August 11, 2022

In this day and age Egypt’s Crimson Sea Coast is most commonly identified for its sun-and-sea circle of relatives vacations however this world-class diving vacation spot is greater than seaside sloth lodge existence. This famed coastline is the get right of entry to level to the wild and faraway landscapes of the Japanese Desolate tract’s uncooked expanse whilst delving underneath the ocean’s floor is the fantasia of reefs that put the Crimson Sea Coast at the tourism map within the first position.

Simple diving day journeys

For first-time divers or vacationers who simply wish to upload a diving day into their lodge vacation, the dive websites of the Giftun Islands and the Straits of Gubal are simple day-trip choices from Hurghada or El Gouna.

Spot outcrops of mind coral, with their cerebral-like grooves, whilst diving the horseshoe curved reef of Sha’ab Al Erg within the Straits of Gubal. Stay your palms crossed and you will be fortunate sufficient to look a bottlenose dolphin – they’re common guests right here.

The COOLEST spots in EGYPT in keeping with an area feminine rapper

For plentiful sea-life recognizing head additional north within the Straits to the websites round Siyul Island. Leopard sharks, turtles, glassfish and moray eels are often noticed whilst diving Siyul Kebira.  

Gota Abu Ramada’s oval reef is among the most well liked Giftun Islands dive websites with parrotfish, triggerfish and butterflyfish all darting between candyfloss puffs of sentimental corals. For flow dives, you’ll’t beat Small Giftun Island the place hawkfish flit thru forests of spiny branched gorgonian fanatics at the reef.


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Scuba diver observing a large shipwreck completely rusted and overgrown lying underwater in the Red Sea
Taking part in sunken wrecks whilst diving within the Crimson Sea Coast is an ordinary revel in © Excessive Photographer/Getty Photographs

Diving the Straits of Gubal wrecks

One title towers above all in terms of Crimson Sea ruin diving. The Thistlegorm is famend as one of the crucial global’s best 5 ruin dives. German bombers centered the send in 1941, consigning it, and its booty of provides intended for the Allies’ North Africa marketing campaign, to the deep.

As of late, exploring the seabed scattered with Bren gun carriers, motorbikes, Bedford vehicles and tanks which by no means made it to the entrance is like wandering thru a WWII time tablet.

For time-strapped divers seeking to are compatible some Crimson Sea ruin diving right into a Nile Valley temple and tombs itinerary, the bonus of diving the Thistlegorm from the Crimson Beach somewhat than from Sharm El-Sheikh within the Sinai is that some El Gouna and Hurghada dive operators promote it as a (lengthy) day-trip somewhat than only as a part of a liveaboard (divers dwelling at the send) outing.

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Any other day-trip ruin diving choice is Sha’ab Abu Nuhas with 4 leisure dive wrecks. Two of the most efficient are the Carnatic, a steamship that ran aground at the reef in 1869, and the Giannis D, a freighter that struck the reef in 1983 and now lies in 3 items at the seabed.

Closeup of the Numidia cargo ship wreck covered in coral and surrounded by underwater wildlife in the Red Sea, Egypt.
The Numidia is a shipment send within the waters of the Brothers Islands encrusted in cushy corals, which hit a reef in 1901  © Andreas Schumacher / Getty Photographs

Discover the Brothers Islands

Obtainable most effective by means of liveaboard (the islands are an eight-hour boat outing from Hurghada), the Brothers Islands provide a few of Egypt’s easiest far-from-the-crowds diving. Right here divers can discover the Numidia, a shipment send encrusted in cushy corals, which hit the reef in 1901 and is now house to barracuda and trevally.

Wall dives simply off Little Brother Island exhibit colourful rainbows of sentimental and tough corals and the danger of encounters with silvertip reef sharks in addition to occasional hammerheads.

Deep south diving

For dive aficionados, Marsa Alam at the Crimson Sea Coast has lengthy been Egypt’s in-the-know vacation spot. The previous few years have considered quite a lot of construction alongside the coastline right here, opening up the world to seaside vacation vacationers, dabbling with a couple of leisure dives, in addition to hard-core diving fans.

Only a 20-minute outing from shore is the well-known Elphinstone Reef the place technicolor shoals of anthias zip previous sheer partitions engulfed in gorgonian fanatics and spinous bushes of black corals.

Heading out on a liveaboard from Marsa Alam (or from Hurghada and El Gouna) despite the fact that lets in you get right of entry to to the faraway dive websites of the deep south the place the most efficient of the Crimson Sea’s large pelagic motion is on display.

Dive Daedalus in April or Might in your easiest probability of recognizing a manta ray or whale shark. The dive websites of the Fury Shoals and St John’s Reefs are eerie wonderlands of huge coral canyons, tunnels and caves the place reef sharks patrol the deeper depths.

A diver swims past a large coral reef teeming with wildlife
Do your homework sooner than opting for a diving operator © Nudiblue / Getty Photographs

Organizing a dive

Most of the large accommodations have a dive operator on website. The standard and value of dive journeys range massively between operators so do your homework sooner than merely reserving with the lodge’s operator. Most of the extra respected dive corporations will supply transfers from different motels.

With bases each in El Gouna and Marsa Alam, Emperor Divers runs a spread of dive day-trips and multiday liveaboard itineraries. They’re additionally a one-stop-shop for PADI classes from Open Water certification for newbies to forte diving coaching.

In Hurghada, each Dive Hurghada and Simsim Dive be offering dive tours catering for whole inexperienced persons to skilled divers in addition to liveaboard choices.

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Kitesurfing at the Crimson Sea 

Even though diving is a significant draw on a outing to the Crimson Sea, there are many actions that happen above somewhat than underneath the water. Kitesurfing is large year-round in each El Gouna and Safaga due to nice wind stipulations and a delicately shelving coastline.

A kitesurfer glides across the shallow waters
Kitesurfing  is a well-liked water task in El Gouna and Safaga © 4FR / Getty Photographs

Whilst each locations can cater to all ranges of kitesurfing revel in from first-timers thru to complex, El Gouna’s lodge caboodle of eating places, leisure and different actions make it a greater guess for those who merely wish to upload some water sports activities into your vacation somewhat than base your outing round it.

In El Gouna, each Crimson Sea Zone and KBC have a complete vary of kitesurfing classes and vacations starting from one-day amateur classes to multiday kite-safari journeys.

For wakeboarding, El Gouna’s mammoth Sliders Cable Park is among the largest on the planet, making this lodge the Crimson Sea selection for wakeboarders. In the meantime, Safaga is the place in-the-know windsurfers head for Egypt’s easiest windsurfing stipulations.

Exploring the Japanese Desolate tract

Break of day or sundown desolate tract tours by means of jeep, ATV, horse or motorcycle let you dip your toe into the rugged landscapes inland from the coast. Motels and motels of El Gouna, Hurghada and Marsa Alam will simply organize the journeys, however there are higher techniques to revel in considered one of Egypt’s lesser-seen areas.

Opened in 2019, the Crimson Sea Mountain Path is a 170km (106mi) circuit traversing the Japanese Desolate tract’s jagged mountain core. The entire path’s trekking actions are arranged and run by means of the Crimson Beach’s native Maaza Bedouin tribe who additionally act as guides and supply complete reinforce for hikers.

Group of friends having fun while driving quads in summer at the desert
ATVs are one of the simplest ways discover Egypt’s Japanese Desolate tract © BraunS / Getty Photographs

The path gives quite a lot of day-hike choices starting from average rambles throughout wadis (valleys) and mountain passes to historical Roman granite quarrying websites, to severe mountain ascents, all inside of a 1.5-hour power of Hurghada.

Mountain climbing charges come with transfers, lets in, information, lunch and water. Via-hikes of all the path glance more likely to be to be had from 2022.

Additional south within the Japanese Desolate tract, best accessed from Marsa Alam, is the brutal, faraway surroundings of the Wadi Gimal Protectorate. Amid its uncooked windswept wadis and craggy peaks, the Romans mined for emeralds and left a handful of ruins upon the desolate tract ridges.

The principle Roman agreement of Sikait and the mines of Nugrus, the place pottery fragments crunch underfoot as you stroll at the sand, are interesting reminders of the technology when Egypt’s emeralds helped fund the may of the Roman Empire.

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Pilgrim church of the monastery of St. Paul the Anchorite
The Coptic monastery of St Anthony strains it orgins again to 4CE  © Imagodens/Getty Photographs

Visiting the Japanese Desolate tract’s Coptic monasteries

With all of the sun-and-sea at the doorstep, it’s simple to omit that the Crimson Sea area is house to quite a lot of historical past as neatly. If you’ll pull your self off the seaside the faraway Coptic monasteries of St Anthony and St Paul within the northern Japanese Desolate tract are a worthy distinction to the sand.

Hidden at the back of ambitious partitions, amid craggy cliffs, they mark the birthplace of Christianity’s monastic traditions and are nonetheless primary puts of pilgrimage for Coptic Egyptians.

Each complexes date again to the 4th century CE and space church buildings, palm-shaded gardens and mudbrick monk cells. For artwork fans, the Monastery of St Anthony, particularly, is a should. The Church of St Anthony (a part of the monastery) is house to one of the crucial necessary collections of Coptic artwork in Egypt.

Lodges and commute businesses in Hurghada and El Gouna can all arrange day-trip tours visiting each monasteries.

Best possible instances to visit the Crimson Sea Coast 

Diving is year-round however height season is March to June and October to November. Spring and autumn also are the most efficient seasons for Japanese Desolate tract tours. Dive stipulations right through the summer time months of July to September are sensible however again on land many will in finding the elements too sizzling for convenience.

Exterior shot of a mosque. There are a collection of fishing boats moored in the water in front of the mosque.
Hurghada is the Crimson Sea’s primary delivery hub © Ben Schonewille/Getty Photographs

All the way through the months of December thru to February, the Crimson Sea accommodations turn out to be a wintry weather solar holiday-haven for northern Europeans. Specifically in January and February, winds are sturdy and sea stipulations will also be tough so first-time divers will have to go for spring or autumn diving somewhat than wintry weather.

Hurghada is the Crimson Sea’s primary delivery hub. With common bus connections to Luxor (4.5 hours inland) it’s easy to mix a couple of days diving with a Nile Valley outing.

Hurghada Airport has a number of day by day products and services to Cairo with EgyptAir in addition to direct flights to Europe with a number of price range airways. El Gouna is set half-hour from the airport by means of taxi. Marsa Alam additionally has an airport which is served by means of two flights weekly with EgyptAir from Cairo and a few Ecu low cost airways.

Protection suggestions and restrictions right through an endemic can alternate all of a sudden. Lonely Planet recommends that vacationers all the time take a look at with native government for up-to-date steerage sooner than touring right through Covid-19.

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This text was once first revealed on April 11, 2018 and up to date on January 5, 2022