Planning a Trip
There's not much to Safaga. Unlike Quseir to the south, it is bypassed by the highway, but there is still a clearly identifiable road through the middle of the town. The bulk of Safaga is built around the port, which is used mainly for exporting phosphorus, but there is also a brisk ferry business running guest workers to and from Saudi Arabia. A little to the north of this is the old town. Most of the tourist services are in a little area close to the main roundabout, which features a giant mermaid on a pedestal, known as Maglis el Medina. On the highway out of town, there is a second area of tourist hotels and restaurants. Then, about another 5km (3 miles) up the road, is the resort compound of Soma Bay.
By Plane -- Just 45km (28 miles) along a good highway from Hurghada airport, Safaga is easily reached by air from Cairo or even direct from a variety of European hubs. Arrange for a transfer through your hotel or one of the transport companies listed below.
By Bus -- The bus station is up on the highway. It's definitely wiser to arrange a ride to your destination before you get on the bus, as finding somebody once you get there is a very dicey proposition.
By Car -- The intersections on the main highway are fairly well signposted. If you're headed into the old town, watch out for the giant mermaid traffic circle -- when you see this, you're pretty close. Stopping at Ali Baba's (50m/164 ft. or so past the mermaid on the right) for directions should yield useful information.
A number of companies in Safaga will provide vehicles and drivers to individuals or groups. Some are a little shady, so exercise judgment. Try Larose Tours (tel. 010/3344222), which maintains a small fleet of vehicles that range in size from compact cars to full-size buses; it can arrange airport transfers and sightseeing trips up and down the coast. Plus Car (tel. 012/3676860 or 010/6146299) specializes in supplying cars with drivers for transfers or excursions.