Best Diving sites in Red Sea

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If you have dived in Red Sea 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 ;)

The Red Sea is home to amazing Reefs with a teeming marine life, pelagic fishes, Reef Sharks, Dolphins and even the very rare Dugong. The Red Sea can be divided into two parts:

  • The North Red Sea with the resort destinations such as Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and the more laidback Dahab (which is the most popular part). Sharm El Sheikh offers excellent wreck diving and even maybe the best wreck dive in the world, the Thistlegorm Wreck! Not far from there is the Ras Mohammed National Park with great wall diving and amazing coral formations. The second biggest diving destination in Egypt is Hurghada. It offers good conditions to learn scuba diving as well as great wreck diving with 4 beautiful wrecks to explore in Abu Nuhas Reef. Dahab located a bit more North has a more chilled out atmosphere and is famous worldwide for the Dahab Blue Hole.

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  • The South Red Sea is less popular and offers much less crowded dive sites and pristine reefs with superb coral. Most of the people coming here are experienced divers looking for world class scuba diving. Marsa Alam is the main gateway to explore this area and features amazing opportunities and for many people the best diving in Egypt. You can for example go on a day trip to explore the World famous Elphinstone Reef for challenging drift dives. You will have the chance to encounter the rare and curious Oceanic Whitetip Shark, Hammerhead Sharks as well as various reef Sharks! Other superb dive sites such as Abu Dabbab offer the opportunity to dive with the very rare and endangered Dugong as well as giant Green Sea Turtles. Fury Shoals is also very famous for the most pristine Reefs of Egypt and for giving the possibility to swim with Dolphins at the Dolphins House reef!

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Red Sea.

Photos Red Sea

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Best Dive Review

The best dive sites of Egypt are:

Macro diving

Scuba diving in the Red Sea is more about big fishes than tiny critters and macro stuff. However there are still nice nudibranchs or pipefishes to find on wrecks and along beautiful reefs.

If you are looking for amazing macro diving destinations, try Lembeh Strait or Wakatobi in Indonesia or Mabul Island in Malaysia.

Diving Red Sea Anemonefish in Anemone

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/silkebaron/3184793916/

Wreck diving

The Red Sea has many very good wrecks to dive! In addition most of these are lying in quite shallow water making it suitable for recreational scuba diving. There is even one of the best Wreck dives in the World, the Thistlegorm Wreck featuring trucks; motorbikes and locomotives from World War 2! There are also 4 very good wrecks to dive around Abu Nuhas as well as the deeper Rosalie Moller Wreck.

How to dive Red Sea?

Local Dive Centers

Most of the diving is done shore based with local dive operators running day trips to local dive sites. However, travelling time to the dive sites can be long. For example from Sharm El Sheikh, you can go on a day trip to the Thistlegorm Wreck but it takes 3h30 min each way! Ras Mohammed is reached in about 1 hour. From Hurghada, it takes 3 hours to reach the Abu Nuhas Wrecks! Alternatively, Dahab offers most of the time shore diving with quick access by car or even camel! Marsa Alam has excellent day trips to Elphinstone Reef, Abu Dabbab and Fury Shoals.

Liveaboards

If you want to maximise your number of dives and to explore the popular dive sites early in the morning before it gets crowded, you should consider taking a liveaboard.

The liveaboards exploring the North Red Sea (Ras Mohammed National Park, Abu Nuhas Wrecks, Thistlegorm Wreck, …) start in Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada. The liveaboards exploring the South Red Sea and offshore reefs such as the excellent Brothers Islands, Daedalus Reefs, and Zarbagad start in Hurghada and Marsa Alam.

Ras Mohammed Egypt

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sushy99/4346600828/

Best time to dive in Red Sea

It is possible to dive all year round in the Red Sea. The only thing that varies is the water and air temperatures.

  • If you don’t like “cold” water, avoid coming in December, January and February!
  • If you don’t like very hot weather, try to avoid June, July and August.
  • If you don’t like the tourist crowds, try to avoid the high season that runs in March, April, May, September, October and November.
  • The low season is during the summer months in June, July and August.
  • The winter months (December, January, February) are high season for cultural tourism and low season for scuba diving due to the “cold” water.

For the creatures of the sea, the seasons are:

  • Oceanic Whitetip Sharks (Longimanus) are best visible from October to January however it is possible to spot them year round in places like Elphinstone reef.
  • The best season for Hammerhead Sharks runs from June to September.
  • Your best chances to spot a Whale Shark run from May to the end of July and mostly in North Red Sea.
  • The Thresher Shark can be best spotted in Autumn and Winter mostly on offshore reefs like the Brothers or Daedalus reef.

Scuba Diving conditions

The Red Sea offers excellent scuba diving conditions all year round. The visibility is just amazing. However, the water temperature varies greatly throughout the year.

Air temperature: 20°C to 45°C depending on the season. The winter is warm and the summer is hot to VERY HOT! Nights tend to be cold.

Average Water temperature: ranges from 21°C to 28°C year round. If you prefer warm water, around 28°C, it is best to visit Egypt during the Summer, August being the hottest month. If you come in winter, the water is cooler, around 21°C. February is the coldest month. If you come during Spring or Autumn the water temperature is around 25°C.

Average Visibility: You can expect 20 to 50 meters all year round!

Current: Depends a lot on tide and location, ranges from none to very strong. The offshore dive sites like Elphinstone Reef or the Brothers are famous for amazing drift dives with strong current!

Depth: From 5m to 30m. The coral reefs are shallow and most of the dive sites are between 10 to 20 meters deep. In addition, there are several wrecks like in Abu Nuhas that are quite shallow and suitable for all level of divers.

Snorkelling in Red Sea

The Red Sea offers amazing snorkelling. You can snorkel just about everywhere on shallow reefs in crystal clear water with a teeming reef life. Most of the dive operators also offer snorkelling day tours to explore the best sites around your area. The best snorkelling spot in Egypt is Dahab Blue Hole and other nearby reefs. Another great snorkelling spot is Marsa Alam Dolphin House (Sha’ab Samadai Reef) where you can swim with a pod of Spinner Dolphins!

Hot Tip

  • Always wear a t-shirt to avoid sunburn when snorkelling as the sun is very strong in Red Sea!

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Red Sea, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this travel insurance as they offer worldwide coverage as they offer worldwide coverage and cover scuba diving up to 50 metres deep, as well as snorkelling and many more water activities.

Travel Guide

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

Diving Reviews for this region

Hamata

Diving in Hamata offers unspoilt dive sites and access to the best part of the Red Sea far, and best of all - it's away from the tourist crowds.

Hamata Diving Review

Eilat

Eilat in Israel offers pristine diving conditions: warm, calm water, excellent visibility all year round, few or no currents, and a huge variety of corals and beautiful marine life!

Eilat Diving Review

Aqaba

Aqaba has all the beauty that the Red Sea has to offer but with out the usual crowds of Eilat and Egypt. Aqaba is also a great base for exploring the other historical sites around Jordan.

Aqaba Diving Review

Marsa Alam

Excellent Scuba Diving with great chances of spotting Dolphins, Dugongs, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks. Access to famous dive sites of Elphinstone Reef and Abu Dabbab! Very Good Visibility.

Marsa Alam Diving Review

Nuweiba

Nuweiba is the Red Sea’s Macro and Muck diving paradise and is home to a variety of marine life not seen elsewhere.

Nuweiba Diving Review

Dahab

The Dahab Blue Hole is one of the most famous dive sites in the World. Beautiful hard and soft coral and excellent visibility.

Dahab Diving Review

Hurghada

Lots of good wrecks to dive and good place for Underwater Photography. Starting Point for Liveaboards to the South Red Sea. Very Good Visibility and good place to learn scuba diving.

Hurghada Diving Review

Sharm El Sheikh

Magnificent Reefs at Ras Mohammed and one of the best dive site in the World, the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm.

Sharm El Sheikh Diving Review

Liveaboard Cruises in this region

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11 dive logs in “Red Sea

  1. I am traveling to Israel next summer and want to dive the Red Sea. Much of the literature on Red Sea diving, however, focuses on Egyptian dive sites. Are there equally great sites in Israel that you could recommend?

  2. Dived in Taba, at the top end of the Gulf of Aquaba. It’s outside the main Red Sea dive areas, but is still a great dive site, benefiting from the absence of shoals of other divers. Great corals, and abundant sea life. The Dive Centre at the Hilton was very thorough and totally professional, so I would rate it highly. there are shore dives, boat dives, and longer excursions starting from here, so give it a look!

  3. i start diving few years ago i had work with THE DIVE TRIP in elgouna after with EMPRORDIVERS elgouna in this time i had finish my divemaster so iam looking to find jop so i can dive more and see more

  4. I have been diving in the red sea since 10 years and still in love with it.
    The only difference is that now i go only for liveaboards and no more daily trips or dives from the shore

    Just back from a safari in the south (st. john, fury shoals, etc) and i suggest to go if you have time, great walls, plenty of marine life, colored reefs, etc etc….. what i missed abit are the big guys, like sharks, mantas, etc etc (only 2 or 3 spotted in the blue…..

  5. Water is a bit cooler there than my usual (78 degrees) but well worth it. Shark and Yolanda reefs are outstaning, We saw a huge school of hammerheads there on one dive. Huge Mauri Wrasse (nicknamed Bob by the locals) followed us around, schools of baracuda and coronet fish. Some of the best diving in the world.

  6. Dived Hurghada and Sharm, the one thing you can expect is healty reefs and vivid colours .the only way you can go wrong is if you get a bad dive operator . I used Empeeror they pick you up and drop you back to your hotel ,and you can have lunch on the boat for 5 euro this includes all the soft drinks you want, they also have a loyalty discount when you book on line

  7. Dived in Sharm El Sheikh, in Tiran Island, dived with Extra Divers at RAS NASRANI, it was fantastic, the people that look after of the Dive Centre, a German Couple. And all the Divemaster, and Instructors, where fantastic. That is where my son then 9 years old decided to do a try-dive. And there he got also the bug for diving. So for is 10th Birthday he did is course Open Water.
    But going back to the place, fantastic, and the people. Recommend to anyone.

  8. Dove the Saudi side of the Red Sea out of Jeddah 4 times this past year; terrific reefs even though the are dove often. Very cheap, $175 3 tanks, gear, boat dive with lunch. 45min-1 hour boat ride out. Desert Sea Divers in Jeddah. Obviously epic spots further out and north and south– still pristine, but very difficult to get to.

  9. The first dive outside Holland was Safaga Egypt. Howe lucky we ware. Green turtle White tip shark seahorse al in VERY clean water. If you can take the 5 day’s boat trip 2 dive’s a day eat on the boats very good and cheap. But most of all very good instructors at Barracuda Diving LOTUS-BAY Safaga Egypt. See you next year again friends

  10. I went diving in the Red Sea in October it was great I went 8m down but it’s plenty there was great fish look out for Adam in grand sharm one of those resorts he is the one who helped us get in to it he is brilliant

  11. Hi,
    I would like to share our incredibly scuba diving experience with Marina Divers dive center, located on” Satil” dive site in Eilat – Israel. I and my boyfriend Joshua, we found in Google a good looking web site in English. We booked an 8 days diving package “The Pearl of the Red sea”, included accommodation, meals, 10 dives, entrances to the Dolphin reef and transfers.
    After we landing in Eilat airport we took taxi (7 euro), and at five minute drive we were in the lobby of a small and lovely hotel. The room was simple and clean, very friendly staff.
    From hotel to dive center morning and afternoon has shuttle.
    Marina Diver center located in Coral Beach in south side of Eilat.
    We made 5 days dive (two dives per day).
    Joshua waked me up every morning at 07:30, after a breakfast in hotel we used a shuttle to the dive center, all dive centers in Eilat are around 5-7 km from the city, so take care to close a deals with transfers. All gear we rented in dive center – 20 euro. Pay attention to the fact, that in Israel you must have diving insurance (we made in the diving center – 26 euro to 14 days).
    On the very first day we started with refresh dive in local reefs , because our last dive was 2 years ago and second dive been to “Satil” shipwreck – Israeli Navy racket ship in 18-24 meter deep.
    Afternoon we had nice lunch in “Village” restaurant (including in package) and then went to visit Dolphin Reef beach, watching the dolphins in their natural environment and drink a local beer.
    Incredibly beautiful pictures which revealed during our dives in the Red Sea,contributed to an unforgettable vacation and an amazing experience for us,the atmosphere and the professional staff of ” Marina divers” – dive center , provided us all what we has been expected from our vacation

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