Scuba diving in Hurghada developed in the early 80’s and has experienced a shift from primarily an exclusive dive destination to a mass tourism resort town offering attractive holiday packages. With excellent connections to Europe and Russia, cheap hotel prices, proximity to Egypt’s rich cultural heritage sites and year-round sunshine, Hurghada is a booming tourism destination that caters for divers and sun lovers alike.
Hurghada is one of the most dived areas in the world. With a long history of dive tourism and high intensity boat traffic to the reefs, it is not a surprise that Hurghada’s dive sites have seen better days and can be extremely crowded. However, there are still many excellent reefs and sites with teeming marine life, especially when wisely choosing the quieter season and appropriate dive sites.
For beginner divers, diving in Hurghada offers a unique opportunity to learn to dive in one of the world’s richest seas with beautiful coral reefs, great visibility, and chances of seeing dolphins, turtles and other marine life. Experienced divers will find an abundance of appealing dive opportunities, including walls, wrecks and pinnacles. Besides day diving trips, Hurghada is a departure point for many Red Sea liveaboards to the best diving in Egypt.
The sunny desert climate of Hurghada allows for year round diving. Water temperature ranges between 22 degrees Celsius in the winter months of January to February and 28 degrees in September. The summer months from May to August are hot and quieter, ideal for divers that don’t mind the heat and prefer quieter dive sites.
Hurghada International airport has direct connections to many European cities and other international connections through Cairo. The many travel agencies and hotels in Hurghada sell day trips to other Egyptian attractions and cultural sites, making for fine opportunities to complement your Egypt diving holiday.
Well known for its reputation as a site to spot dolphins, Shaab el Erg is a 5 km long horseshoe-shaped reef with a sheltered lagoon. There are several good dive sites around the reef that, besides dolphins, are home to a wide variation of marine life, including turtles, moray eels, napoleon wrasse and sting rays. Diving the site ‘Dolphin House’ covers a section of the outer reef, as well as the channel that the dolphins use to swim in and out of the lagoon.
Situated in the open sea and subject to weather conditions, Careless Reef consists of two pinnacles situated on a plateau, with drop offs on all sides. The pinnacles are great places to explore and spot marine life. Early in the day divers may even encounter a reef shark.
Abu Ramada is a small island that offers several excellent dive sites. Popular with beginners and try-divers, Gota Abu Ramada is a site that offers calm conditions and a sandy bottom. The reef makes for a pleasant dive with plenty of tropical reef fish, like butterfly fish and yellow goatfish. Abu Ramada North makes for an adventurous wall dive. Divers descent to a plateau at 22 meters, from where there are drop offs on both sides. Nicknamed ‘the Aquarium’, this popular Hurghada dive site is home to a stunning population of schooling fish, including banner fish and barracuda.
A heaven for the avid wreck diver, the reef of Abu Nuhas harbors four wrecks within recreational diving limits. The name of this site, meaning ‘father of bad luck’, refers to the large number of ships that have hit the reef in the past on their way to the Suez channel. The Marcus is a great wreck for beginners, starting at 5 meters at the bow and descending to 26 meters at the stern. Wine ship ‘the Carnatic’ broke in two and now lies on its side between 12 and 24 meters. The wreck has a huge bronze propeller and, with over 140 years at the bottom of the ocean, is beautifully covered in corals.
Covering the best of Egypt diving, Aquarius is a one-stop dive center in Hurghada that accommodates every diver’s need. As an Authorized PADI 5 Star Gold Palm IDC Center they provide dive training from total beginner to professional level. Aquarius dive center has locations in all mayor Egypt diving areas, including Marsa-Alam, Sharm el Sheikh and Hamata, and operates liveaboard trips and mini-safaris, making it easy to explore the best diving in Egypt has to offer.
Emperor Divers is another well-rounded Egypt dive center, with several strategically placed locations. Their dive center in Hurghada organizes dive training for all levels and liveaboard trips that allow divers to choose trips according to their budget and level of comfort.
Panorama Divers is a PADI training center that offers a full range of courses with high safety standards. Only allowing a maximum of three students per instructor, they believe in giving students personalized attention to improve the learning experience. Their selection of services includes daily trips to the best dive sites in Hurghada, dive training and liveaboards; past divers have given them great reviews.
Catering to the diver who is looking for specialist advice and tailor made diving in Hurghada, Divers’ Lodge is a smaller operation with top quality equipment, boats and staff. They were known as technical diving pioneers in the early 90’s and today still offer technical TDI courses from beginner to professional level. Recognized as a PADI 5 Star IDC Gold Palm Resort, they also offer recreational diving courses for any level diver.
Seafari is a French dive operation with several international locations. Their Hurghada dive center is located in the Mercure hotel, about 15 minutes from the city. They offer CMAS and PADI courses, diving trips and liveaboards. The ‘Marine Park’ and ‘Golden Triangle’ cruises both have excellent itineraries, covering most of Egypt’s diving highlights. Other cruises, like the ‘Best of Tiran’ and ‘Top 10 Wrecks’ focus on a diving a specific part of the Red Sea, or on certain types of dives.
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A group of friends and I have been recently on the Carlton Queen. Impression: Although the boat was apparently renovated, there is still some work on it. Ok, boats in EGY do not have an easy live due to wind and seaconditions, but anyway (doors which could not be closed as the wood had been widened by water, shower not working, toilets not really working, cockroaches, bulleyes which were not properly sealed so that one mattrass was completely soaked...). Food is ok, but not special, and some of ...
Well known for its reputation as a site to spot dolphins, Shaab el Erg is a 5 km long horseshoe-shaped reef with a sheltered lagoon. There are several good dive sites around the reef that, besides do...
Covering the best of Egypt diving, Aquarius is a one-stop dive center in Hurghada that accommodates every diver’s need. As an Authorized PADI 5 Star Gold Palm IDC Center they provide dive training fr...
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The SS Thistlegorm rests at the bottom of the northern Red Sea. Bombed and sunk during World War II, this ship was first discovered by Jacques Cousteau and then forgotten about till the 1990s. Now it is the Red Sea’s most famous (and most dived) wreck.