Diving in Sharm El Sheikh
Sinai Peninsula Dive Sites
Egypt's Sinai Peninsula lies at the extreme northern end of the Red Sea, cut off on its west coast from the Egyptian mainland by the Gulf of Suez, and from the Arabian peninsula on its east coast by the Gulf of Aqaba. This area has had a rather bloody past but that doesn't stop divers flocking to see this underwater wonderland now.
Sharm El Sheikh, located quite close to the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is the most popular dive destination in the Red Sea and is the departure port for many liveaboard safaris around the peninsula and the northern Red Sea, as well as for diving day trips from the local holiday resorts.
The local Sharm El Sheikh dive sites are often used for student diver training and for introduction dives. However, you don't need to travel far before you reach the exciting stuff.
To the east at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba lies Tiran Island and the Straits of Tiran, famed for their superb reefs and large fish and shark action. To the south lies Egypt's first marine protected area and national park, Ras Mohammed, with its colourful soft coral walls and buzzing marine life. And over on the west coast of the Sinai Peninsula but still easily accessed on Sharm El Sheikh diving day trips, is the world famous Thistlegorm World War II shipwreck. No trip to the Red Sea would be complete without a dive or two here.
It should not be forgotten too that Sharm El Sheikh is not so far from the northern Hurghada dive sites so wrecks such as the Rosalie Moller and the Abu Nuhas family of wrecks are often visited by Sinai liveaboards departing from Sharm.
This resort town is Egypt's premiere dive destination and offers its tourists everything they could wish for. Nightlife, choice restaurants, shopping opportunities and desert safaris, scuba diving in Sharm El Sheikh is convenient, varied and great value for money.
HMS Thistlegorm - with its historical cargo of World War II machinery and equipment, all neatly stowed in its open holds, the Thistlegorm would be a diving highlight anywhere in the world, not just in Sharm El Sheikh.
It couldn't have been more conveniently located for diver exploration if it had been scuttled for the very purpose rather than sunk by German bombers. This most famous of Sinai Peninsula dives, the most popular dive site in the world, has to be experienced several times to truly appreciate all its wonders.
Straits of Tiran - the 4 reef systems that make up the Tiran area - Jackson Reef, Woodhouse Reef, Thomas Reef, Gordon Reef - are popular with experienced and adventurous divers that visit Sharm El Sheikh. The coral reef plateaus are loaded with fish life and the deep wall drop offs offer the opportunity of encounters with hammerhead sharks, pelagic fish and occasional tiger sharks. On Jackson Reef you are most likely to see hammerheads from July to September.
Ras Mohammed - still Egypt's most popular marine park, Ras Mohammed's waters off the tip of the Sinai Peninsula have been protected from fishing since the 1980s, and it shows ... Drifting along the wall from Shark Reef to Yolanda Reef, you are often likely to encounter passing trevally and barracuda that frequent the Sharm El Sheikh scuba diving region for breeding. The reefs have become safe havens to many of the Red Sea's endemic fish species.
How to Dive the Sinai Peninsula
Some Red Sea liveaboard trips out of Sharm El Sheikh run itineraries that take in the best of the Sinai Peninsula diving region, from the straits of Tiran across to Ras Mohammed and the Thistlegorm. Other Sinai liveaboard itineraries focus on the southern section of the peninsula and the wrecks of northern Hurghada. Fully-inclusive liveaboards are highly cost effective and minimise travel time between Sinai dive sites.
Day trips from Sharm El Sheikh will visit the local dive sites, as well as the Straits of Tiran, Ras Mohammed, the Thistlegorm, the Dunraven, and even up to the Blue Hole at Dahab. Day trips are good for those that prefer to sleep on land, but daily travel times can be as long as 3 hours each way.
For the ultimate Egyptian holiday of a lifetime, why not combine your dive trip with a tour to discover the historical sights of Egypt? You can take an overland tour of Cairo or a Nile River cruise: Egypt antiquity tours.
Got a question?
Have a look through our Frequently asked questions
It is possible to dive Sharm El Sheikh all year round. Water temperatures in the Sinai Peninsula peak at 27-28°C during July to September. After the European summer the temperatures fall from 27-25°C in October and November. They continue downward from December to January, before reaching an annual low of 22°C in February. The water warms up again from 23-26°C between March and June.
Good for: Wreck diving, value-for-money, wall diving, underwater photography, drift dives and visibility
Not so good for: Small animals
Depth: 5m - >40m
Visibility: 20m - 30m
Currents: Gentle - moderate
Surface conditions: Generally calm
Water temperature: 22°C - 28°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: ~40
Access: Sharm El Sheikh liveaboards and daytrips
Recommended length of stay: 1 week
Dive Site Descriptions
If you want to read more detailed descriptions please read our Sinai Peninsula dive sites:
• Sharm El Sheikh travel information
View a map of:
• Sinai Peninsula - Egypt
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