Best Diving sites in Marsa Alam

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If you have dived in Marsa Alam before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

Marsa Alam is the newest Scuba Diving destination of the Red Sea in Egypt. It offers excellent chances to spot Dolphins, the very rare Dugongs, the curious Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Hammerheads Sharks!!!

Marsa Alam is the best gateway for exploring the wonders of the South Red Sea with famous dive sites such as Elphinstone Reef or the Dolphin House!

A few years ago, Marsa Alam was still just a quiet fishing village of South Egypt, but since the construction of the International Airport in 2001, the place attracts more and more divers every year. They come here for pristine reefs and to avoid the crowded dive sites of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada in the north of the Red Sea.

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Marsa Alam.

Photos Marsa Alam

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Best Dive Review

Marsa Alam offers the best scuba diving of the Red Sea and In Egypt. The marine life is amazing and most of the dive sites are still unspoiled with pristine reefs and excellent coral. If you are tired of the crowded dive sites of Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada, this is a good spot for you.

Marsa Alam Beach

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2007828/2232052889/

You have excellent chances of meeting some Bottle Nose Dolphins or the Spinner Dolphins as well as Sea Turtles and the very rare and endangered Dugongs! If you dive the famous Elphinstone Reef, you might spot the rare and curious Oceanic White Tip Shark or even schooling Hammerhead Sharks!

Other types of Sharks like the impressive Silvertip Shark or the Grey Reef Sharks can also be spotted. This area is perfect to encounter pelagic fishes such as Tuna and Barracuda too.

During the right season, it is even possible to spot the gentle giant Whale Shark (May and June) and the majestic Manta Rays (May to August)!

Marsa Alam is mainly a destination for experienced divers with challenging dive sites but the local dive sites are also very easy and perfect for learning to Scuba Dive.

The best scuba diving sites in Marsa Alam (and probably in Egypt!) are:

  • Elphinstone Reef: One of the best dive sites in the World. It is an offshore Reef offering spectacular wall drift diving with wonderful Coral and amazing Marine Life. This place is famous for regular encounters of schooling Hammerhead Sharks and the potentiall dangerous Oceanic Whitetip Shark! This site is reserved to experienced divers only!
  • Dolphin House (Sha’ab Samadai): This wonderful reef creates a lagoon where the visibility is usually very good. It offers wonderful scuba diving or snorkelling but the highlight here is the resident spinner dolphins pod. It is often possible to swim or to dive with these intelligent and fascinating creatures, making it a truly unforgettable experience!
  • Abu Dabbab: The most popular dive site of the area. It is one of the few places in the world where you can dive with the very rare and endangered Dugongs! This shallow bay is also home to many big Green Sea Turtles. The rare guitar shark can also be found in Abu Dabbab. This is an excellent spot for underwater photography (but don’t put your macro lense ;-))! This is a popular snorkelling spot too.
  • Fury Shoals: The most pristine reef of the area with amazing hard and soft coral!
  • Wreck of the Hamada: Marsa Alam doesn’t have many interesting wrecks to dive. However, the Hamada wreck, a former 65m long ship that sunk in 1993 is an easy and spectacular shore dive. It is a great place for underwater photography, so don’t forget your camera!

Scuba Diving in Marsa Alam is really great for underwater photography because of the excellent visibility and the amazing marine life you can encounter. However, it is not really the best place for Macro and Critter lovers. If you are looking for excellent Macro and Muck Diving, try the Lembeh Strait or Wakatobi in Indonesia and Mabul Island in Malaysia!

Abu Dabbab Dive Turtle

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amanda63/4321805965/

How to dive Marsa Alam?

Liveaboard trip or Marsa Alam Dive Centers?

Stunning world class dive sites can be reached on day trips from Marsa Alam and will keep you busy for your whole trip! However, if you do want to explore the excellent and more remote dive sites of the Brothers Islands, Daedelus Reef, Geziret Zabargad, Rocky Islands and St. John’s Reef you will need to take a liveaboard trip for a few days. These cruises are reserved for experienced divers. I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in the Red Sea as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.

Where to stay?

I usually use this website to book in advance my hotels in Marsa Alam as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because it's free to cancel and change the dates.

Best time to dive in Marsa Alam

It is possible to dive in Marsa Alam all year round. There are different seasons:

  • Around April and May, the visibility is sometimes reduced by the plankton bloom but that is what attracts Manta Rays and Whale Sharks!
  • Coldest water occurs in January and is about 24°C
  • Whale Sharks can be spotted between May and June
  • From November to February, the wind can be strong and the sea quite choppy. It can sometimes prevent offshore dives from happening such as at Elphinstone Reef.
  • Best scuba diving conditions are during Summer with water temperature of about 30°C!
  • Hammerhead Sharks and Manta rays season in Elphinstone Reef runs from May to August
  • The famous Oceanic Whitetip Shark season runs from October to December in Elphinstone Reef

Top liveaboards in Marsa Alam according to divers reviews

Scuba Diving conditions

The south or Red Seas usually offers very good conditions.

Diving Mask IconVisibility: Great, it ranges from 20m to 60m.

Icon WaveCurrent: Varies greatly depending on the location and there are easy dive sites with no current for beginner divers as well as spots with very strong current for more experienced divers.

Icon TemperatureWater temperature: Ranges from 24°C around January and a nice 30°C during the Summer Months.

Marsa Alam is a windy destination and the sea can be choppy especially from November to February. It can sometimes forbid diving on the more exposed dive sites.

Snorkelling in Marsa Alam

There are several very good snorkelling locations around Marsa Alam. The dive operators usually offer Snorkelling day tours allowing you to explore the best spots of the area. You can also go snorkelling off the shore from one of the Marsa Alam beaches.

The best places for snorkelling are Abu Dabab Bay featuring a beautiful coral and marine life, Kahramana Beach and the Dolphin House Reef where you can swim with Dolphins!

Dolphin House, Sha'ab Samadai Reef

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlo_be/4714491412/

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Marsa Alam, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Marsa Alam Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

Diving Reviews for this region

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Dive spots reviews in Marsa Alam

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The Marsa Alam Dolphin House also called the Sha'ab Samadai Reef is a popular and famous dive site of Marsa Alam. It is ...
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Abu Dabbab is one of the most famous dive sites in the Red Sea and of all of Egypt. It is one of the few places in the w...
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Daedalus Reef offers some of the Best Diving in the Red Sea! It is an offshore reef located 80km East of Marsa Alam. It ...
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Elphinstone Reef is one of the most famous dive sites in the World and offers some of the best scuba diving in the Red S...
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The Fury Shoals make up several reefs along the Southwest Red Sea coast, offering amazing scuba diving opportunities wit...

Liveaboard Reviews in Marsa Alam

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MY Seawolf Soul

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MY Golden Dolphin

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MY Andromeda

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Diving centers in Marsa Alam

No dive centers found

13 dive logs in “Marsa Alam

  1. Wonderful. I stayed at Gorgonia beach hotel near Marsa Alam and “La Pensée” in el Koseir,for 750 € a week, all inclusive from Paris, with the best possible luxury rooms and buffets.
    The outer reef is unspoiled, three hundred meters away from the beach (and 150 yards further than where most of the tourists and sunbathers would stop…
    Hours of leisurely snorkeling and diving, in crystal clear waters and thousand of fishes.
    Then I went to Redang Malaysia where all the coral is dead or dying …
    Marsa Alam is my best diving spot in the world, so far …

    • Sounds good! Did you also dive the Elphinstone Reef? Marsa Alam really stands out in the Red Sea! I hope it will stay that way for many years ;-).

  2. Estuvimos en marsa shagra village el pasado octubre viaje via cairo hurgada coche a marsa palizon.
    Arrecife y vida espectacular mala comuda y ni longimanus ni martillos ni dugongos ni delfines.
    Estuvimos en dolphin reef y nada de delfines.
    En elphinstone tres veces y no vimos ni martillos ni longimanus.
    Me gustaria saber si en diciembre hay posibilidad d ver algun tipo d tiburon corrientes y vientos y viajes un poco mas cortos y economivos con buenos guias y comida aceptable.
    Gracias ya m contestareis

  3. We dived at Marsa Alam last week: Abu dabab, dolphin house, elphinstone and house reef at duck divers. All the reefs look healthy and bursting with live! At Elphinstone where the current was gruesome we saw a grey reef shark, oceanic white tip and hammer head. Good visibility and what an awesome dive. The reef at Dolphin house is beautiful too, we saw 20 dolphins! Abu Dabab reef is also pretty and we spotted 7 sea turtles in relaxed state. The house reef at Ducks divers is pretty with a cave on the south side, but the dives deeper were more interesting. Great diving here! Enjoy while you can and DO NOT cut off coral like some Russians do :(

  4. Marsa alam is the best place to be. Not to much safari boats close at the beach so the shore dives are very quiet and easy to reach. Diving on Elphinstone you must do before the safari boats. Try the fast rib from Brayka Beach at 6u30 all alone on the reef with sometimes the hammerheads at -45m. My last experiences where all at Hurghada,El Gouna,Sharm el sjeik, Taba, Dahab …After 15 times Egypt the top is still Marsa Alam. Port Ghalib is not a good starting place because all the day boattrips go to all the same places. For the moment I feel they care more about the snorklers than the divers. Les work more profit and that’s my opnion of course sertainly in Sharm el sjeik it was the case!
    Hotel recommandations of course Brayka beach, Tulip hotel, the new Hilton(hotel is very good!!)for diving to far on the beach bad visibility i a sandy bay…A safari boat is of course the best option sleeping eating and diving and always first on the reef.

    Bye David(700 logged dives)

  5. Hallochen, wir waren 2 Wochen in der Riff-Villa Samak direkt in Marsa Alam, unglaublich freundliches, kleines Gasthaus mit integriertem Tauchcenter, tolle Spots und professionelle Betreuung. Am Besten neben dem Tauchen war die super leckere Küche von Hanni, wir sehen uns wieder ;)

  6. My first diving experience is one to never forget, thanks to Sea Secrets Divers. The way they prepare and comfort you for your first dive is really great. I thought the theory lessons would be boring, but it was very interesting because of the short movies, clear explanations and some quizzes. The professional instructors give you a safe feeling so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful environment immediatly. It’s like a huge aquarium with marvellous coral and colourful fishes. After diving they make sometimes barbecue or Bedouin coffee at the beach. They are really nice people who like good atmosphere. Now it will be the 5th time I go back to Marsa Alam, back to Sea Secrets Divers.

  7. hey,
    I am visiting marsa alam next week and I am wondering whether anyone has dived with sea world divers or emperor divers or has any recommendations on picking a diving center. Also whether it is necessary to pre-book in order to visit the dolphin reef etc main “attraction” dives?

  8. I Am wanting to dive marsa alam over Christmas,But I read that the water can be rough because of wind.
    Is it still worth while or should I look at going somewhere else?

  9. As a divinginstructor i had The chance tot Dive in many hotels over The last 6 years. Marsa alam is by far The best and most interesting place tot Dive from The shore. Forget boat diving from port galib or even elphistone and dolphin house all tot commercial and nothing beter than The Reef or shoredives. The time you lose on a boat trip is a day lost in tour all inn hotel.
    I Recomment Tulip Orca diving,sea beach,brayka bay,sentido.so remembera good housereef is better thans boat trips. Off course a weeksafari is The best because you are always first on The best reefs or The short zodiac dives is sometimes a good option if you have The experience.
    My last experience on The boat trips in sharm el sjeik was that snorklers get more benefits, more money tot earn for less effort or responsability.
    750 divings of experience bye from belgium

  10. My experience with this diving center is not good. The staff is unpolite and arrogant. The manager runs after every women in the hotel. You should be careful with the prices, because they rip you of. The only good thing was the equipment. That is because it is a new diving center that has Italian investors. But the Egyptian manager and staff are worthless. They won’t see me ever again.

    • the comment is about the Sea Secrets Diving Center at the Elphistone hotel Resort in Marsa Alam. They try to give you a good feeling, but in the same time they rip you of. So be careful, if you decide to go there.

  11. This area has some amazing coral diving for both shore and boat diving. Snorkelling with a dugong was also a magor highlight of my time here, although I’d like to see more procedures put in place to protect the animal from over zealous snorkellers getting too close. I did one day of diving with the Aquarias company who were great. Small groups of divers (4-5 divers per group including guide while I was with them), a tasty lunch and soda and water included in the price. We had more snorkellers than divers on the boat so underwater was quite free of other divers. I also did one day of diving with Coraya-dive. This was truly the most unpleasant experience I have ever had with a dive company. The local Egyptian guides were friendly enough, but infortunately I found the foreign staff to be quite rude and seriously lacking in any customer service skills. I also lost my dive computer due to their procedures, of which I had not been informed. As I was soaking my dive gear I had a coffee in. the main area, less than 10m from the soaking box and wihin sight. After only about 15 minutes I went to collect my gear to find it had all been removed. Upon making queries I was treated appallingly with little concern for helping to find where my gear had been taken. Eventually I managed to get everything back except my computer, it had all been taken out by a staff member. A simple shout out to customers could have prevented a whole lot of hassle. When given this feedback, the staff treated me with contempt and lectured me about looking after my own stuff. Time on our first dive was also wasted doing basic skills tests, skills that everyone does during their openwater course. With over 250+ dives, and being a Divemaster, I found this a little ridiculous. My advice to all divers would be to find a different dive company.

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Have you dived in Marsa Alam?

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