The Red Sea is one of the world’s best known diving destinations and widely considered to be one of the seven wonders of the underwater world. The Egypt Tourism Authority looks back at 65 years of diving in the Egyptian Red Sea identifying the top 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 very 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 exceptional visibility, warm water and an incredible diversity of sea life, here is a guide to the best of Egypt’s underwater magic:
- Ras Mohamed National Park: Shark reef
The park is situated approximately 12km from the famous tourist resort of Sharm el Sheikh. The most prized spots in this fantastic 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 elsheikh)
Thanks to its strong currents and abundance of nutrients, the coral here is magnificent and 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 ships 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 be lucky enough to spot a rare crocodile fish.
- 4. Brother Island (only safari boats) Quseir
Divers will need to join a live-aboard to experience these spectacular islands and follow in the footsteps of Jacques Costeau. Both Big Brother and Little Brother have a truly splendid display of coral and the crystal clear waters make these islands a paradise for underwater photography enthusiasts. The highlight are two shipwrecks, the Aida and the Numidia which are truly a sight to behold and one you’ll never forget.
- 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 admiring the vast array of corals. For the lucky ones, sometimes tiger sharks and dolphins can also be spotted here making for a once in a lifetime experience.
- Abu Dabbab (Marsa Alam)
For sea turtle enthusiasts this is the place for you. At Abu Dabbab you are more likely to see a Sea Turtle and the lesser known, Dugong than at any of the other dive sites. There are two Dugongs living in Abu Dabbab who receive special protection as they are in danger of extinction.
- Deadalus (only safari boats) Marsa Alam
With its series more than four distinct dive sites, find this site by looking for the lighthouse that live aboard guests can visit. 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 even snorkel with these incredibly inquisitive creatives. Whilst there are no guarantees of seeing them, those lucky enough will want to return again and again.
- Carnatic Wreck
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 is a sight to behold. Look closely in the caverns to spot the huge array of species and make sure to have the camera ready.
- 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 mesmerizing underwater marine life and coral reef, making it a diver’s paradise.