Diving in Hurghada
Dolphin Encounters and Wreck Dives Par Excellence
Hurghada is located on the Egyptian mainland at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez, some 65 km southwest of the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, and Sharm El Sheikh just a few kilometres further. Such a position makes an ideal base for diving in the Red Sea since it is the main gateway for liveaboard trips to both the northern and southern sections of the Red Sea.
The local Hurghada dive sites can be quite interesting, with many coral reef sites dotted around Giftun Island. There is an interesting cave passage to explore at Umm Gamar but heading into the northern region is where the best action really is.
In the Shadwan and Gubal islands region there are several fantastic wreck dives, including the Abu Nuhas wrecks, the Rosalie Moller, the Kingston, Ulysses, Salem Express and Gubal Barge. These wrecks offer so much variety in terms of history, type, age and depth that you'll need several days here to start to get to grips with all that Hurghada scuba diving has to offer. There is even a house reef where dolphin encounters are highly likely.
What's more, Hurghada is often the departure point for liveaboard diving safaris to the Southern Red Sea. Dive sites such as the Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone are frequently on the lips of experienced Red Sea divers, and each of these can be reached on liveaboards out of Hurghada.
With its days as a backwater village long since gone, the town is now a thriving Red Sea beach holiday destination. It offers all the usual attractions of a popular tourist area, all at competitive prices. So if you choose to base yourself here for some local day trip diving, or as a launch point to discover fantastic wreck and reef adventures further afield, few divers will leave here with a sense of disappointment.
The Abu Nuhas Wrecks - this reef system in northern Hurghada has 4 dive-able shipwrecks. Each of the wrecks has its own individual character and offers something unique to divers. So to dive all 4 of the wrecks together will be a complete and thoroughly rewarding experience.
Rosalie Moller - this wreck lies in 50m of water so it is for advanced divers only. It is a large ship in good condition and attracts huge congregations of schooling fish. It is one deep and interesting exploration and certainly worth the trouble to divers with a sense of adventure.
Dolphin Reef - is not an outstanding reef. It is quite a shallow submerged reef system and offers little to excite divers in terms of coral life. However, this is not the reason that dive boats flock to this site. Shaab El Erg is Hurghada's dolphin house reef and liveaboards often visit this site, both as a check out dive and as a shallow final dive at the end of a cruise. Dolphin encounters are very common here, whether its just snorkelling with them during a surface interval or actually interacting with them underwater during a dive, which seems just as likely. If you've never dived or even swam with dolphins before then this site is likely to be a lasting memory from your Hurghada diving holiday.
Small Giftun Island - Purple soft corals and fan corals greet you on this worthwhile drift dive. Drift along spectacular drop-offs and coral-covered plateaus, glide by pinnacles, overhangs and caves all with prolific gorgonian fan growth and a dizzying array of Hurghada marine life. Pelagic action is a constant as the waters are nutrient rich and a frequent feeding ground.
How to Dive Hurghada
Red Sea liveaboards run trips that encompass the whole region, from the local Hurghada dive sites, up through the northern wreck diving area, and on to the Sinai Peninsula and the Thistlegorm and Ras Mohammed. This is simply the most convenient and cost effective way to dive the whole northern Red Sea region.
Day trips from Hurghada will also visit the local dive sites, as well as allow you to dive the Abu Nuhas wrecks that are further afield. However, although day trips will appeal to those that prefer to base themselves on terra firma, it must be understood that daily travel times to the further sites will be 2-3 hours each way.
For the holiday adventure of a lifetime, why not combine your diving trip with a tour to discover the historical sights of Egypt? You can take a River Nile cruise or a Cairo city tour: Egypt antiquity tours.
Got a question?
Have a look through our Frequently asked questions
The northern Red Sea is slightly cooler than the southern section. For diving Hurghada, temperatures peak at 27-28°C during July to September. After these months the temperatures slide slightly down from 27-25°C in October and November. They continue their downward journey from December to February, plummeting from 25-22°C. After the annual lows of February, things start to warm up again to 22-26°C between March and June.
Good for: Wreck diving, value-for-money and underwater photography
Not so good for: Small animals, wall dives and drift dives
Depth: 5m - >40m
Visibility: 10m - 30m
Currents: Gentle - moderate
Surface conditions: Calm but can be choppy in some places
Water temperature: 22°C - 28°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: ~40
Access: Hurghada liveaboards and daytrips
Recommended length of stay: 1 - 2 weeks
Dive Site Descriptions
If you want to read more detailed descriptions please read our Hurghada diving sites:
• Hurghada travel information
View a map of:
• Sinai Peninsula - Egypt
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