The Red Sea isone of the world’s best known diving destinations and widely considered to be one of the seven wonders of the underwater world. In the first of its top 10 series, the Egypt Tourism Authority is looking back at 65 years of diving in the Egyptian Red Sea and the top 10 “must-see” dive sites for visitors.
One of the earliest divers of the Egyptian Red Sea was Jacques Costeau in 1951 who’s early adventures are recounted in his book, The Silent World. Costeau was an explorer, photographer, filmmaker and researcher who studied the sea and marine life. He dived The Brothers Island which feature rare black coral, two wrecks and often sightings of hammerhead sharks. Today there are hundreds of dive sites in the Egyptian Red Sea that tourists travel from all over the world to experience. With its visibility, warm water and diversity of sea life, here is a guide to Egypt’s underwater experiencies:
Ras Mohamed National Park: Shark reef
The park is situated approximately 12 km from the famous tourist resort of Sharm el Sheikh. The most prized spots in this location include Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef, which offer divers the chance to see every single species of fish in the Red Sea in one location.
Straits of Tiran: Jackson reef (Sharm el Sheikh)
Due to its strong currents and abundance of nutrients, the coral here attracts a wide range of larger fish including hammerhead, gray and guitar sharks.
Thistlegorm (Sharm el Sheikh)
Many consider this to be the most popular wreck dive in the world. SS Thistlegorm sank in 1941 after being attacked on its way from Glasgow to Alexandria. The ship’s contents which included motorbikes, trucks and armored cars sit on the bottom of the ocean alongside the wreck itself, complete with the hole from German bomb. Divers can use torches to look inside the wreck and may even spot a rare crocodile fish.
Brother Island (Quseir)
Divers will need to join a live-aboard to experience these islands and follow in the footsteps of Costeau. Both Big Brother and Little Brother have an attractive display of coral and the crystal clear waters. The highlights are two shipwrecks, the Aida and the Numidia.
Elphinstone (Marsa Alam)
One of the best known diving sites in Egypt, this drift dive offers divers the chance to swim together with hammerhead and oceanic white tip reef sharks, whilst witnessing the vast array of corals. Sometimes tiger sharks and dolphins can also be spotted here.
Abu Dabbab (Marsa Alam)
At Abu Dabbab, visitors can see a sea turtle and the lesser known, dugong. There are two dugongs living in Abu Dabbab who receive special protection as they are in danger of extinction.
Deadalus (Marsa Alam)
With its series of more than four distinct dive sites, this is a deep dive which attracts hammerhead and thresher sharks and a unique pinnacle covered in pristine coral.
Dolphins house (Marsa Alam)
Just off the coast of Marsa Alam, a pod of spinner dolphin live on this offshore reef. Visitors can dive or snorkel with these creatives.
It is one of the oldest wrecks in the Red Sea which is known by many as the ‘wreck of wine’ as it carried hundreds of crates of wine. Some of the wine bottles are still intact at the bottom of the ocean.
Gifun Isl Hurghada
With its steep drop offs and chance to see sea life including barracuda and tuna this collection of dive sites considered a “must-see”. One can look closely in the caverns to spot the huge array of species.
Blue Hole (Dahab)
One of the most famous diving locations on the shores of the Red Sea, also known as a hot spot for free diving due to the sea depth in the area and the lack of current. It’s also known for its underwater marine life and coral reef.