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The Red Sea Riviera: A Divers' Paradise

Jul 2

Are you a diving enthusiast looking for your next adventure? Look no further than the Red Sea Riviera! This mesmerizing destination boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life that will leave you in awe. 

From charming villages like Marsa Alam to world-renowned sites like Sharm el Sheikh, the Red Sea Riviera has something for every type of diver. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced pro, the Red Sea Riviera offers a truly unforgettable diving experience.

So pack your bags and get ready to explore the depths of the Red Sea Riviera – a divers' paradise.



Overview of The Red Sea Riviera

If you're a diver looking for a paradise to explore underwater, the Red Sea Riviera in Egypt is an excellent option. This stretch of coastline is filled with resort cities on the western shore and the eastern coast of mainland Egypt, south of the Sinai Peninsula. The combination of warm sea, favourable climate, thousands of kilometres of shoreline, and natural beauty makes this destination popular among tourists. The Red Sea Riviera is also home to numerous national parks, both underwater and on land, where visitors can enjoy protected desert and marine life.

The Red Sea is known for its breathtaking reefs, colourful marine life, and pristine stretches of untouched water. The strong current leads to some incredible diving experiences and the Red Sea dive sites are world-renowned for the sheer volume of marine life and corals. The SS Thistlegorm, the area's most famous wreck dive site, lays at the bottom of the sea. It is a sight that should not be missed. 

Inland, the Sinai deserts offer equally thrilling experiences. Visitors can travel by camel or jeep to explore the vast, rugged desert filled with vibrant colours. Saint Catherine's Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lies at the foot of Mount Sinai, where visitors can see the world's oldest continually-operating library and the second-largest collection of codices and manuscripts.

The best time to visit the Red Sea Riviera is from June to September, but with temperatures rarely dropping below 21C, even in winter, exploring any time of the year is possible. The nearest airport to this area is the International Airport of Sharm el Sheikh, which has many transfer options to the Red Sea resorts. Visitors should choose licensed taxis or tuk-tuks to move around and agree on a price before getting in. [1][2]



Why it's a diver's paradise

The Red Sea Riviera truly is a diver's paradise, and there are many reasons why. The region boasts diverse marine life that will excite and delight divers of all levels. From the colourful schools of tropical fish to the majestic sea turtles, there is no shortage of underwater wonders to explore.

Diving Into the Coral Reefs

The Coral Reefs of Sharm El Sheikh and Ras Mohammed National Park are home to some of the most stunning coral reefs in the world, which provide an incredible underwater experience for divers. The waters around Sharm El Sheikh are generally warm and comfortable for diving year-round, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 28 degrees Celsius. The visibility can reach 30 meters, providing divers with excellent views of the marine life below.

World-Class Diving Centers and Facilities

Sharm El Sheikh is also renowned for its excellent diving centres and facilities, with various services and activities for divers of all levels. Whether you want to improve your diving skills through professional instruction or explore beautiful underwater landscapes, Sharm El Sheikh has something for everyone.

Discover the Unique Geography

The region's unique geography, crystal-clear waters, and stunning underwater landscapes make it a versatile and exciting destination for divers of all levels. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a first-time diver, the Red Sea Riviera offers something for everyone.

So, pack your bags, grab your equipment, and get ready to explore the underwater wonders of this beautiful Egyptian destination. [3][4]



Diving sites in Sharm

Sharm El Sheikh is a world-renowned destination for divers and good reason. With its abundance of wonderful dive sites, rich with various coral types and marine life, it truly is a diver's paradise. 

Far Garden boasts an enchanting house reef featuring an underwater hanging garden with gorgonian fans, lionfish, glassfish, and frequently spotted mantas and turtles. Meanwhile, the Temple comprises three pinnacles that rise 20 meters below the surface. It offers a flat, sloping reef with two major and several minor pinnacles, adding contour to the reef face. The Temple is also a popular night-dive site, showcasing beautiful basket stars that create the illusion of a curtain in the light current as they feed.

Visiting Ras Mohamed or the Straits of Tiran marine parks allows divers to enjoy signature dives like Shark & Yolanda. These sites inspire divers with steep drop-offs, legendary visibility, and huge schools of fish. The Thistlegorm wreck offers a historical dive now covered in an array of coral growth, with enormous boilers and the remains of wooden cargo boxes bringing the ship to life.

With so many incredible dive sites, Sharm El Sheikh is the perfect destination for divers of all levels. [5][6]



Marine life in Sharm

Not only is Sharm el Sheikh a breathtaking location for diving, but it also serves as a natural habitat for a diverse range of marine life. With over 200 coral and 1,200 fish species, there is no shortage of unique underwater encounters.

The Red Sea is renowned for its impressive variety of sharks, including grey reef, white tip reef, silky, hammerhead, thresher, and oceanic whitetip sharks. The Brothers Islands are a prime location for spotting these incredible creatures. Additionally, hawksbill and green sea turtles are common sightings, with the latter being more prevalent in the southern dive site of Marsa Shouna.

The Straits of Tiran offer a thrilling diving experience due to their strong currents and steep drop-offs, attracting a range of fish, including barracuda, jackfish, and tuna. For those interested in wreck diving, the Thistlegorm is a must-see. This cargo ship, sunk during World War II, now serves as an artificial reef hosting many marine life.

With so many incredible species to see, it's no wonder that Sharm el Sheikh is considered a diver's paradise. Whether you're an experienced diver or a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate the breathtaking marine life that calls this region home. So, gear up and dive into the mesmerizing underwater world of Sharm el Sheikh. [7][8]



The Thistlegorm wreck

The Thistlegorm wreck is an absolute marvel for divers around the world. As the best-known and most popular wreck dive in the Red Sea, it holds an unparalleled fascination for many. Launched in April 1940, the vessel sank after 18 months, carrying wartime supplies, including tanks, aircraft, armoured vehicles, Jeeps, and Bedford trucks. 

Today, the shipwreck serves as an underwater museum filled with WWII artefacts that are a must-see for scuba enthusiasts. Largely intact apart from the impact area, the split hull reveals the invaluable cargo – trucks, motorbikes, a train, and even Wellington boots can be seen. The site offers so much to explore that it takes two days of diving just to orient oneself.

Rediscovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1956, the Thistlegorm has become one of the most sought-after diving wrecks globally. It's truly phenomenal to realize that divers penetrate the shipwreck daily, and many of the holds have air pockets trapped against their ceilings.

Rightly remaining the Red Sea and Sharm El Sheikh's foremost diving attraction, the Thistlegorm continues to captivate and amaze divers worldwide. [9][10]



Other activities in Sharm

Sharm El Sheikh is a diver's paradise, but those who prefer to stay above the water will still find plenty to do. Here are some other activities to try in Sharm:

1. Quad biking: Take a thrilling ride through the desert dunes on a quad bike.

2. Camel riding: Experience the iconic mode of transportation of the desert on a camel ride.

3. Glass-bottomed boat tours: Enjoy the underwater scenery without getting wet on a glass-bottomed boat tour.

4. Parasailing: Soar high above the Red Sea and enjoy the stunning views on a parasailing excursion.

5. Snorkeling: Even if diving isn't your thing, you can still explore the underwater world with a snorkelling excursion.

6. Desert safaris: Venture into the desert for a unique and adventurous experience, complete with a Bedouin-style dinner.

7. Shopping: Sharm El Sheikh has numerous malls and markets where you can find everything from traditional handicrafts to designer goods.

8. Spa treatments: Relax and rejuvenate at one of the many luxurious spas in Sharm, offering a range of treatments and services.

From thrilling adventure to peaceful relaxation, Sharm El Sheikh offers something for everyone. So, whether you're a diver or not, add this Red Sea Riviera to your travel bucket list! [11][12]



Dive sites in Dahab

Dahab is a renowned diving hotspot and a true paradise for underwater enthusiasts. With over 15 dive sites accessible from the shore, it offers something for everyone. From the world-famous Blue Hole to the stunning Canyon and Eel Garden, the sites vary in topography, featuring sloping reef walls, scattered coral heads, and unique cracks and formations in the seabed.

The dives in Dahab blend shallow, gentle strolling and deep wall drops, providing a great experience for beginners and seasoned pros. One popular site, Abu Helal, boasts beautiful rolling hills of coral teeming with sea life. It is a perfect spot for baby and juvenile fish; divers can even find seahorses and rare ghost pipefish.

For those looking for something more adventurous, the Thistlegorm wreck in Ras Muhammad Park is a must-do dive. The wreck of the 125m-long British army freighter, which sank during World War II, left an array of wartime supplies scattered across the sea floor.

Ras Abu Galum, on the other hand, represents the pinnacle of diving in Dahab. Offering the ultimate diving experience with its many stunning dive sites and the warm hospitality of the Bedouin families living in the area, it is truly an experience not to be missed. [13][14]



Marine life in Dahab

Dahab is not only a paradise for coral reefs, but its marine life is also diverse and abundant. Housing over 1,200 different fish species in the beautiful Red Sea, about 17 per cent are exclusively found in this region.

The warm water and clear visibility provide ideal conditions for diving and snorkelling, allowing visitors to observe the variety of marine life that Dahab offers easily. The coral reefs are home to various colourful fish, including clownfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, lionfish, and more. As divers explore these underwater havens, they can spot eels, octopuses, turtles, and even whale sharks and mantas during summer.

Additionally, the mangrove forests at Ras Mohammed and Nabq, along the coast of the Red Sea, provide habitats for different bird species, dugongs, and other marine life. The captivating coral formations create a breathtaking underwater landscape with their unique shapes and colours. 

With snorkelling and diving being the primary activities in Dahab, visitors will be amazed by the spectacular marine life and the natural beauty of this Red Sea paradise. [15][16]



Shore diving in Dahab

One of the unique features of diving in Dahab is the opportunity to explore a vast range of dive sites from the shore. With more than 15 dive sites on our doorstep, there's no need to rush to the boat. Shore diving provides more flexibility and freedom for divers, eliminating the hassle of running for the boat. Each dive site in Dahab boasts its own unique topography and marine life. 

The famous Blue Hole, a hole in the reef table that drops to 90m, is accessible through the spectacular chimney entry at Bells or right or left entry points. Another popular dive site is The Canyon, a deep dive that takes you into a huge cavern under the sea bed. Diving early in the morning is recommended for the best lighting and colours, or late in the afternoon when fish come in to feed. 

Eel Garden is named after the colony of eels that inhabit its sandy slopes, with gentle shallow dives, schools of barracuda, and various hard and soft corals. Furthermore, there are also shallow dives at the three underwater coral islands where you can swim through vibrant corridors teeming with fish life. 

Dahab's shore diving offers divers an incredible opportunity to explore unique dive sites without any extra hassle. It is perfect for both beginners and advanced divers alike. [17][18]



The unique character of Dahab

Dahab boasts a one-of-a-kind character, unlike any other resort town. This bohemian haven draws free-spirited travellers seeking a tranquil and authentic experience. Famous for its independent traveler scene, Dahab offers hostels and co-working cafes perfect for digital nomads to settle in and work.

Despite its somewhat underdeveloped vibe, this charming town is far from isolated. Tourists can browse local markets, discovering handcrafted jewellery, paintings, and Bedouin crafts. A wealth of seaside restaurants serve local and international cuisine, some even featuring live performances of traditional Bedouin music.

Immersing oneself in the Bedouin culture is essential to Dahab's character. Visitors can partake in a Bedouin tea ceremony, smoke shisha, or embark on a desert camel trip. As an eco-friendly destination, Dahab is also mindful of its carbon footprint. Tourists can rent bikes or scooters for transportation, reducing car needs.

Dahab is a hidden gem with a friendly atmosphere reflecting its warm and welcoming residents. This captivating town offers a unique experience for those searching for adventure, tranquillity, and authenticity. [19][20]