If you’re planning to visit Hurghada in December then this is the article you should be reading. We just came back from a 7 days trip to Hurghada, Egypt that started on December the 28th and ended on January the 4th.
You will read about the weather, what to pack and what we visited during this time. If this will be your fist visit to Egypt, you should also read about our first trip to Hurghada. You will find some useful tips for visiting the sites and tricks that will make your stay more enjoyable.
We stayed at Sentido Palm Royale Resort, which is a 5 star resort, south of Hurghada. We recommend it if you want a great stay. You can check out our review of Sentido Palm Royale Resort and see if it’s what you want.
Weather in all of Egypt in December is around 24 degrees Celsius with no clouds on sight. It might sound low for some, but with no clouds in the sky it can feel quite hot.
We had a perfect tan during our stay. Well, most of us did. I ended up with sunburns after the first day, so I had to avoid exposure. You shouldn’t forget to bring your sunscreen as you will need it if you want to sunbathe.
At night it can get pretty chill, especially because the wind starts to blow. You can feel a cold breeze all over the resort.
Temperatures during the day in December are as follow: a bit chill in the morning, that’s around 12-14 degrees Celsius. And by morning I mean around 6 to 7 a.m. At about 11 it will start to get a lot warmer and you can definitely take a dive in the Red Sea and strut your bikinis. That’s also the time that the wind starts to go away and you’ll be begging for a breeze in no time!
As it gets darker, at around 4-4.30 p.m. it starts to cool down. You will need a jacket if you want to take a walk outside. Don’t be fooled by the 16-18 degrees showing up on the thermometer. The breeze starts again and it will feel cooler.
I had my trolley filled with t-shirts, long pants, a jacket and 2 warm cardies. You should take shorts, as I had issues when going to the beach in long pants. One-two pairs for the beach would have been perfect.
So, if you plan to visit Hurghada in December, remember the above. Depending where you’re coming from it might feel hot or maybe not. I saw people taking dives in the swimming pools at night with no problem whatsoever. I would have froze to death if someone even sprinkled me with that water!
What to wear
Don’t overcrowd your luggage thinking you will need all the sweaters in your wardrobe. Bring summer-ish clothes, especially if you plan on taking trips.
If you decide to book tours, you will leave early in the morning (3-5 a.m.) and you will stay in the bus for the ride. You will be okay. By the time you reach the destination, it will be hot outside. Bring a cardi if you step out of the bus to have coffee or something. That’s all you’ll need.
Bring your flip flops and your bathing suit as the temperature of the water will be around 24 degrees Celsius. That’s perfect for a swim anytime! The water stays at that temperature day or night!
Take a few things to layer up, but don’t overthink it. I saw people in shorts and t-shirts in the middle of the night, walking outside without issues. For me, it was a no-no. But if I grabbed my jeans, a t-shirt and my cardi, I had nothing to complain about. Pictures below for reference.
Visit the Karnak Temple from Hurghada in December
We choose to visit the Karnak Temple in Luxor since we missed this one on our last visit. You simply can’t take all the trips in one vacation as it is exhausting.
The bus shuttle left the hotel at 6:00 a.m. and we were at the temple around 11:00 a.m.
The weather was warm and we had no problem visiting the site in a t-shirt. I had the cardi with me, but did not need it. I only took it when I went for a coffee, as the bus stopped at a small coffee shop.
The temple is something you will remember. You get to spend some time with the guide and then you are free to walk amongst the ruins.
The architecture is astonishing. Imposing pillars decorated with Egyptian signs fills the whole space. You get a glimpse of how the civilization was and wonder how they were able to build it.
Karnak Temple was believed to be the exact spot where creation began. It would have been the point where the Egyptians interacted with their God Amun-Ra. It was a place of worship and it is one of the most important religious complex in the whole Egypt land.
The temple of Karnak is an open air museum. It’s one of the top attractions in Egypt, boasting huge pillars, towering columns and massive avenues of sphinxes. There’s also an obelisk that reaches up to 30m in height and weighs 323 tons. You kind of wonder how that was all built, right?
All in all, if you do visit Hurghada in December, it would be a shame to miss out on the Karnak temple. In December of in any time of the year. The weather was perfect, no wind and all sunshine! Below you will find a short video we made at the site. Enjoy and let us know in the comment section if you have any questions.
While on our way to seeing the Valley of the Kings, the guide told us that we had to cross the banks of the Nile. For that, we would either stay on the bus or take a boat trip to Banana island, from which we would debark and take the bus again. We had lunch right on the banks of the Nile and then departed.
The said banana island was an extra cost. If I were to visit again, I would just gladly skip it (like we skipped the Papyrus Factory this time). It’s sort of a tourist trap, but some might actually enjoy it. The guide told us that if we were to stay on the bus, it would be around 2h until the bus reached the Western bank of the Nile. But, we only spent a total of 1h or maybe less on the said “island” including the boat ride. After we were done with this mini trip, the bus was already waiting for us.
But let me tell you about Banana island. The guide will tell you that this is an island where bananas grow and where you get to eat bananas, some other exotic fruits, have some drinks and see a small zoo with crocodiles, monkeys and some other animals.
To start with, this Banana Island is not actually an island. We were looking on Google maps while on the boat and we could see we just crossed the Nile from the Eastern banks to the Wester banks. But, for the story’s sake, when you depart, you’ll get on the boat again and they will follow the banks and then stop for you to get off the boat.
Banana Island is indeed a very small banana plantation. You get to see how bananas grow and they will actually give you some to eat, after the whole tour ends. You will also get some extra fruits, depending on what they have. In our case, we also had Guava and Dates – pretty good, if you ask me.
There were also some giving out fresh drinks made from strawberry, guava or other fruits. The price was 1 EUR or $1 USD per drink. The taste was great and you could tell it was made from real fruits.
The zoo part I would have rather passed it, like it never existed. Actually, I hope it won’t exist in the following years. There was one big crocodile in a very small cage, a baby-croc that was handed for tourists to take pictures with, some monkeys caged which I didn’t even want to see and probably some caged birds. The conditions in which they were kept were just depressing. And this was all done because of tourists wanting to take picture with those poor and scared animals. This was heartbreaking.
If you want to see the video of this place, make sure to view the final video. This includes all our 7 days in just around 6 minutes.
This was a fun place. Although it’s just another tourist trap, these guys are amazing! They will make you feel so great!
First of all, they will tell you about alabaster and how it’s made, how you can tell a fake from a real one and many more. But this will be done in an interactive and fun way. They sing it. Yes, you got that right. They will sing and smile and clap their hands all the way until the end.
One will be like showing colors and when he’s talking about white alabaster, the others are like “Waaaw, oh my God!!”. Then he goes again saying about the second one – brown alabaster, and they are again Waaaw!
They will turn the lights off to see the glowing alabaster and they will start singing Happy Birthday! It’s such an amazing atmosphere and I truly enjoyed it.
But this show is not for free. They will make sure to charge you when you purchase their alabaster products. Don’t fall for their pricing!
To give you an example, I wanted to buy 2 apple shaped alabaster stones. The charming guy with a smile on his face said it would be 75 EUR for just one. That meant 150 EUR for the pair. Then, I was like no, no way. I said 40 EUR for both. Then it was his turn to say no, and make a counter offer of 85 EUR for both. Then I said 50 EUR and he said sorry no. I turned away and he came to me and said 55 EUR. I called my fiancé over and he was like “What?! I will give you 40 EUR for both” The guide came to negotiate with us, but he could only negotiate to 45 EUR. Fiancé said no, and I walked towards the door to exit. Guy came to me and said, yes, 40 EUR for both. And that’s how you get from 150 EUR to 40 EUR. I would not have taken 50 EUR (which I offered) because I knew my fiancé would go lower on it. Team work!
You can find the video of the alabaster factory below, at the end of the article, where all the things we did on this trip are summed up.
Valley of the Kings visit in December
To start with, when you search for images of the Valley of the Kings online, you actually find a picture of Hatshepsut Temple. That’s not at all what you get to see in the Valley.
The tickets to the entrance were covered by the overall cost of the trip, but if you wanted to visit Tutankhamun’s tomb, you had to pay an extra 10 EUR or 300 Egyptian Lira. You’ll be better off paying 10 EUR.
With the tickets the guide gave us for free (included in the trip) you could visit up to 3 tombs. But you were only allowed certain tombs, depending on which ones were open for visitors. You had to ask the guide which ones, as some you had to pay for, and some were for free. The tombs that are free of charge are not always the same, they rotate them.
You embark on an open shuttle, that takes you to the tombs location. It’s not very far from the ticket point, and you’ll be there in less than 5 minutes. It’s better than walking so we got on board.
We first visited King Tutankhamun’s tomb. It’s a small tomb, with the sarcophagus on the right and the mummy on display to the left. Most of the treasure recovered from the tomb is on display at Cairo Museum, which we visited a while back. There, you can see the golden mark, golden chairs and many more treasures found. It’s worth the visit.
The other tombs we visited were in close range, and spectacular. The inscriptions on the walls, the drawings even on the ceilings and the depth that they were located, made us wonder how many hours of labor would have gotten into crafting them.
When we showed the guide a picture of that we thought was the Valley of the Kings, he said that is indeed in the Valley, but it was Hatshepsut’s Temple, which we would not be visiting. That made us sad a bit, but we will return for that, for sure!
After the whole visit ended, we embarked on the bus shuttle and we passed the Colossi or Memnon. You can see them in the end of the video, as we were unable to stop. The guide said we could take pics of it from the bus, as we were already too late and we had to go back to the hotel.
Seascope Submarine ride
This was amazing. At first, we thought that the Seascope submarine ride would be best suited for kids, but it grew on us, too!
The guide from our agency, the one at the hotel, would charge us 75 EUR per person, and we had to go to the Marina in Hurghada. That meant we had to wait for the bus shuttle, pick up everyone from the other hotels and go to Hurghada. We found the Aqua Center in our resort, and they charged 70 EUR for both of us.
We embarked on the so called submarine at 15:00 and by 17:00 we were back. This ride included a snorkeling session if you wanted to dive, a pass below the desk intro the so called submarine and complementary soda drinks at the end.
Tips if you plan on going around noon: bring a cardi or jacket, as it the sun will set and it will get a bit cool when you come back to shore.
After you spend a while on the deck, you will be invited downstairs. That’s where the magic starts!
We got to see a variety of fish, including the Banana fish, Zebra fish, Balloon fish and the turtle Churchill! There were also some fabulous corals which you could clearly see through the glass. The sea was super clean and clear!
For those of you that like snorkeling, you had 30 minutes to go down with the fish and explore the sea. It was magnificent!
On a not so positive note, although I’m not an expert and might be indeed wrong, some corals were kind of dead. They were all white and stiff, and by my humble knowledge, they were dead. This might be because of various reasons, but the most common one is due to human hands. But, the variety of fish we saw that were living down there made me feel there’s still hope!
If you have a few hours to spare, I definitely recommend you take this dive! You can see Churchill and the fish in the video below. It’s the video that has glimpses from every place we’ve been on this trip, on our visit Hurghada in December holiday!
We will not go into the details of organizing the trip and how much the hotel was. This is because it will be different for each of you, from where you depart. We had no other choice but to take a charter ride, as there were no other flights from our city to Hurghada or even close to Egypt.
Nevertheless, we will be talking about the trip costs while on our visit in Hurghada in December.
To start with, I will let you know that we paid much more for the trip to Luxor than we would normally should have. This was because we had a not so awesome guide from our tour operator. She charged us 80 EUR per person for that day trip. You can go much lower than that. We were 4 adults and 2 children and we paid a total of 400 EUR. She wrote on the receipt 180 EUR and charged us that. We paid and took off. She came back saying she was wrong and pay the difference. She changed the amount on our receipt, not hers. So. the real cost of the trip would have been 180 EUR, just so you know.
We didn’t even get to visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, which we thought was included. At least that is what I understood. If you can’t get along with your guide, I advise you book the tour with another operator. You can find some available below.
The trip to that so called island, the Banana one, I would skip it next time. 10 EUR is just too much for some bananas and caged animals. It was not that impressive, but as I understood the owner has some deal with the guides and that’s why they bring tourists there.
We were so eager to visit Senzo Mall in Hurghada, that we even asked for a ride from the hotel. We were all charged 80 EUR for a private car to come pick us up and leave us wonder at the Mall. That’s 4 adults and 2 children. We could have taken the trip for cheaper, but we didn’t bother negotiating. We told the driver at what hour to wait for us at the exit gate and he was there on time.
The mall is not worth visiting, but we were glad we went because at an outside coffee shop we bought some amazing sweets!
The prices are cheap, but not as cheap as we got them from our last visit – at the Gallery of the Hurghada Museum. That gallery had Egyptian clothes, which were far more appealing to us, than the so called brands at the Mall.
- get an Uber if you want to drive to the city. It will cost you much less;
- bargain with everyone that’s a local. Bargain with your tour guide, shop owners etc. The real cost is usually below half the price;
- don’t brig towels, you won’t need them. The 5 star hotels usually have a Tower Center and you will pick your towels with your towel card;
- tip the guy that serves you. Tip the guy with the towels and you’ll have your sunbeds reserved and ready when you come. 1-2 Euro is enough each day, don’t overdo it. Leave 1-2 EUR in your room for the cleaner, it does wonders;
- if you visit Hurghada in December don’t bring a lot of warm clothes. You won’t need them. A couple of jackets or cardigans and a couple of long pants should suffice;
- don’t drink tap water, only bottled water;
- don’t overdo it with the food. I know it’s great, but if you eat much more than your stomach can handle, you will be a bit sick. We had no issues there. I can say I tasted a bit from every dish.
So, if you plan on visiting Hurghada in December, don’t have second thoughts. The resort was maybe 15% occupied, which made it fabulous for us! The food was great, although in the summer season I bet there is a wider variety. Still, nothing to ever complain about. Have a safe trip and enjoy your stay, as we sure did!