Whats up Egypt?
Updated: Nov 7, 2018
After some years of political unrest, it seems like the world-class conditions for windsurfing in Egypt has been forgotten by most of the European windsurfing community. If you're looking for a flat-water winter destination within a reasonable budget and travel distance from Europe, Egypt is hard to beat. Egypt is also one of very few windsurfing destinations globally without a particular windy season, as you can pretty much rely on winds year round. That being said, summer is pretty consistent with strong, stable winds blowing from the north, but with temperatures in the 30s and 40s its on the hot side of comfortable. Unless you spend all of your time in the water of course! In wintertime the temperatures are more agreeable, more like in the mid 20s, and the winds can be a bit more elusive, but chances are good that that you will get planing conditions during any week of the year down here.
As for security, which seems to be a major concern of most windsurfers, I dont share this scepticism. For the past 5 years I've done 15 trips to countries as Turkey, South Africa, and Egypt, with a total of 6 months duration. All of these countries are being subject to the same scepticism in regards of security for westerners. We have in all this period of time, experienced no unpleasentness, no criminality, not even any form of unwanted attention. In comparison, our camera gear was stolen 2 hours after landing in Spain, we got hustled by a car rental company 30 mins after landing in Italy, our bodyboards got stolen from our car in the Canaries and we cant leave any form of windsurfing gear inside the car at night in the south of France. Add to this list that most Egyptian windsurfing centres has an excellent level of service, you get help to carry your gear, and the security is great, with instant pick-up service by boat if anything goes wrong.
If terror is what you fear, one could argue with the same - any destination in Europe is just as plausible, as a goal for a terrorist attack as the the southern tourist destinations in Egypt. That being said, there are certainly areas in Egypt you dont want to travel alone as an European tourist, but Soma bay isnt one of them.
Upsetting your stomach has traditionally been an unpleasant issue connected with Egypt travels. The bacteria found in Egypt does not always go along with our intestinal system, so if you aren't cautious, mild symptoms of an upset stomach are to be expected. The hygiene in the resorts is not the problem, our lack of hand hygiene is mainly to blame. If you wash your hands properly before any meal, and try to control the hand to mouth reflexes (dont put your fingers in your mouth!!) chances are that you can stay here without any problems. I might add that we as a principle are cautious around any types of food that arent heat-treated, such as salads.
After some challenging years for the tourist industry, the Egyptians has pulled their act together. Service levels are on top, predictability and dependability has improved tremendously the last years, as they have learned to appreciate the importance of tourism. No more hustling street vendors or taxi drivers. Now its all about wanting westerners wanting to come back to Egypt. This policy seemingly has had its effect, tourism in Egypt is on the rise again. Surfmotion centre where I hold my clinics are fully booked months ahead, due to hundreds of kiters and windsurfers that wants to enjoy the perfect conditions Soma bay has to offer.