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The Ultimate Guide to Diving and Snorkeling in Hurghada

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Hurghada is a coastal city in Egypt located on the western shore of the Red Sea, and It has a long history as a fishing village. Still, in recent decades it has developed into a major tourist resort, offering a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. Hurghada is especially famous for its diving and snorkeling opportunities, as it boasts some of the world’s most stunning coral reefs and marine life.


If you are looking for some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in Hurghada, here are some of the top choices:

  • Giftun Islands: These are a group of small islands that lie about 10 km offshore from Hurghada. They are part of a national park that protects the area’s rich biodiversity. The islands are surrounded by coral gardens, drop-offs, caves, and wrecks that offer diverse and exciting diving and snorkeling experiences. In these waters, you can see colorful fish, turtles, rays, dolphins, sharks, and even dugongs. Some of the most popular sites are Gota Abu Ramada, Erg Somaya, Shaab El Erg, and Umm Gammar.

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  • Abu Nuhas: This reef lies about 80 km north of Hurghada, near the entrance of the Gulf of Suez. It is also known as the “ship graveyard,” as it is home to four famous wrecks that sank between 1869 and 1983. The wrecks are the Carnatic, the Giannis D, the Chrisoula K, and the Kimon M. They are well-preserved and covered with corals and sponges. They attract a variety of marine life, such as barracudas, jacks, groupers, lionfish, moray eels, and more. The wrecks are suitable for divers of different levels, lying between 10 and 30 meters deep.
  • Rosalie Moller: This wreck lies about 10 km north of Abu Nuhas. It is a British cargo ship sunk by German bombers in 1941. It is one of the most impressive wrecks in the Red Sea, as it is almost intact and measures 108 meters long. It lies at a depth of 50 meters, so it is only accessible to advanced divers. The wreck is encrusted with corals and surrounded by schools of fish, such as snappers, batfish, fusiliers, tuna, trevallies, and more.
  • Dolphin Reef: This reef lies about 40 km south of Hurghada. It is also known as Shaab Samadai or Dolphin House. It is a horseshoe-shaped reef that has a large lagoon in the center. The lagoon is frequented by a friendly spinner dolphin pod that often interacts with divers and snorkelers. You can also see other marine creatures, such as rays, turtles, Napoleon wrasses, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, and more. The reef has several dive sites with different depths and features.

To enjoy diving and snorkeling in Hurghada safely and comfortably, you will need some essential equipment:

  • Mask: This is essential for seeing underwater. You should choose a cover that fits your face well and creates a good seal. You can test the fit by placing the mask on your face without using the strap and inhaling lightly through your nose. It fits well if the show stays on your face without leaking air or falling off.
  • Snorkel: This tube allows you to breathe while your face is submerged in water. You should choose a snorkel with a comfortable mouthpiece and a purge valve that helps you clear water from the tube quickly. You can also opt for a dry snorkel that prevents water from entering the line when you dive deeper.
  • Fins: These devices help you move faster and more efficiently in water. You should choose fins that fit your feet well and match your swimming style and strength. Wear boots or socks to protect your feet from blisters or cuts.
  • Wetsuit: This garment helps you stay warm and protect your skin from sunburn or stings in water. You should choose a wetsuit that fits your body snugly but not tightly. The thickness of the wetsuit depends on the water temperature and your preference. Generally speaking, you will need a thinner wetsuit (2-3 mm) for warm water (above 25°C) and a thicker wetsuit (5-7 mm) for cold water (below 20°C).

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You can buy or rent your diving and snorkeling equipment from many shops and centers in Hurghada. However, it is advisable to have your equipment, as it will ensure better hygiene, comfort, and performance. You can also bring your gear on your trip, as most airlines allow you to check in one piece of diving or snorkeling equipment for free.

Before you go diving or snorkeling in Hurghada, you should also follow some safety precautions:

  • Never dive or snorkel alone: You should always have a buddy or guide to help you in an emergency. You should also communicate with your buddy using hand signals or other means and stay within sight of each other.
  • Inspect your equipment before each dive or snorkel and ensure it works properly. Adjust your kit to fit you well and avoid leaks or discomfort.
  • Plan your dive or snorkel: You should know the depth, time, and route of your dive or snorkel and stick to it. You should also check the weather, tide, current, and visibility conditions and avoid diving or snorkeling in unfavorable situations.
  • Equalize your ears: You should equalize the pressure in your ears as you descend and ascend in water by yawning, swallowing, or pinching your nose and blowing gently. This will prevent ear pain or damage caused by pressure changes.
  • Breathe normally: You should breathe through your mouth using your snorkel or regulator and avoid holding your breath or hyperventilating. This will prevent lung injuries or decompression sickness caused by gas expansion or accumulation.
  • Ascend slowly: You should ascend slowly from your dive or snorkel at a rate of no more than 10 meters per minute. You should also make a safety stop at 5 meters for 3 minutes before surfacing. This will allow your body to adjust to the pressure change and eliminate excess nitrogen from your tissues.
  • Stay hydrated: You should drink plenty of water before and after your dive or snorkel and avoid alcohol or caffeine. This will prevent dehydration, which can increase the risk of decompression sickness or heat stroke.
  • Protect yourself: You should wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a rash guard or a wetsuit to protect yourself from sunburn, heat stroke, jellyfish stings, coral cuts, and other hazards. You should also avoid touching or disturbing marine life, as some can be dangerous or endangered.

Diving and snorkeling in Hurghada can be a unique and unforgettable experience that will allow you to explore the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. By following these tips and information, you can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure that will leave you with lasting memories. Happy diving and snorkeling

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