Red Sea Travel Tips

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If you have been to Red Sea before, please share your experiences, ideas and feedback (Hotel, Excursions, General Feeling,…) in the comments section below, by doing so you will help fellow travellers to plan their next trip ;)

In this page you will find practical information to plan a scuba diving trip to Red Sea:

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The Red Sea is the main scuba diving destination for Europeans. It is cheap, accessible on a short flight trip and offers some of the best diving in the World all year round. Indeed, Red Sea and in particular Egypt has become the scuba diving School of Europe with cheap all inclusive packages.

Abou Simbel temple, Egyp

There are several very popular spots such as Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Dahab in the North Red Sea. In addition, for the last few years new destinations further south such as Marsa Alam are starting to get increasingly popular for its pristine reefs, prolific fish life and encounters with rare marine creatures such as Dolphins, Dugongs and Oceanic Sharks.

Egypt has many advantages when choosing where to dive next:

  • Cheap Flights and all inclusive packages from Europe
  • Great for beginner Scuba divers as well as experienced divers
  • Amazing historical wrecks like the world famous Thistlegorm
  • Great tourist infrastructures
  • Possibility to mix your diving trip with cultural visits of the Nil Valley
  • Year round scuba diving and snorkelling destination

However, as the main destinations are very popular, don’t expect to be alone underwater! The best dive sites are often crowded and in many places the coral has been damaged. If you are looking for quieter dive spots, maybe head South to places like Marsa Alam or to take a Liveaboard for a few days.

Where to stay?

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

Accommodation in Egypt is mostly resorts and large hotels. There are very few people visiting Egypt on their own and the majority come via all inclusive packages where the resort is already chosen. It is hard to find budget accommodation for backpackers. However, Dahab is the exception and most of the travellers come here without any pre-booked tours and you can find many guesthouses and cheap hostels to stay.

Best time to visit Red Sea

The weather is sunny and dry all year round in Egypt.

  • The winter is warm with air temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C. However the water can get quite cold during this season!
  • The summer as you can imagine is very hot and you can expect temperatures ranging from 30°C to 45°C! The water is much warmer around this time and reaches about 28°C.
  • During Autumn and Spring you can expect in between these extremes and it is for many people the best season to visit Egypt and to dive the Red Sea!

Hot Tip

  • Always take warm clothes with you too as the days can be really hot but the nights can cool down a lot.

If you want more detailed information about the weather and the temperatures in the destinations, please visit the dedicated pages.

Health and Safety

Health

There are no mandatory vaccinations for Egypt. To prevent any stomach problems, drink only bottled water and avoid ice creams, ice and eat only peeled fruits and vegetables. Be also very cautious with the sun when relaxing on the beach or snorkelling as getting sunburnt can be very painful!

Safety

There have been bombings and terrorist attacks in the last few years in Luxor, Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh but things seem to be stable. The recent Egyptian revolution has also been violent but not against tourists. It is advised to check the latest information about the situation before your trip. However, Egyptians are mostly very friendly and Egypt is generally a safe country to travel. Women travellers have to be extra careful as sometimes certain locals can cross the line and be harassing.

Horemheb Egypt

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/2080383852/

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Red Sea, 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.

Where is Red Sea located in the world?

See the map below.

Red Sea Map

red sea map

 

How to get to Red Sea?

The best way to reach Egypt is by plane from Europe. There are many companies serving Egypt’s main destinations. The cost of the flight is generally included in the all inclusive holyday package. The main international airports to explore the Red Sea are the Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and the smaller airport or Marsa Alam.

Another option is to fly to Cairo and then to take a second short flight with Egypt Air.

Do I need a visa for Red Sea?

You need an Entry Visa to enter Egypt. You can purchase it at the Sharm El Sheikh Airport or the Hurghada Airport or the Marsa Alam Airport for $25USD, which is valid for 40 days.

However, if you stay in Sinai (Sharm, Dahab), there is a 14 day Sinai Permit that you get for free at the Sharm El Sheikh International Airport when you get out of the plane.

Getting Around

The tourists don’t generally travel by themselves throughout Egypt. However if you want to, you can take buses between the main cities or rent a taxi for a long ride. It is the case for example if you want to reach Dahab, you have to take the bus at the Sharm Airport. If you want to go from Sharm El Sheikh to Hurghada, there is a ferry running between the two cities.

Once you are in your city, you can either use Taxis or Mini Vans to get around. Be careful as taxi drivers tend to fool tourists and overprice the rides. So always bargain before or ask to use the meter before jumping in the taxi. Mini Vans, which are mostly used by Egyptians, are much cheaper but you have to know where you are going.

Scuba diving

You will find all information about sea life, best time to visit, top dive spots, etc. in our review: Red Sea Diving

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

Red Sea

The Red Sea is home to an array of amazing reefs with a teeming marine life, pelagic fishes, Reef Sharks, Dolphins and even the very rare Dugong!

Red Sea Diving Review

Liveaboard Reviews in Red Sea

MY Blue

The MY Blue is the latest addition to th … Continue reading

MY Blue Liveaboard Review

MV Snefro Pearl

The 29 meters Snefro Pearl liveaboard ha … Continue reading

MV Snefro Pearl Liveaboard Review

MY Blue Horizon

The MY Blue Horizon is a luxury liveaboa … Continue reading

MY Blue Horizon Liveaboard Review

MY Emperor Elite

MY Emperor Elite liveaboard has been cru … Continue reading

MY Emperor Elite Liveaboard Review

MY Samira

The 37 meters Samira liveaboard, owned b … Continue reading

MY Samira Liveaboard Review

C-Echo 1

The 31 meters long liveaboard C-Echo 1 o … Continue reading

C-Echo 1 Liveaboard Review

MY Amelia

The 32 meters Amelia is a liveaboard off … Continue reading

MY Amelia Liveaboard Review

MV Blue Melody

Completely refitted in 2008, the luxurio … Continue reading

MV Blue Melody Liveaboard Review

2 dive logs in “Red Sea

  1. more of a question then feedback but I missed that button. I haven’t made it to the Red Sea yet, but some friends from Israel have invited me to come and said we could make a trip down to the sea for diving. Have you any suggestions for dive sites from that small portion of the sea or any cautionary tales?

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