If you are an avid diver looking to explore the depths of the Red Sea, you ought to seriously consider Hurghada, Egypt. Hurghada has been a popular destination for diving enthusiasts from around the world. Home to stunning coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, and a plethora of marine life. Hurghada offers some of the best diving sites in the entire Red Sea.
Here are the top diving spots in Hurghada:
Shaab El Erg
This diving location stands as the furthest spot in the northern direction, nestled between Hurghada and El Gouna. Due to its distance, it is more frequently visited by ships departing from El Gouna. A northbound safari boat is also often anchored here. The reef itself showcases beautiful hard corals, particularly in the channel that runs between the main reef and the smaller Gotta Shaab El Erg. In the northern section, a coral garden and towers adorned with various coral types enhance the underwater scenery.
However, the site gains its renown primarily because it offers the opportunity to encounter a group of dolphins, especially on calm and windless days. Respecting their natural habitat and not touching them increases the chances of swimming among these graceful aquatic mammals, adding a unique and memorable aspect to the diving experience.
In the vicinity of a large reef shaped like the letter “T,” surrounded by a sandy flat scattered with both larger and smaller coral blocks, several distinct diving sites await exploration. Among them are Shaab Iris, Erg Iris, Gotta Abu Nugar, and Shaab Abu Nugar.
Notable for its suitability for underwater photography, Shaab Iris boasts small underwater blocks dispersed on a sandy bottom adorned with resilient hard corals. The shallow part of the main reef is home to substantial hard corals, creating a habitat for numerous coral fish.
This site is characterized by its unique underwater landscape, featuring coral formations and diverse marine life.
Gotta Abu Nugar:
Gotta Abu Nugar is situated nearby and offers a circular reef surrounded by a flat terrain. It showcases several coral towers and a captivating coral garden featuring interesting hard corals.
Shaab Abu Nugar:
Shaab Abu Nugar is another site in proximity to the T-shaped reef, offering its own underwater attractions for divers.
The appeal of Shaab Iris lies in its pristine condition, as the site is not exposed to excessive diver traffic. This gives divers the unique sensation of exploring untouched underwater realms, enhancing the overall diving experience.
In the northern region of Hurghada lies an extensive reef that offers several distinct locations to explore. Among them:
Marsa Abu Galawa:
Positioned as a sheltered lagoon site, Marsa Abu Galawa features a predominantly sandy shallow flat. The site transforms from eel gardens to a coral garden on the edge of the drop-off.
Sakhwa Abu Galawa:
As the northernmost of the Abu Galawa reef sites, Sakhwa Abu Galawa is particularly intriguing. It showcases coral gardens along with a wall, providing diverse underwater landscapes for exploration.
Gotta Abu Galawa:
A circular reef situated nearby, Gotta Abu Galawa is surrounded by a flat terrain. This area boasts several coral towers and an engaging coral garden featuring fascinating hard corals.
Erg Abu Galawa:
Accessible only during windless conditions, Erg Abu Galawa presents the possibility of stronger currents. Divers may encounter massive table corals in this area, adding to the allure of the underwater experience.
These diverse locations around the Abu Galawa reef cater to various diving preferences and conditions, providing opportunities for underwater enthusiasts to explore unique marine ecosystems and coral formations.
Situated near a crescent-shaped island, this diving site offers a captivating underwater experience. The south side is surrounded by a shallow plateau, but divers typically head eastward across the plateau towards the deep wall. Along this route, they encounter large coral blocks adorned with both hard and soft corals, creating a habitat for schools of fish. Three coral towers rise majestically from the deep wall.
In the first tower, a cave serves as a residence for a large school of glass fish and smaller grouper species. The second tower, reachable at 28 meters, opens up into a cave, adding an additional layer of exploration. This site caters to both beginners and advanced divers, with the latter having the option to embark on a drift dive. This exhilarating journey starts above a deep wall and concludes on a shallow flat, offering a diverse underwater panorama.
The reef is often frequented by encounters with large moray eels and occasional sightings of turtles. For a more adventurous experience, experienced divers can opt for a pickup drift on North Umm Gamar, further expanding the range of exploration in this captivating underwater realm.
Shabruhr Umm Gammar
Located in proximity to the island of Umm Gamar, this dive site is often frequented for two dives in a single day. The site features a lengthy reef, and on its western side, divers encounter a plateau. Progressing eastward, the plateau gently slopes from 14 meters to approximately 30 meters before transforming into a steep drop-off or wall. Notably, the remains of an Egyptian army supply ship wreck can be explored in the deeper section.
Throughout the shallower part, divers encounter numerous overhangs and caves, providing opportunities for exploration. Large moray eels are a common sight in this area, adding to the underwater spectacle. The versatility of this dive site also makes it suitable for drift dives, where divers can seamlessly navigate along the currents while enjoying the diverse marine life and underwater topography.
Positioned on a shallower shelf at approximately 14 meters, two substantial underwater coral blocks form a notable feature. This shelf descends rapidly, transitioning into a steep wall that plunges to considerable depths in the north. However, as the top of these blocks is just about 3 meters below the water’s surface, they offer minimal protection from waves and currents. Consequently, diving at this site is feasible only in calm, windless weather conditions.
Encounters with stronger currents, typically originating from the north, are common. However, the direction of currents can be unpredictable. Amid the plateau situated between the coral blocks (ergs), a captivating coral garden thrives, showcasing a diverse array of coral species. Along the edge of the drop-off, a coral tower with intricate fissures becomes a haven for coral life.
This reef has gained renown for its unique offerings, including the opportunity to witness large moray eels gracefully swimming between the coral blocks and the chance to spot turtles engaged in feeding activities. Along the wall, divers may encounter schools of fish and the majestic presence of large groupers, adding to the allure of this underwater haven.
Stretching over a length of 3 kilometers, the reef offers two distinct locations known as El Fanadir North and South. Running along the reef’s wall is a sandy plateau, initially narrow but gradually expanding towards the southern direction. The plateau culminates in a dramatic drop-off. Noteworthy is the reef’s appeal, attributed to the diverse array of underwater creatures it hosts. Lionfish, scorpionfish, stonefish, various types of moray eels, and elusive octopuses find refuge within the reef’s walls. Divers can opt for an effortless current dive, allowing the gentle flow to carry them from the northern to the southern end, while encountering the rich marine life that calls this reef home.
Situated on the west, this reef boasts a sizable lagoon offering the opportunity to encounter dolphins. Upon exiting the lagoon, divers venture into an area adorned with coral blocks, each richly coated with a vibrant tapestry of corals. Noteworthy is the captivating coral garden, featuring colossal table corals that add to the underwater allure.
El Fanous East is home to an impressive pinnacle, captivating the attention of underwater photographers with its striking beauty. The northern section of the wall is teeming with life, thanks to nutrient-rich currents. Here, colossal hard corals dominate the scene, and fortunate divers may spot turtles, Napoleons, or large groupers gracefully navigating the currents. This reef promises a diverse and captivating underwater experience.
Two adjacent small lagoons beckon exploration. Navigating from the first lagoon involves swimming through a shallow passage, requiring caution due to the reef’s proximity, with depths ranging from a mere 1 to 2 meters above the coral. Along the outer wall adorned with resilient hard corals, adventurers reach the second lagoon. Here, a vast coral garden unfolds, showcasing an array of coral varieties. The reef’s name itself hints at the possibility of encountering turtles, known to graze on the soft corals flourishing in the vibrant coral garden. On occasion, divers might also be treated to sightings of other fascinating creatures, such as eagle rays or dolphins making their way from the nearby El Fanous.
This island offers diverse diving opportunities, but perhaps the most intriguing is the current dive. The drift commences just beyond the police station building on the island, above a deep wall. Divers glide with the current, akin to flying, at an optimal depth ranging between 27-30 meters. Along the way, the journey showcases magnificent gorgonian fans growing from the wall. It’s not uncommon to encounter sizable napoleons, groupers, or tuna actively hunting above the drop-off.
Continuing the drift, divers traverse an unfolding plateau adorned with expansive hard and fire corals, eventually reaching the vibrant and rugged wall of the main reef. This section teems with colorful underwater life, making it one of the most captivating dives in Hurghada. A bit farther along the drift lies Erg Somaya. Anchoring here is feasible only in favorable weather conditions, as strong currents are prevalent. Nevertheless, the location is well worth the visit.
Directly beneath the anchored ship, the reef plunges into the depths, revealing a tower—a chimney filled with soft corals—at 30 meters. Further exploration unveils another tower surrounded by Red Sea anthiases at around 10 meters depth. The entire reef is a haven for various coral species and fish, with frequent sightings of turtles adding to the underwater spectacle.
This island serves as the focal point for several captivating diving sites, catering to both stationary and current dives. Among these, the most popular is South Abu Ramada, characterized by terraced rocky plateaus adorned with numerous coral blocks and towers. Beyond the southern plateau lies the mesmerizing eel garden, and the dive typically concludes near a smaller wreck at a depth of 5 meters, where elusive crocodile fish are often encountered.
Not far from there, Cave Abu Ramada awaits, featuring a block housing a cave embellished with soft corals, located at around 20 meters depth. Another noteworthy site is Erg Abu Ramada, affectionately known as Camel Reef, consisting of three interconnected towers surrounded by abundant soft corals and teeming with schools of Red Sea anthias.
Heading towards North Abu Ramada, divers may encounter a stronger current, offering the prospect of a diving “heaven” or, if the current is particularly robust, a more challenging experience akin to “hell.” Each of these dive sites contributes to the island’s allure, providing a diverse range of underwater landscapes and marine life encounters.
Gotta Abu Ramada
This oval reef, known as Gotta Abu Ramada, offers dive opportunities from two sides: Gotta Abu Ramada (East) and Gotta Abu Ramada (West). Additionally, divers can embark on a drift dive to witness the imposing coral towers in the northern section. The entire reef is encircled by a broad plateau, reaching depths of 12-14 meters. The eastern part of the reef features a captivating coral garden, resembling an expansive labyrinth inhabited by large schools of coral fish. It’s not uncommon to spot sizable tuna actively hunting amid the fish schools. In the western part, a noteworthy attraction is the imposing coral tower, aptly named the Aquarium. Thanks to its shallow depth, this site is suitable for divers of all experience levels. Renowned for its beauty, Gotta Abu Ramada is a popular location and is considered one of the most stunning dive spots in Hurghada.
El Aruk Giftun
Positioned in proximity to the Big Giftun Island, this dive site boasts a landscape featuring over 40 coral pinnacles or columns scattered across a vast plateau, with depths ranging from 10 to 15 meters. This topography provides numerous anchorages, resulting in several distinct diving sites. Occasionally, a stronger current enhances the underwater experience, enveloping the ergs with striking redbeards. The site is a haven for a diverse array of coral fish, and within the crevices of some ergs, copper sweepers find their refuge. Observing lionfish attacking smaller fish is not uncommon, and the underwater environment often reveals well-camouflaged large toads or their highly poisonous relative, the “Red Sea Walkman” (Inimicusfilamentosus).
Situated on a level seabed at a depth of 10 meters near the island of Magawish, Aruk Talata is characterized by moderately-sized coral blocks. This area is teeming with a multitude of clownfish and anemones, along with the presence of blue-spotted stingrays. Schools of goatfish and various other fish add to the vibrant marine life, with occasional appearances by barracudas. Moving to ShaabEshta, two smaller ergs in close proximity feature small yet lively coral blocks and seagrass. Nearby, Shaab Petra, a smaller erg with an even smaller sibling, harbors copper sweepers within its crevices. From here, a swim to Tifany, a block of similar size, is also possible.
The northern face of Big Giftun Island features an underwater wall, extending from the point where the island descends below the water’s surface. Adjacent to this submerged wall is a small beach, often referred to as Stone Beach, and a bay suitable for anchoring, provided the weather conditions are favorable. This area offers sightings of moray eels, sizable groupers, and tuna. The upper section of the reef is characterized by rugged terrain, adorned with a diverse array of corals, contributing to the rich underwater tapestry.
Nestled between the islands of Big and Small Giftun, this reef boasts an open northern side, with the seabed plunging to considerable depths between it and Big Giftun. Divers normally follow the main reef, resembling a banana in shape. However, You could also venture a short distance away from it to explore a larger erg adorned with vibrant soft corals, accompanied by schools of small fish and predators in pursuit. This area is a haven for flocks of clippers, and occasionally larger ray species, including the majestic eagle ray, make appearances here.
Torfa El Shahed
Situated in close proximity to Banana Reef, this site offers a more sheltered lagoon with anchored boats and milder currents, making it an ideal choice for divers with less experience. The shallow waters and abundant marine life add to its allure. Beyond the lagoon, we can explore several ergs adorned with lush soft corals, particularly on their northern faces where nutrient-rich currents prevail. Additionally, drift diving is an option, allowing access to more remote pinnacles. The area is known for encounters with turtles and rays, and there’s even a fascinating feature known as Anemone City.
The coral gardens form an extensive labyrinth near a reef located between the islands of Small and Big Giftun. This spot is ideal for drift diving, allowing divers to explore the intricate coral formations extensively and navigate freely between and through them. Diving depths range from 5 to 14 meters, with the shallow depths being particularly captivating for the diverse coral gardens in this area.
whether you’re a novice diver starting your first underwater adventure or an experienced diver seeking new depths to explore, Hurghada emerges as the quintessential destination.Regardless of which dive site you would encounter, you will find an unparalleled beauty beneath the waves and a myriad of diving opportunities catering to all skill levels,Hurghada Diving stands out as a beacon for enthusiasts worldwide. From comprehensive diving courses to tailor-made diving packages, Hurghada’s commitment to providing exceptional underwater experiences in ever dive site remains unmatched.