Tag Archives: Outdoors

Egypt : 7 Activities I Did in El Gouna

1. Diving in The Red Sea

Like all scuba diving lovers, I could not ignore a dive in the Red Sea!

During my short stay in El Gouna, I had a nice dive with the Colona Diving Club. I did not dive deep, within 20 meters, but with a good visibility. Perfect as a refresher, after more than a year without diving! The whole team is very professional.

Leaving early in the morning by boat, we returned in the middle of the afternoon. After my first (and unfortunately unique) dive, I had a seasickness because there were a lot of big waves. But the landscape and the color of the water were stunning.

2. Discovering By Bike El Gouna

What is better than a bike ride?

Created 25 years ago north of Hurgada, this small seaside town, facing the Red Sea, is covered with countless lagoons. We ride a bicycle in a gradient of blue and turquoise. Pure happiness for the eyes!

There is a lot of wind and small bridges. We often ride on wooden bridges, while discovering points of view that are difficult to access otherwise. It’s a real pleasure! To experience early in the morning or at the end of the day, to avoid a strong sun.

3. Riding A Quad In The Desert

El Gouna is at the gateway to the desert

So we tested two types of activity to visit “the desert”: the jeep safari and the quad with Alex Safari. Both have strengths. But, I preferred the quad, because the tour is more active and spectacular.

It feels like entering the decor where the dust is master. We drove fast enough, with a first stop in the camp of a Bedouin family.

All along the trail, there are some small stops to “explore” geological curiosities, such as caves (photos above). The highlight of the excursion: the sunset facing the Dry Canyon, a landscape from a western!

5. Relaxing In A Beach Club

Yes, Lazing In The Sun!

We did not look far. Ideally located opposite our hotel, the Three Corners Ocean View, we had lunch and spent the afternoon at the Moods Restaurant & Beach Club.

The view is lovely and the atmosphere young and cool. I felt asleep while scanning the horizon and the sea, listenning some lounge music! Like everywhere in El Gouna, there is a lot of wind (which can be cold).

6. Jeep Safari In The Desert

Back To The Desert!

This time in a jeep! Nice tour (with a stop in the same camp of a Bedouin family) as when we were on quad. Same view for the sunset on the Dry Canyon.

Only the rhythm changes (longer stops along the trail). So I might recommend the jeep if you don’t like the quad, or go with your parents (and they don’t like or drive a quad, lol!). 

7. Dining In The Marina

El Gouna By Night

The two hotels where we stayed are very comfortable. So we had most of our dinners there. That’s why I would not be able to do a review of the restaurants in the marina of El Gouna.

We only dined in a restaurant in the marina : a delicious and delightful experience. And as we strolled along the pontoons cluttered of yachts, I saw several restaurants with beautiful terraces. The atmosphere is very nice and laid back.

I also spotted some shops, like Malaika which offers linens (with Egyptian cotton? Photos below).

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Sunweb.com, diving : www.colona.com, quad & jeep safari :  wwwalexsafarielgouna.com, Moods Restaurant & Beach Club

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many Thanks to Sunweb for this beautiful invitation. And many thanks to Colona, Alex Safari and Moods. As always these are my opinions.

Egypte : 7 activités à faire à El Gouna

1. Plonger en Mer Rouge

Comme tous les amoureux de la plongée bouteille, je ne pouvais pas faire l’impasse sur une plongée en Mer Rouge!

Lors de mon court séjour à El Gouna, j’ai fait une belle plongée, organisée par le club de plongée Colona. Je n’ai pas plongé profond, dans les 20 mètres, mais avec une bonne visibilité. Parfait comme refresher, après plus d’un an sans plonger! Toute l’équipe est très professionnelle.

Partis tôt le matin en bateau, nous sommes rentrés en milieu d’après-midi. Après ma première (et malheureusement unique) plongée, j’ai eu un sérieux mal de mer, car il y a avait beaucoup de vagues. Mais le paysage et la couleur de l’eau étaient juste superbes.

2. Découvrir El Gouna à vélo

Quoi de mieux qu’un tour en vélo?

Créée il y a 25 ans, au nord d’Hurgada, cette petite ville balnéaire, face à la Mer Rouge, est parcourue d’inombrables lagunes. On se promène à vélo dans un dégradé de bleus et turquoises. Un pur bonheur pour les yeux!

Il y a beaucoup de vent et de passerelles. Aussi souvent, on roule sur des ponts en bois, tout en découvrant des points de vue difficilement accessibles autrement. C’est un réel plaisir! A faire plutôt tôt le matin ou en fin de journée, pour éviter un soleil fort.

3. Rouler dans le désert en quad

El Gouna se trouve aux portes du désert.

Donc nous avons testé deux types d’activité pour visiter “le désert” : le safari  jeep et le quad. Les deux ont des points forts. Mais, j’ai préféré le quad, car plus actif et spectaculaire.

On a vraiment l’impression d’entrer dans le décor, où la poussière est maître. On roule assez vite, avec un premier arrêt dans le campement d’une famille de bédouins.

Tout au long de la route (non tracée), il y aura quelques petits arrêts pour “explorer” des curiosités géologiques, comme des grottes (photos ci-dessus). Point culminant de l’excursion, le coucher de soleil face au Dry Canyon, un paysage sorti d’un western!

5. Se relaxer dans un beach club

Oui, paresser au soleil!

Nous n’avons pas cherché loin, idéalement situé face à notre hôtel, le Three Corners Ocean View : nous avons déjeuné (photo ci-dessous) et passé l’après-midi au sympathique Moods Restaurant & Beach Club.

La vue est superbe et l’ambiance jeune et cool. Je me suis endormie en scrutant l’horizon et la mer, sur fond de musique lounge! Comme partout dans El Gouna, il y a beaucoup de vent (qui peut être froid).

6. Safari jeep dans le désert

Ah, le désert!

Cette fois en jeep! Belle excursion (avec arrêt dans le même campement d’une famille de bédouins) que lorsque nous étions en quad. Même point de vue pour le coucher de soleil sur le Dry Canyon.

Seul le rythme change (des arrêts plus longs). Aussi je recommanderai la jeep si vous n’aimez pas le quad, ou partez avec vos parents (et qu’ils ne conduisent pas de quad, lol!).

7. Dîner dans la marina

El Gouna by night

Les deux hôtels où nous sommes restés, sont très confortables. Nous avons eu la flemme d’aller dîner dehors. Aussi je ne vous ferai pas une revue des restaurants dans la marina d’El Gouna.

Nous n’avons dîné que dans un restaurant (d’aileurs très bon). Et en nous promenons le long des pontons encombrés de yachts, j’ai vu plusieurs restaurants avec de belles terrasses. L’ambiance est très agréable.

J’ai aussi repéré quelques boutiques, comme Malaika qui propose du linge de maison (avec du coton égyptien? Photos ci-dessous).

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Sunweb.com, diving : www.colona.com, quad & jeep safari :  wwwalexsafarielgouna.com, Moods Restaurant & Beach Club

Autres articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Un grand merci à Sunweb pour cette superbe invitation. Merci aussi à Colona, Alex Safari et Moods. Comme toujours ce sont mes opinions.

Azores: São Miguel Island

From Ponta Delgada To Furnas

Chá Gorreana

Yesterday I was in the small island (and gem) Santa Maria. Today, we discover the largest island of the Azores archipelago São Miguel with an area of 744.7 km ². Same team and awakening to dawns! We drive to the tea plantations.

After the tea of the Seychelles, the one of the Azores! So we visit of the Chá Gorreana family factory which produces organic tea. In the photos above and videos below: some key steps in the manufacture of tea (from leaf to tea bag). 

 

 

If you have trouble watching the videos, refresh the page and move the cursor a bit forwad on the timeline. And if it doesn’t work, do not hesitate to leave me a comment.. 

 

 

Next: Furnas

Poça da Dona Beija

Arriving at Furnas, we head towards the Poça da Dona Beija thermal baths with ferruginous spring water (photos above). I really enjoy the setting: the garden at the entrance of the complex reminded me of Kyoto. I guess I miss Japan.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to test the water’s benefits. Our timing is tight. We are on our way to the geysers in another area of Furnas (picture below). 

Caldeiras Termas

A lunar landscape with boiling water wells and smoke. It’s fascinating and mostly because these geysers are so close to homes (photos and videos below).

 

 

At Furnas Lake

End Of Cooking The Lunch

A short drive to Furnas Lake to attend the last step of cooking the Cozido das Furnas, a traditional dish cooked in the earth (quite similar to the French Pot au feu). The attraction is very touristy, but it is not annoying as the landscape around is beautiful!

Each restaurant has a dedicated “oven” (a deep hole in the earth), where the meal has cooked for several hours. A reduced team of men digs up to take the dish out of the earth. Then loaded in a van trunk, it will be delivered to the corresponding restaurant. For us: the restaurant of the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel. 

  

 

The Terra Nostra Garden Hotel

A Smart Art Deco Hotel

We have lunch at the cosy Terra Nostra Garden Restaurant. The art Deco interior evokes the felted world of Hercule Poirot (the super star detective of Agatha Christie)!

Our main dish, the Cozido das Furnas is made up of different meats and vegetables cooked “à l’étouffée” (sort of a steamed stew). I defenitly like the local bread, its texture is close to the pancake, so delicious!

Then a long walk in the Terra Nostra Botanical Park with the huge 35-40 ° ferruginous thermal pool and superb gardens with over 2000 species of trees and a magnificent collection of camellias (video and photos below ). Yes, I love camellias! 

 

Before Leaving Furnas

A coffee at the Furnas Boutique Hotel (pictures below), decorated by Nini Andrade Silva (yes again!). In my article about Ponta Delgada, you can see her interior design for the Azor Hotel. 

Third photo below (and video): the wide swimming pool of the Pedras Do Mar Resort & Spa where we tasted some Gins of the Azores in late afternoon! More original than an umpteenth cocktail! And nice minimalist contemporary interior design.

  

 

Dinner At The Caloura Bar In Lagoa

  

In A Small Creek

Close to fishing boats, we dinner at the Caloura Bar in a friendly genuine atmosphere. The grilled fish is really fresh and tasty!

The Next Day

Before The Plane

Already our last morning in the Azores! Early departure to the Ponta Delgada market where I buy cheeses to offer (the “scent” in the suitcase, lololol!). Then we arrive at the soothing Lake Fogo, located in a nature reserve (photos and latest video below).

And we are lucky, nobody’s on the site! Short walk to one of the peaks around the lake. I am super happy (I need to exercise). But quickly, we have to go down and to rush to the airport! We’re almost late! 

 

  

 

Bye Bye Awesome Azores!

Sete Cidades  

A last view of the Green and Blue Lakes, which according to legend have been formed by the tears of a pastor and a princess having a forbidden love.

Question (from a former student in Anthropology): why are lakes and waterfalls often the results of forbidden love in different cultures? If you have any explanation, you’re welcome to leave a comment below! 

At midday, the Ponta Delgada airport. Next stop : Cascais via Lisbon … and I hope an ice cream at Santini!

 

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Visit AzoresVisit PortugalTAP

Related articles : HOTEL REVIEWS & DESTINATIONS

Many thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this superb invitation. As always, these are my opinions.