent chefs, maybe it’s the fresh produce; but somehow Gouna produces fine dining and comfort food on a different level to Cairo (soz).
2. Hands down, the best cocktails in Egypt…
Photo courtesy of the Bartender/Facebook
The best thing to happen to Gouna recently is The Bartender, owned by professional mixologist and all-round cool dude, Ray Al Ramahi. After a long day in the sun, we’ve found ourselves repeatedly gravitating towards this outdoor bar in the New Marina with its quirky decor, impressively creative cocktails and very decent music lists.
3. It has bike lanes! Real, actual bike lanes!
Photo courtesy of Orascom Development
Gouna is quite possibly the only town in Egypt to have bike lanes and while that doesn’t necessarily mean all cars stay outside the lanes, it makes us really happy to see kids and adults biking safely around town. Sorry, things just got a little serious there.
4. People jog outdoors – and don’t die…
Bear with us here; we may sound a little over excited, but unless you live in a la-di-da compound in one of Cairo’s suburbs, you’ll know how impossible and painful it is to run outdoors anywhere in the city. Gouna’s smooth bike lanes and well maintained pavements make this a great town for 10k run at sunset; that is, if you don’t get killed by the tiny moosh insects.
5. Swimming with dolphins is an hour away…
Why spend half your life stuck on the Mehwar or, God forbid, 6th of October Bridge when you could be paddling on a Red Sea island or swimming with dolphins? Dolphin House and Giftun Island are just two of the great snorkeling/diving trips you can make from Gouna.
6. People are – gasp – friendly!
Photo courtesy of Maritim on FacebookPhoto courtesy of OO Media Productions/the Clubhouse in Gouna/Facebook
We don’t know if it’s the humidity or the fact that they make a living out of living on the beach, but the locals we’ve met are some of the funniest, most chilled and laidback Egyptians we’ve ever come across – unlike so many in Cairo who have gone dead behind the eyes after systematically having their souls crushed by daily life in the capital. Seriously, look at people’s eyes – nothing.
7. The best parties happen here…
Photo courtesy of Nacelle
With seasonal parties like Nacelle’s Heineken SANDBOX coming up and party heavyweights regularly choosing Gouna for crazy party concepts, there are few, if any, place’s that are as good a destination for a beach party. Sorry Sahel – Gouna wins with its location, its diverse mix of people, its safety and its great natural surroundings.
8. The LAX Gym here might be the best gym in Egypt…
Photo courtesy of LAX Gym/Facebook
We’ve uncovered the secret behind the glistening six-packs and biceps roaming Gouna: LAX Gym gives you a front row view of the Red Sea from your treadmill, high tech equipment and challenging workout classes as well as fun sports competitions (Spinning! Marathons! Hiking!). What’s there to complain about?
9. There’s always something to do…
Where do we start? Kitesurfing! Diving! Sliders’ Cable Park! Golf! Getting a massage! Lying very still while sipping on a cold milkshake! Going to Abu Tig Marina for Bob’s Hot Dogs and regretting eating three so quickly!
10. Life’s just gentler here…
Photo courtesy of OO Media Productions/the Clubhouse in Gouna/Facebook
Yes it’s hot here and yes life is quite expensive here (unless you rent a place on Airbnb and eat at home every day), but the slower pace, humidity and relaxed atmosphere make us seriously contemplate that maybe life is better in Gouna. Hmm -’Gouna Gossip’ doesn’t sound like a bad idea…
By Kalam El Qahaira