Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

Sharm-El-Sheikh is an Egyptian coastal town located in the Sinai Peninsula, where the beautiful Sinai Mountains meet the Red Sea. This place is one of the top destinations among divers and watersports and beach lovers. It is where you find 3 of the best 50 dives sites in World, and the famous and amazing protected National Park Ras Mohamed.

Getting there

Sharm-El-Sheikh has an international airport, which is actually pretty busy, and flying is the best way to get there. I took a direct flight from Munich, which lasted 4 hours.

Visa

I have previously mentioned about the Egyptian Visa on my post about Marsa Alam, and it works the same for Sharm-El-Sheikh. Though, if you are a diver and expect to see certain dive sites like the famous SS Thistlegorm, you will need the full visa (25 Euros), not only the simple one people normally gets.

Activities

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

If diving is not really your thing, don’t worry, Sharm-El-Sheikh offers enough activities to keep you and an entire family busy for a few days. They vary from:

  • lying on the beach
  • partying
  • taking a bike tour through the mountains
  • hiking the Mount Sinai
  • having dinner/lunch in the desert
  • riding a camel
  • renting a quad and havin some fun in the desert
  • going snorkeling (you will be impressed by the things you will see in shallow waters)
  • taking a day trip to Cairo, Luxor or the neighbor Dahab
  • Taking a boat glass tour (this way you don’t have to get into the water to see some fish)
  • choosing one of the water sports (parasailing, water skiing, pedal boat, banana boat, etc.)
  • and much more.

There is a lot to do there. However, since I decided to dedicate 5 of my 7 days to diving, I didn’t do much apart from riding a camel and having a weird dinner at the desert, but this is a story for another post!

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

Diving

Since I am here to talk about diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, then let me tell what I thought about diving there, show you a few dive sites and inspire you to get started on getting your diving license soon!

If drift diving and currents are what you are looking for, here is your place. In comparison to all other places I have been diving so far, Sharm-El-Sheikh is the one that offers more adventurous dives. I have to say that by the end of the trip I was feeling a much better diver than when I arrived, the circumstances probably influenced a lot.

Sharm-El-Sheikh has enough dive sites to keep you busy for 1 month or more. Apart from the local ones, it is also possible to dive around Tiran Island, at the National Park Ras Mohamed, and do some wreck diving at the Dunraven and the SS Thistlegorm to name a few, as well as at the dive sites of its neighbor Dahab.

Local dive sites

I only dived in 2 of the local dive sites, Ras Umm Sid and Amphoras, and I wish I did in all of them. Sometimes you can see more interesting marine animals like mantas and sharks here than in other dive sites. I do recommend diving on the local dive sites, especially Ras Umm Sid.

Dive site: Amphoras

Dive site: Amphoras

Anemone fish at Ras Umm Sid

Anemone fish at Ras Umm Sid

Ras umm Sid

Ras umm Sid

Tiran Island

Tiran Island has one of the best dive sites in the World, Jackson Reef. Though I only had the chance to dive on Gordon and Thomas Reefs. It is a beautiful place where sometimes is possible to spot baby sharks, eagle rays, hammerheads and white tip sharks, and it is also where the Panamanian cargo ship Loullis ran aground.

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

Gordon Reef, Tiran Island

Gordon Reef, Tiran Island

Gordon Reef, Tiran Island

Gordon Reef, Tiran Island

Blue spotted stingray at Gordon Reef

Blue spotted stingray at Gordon Reef

Gordon Reef, Tiran Island

Gordon Reef, Tiran Island

Ras Mohamed National Park

Ras Mohamed National Park is a preserved area, where no one lives and only tourists with excursions, divers and snorkelers are allowed to go for a daily fee of U$5.00. As the area is protected, the corals are amazingly beautiful and colourful, and the reefs are full of life.

Yolanda & Shark Reef

Yolanda & Shark Reef

I had the opportunity to dive in 3 of its dive sites, one of them being Yolanda and Shark reef, which is number 14 of the best dive sites in the World, and I can totally understand why. It is a “rock and roll” dive; I have never experienced such a strong current like I did here, not to mention that it changes direction all the time. No doubt a dive full of surprises, and I loved it!

The dive site has walls, corals of several different species, offers the possibility of seeing sharks, mantas, tunas and much more. It is also where a cargo ship sunk and left behind cars and toilets… yes, toilets, lots of them!

yup!

yup!

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

What used to be a car!

What used to be a car!

Dive site: Yolanda & Shark Reef

Dive site: Yolanda & Shark Reef

Trigger fish, Yolanda & Shark reef

Trigger fish, Yolanda & Shark reef

Batfish at Yolanda & Shark Reef

Batfish at Yolanda & Shark Reef

Yolanda & Shark Reef

Yolanda & Shark Reef

Apart from the amazing Yolanda and Shark reef, I also dived in Ras Za’adar and Jackfish Alley.

Dive site: Ras Za'adar

Dive site: Ras Za’adar

Dive site: Ras Za'adar

Dive site: Ras Za’adar

Dive site: Ras Za'adar

Dive site: Ras Za’adar

Dive site: Ras Za'adar

Dive site: Ras Za’adar

SS Thistlegorm

I don’t only love big marine animals, I also love shipwrecks, and I had one of the craziest dives in my life when I decided to dive in the number 3 World’s best dive sites in the World, the SS Thistlegorm.

The British cargo ship was sunken by German bombs in 1941 during the World War II, and was first discovered by the famous Jacques Cousteau in one of his expeditions. The ship lies at 30m depth and is 126m long. The dive is full of surprises, where in the first one you get to take a look at the outside of the ship, and in the second you have the chance to go inside. Wow, what a dive, what a ship… but this is also a story for another post.

The SS Thistlegorm

The SS Thistlegorm

The SS Thistlegorm

The SS Thistlegorm

Batfish at the SS Thistlegorm

Batfish at the SS Thistlegorm

I have expressed my love for sharks and for big marine animals before, so of course when I am diving I expect to see them. During this diving trip I only saw one white tip shark, which was a birthday gift (yes, he probably knew I wanted to see him on my birthday) and huge Tunas, Napoleons and Barracudas. I did expect more, but this time I was not so lucky! Maybe I should just go to the Bahamas already and dive with some sharks.

Napoleon Fish at Gordon Reef

Napoleon Fish at Gordon Reef

Tuna fish, Yolanda & Shark Reef

Tuna fish, Yolanda & Shark Reef

Dive Center

There are several great dive centers in Sharm-El-Sheikh, even if your hotel is not close to one, all of them offer a transfer, so feel free to choose the one that fits your needs better. I dived with Sinai Divers and I was very happy with their services.

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

I can highly recommend all divers to dive in Sharm-El-Sheikh at least once in their lifetime. I had a great time, and I got to spend my birthday underwater!

Diving in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. By Packing my Suitcase.

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • Awwwn Vlad, thank you so much!!
    Every time I write a post about diving I remember how much you like it!!
    That toilet made me laugh so much underwater… hahaha oh my!!
    Ohhhh I am so happy you tried snorkeling already, it is really the first step, it gives you an idea of the underwater world! And don’t worry, I am sure you will find the perfect time to try diving 😉

  • Gin

    So many diving sites around, I hope I will get the chance to visit some day !

    • Yesss… Sharm is awesome for diving, and cheap 😀 I hope you do visit sometime!!

      • Gin

        My boyfriend is a bit scared to go there right now… so we may have to wait a bit I think 🙁

  • Places People Stories

    Wow! It looks so beautiful under the water! Would love to try diving! I have just tried snorkeling (my first time was actually in Egypt as well), and it was so impressive I remember. But it must be a totally different thing to dive. Love your picture of the under water world 🙂 I really enjoyed this post. 😀

    • Thank you sooo much Hanne <3 So happy that you liked the post! I thought of you when I was writing it 😀
      Snorkeling is already awesome, but diving is indeed very different, it gives you more freedom to see things 😀 I hope you get to try it soon!

  • Wooow, you have been to amazing places for diving! I hope you include diving on your list of things to do, since you already did even skydiving 😀
    I started with snorkeling too, and always wanted more… and I fell in love with diving!!
    Thank you so much, makes me happy to know you liked the photos and the post <3

  • Thank you so much Lucy!! Happy to know you enjoyed the post and the pictures 😀
    Ohhh, but you dont have to worry about the political situation in the coastal towns… in 6 months I have been there twice. Last November in Marsa Alam, this month in Sharm. The problems are more in the cities, especially Cairo. But if you plan to go to the beach, no need to worry at all 😀
    I any case, I hope you go there sometime soon, you will love snorkeling/diving there 😀

  • Mabel Kwong

    Haha, rock and roll dive! So nice to hear you didn’t get swept away by the current. You must be a strong diver and swimmer with muscle 😀 Awww, you saw a shark on your birthday under the water. So lucky and he must be nice to not chase you around. That toilet undersea looks like it has been stuck there forever…if I ever happen to dive there at some point (probably not since I don’t like swimming) I will sit on the toilet bowl… 😀

    • hhahahaha yes it was a crazy dive!! But most of the time I had to swim against the current, and that was really tough hahaha!!

      Ohhhh everyone has the same idea of sitting on the toilet, though it is not permitted, as you may destroy the habitat 🙁 there are corals in it.

      And the shark was a bit far away 🙁 but at least I saw him 😀

  • You’re photos as always are stunning underwater scenes – not so much the toilet! I’ve been to Sharm El Sheik twice now and love it there – such a good getaway if you want some sun, good food and relaxation – and of course DIVING!

    • Thank you so much Ting 😀
      How cool that you have been to Sharm 2 times!! I really liked it there.
      You used to dive right? Did you dive there?

  • Thank you very much Rosemary 😀
    Diving is not for everyone, my mother is also terrified with diving, and she doesn’t really like that I do it!
    But it is one of the most amazing things I have done so far in my life.
    Yes, I had a great time diving in Egypt 😀 I hope to coe back for more someday!

  • Hi Sally 🙂

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one! I used to think like that myself, and most people still do. The truth is that the Egyptian costal towns are amazing to spend a beach holiday and also for diving… 😀

  • Thank you dear 😀 happy that you liked it!
    That is really cool, I hear diving in El Gouna is also very beautiful, with lots of wrecks! I would love to go there too. Do you dive too? 😀

  • Ohhh how amazing that he is a dive master!!
    Sorry you afraid 🙁 I know many people who are too, don’t worry, you are not the only one.
    But it is nice that you have him to tell what he has seen 😀
    Me and my hubby started all together, and diving is now part of our lives. I just don’t know how it will be when we have our children!

  • Thank you so much dear Phoebe!!
    Ohh no, I’m sorry to know that… I have a friend that also can’t dive because of ear problems 🙁
    Well, with snorkelling you can still see and enjoy a lot 😀 I started with snorkeling, and I still love it!

  • Thank you dear 😀 Happy that you like the post!
    Snorkeling is already great, that is how I started!
    hahaha yes, I had to mention the partying part because people really do party hard there!! When in Sharm, it is impossible not to notice that hahaha

  • Thank you Tracey!! Don’t worry, you have crazy people like me to show you some of the underwater world’s beauty 😀 Thank you for stopping by!

  • Hi Cathy!! Ohhh that’s amazing! So you are also a diver? Ras Mohamed is amazing <3

  • Thank you dear 😀
    Snorkeling is very fun too, and you can see a lot!!
    hahaha yes, it was indeed a weird dinner! Soon I will write about it hahaha 😀

  • Thank you Laura 😀

  • hahaha really? How cool!! Where did you try?
    Thank you, happy you liked my photos 😀

  • That’s great Cathy!! I hope you get to do it sometime soon. I often think about when I have my kids… I will probably need to stop for a while too 🙁 or I will probably have to dive separated from my husband, someone needs to stay with the baby 😀

  • Thank you for stopping by Tas 😀 happy that you enjoy my blog, I am also glad I have found you. Loved reading about your adventure in Mauritius 😀
    Yes, Sharm is veeeery family friendly, there are activities for everyone, and sun all year round. And plus, it’s cheap 😀

  • Ohhh that’s great that you are planning to dive again!! And I am sure you will see amazing things in NZ 😀
    I hope you do visit Sharm one day, it is a diver’s paradise 😀

  • Hi Sarah!! Thank you very much!!
    I hope you get the chance to try it sometime, maybe on your next holiday? 😀

  • You will need the full visa, either for Sharm or Marsa Alam. It gives you access to certain islands, and as you are going for diving you will certainly need the full one.
    But the difference is simple, the normal one doesn’t allow you to go to some protected places, like in Sharm, you need the full visa to go to the Thistlegorm.
    About the Visa, sorry to hear that 🙁 me and W just need to arrive there and pay for the visa, though I think I read something about a change… now apparently everyone needs to get the visa in advance.
    How exciting!! I hope all works out for your trip. When are you planning to go?

  • You’re welcome 😀
    hahaha I only have to apply mainly for the US, and it’s already a hassle!
    October is a great time for Marsa Alam.. we were there in November 😀
    You will like both! I am planning to write a post comparing both, maybe it will help you decide 😀