Giftun Islands are located in the Red Sea along the shoreline of Hurghada city , Al-Barhr Al-Ahmar governorate – Egypt. It is located approximately 11 kilometres east of the coast of Hurghada. Now, Giftun Island is the most famous island of the Red Sea, and the most important in terms of tourism and environmental activities. In addition, it is the only island, among the 39 islands, authorized to welcome marine activities on its territories. Besides that these islands comprise part of a marine reserve in the Red Sea with spectacular coral reefs and drop-offs. The Egyptian government declared these Giftun Islands a protected area since 1995.
Geography of Giftun Islands
The islands are among the Egyptian sea islands located along the Red Sea shore. They are divided into two separate ones _ Big Giftun, and Small Giftun. The former one _Big Giftun Island has the second largest area after the Shedwan Island. In addition, both islands are a part of larger archipelago which includeone more island _ Abu Monqar. And, they have rare geological compositions and rock intensity, as well.
The islands are famous for their rare coral reefs, colorful fish, and extraordinary birds, as well. Hamda, Near these two islands locate Banana Reef, Sha’ab Sabrina, Erg Somaya and Sha’ab Torfa which are among the famous reef spots in Hurghada. In addition, the marine life surrounding these islands, is one of the richest in Red Sea. It has more than 196 kinds of the solid coral reefs which represent about 80% of the biodiversity of the coral reefs in the Red Sea. Also, in these coral reefs live more than 794 species fish. Consequently, this number of fish represents about 65% of the biodiversity of fish.
Noteworthy that two kinds of birds that face the extinction danger threatening exist on the island. These birds are the Kittiwake and a specific kind of eagles. One of the rare turtles lives on the beaches of this island, as well.
Importance of the Gifun Islands
These islands occupy a very distinguished touristic and economic position. The reason is that the Big Giftun Island is one of the most important diving spot near Hurghada shoreline. Notably, it has fourteen of the best diving spots nearby! Secondly, Big Giftun Island attracts a big number of tourists every year.
For its importance as a tourist destination, the island was equipped with some facilities on three different spots _ beaches. These spots are called “Paradise Island”, “Mahmya Island”, and “Orange Island”. It is obvious that the beaches names are misleading! They may be conceived as if they are original names for this island. Or, it may sounds that they refer to different islands. In fact, the beach, popularly known as Paradise Island, is part of Big Giftun, situated on its southern coast
Activities on Giftun Island
All tourism companies and tour offices place the Giftun Island trip at the top of sea activities presented to tourists.
Trippers head to this lovely place for snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing on the pair of islands’ pristine, protected beaches. The majority of visitors to the Giftun Islands arrive as part of an organized boat trips from Hurghada. Most day trips include lunch and any necessary snorkel equipment. Certified scuba divers can book a guided dive trip for a closer look at coral gardens, sea turtles, skates, and other marine life. Day trips to the islands typically last six to eight hours, depending on the activities included.
Giftun Island is one of the most famous islands among tourists. Notably, many tourist boats sail to its beaches daily to spend a day on. It is famous for distinctive sandy beaches and clear waters that distinguish it from other islands.
The Giftun Island is the first natural reserve in the Red Sea, and it is one of the most important natural habitats for seagulls, and there were old statistics that were sure that about 50% of the seagulls in the world lived in it.
In the Red Sea Reserves, that Giftun Island is located within the Northern Islands Reserve, which is characterized by the presence of distinctive coral reefs that reach millions of years of age, and contain rare reef fish that tourists wish to see when diving, as well as flocks of dolphins that tourists visit specially from All over the world.
Certainly, the Giftun Island attracts hundreds of tourists daily to spend a day in peace on the picturesque beaches with white sand and to see rare reef fish, and that it is among the main resistances that made Hurghada a favorite tourist destination around the world.
The Giftun Island was separated by cracking operations into the Greater Giftun, which is the largest island of the Giftun Group, with an area of 18 km2, and extending in a longitudinal shape at a distance of about 11 km from the coast of Hurghada and the length of its coasts is 34 km, and the small Giftun with an area of 3 km 2, located to the south The eastern part of the great island of Giftun, with a coastline of 8 km long and widening in the south than in the north.
The tourist importance of the island
Despite the enormous number of boats and launches that reach it daily, it includes a group of rare coral reefs, and its beaches differ from others, and different marine organisms also appear near its shores.