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Famous for ancient Egyptian sites, iconic landscapes and colourful coral reefs boasting great wrecks and diverse marine life, Egypt excites the imagination like no other destination.

Diving in Egypt

Quick facts

Egypt’s reefs are teeming with life; bright corals and clouds of fish dazzle with a kaleidoscope of colour. With wonderfully calm and clear conditions, Egyptian reefs offer ideal conditions for new divers, marine life enthusiasts, wreck divers or anyone simply interested in exploring light-filled reef systems. Due to the excellent visibility and the easy access to excess depths it’s an attractive location for technical diving and training.

There are sites that do experience some current, so in some locations operators do use drift diving protocols - great if you're looking for something a bit out of the ordinary! Egypt offers the full gambit of diving opportunities; wrecks, walls, drifts, pinnacles, shore dives, day boats and liveaboards.

Many of the diving destinations offer access to famous Egyptian historic sites, but it’s also easy to arrange a holiday split over a couple of locations so you can experience a variety of dive sites and some culture too.

Recommended training

Take the PADI Deep Diver and PADI Drift Diver courses for diving the fabulous walls. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course is also great to record your adventure.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • Alexandria

    While the Red Sea may steal the hearts of divers, Alexandria offers a quirky alternative in Egypt. Visitors can explore ancient artifacts left by everyone from the pharaohs to WWII pilots.

  • Brothers Islands

    One of the most unforgettable dive sites for advanced divers, these small islands 60 miles from the coast offer strong currents, pelagics, rays, sharks and two wrecks.

  • Daedalus Reef

    A circular offshore reef located east of Marsa Alam with a great variety of corals, beautiful anemones and an abundance of sharks, hammerheads and grey reef sharks.

  • Dahab

    Enjoy Dahab’s hippy-like rustic vibe while diving the world-famous Blue Hole, the Canyon and colorful reefs hugging the mountainous coastline.

  • El Gouna & Strait of Gubal

    El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal are two Egyptian dive areas that offer shipwrecks aplenty, pristine coral reefs and colorful marine life. All divers will enjoy exploring the area’s many dive sites.

  • Elphinstone Reef

    An exciting dive site with plateaus, caves, swift currents and many exotic marine animals. Look out for colorful corals, oceanic whitetip shark and schooling hammerheads.

  • El Quseir

    El Quseir is quieter than most resort areas in Egypt, offering peace and the charm of yesteryear. The diving is rich, quiet and calm, and the coast has some superb beaches upon which to relax.

  • Hurghada

    Hurghada is a thriving tourist destination with some excellent diving accessible via day trips and liveaboards.

  • Marsa Alam

    Marsa Alam’s coastline offers lots of things to do, some excellent beaches and superb diving either from the shore, day boats or liveaboards.

  • Ras Gharib

    Ras Gharib’s strategic location on the Gulf of Suez makes it home to numerous shipwrecks, many of which have not yet been mapped. Adventure awaits curious divers willing to explore unchartered waters.

  • Ras Mohamed

    Colorful soft corals grow from overhangs, surrounded by anthias, giant gorgonian fans, schools of jacks or tuna and the occasional shark or eagle ray. Moderate to strong currents and good visibility.

  • Safaga & Makadi Bay

    Home to famous and eerie wrecks, protected coral gardens and a wide range of marine life, uncrowded Makadi Bay and Safaga are ideal for divers wishing to explore everything the Red Sea has to offer.

  • Sharm el-Sheikh

    Sharm el-Sheikh has is all. Over 30 superb local dive sites plus many liveaboard options. There’s nonstop action, beautiful beaches, great shopping, nightlife and dining plus a range of beach holid...

  • St Johns, Zabargad & Rocky

    St. John’s, Zabargad & Rocky Island in southern Egypt wow divers with amazing biodiversity, pristine corals and crystal clear water. It’s well worth the effort to reach these remote destinations.

  • The Straits of Tiran

    The Straits of Tiran feature the best diving near Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. With four pristine reef systems, deep walls and pelagic species, it’s no wonder divers seek out this piece of paradise.

USD 524Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 342Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 488Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
6 Reviews
USD 900Per trip
USD 950Per trip

Pharaoh’s (or Farun) Island, Taba – Situated in the northern reaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, this area is noted for fascinating endemic marine life – frogfish, which may be one of the oddest fish. Once a Phoenician port, this small island lies a mere 250 metres/275 yards off shore and a restored castle overlooks the relatively uncrowded dive sites. Small pinnacles and walls dropping to 25 metres/80 feet feature healthy coral, schools of bream and batfish and the ubiquitous moray eels. It’s a great place for topside exploration and snorkeling too.

The Blue Hole, Dahab – Plunging to 130 metres/430 feet, this is one of the most famous dive sites in the world. While there’s plenty for divers to enjoy within recreational limits, appropriately qualified tec divers make the most of the site by traversing "the arch" at 56 metres/185 feet to the reef wall outside. This is a popular place with freedivers too.

Straits of Tiran, Sharm el Sheikh – Situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, the straits form a natural constriction and consequently the diving is spectacular. Washed by strong currents, these reefs are favorite haunts for marauding jacks, barracuda and sharks that prowl the reef edges on the lookout. Enormous moray eels slip through the coral heads and crevices, which teem with anthias and myriad other reef dwellers.

Ras Mohamed National Park, Sharm el Sheikh – The first Egyptian national park is still one of the best. It is about 20 kilometres/12 miles south of Sharm el Sheikh at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez. Due to the mixing of these waters, the area hosts healthy coral reefs and myriad reef and pelagic fish species. This protected area can be accessed by a day trip or liveaboard dive boat. At two of the featured dive sites, Shark and Yolanda reefs, currents are often significant which makes drift dives common.

Giftun Island, Hurghada – This marine reserve has a host of dive sites characterised by steep drop offs, fabulous coral reefs and the possibility of encounters with barracuda, tuna and even bigger pelagic species. That's if you can tear your eyes away from the gorgonians and marine life that populate the caverns and ledges. The frequently strong currents are an ideal setting for drift diving. The protection of the marine reserve status really pays off here with abundant marine life and great diving.

Seven Pillars, Safaga – In Soma Bay, seven coral pillars nearly rise to the surface from about 14 metres/45 feet of depth. Many reef fish, including Napoleon wrasse, puffer fish and lionfish, call the area home. It’s also a well-known night diving spot.

What to see

The reefs and marine life here are plentiful, estimates are around 800 fish species alone with at least 10% of them not found anywhere else. You may see dolphins on the way to dive sites. If you are lucky you may see a manatee a range of sharks, including whale sharks. Apart from grey, white and black tip reef sharks, oceanic whitetips, hammerheads, tigers and thresher sharks can also be encountered. Sea turtles frequent the area as do many varieties of moray eels. Bluespotted stingrays are everywhere, scorpionfish and crocodilefish blend in, lionfish hover and there are many nudibranchs, flatworms, Spanish dancers and pipefish to entertain the critter hunters.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

Egypt is famous for its ancient civilisation that evokes images of pyramids, sphinx and mummies. Long the backdrop for archaeological adventure and discovery, Egypt draws visitors to explore its unique history like no other. 

The country’s geography is unusual, the Gulf of Suez almost splits Egypt in two and the country straddles both Africa and Asia. Its coastlines enjoy both the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and while a high proportion of the land is desert, the Nile River enriches its banks with greenness. Egypt is primarily a Muslim country and as such ladies may wish to dress conservatively away from the beach to negate any unwanted attention.

Apart from its many historical sites, Egypt is a mecca for diving offering a hugely diverse marine environment with many destinations from which to choose. There’s much more too; you can explore the desert on an ATV, go sand boarding down its dunes, take a boat trip to view dolphins, relax on the beach, take a felucca ride at sunset, and take a camel or even a hot air balloon out for a spin.

Other attractions

Often overlooked and overshadowed by typical Egyptian history Alexandria has not only some fabulous history top side but you can dive around submerged historic sites too.

Getting there

Divers ususally enter at Hurghada, Sharm el Sheik or Marsa Alam International airports. You can also fly through Cairo and connect to your destination from the same terminal.

UTC+02:00

Time zone

EGP

Currency

+20

Calling code

220 V

Electric volt

C, 

F

Plug type

CAI

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
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