Justin Carmack – Updated January 31, 2020
As someone who spent over a year exploring the dive sites in Egypt, as well as taking my PADI dive courses, I can certainly vouch that scuba diving Egypt needs to be on every dive-traveler’s to do list.
It is no wonder that Egypt is a popular dive destination for Europeans, as it has much better reefs and numbers of critters, as well as being much cheaper than their European home countries.
In this guide to the best scuba diving locations in Egypt, I will try to describe each of the sites that I know about, and convince you why Egypt is on the list for the Top 100 Scuba Diving Locations in the World.
BEST DIVE SITES
Located in an obscure dot in the South Sinai, about an hour drive from Shark El Sheikh, Dahab has some of the most amazing dive sites in the whole country. From the famous Blue Hole, to The Canyon, Lighthouse, Islands, and many others, it doesn’t get much better than this.
For more info, check out our guide to Scuba Diving Dahab
Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm, also in the South Sinai, is a much bigger city than Dahab, and is surely where you will land by plane. You probably want to get to the much quieter Dahab, but there are some good sites around Sharm as well. One of the best, that you can’t miss, is the famous Thistlegorm wreck. You can also do day trips to the wreck and other sites around Sharm, from Dahab.
El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal areas that offer lots of shipwrecks, pristine coral reefs and colorful marine life. I think you’ll like this quiet little diver’s haunt, and you’ll definitely enjoy the diving.
Hurghada is more established with more amenities then El Gouna, with more dive resorts and liveaboards to choose from, and a livelier nightlife. Both offer world-class scuba diving. It use to be a quiet fishing village, but is now the second most popular scuba destination after Sharm and Dahab.
Another remote, and lesser known dive location, is St. John’s, Zabargad & Rocky Island in southern Egypt. These guys are definitely worth the trip to get down here, with some amazing dive sites, minus the crowds.
Marsa Alam use to be just a sleepy fishing village, until 2001 when an international airport was built, and the dive industry and tourism took off.
People still visit Marsa Alam for amazing diving, but also to get away from the crowds in Sharm and Hurghada.
Alexandria isn’t really known for diving, and the locals normally head to Sharm of Hurghada for that, but if you are into history, archeology diving is now a thing here. “Alex” is much different diving, as it is the Mediterranean as apposed to the Red Sea, but it is a unique opportunity to see ancient ruins and statues underwater.
Makadi Bay and Safaga are some of the lesser known dive areas to divers, but offer some of the best. From formations and caves, to big pelagic, to loads of marine life, this is one of the best dives you’ll do.
If you are looking for one of the more quiet resort areas of Egypt, with superb dive sites and great sandy beaches, then El Quseir is worth a visit.
You are probably going to run into countless wrecks here, as it is located in the Gulf of Suez. Some wrecks are well known, while many are yet to be mapped or explored.
BEST TIME TO DIVE
For the dive sites in the middle of the straight, or from livaboards, the water is always warm and clear, but can be choppy and no fun certain times of year.
For them June to August is the best times of year. For local sites like in Dahab, diving year-round is great, but the water is a little warmer in the summer months.
The coldest water occurs in January and is about 24°C. But if you are coming from Europe or most other places, even the colder water months will seem hot.
HOW TO GET TO EGYPT
Chances are you will be arriving by air, which either means Cairo International or Sharm El Sheikh. There are even a few flights that get down to Hurghada.
HIGHLIGHTS OF EGYPT
Hopefully tourism can pick up for the Egyptian scuba diving industry, once people discover how great the Red Sea really is. In our humble opinion, Egypt has better diving than anywhere in the US or Europe, for anyone wanting to see healthy corals, and a huge variety of marine life. Not to mention some world-class wrecks.
But if you are going all the way to Egypt for the dives, you should make the most of your trip and see some of the famous attractions around the country. From ancient wonders to modern cultures to food tours and more, there is so much to see and do.
Of course, if you havn’t done so already, schedule in a stop in Cairo to see the Pyramids of Giza. No visit would be complete without that. And if you are a history lover, be sure to check out the amazing Ancient Egypt museum in Cairo as well.
We highly recommend taking a sailing tour down the Nile to the south, and visiting some of the most amazing ruins in the world, around Luxor, and on further to Aswan. These are some temples and ruins you will never forget.
There are countless things you should experience in Egypt, but make sure diving is the one you get in the most. You will thank us later!
If you want more to do, check out our list of 15 Awesome Things to do in Egypt.
WHERE TO STAY
Ever heard of PADI Travel? Yep, you can now book your dives and rooms with the biggest name in scuba diving! Trust me, you want to book you dream dive trip with the most trusted name in the industry!
Click the button to start browsing dive resorts and destinations.
Egypt is a Middle East nation, chalk full of ancient history and wonders. The total area is 1,010,407.87 km2 and the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world where the population is approximately 95,977,300.
Egypt is very rich with famous landmarks and tourist destinations like the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings.
Capital city of Egypt: Cairo
Closest neighbors to Egypt: It is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west.
Currency of Egypt: Egyptian pound (EGP) is the currency of the Egypt.
Official Language of Egypt: Egyptian Arabic is the official languages of Egypt.
UNESCO World Heritage sites in Egypt
There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Egypt and 33 on their tentative list. To read more information about all of Egypt’s UNESCO sites, click HERE.