A Guide to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts

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A Guide to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts

Manta rays and squirrel fish, whale sharks and hammerheads, coral gardens and canyons, world-famous wrecks and submarine sinkholes…booking a dive trip to the Red Sea is a bit of a no-brainer, but with so many resorts to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.

Each resort has its own special charm, and offers an array of unique dive sites, which will impress even the most seasoned diver. Here’s a taste of what to expect at four of Egypt’s best-known dive-resorts…

Dahab Diving. For Bedouin vibes beneath a backdrop of burnt mountains, you can’t beat Dahab. This laidback beach resort and town brings a touch of hippy-chic to its tourist hotels, with backpacker accommodation available away from the prime beach area. Dahab is home to Egypt’s legendary Blue Hole, as well as well as some spectacular underwater topography. Most of the diving here is straight off the shore, with few currents or drop-offs.

Nearest airport: Sharm-el-Sheik
Transfer time: About an hour
Best for: Hippy-chic, Bedouin culture and the Blue Hole

Sharm-el-Sheik. ‘Sharm’ is one of Egypt’s most famous Red Sea resorts, catering mainly for package tourists rather than independent travellers. Expect to find plenty of five-star hotels, with an abundance of amenities and entertainment options. Whilst Sharm’s stunning sandy beaches are the main draw for non-diving visitors, this stretch of coastline is also home to some of Egypt’s best dive sites. World-famous wrecks, such as the Thistlegorm and the Dunraven are both an easy day trip away, and the revered Ras Mohammed National Park is just a few miles from the main resort. Sharm is also a popular hopping off point for Red Sea liveaboards.

Nearest airport: Sharm-el-Sheik
Transfer time: A few minutes
Best for: Tourist amenities, the Thistlegorm, Ras Mohammed National Park and Red Sea liveaboards.

Hurghada Diving. This lively town is home to some of the original Red Sea resorts and is generally a little cheaper than Sharm. Superb reef diving can be found nearby at Shaab Abu Nuhas, Abu Hashish and Abu Ramada, and Hurghada gives access to some spectacular Red Sea liveaboard adventures to some of Egypt’s most southerly dive sites, including the immense reef system of Fury Shoal. For non-diving partners, there’s also plenty going on here, with kitesurfing and sun worshipping amongst the most popular activities.

Nearest airport: Hurghada
Transfer time: Ten minutes or so
Best for: Good value holidays, non-diving partners, and Red Sea liveaboards to Fury Shoal

El Gouna Diving. 18 miles north of Hurghada are the immaculate hotels of El Gouna, which are elegantly linked by a series of lagoons, earning this purpose-built development the nickname: little Venice of the Red Sea. As well as sharing some of Hurghada’s top dive sites, El Gouna is perfectly located for new divers to access the calm local reefs; the experienced to dive the nearby walls; and the adventurous to head off on a Red Sea liveaboard to the Abu Nuhas and Thistlegorm wrecks. El Gouna also has a reputation for excellent nightlife, restaurants and non-diving entertainment.

Nearest airport: Hurghada
Transfer time: Around twenty minutes
Best for: Exclusive accommodation, mixed ability dive groups, entertainment.

Tags: Red Sea Liveaboards, Red Sea Live Aboards, Maldives Liveaboards, Maldives Live Aboards, Red Sea Diving, Maldives Diving, Egypt Diving, Egypt Dive