Hurghada Scuba Diving
This is a popular dive spot not far north from Hurghada for liveaboards (1 hour) and daytrips (2 hours) when the conditions permit. This isolated mid-sea reef, is found between Sha'ab Umm Qamar and Giftun Island and weather conditions often make the exposed site difficult or impossible to dive.
Carless Reef consists of a plateau pushing up from the Abyss and featuring 2 large pinnacles. The surface conditions and current can present a challenge, but the proliferation of life in the swirling, nutrient-rich water can make diving here one of the Red Sea's most exciting experiences. It is difficult to imagine how this site was declared practically dead after a vicious crown of thorns starfish attack in the late 1990s. Now it bursts with life.
The 2 pinnacles rise from the reef plateau at around 18m and top out in smaller plateaus of around 5m depth. The pinnacle walls are bedecked in hard and soft corals and have thousands of small colourful fish, predominantly orange fairy basslets flitting around. The plateau varies in depth between around 15 and 18 metres before a drop-off into the abyss on its north eastern edge. You can investigate the plateau which features many little bommies, brain corals, and acropora corals. There is also a large population of inquisitive moray eels described as "semi tame" which often leave their refuges and swim freely around the divers.
Large gorgonian fans reach out into the blue from the steep walls of the drop-off. When the current is in full flow, big fish action is the name of the game. White tip reef sharks, jacks, tuna and barracuda are quite commonly seen. A pod of dolphins could come into view if luck is on your side. Whispered accounts of sailfish and a "resident" tiger shark also stir your imagination as you scan the blue.
Few dive sites in the Red Sea offer as much as Hurghada's Carless Reef: healthy corals, reefs bursting with colour and possible pelagic sightings in the blue that can live long in the memory.
Carless Reef Basics: Open sea plateau
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 20 - 35m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 22 - 28°C
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 3
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 15 km (1 hr) north of Hurghada
Access: Daytrips and liveaboards
• Hurghada travel information
View a map of:
• Sinai Peninsula - Egypt
Back to diving in Hurghada index