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.
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.
For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.