Located just south of Hurghada on the Red Sea, both Makadi Bay and Safaga offer a plethora of diving opportunities. The areas are in contrast to each other. Safaga is a bustling port city with a traditional way of life. Makadi Bay, which is a bit further north from Safaga, is a sleepy bay with a few hotels. Both areas are growing significantly as the tourist trade arrives but still do not offer the variety of topside attractions that one might find in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. Relaxation is the name of the game here and visitors flock to the area in order to escape other busy and touristy areas of Egypt.
Safaga itself can be split into three areas. To the north, resorts stretch out along the beach. A few kilometers further south, one will find the new town which is comprised of the mosque, some shops and the new marina. Just south of this area, the old town contains local shops and an industrial port.
Makadi Bay, to the north of Safaga, is not often including in dive boat itineraries but ought to be. The town consists of little more than a few hotels and dive shops. However, the area’s coral reefs were declared as a protected area in the 1990s and have since become an incredibly biodiverse area.
With a wide array of uncrowded dive sites, Safaga and Makadi Bay should be considered by anyone looking for a Red Sea diving vacation.
Safaga and Makadi Bay are built around diving and relaxation so topside attractions are few. Non-diving water sports available in the area include sailing, windsurfing and sea kayaking. For those wishing to explore a bit of Egypt, Luxor, the Giftun Island National Park and the ancient monasteries of St. Paul and St. Anthony make fascinating day trips.
Whether you choose to spend your time topside or under the water, you are guaranteed an idyllic vacation in Safaga and Makadi Bay.
Most visitors reach Makadi Bay and Safaga via the Hurghada International Airport, which is approximately a 45-minute drive to the north. For those arriving via Cairo, a seven hour bus journey is necessary to reach this dive area.
Once in Hurghada, resort transfers, taxis and local buses allow visitors to move around.