Egypt’s Red Sea, located along its eastern coastline, has become a popular destination for scuba diving & divers for over a century. The clear blue waters, with 1,200 fish and over 200 coral species, attract divers from around the world. The narrow straits of Bab El Mandab connect the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, but nearly 20% of the Red Sea’s residents are endemic. Egypt’s northern coastline is also a popular destination for divers.
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Scuba Diving in Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam is a popular Red Sea diving destination with daily shore or boat diving options. It is relatively undeveloped compared to Hurghada and Sharm. Marsa Abu Dabab is a highlight, with a resident dugong population and day trips to Elphinstone to spot sharks.
Port Ghalib is the airport of choice for liveaboards heading towards the deep south of the Red Sea.
dive in Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh, located on the Sinai Peninsula, is renowned for its scuba diving and has significantly contributed to the European dive industry. The resort offers a mix of easy to challenging dives and fast drifts along the Straits of Tiran. The reefs have rebounded since the 2015 Russian airline disaster, with large fish schools returning and pelagic species like whale sharks and manta rays spotted regularly.
Hurghada, a popular scuba diving destination in Egypt, has grown from a small fishing village to the largest resort on the Egyptian mainland. It offers easy access to shallow, sheltered reefs and rich marine life, while more advanced divers can enjoy deeper sites and stronger currents. The Giftun islands and Sha’ab Abu Nuhas wrecks are popular with divers of all abilities. Hurghada is also the primary departure point for Red Sea liveaboards, offering itineraries to almost all Red Sea reefs and wrecks.
The Brothers Islands
Big Brother and Little Brother are two island reefs in the Red Sea, accessible by liveaboard. These dive sites are suitable for advanced divers due to their distance and currents. The Red Sea’s clear blue waters host 1,200 species of fish and over 200 species of coral. The narrow straits of Bab El Mandab connect the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, but almost 20% of the residents are endemic. Egypt’s dive tourism has mainly focused on large resorts, but there are also numerous dive destinations along Egypt’s northern coastline.
Big Brother and Little Brother are two popular liveaboard destinations in Egypt, offering a variety of reefs and stunning coral formations. Big Brother is 400m long and has deep-sided walls, while Little Brother is 500m away and is home to schooling hammerheads, thresher sharks, and oceanic whitetips. Liveaboard operators arrange flights and transfers based on the itinerary. Alexandria is accessible by direct flights from Turkey, Dubai, and Greece, or by taking a 2.5-hour bus ride from Cairo. Egypt’s northern coastline is also worth exploring, with ten of the best places to scuba dive in Egypt.
dive in Dahab
Dahab is a popular scuba diving destination in Egypt, offering a relaxed atmosphere and a contrast to the touristy Sharm El Sheikh. It offers easy access to popular dives like the Blue Hole and Canyon. Bedouin cafés and budget accommodations are available in the central area of Masbat. Day trips to Tiran, Ras Mohamed, and Thistlegorm are also available.
How to get there: Fly to Sharm, take taxi to Dahab, 1.5-hour journey through desert scenery; accommodations or dive centers arrange transfers.
El Gouna is a private, purpose-built resort 25km north of Hurghada, offering boutique hotels, spas, and private villas for rent. It’s popular for kitesurfing and has an 18-hole golf course. The resort’s tranquil environment allows visitors to enjoy the freedom without souvenirs, and its nightlife is subdued. Al Gouna is a favorite among wreck divers due to its proximity to famous wrecks like Chisola K, Carnatic, and Giannis D.
El Quseir, an ancient town in Egypt, is situated halfway between Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Despite the growth in tourism, the town remains relatively unaffected. Divers can enjoy shore diving, with shallow locations for entry-level divers and training. The unspoilt reefs are filled with popular Red Sea denizens like lionfish, blue-spotted ribbontail rays, sea snakes, and guitarfish. Day boats to Elphinstone reef, Salem Express wreck, and 4,000-year-old rock inscriptions at Wadi Hammamat complete the trip.
Scuba Diving in Safaga
Safaga, 70km south of Hurghada, is a popular scuba diving destination known for wall dives, coral gardens, and the wreck of the Salem Express. The dives at Ras Abu Soma and Tobia reefs are considered some of the best in the region. Panorama Reef, Abu Kafan, and Middle Reef offer spectacular experiences, while Salem Express is a sombre wreck dive. Makadi Bay, located 30km to the north, offers a halfway house between Hurghada and Safaga dive sites.
St John’s/Zabargad and the Deep South
The Deep South in the Egyptian Red Sea offers unspoiled and pristine reefs like St John’s, Zabargad, and Rocky Island, accessible only by liveaboard. These reefs offer diverse wildlife, including sharks and pelagic fish. The Fury Shoal chain of reefs, accessible by day boats, is now accessible by day boats in Hamata, a 180km trek south by road from Marsa Alam.
Alexandria Scuba Diving
Scuba diving in Alexandria offers visitors the opportunity to explore Egypt’s historical past, including the Lighthouse of Alexandria and ancient Roman ruins. The Siwa Oasis, a three-hour safari through the desert, offers a unique experience for history buffs. Although the water is murky and temperatures are cooler, the city’s rich history and rich history make it a worthwhile destination for scuba divers.
Direct flights to Alexandria are available from Turkey, Dubai, and Greece, while a 2.5-hour bus ride from Cairo is a better alternative. Egypt’s northern coastline lies along the Mediterranean, and there are plenty of options for divers.
Egypt offers year-round diving, with ideal temperatures from late July to early December.
August and September have high water temperatures, while January and April have cooler temperatures. Long trousers and fleeces are essential for winter wind, and high seas can affect liveaboard itineraries.