Popularized by the beautiful pyramids, ancient ruins, and sandy beaches, Egypt is a top tourist destination for a good reason. But another side to this country that often gets overlooked is its stunning underwater world. With crystal clear water, abundant marine life, and dive sites suitable for all levels of experience, Egypt is an actual scuba diving paradise.

With lots to offer, knowing where to start your diving adventure in Egypt can be challenging.

Here are some of our top picks for the best places to dive in Egypt:

1. Sharm El Sheikh

One of the most popular diving destinations in Egypt, Sharm El Sheikh, is home to world-famous dive sites like the Blue Hole and Ras Mohammed National Park. With warm water and good visibility, it’s perfect for beginners and experienced divers alike. You can find everything to love, from gentle reefs and colourful fish to dramatic walls and swim-throughs. Sharm El Sheikh is a top pick among the rest of the Red Sea.

The 10 Best Places to Dive in Egypt
Dolphins swimming alongside a boat in Sharm el-Sheikh | @yasseraessam

How to Get There?

Sharm El Sheikh is located in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. You can fly into Sharm El Sheikh International Airport or take a bus or ferry from Cairo or Hurghada. The best way to reach the dive sites is by boat, and most hotels and dive centers offer day trips or liveaboards.

Where can you stay?

If you’re looking for a luxurious dive vacation, Sharm El Sheikh has plenty of 5-star resorts. There are also many mid-range hotels and hostels in the area for something more affordable.

2. Marsa Alam

Marsa Alam is another excellent dive destination in Egypt. This area is home to the Red Sea’s only liveaboard dive operation, which takes divers to some of the best dive sites in the region. You’ll be amazed by its massive coral reefs, abundant fish life, and pristine waters. It also offers the chance to see some of the Red Sea’s more elusive creatures, such as hammerheads and whale sharks. It is worth noting that most of the dive sites in this area are only accessible by liveaboard.

A mannatee feeding off the sea floor in Marsa Alam, Egypt | @hossam_piga

How to Get There?

Marsa Alam can be reached by plane or bus from Cairo. There are direct flights from Cairo and Hurghada. You can also take a bus from Cairo or Hurghada, but the journey is quite long (about 10 hours). Once you arrive in Marsa Alam, most dive centers offer pick-up services from your hotel. You will need to take a taxi or car to get to the liveaboard dock.

Where can you stay?

There are a few hotels in Marsa Alam, but most people stay in budget-friendly hostels or campgrounds. There are also a few luxurious resorts in the area, but they are expensive.

3. Ras Gharib

Ras Gharib is a small fishing village located on the Red Sea coast. It is a great place to dive if you’re looking for something a bit more off the beaten path. There are some fantastic dive sites in Ras Gharib, including the famous Blue Hole. Unlike the others, Ras Gharib is only accessible by boat. But you’ll experience some of the best diving in Egypt if you try to get there. Ras Gharib is also a great place to see whale sharks. It is recommended to visit Ras Gharib with a dive center, as the village is quite remote and there are no English-speaking dive centers in the area.

The 10 Best Places to Dive in Egypt
Up close with a reef shark in Marsa Alam | @hossam_piga

How to Get There?

Ras Gharib can only be reached by boat. The best way to get there is to arrange a boat trip with a dive center in Hurghada or Marsa Alam. It will take about 3 hours to reach Ras Gharib by boat from Hurghada.

Where can you stay?

There are no hotels in Ras Gharib. The best way to experience this village is to stay with a local family. However, you can also camp on the beach if you don’t mind roughing it.

4. Hurghada

Hurghada is one of the most popular dive destinations in Egypt. The dive sites in this region are famous for their dramatic cliffs and rich marine life. Hurghada is also a great place to see whale sharks. It is renowned for dive sites like the Abu Hashish dive site, known for its abundance of sea turtles. Diving here means you will also have the chance to see a wide variety of reef fish. The best time to dive in Hurghada is from May to September when the water is warm, and visibility is at its best. However, diving is possible all year round.

How to Get There?

Hurghada is located on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. It is about a 4-hour drive from Cairo, or you can fly into Hurghada International Airport. You can also take a bus from Cairo or Alexandria.

Where can you stay?

The area’s beaches provide various lodging alternatives, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels. There are also several hostels and campgrounds in the vicinity.

5. The Brothers Islands

The Brothers Islands or Al Ikhwan dive site are two small uninhabited islands in the Red Sea. These islands are known for their dive sites, some of the best in Egypt. Famous for its walls, swim-throughs, and caves, the dive sites around the Brothers Islands offer something for everyone. Visit The Brother Islands during the summer months when the water is warm, and visibility is at its best.

The 10 Best Places to Dive in Egypt
Exploring underwater caves in Egypt | @tobias_friedrich_photography

How to Get There?

The Brothers Islands are located about 60 kilometers from Hurghada. To get there, you will need to take a boat from Hurghada. Most dive centers in Hurghada offer day trips to the Brothers Islands.

Where can you stay?

There are no accommodations on the Brothers Islands. The best way to experience this region is to make a day trip from Hurghada.

6. Ras Mohamed Nature Park

Ras Mohamed Nature Park is a marine park located on the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula. This park is known for its dive sites, which are some of the best in Egypt. Ras Mohamed is well-known for its walls, swim-throughs, and caves. The dive sites here offer something for everyone. Ras Mohamed is also a great place to see whale sharks. Visiting during the summer months is the best time to dive here.

The 10 Best Places to Dive in Egypt
Marsha Shagra Village, Egypt | @mickfriisimages

How to Get There?

To get to Ras Mohamed Nature Park, you must take a boat from Sharm el-Sheikh. Several dive resorts offer day trips to the park in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Where can you stay?

There are no accommodations in Ras Mohamed Nature Park. The best way to experience this region is to make a day trip from Sharm el-Sheikh.

7. Dahab

Dahab is a small town located on the southeastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula. It is a popular destination for dive enthusiasts and those who want to relax on the beach. Dahab is known for its laid-back atmosphere and excellent dive sites. The Blue Hole is one of the most popular dive sites in Dahab. This site gets its name from the deep blue water that surrounds it. The Blue Hole is great to see various marine life, including reef sharks and barracudas.

Camoflauged Stonefish in Dahab, Egypt | @__cassandrabalerna__

How to Get There?

There are several ways to get to Dahab. The quickest and most direct way is to fly into Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and then take a taxi or shuttle to Dahab. You can also take a bus or ferry from Cairo or Nuweiba. If you are coming from Israel, there is a daily border crossing from Eilat.

Where can you stay?

Dahab has many accommodations, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels and hostels. There are also several campgrounds in the area.

8. Safaga

Safaga is a small town located on the Red Sea coast of Egypt. It is a popular destination due to its many dive sites and clear waters. Popularized by Jacques Cousteau, Safaga is known for its shipwrecks. Safaga’s most popular dive sites are the Abu Nuhas wrecks, a group of four shipwrecks sunk in the 1980s. Other popular dive sites include the El Minya and Panorama reefs. Many divers choose Safaga because it offers a wide range of dive sites for all levels, from beginner to advanced. The average water temperature is 26°C, and visibility can reach up to 40 meters. Take note to dive early in the morning to avoid the strong winds that often blow in the afternoon.

How to Get There?

There are direct flights from Cairo to Safaga, which take about an hour. You can also take a bus or train from Cairo to Hurghada and then take a boat from Hurghada to Safaga, which takes about 3 hours.

Where can you stay?

There are a few hotels and resorts in Safaga. For a more budget-friendly option, you can stay in one of the many hostels in the area.

9. El Quseir

El Quseir is a small town on the Red Sea coast of Egypt. It is a popular dive destination for both beginner and advanced divers. The average water temperature is 26°C, and visibility can reach up to 40 meters. Every diver will find something to enjoy in El Quseir, as dive sites are suitable for all levels. The best time to visit El Quseir is between October and April. If you want to experience the best diving, visiting during winter is recommended. It is because the water is calmer, and visibility is at its best.

Sea turtle feeding on the ocean floor in Marsa Alam | @mahmoud_diving_instructor

How to Get There?

There are direct flights from Cairo to El Quseir, which take about an hour and a half. You can also take a bus or train from Cairo to Hurghada and then take a boat from Hurghada to El Quseir, which takes about 3 hours.

Where can you stay?

There are a few hotels and resorts in El Quseir. You may stay at one of the many hostels in the region if you want a more budget-friendly option.

10. Alexandria

Alexandria is Egypt’s second-largest city and is located on the Mediterranean Sea. Although the water temperature in Alexandria is a bit cooler than other dive spots on this list, averaging 22°C, it still offers clear waters with a visibility of up to 30 meters. It is best to dive here from June to September. You can expect to see various marine life, including barracuda, grouper fish, and turtles. Great memories and adventures await you in Alexandria!

Intimate encounter with a squid, while scuba diving in Egypt | @dive_with_german_girl

How to Get There?

There are direct flights from Cairo to Alexandria, which take about 45 minutes. You can also take a bus or train from Cairo to Alexandria, which takes about 3 hours. You can fly to Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Airport if you are from outside Egypt.

Where can you stay?

You can stay in one of the area’s many hotels, resorts, or hostels in Alexandria.

What Do You Need to Know?

Before you dive into Egypt, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Dive sites are often located in remote areas, and it is essential to have a4 4×4 vehicle to reach them. You can rent a car or join a dive center tour.
  • Most dive sites are only accessible by boat. So, it would be best if you were comfortable diving from a boat.
  • It is crucial to be aware of the strong currents in many dive spots in Egypt. Make sure you dive with a guide who is familiar with the area and always heed their safety instructions.
  • Dive sites in Egypt are often crowded. Be respectful of other divers and dive within your dive level to avoid endangering yourself or others.
  • Many dive sites have strong currents, and it is imperative to be aware of this before you enter the water.
  • Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreens! The Egyptian sun is intense, and you will spend a lot of time in the water.
  • Finally, dive sites in Egypt are often located in areas with a lot of coral, so it is important not to touch or damage the coral.

To Top it All

Diving in Egypt is a fantastic experience for all levels of diversity. Choosing from various dive sites and crystal clear waters is something for everyone. The average water temperature is 26°C, and visibility can reach up to 40 meters. Make sure you visit between October and April to enjoy the best diving conditions. Remember to bring plenty of sunscreens and be respectful of the coral. Have fun and happy diving!