The coral reef along the Sinai coast is world famous and it is a major international diving destination. Apart from scuba diving snorkeling is also very popular and so are other water sports, such as free-diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing. There are also glass-bottomed boat excursions for families and those who are less keen to submerge into the water. Most of the coast is quite rocky, but there are little stretches and bays with fine sandy beaches. Most places of interest for visitors are on the Gulf of Aqaba coast. On the Gulf of Suez coast there is no coral and diving, but the beaches around Ras Sudr are popular with people from Cairo.
Dive sites in South Sinai
(Google map to be added soon)
Sharm el Sheikh
Virtually all of Sharm el Sheikh’s water front is lined with hotels, and if you are staying in any of the suburbs of Sharm el Shaikh you probably have your own private beach. Diving excursions are organized by many operators and most hotels to the best Red Sea diving spots, including to nearby Ras Mohammed National Park and the Nabq Protectorate.
Ras Mohamed National Park
Ras Mohamed National Park is famous for its underwater life and coral reefs and so is usually visited for snorkeling and scubadiving, either by car or boat. It is the southernmost point of the Sinai Peninsula and there are a number of little cute beaches and look-out points. There are toilets and sun-roofs but camping is not allowed.
The northernmost point where mangroves can still be found along the Red Sea coast, Nabq Protectorate is at the wide floodplains of the mountain wadis. The main tracks are either from Wadi Khrezi – marked as Wadi Kid in several maps – and from the Sharm suburb of Nabq. There is a National Park Visitor Center, and simple huts providing fresh seafood and accommodation at the Maria Schroeder wreck and at a location known as Ghurgana. The shallow bays are good for little kids but the open sea is rough. There are good diving spots all along the coast.
Livelier and more developed than Nuweiba, Dahab is the second resort city of South Sinai, but on a more human-scale and with more character than Sharm el Sheikh. The best beaches are located either south or north of the city. The Laguna in the south at the high-end hotels is a pleasant and undeveloped bay, not suitable for diving or snorkeling, but perfect for swimming, wind-surfing and kite-surfing. Places suitable for a swim in the north start at the location known as Eel Garden. Most of the coast at Dahab offers great diving but the most famous spot is the Blue Hole between Dahab and Ras Abu Galum.
Abu Galum Protectorate
One of the coastal nature protectorates, extending both into the sea and inland, Abu Galum provides a pristine coast line between Nuweiba and Dahab. Approachable by cars via Bier Zweir only from the north, it is also connected on foot or camel-back to the Blue Hole and Dahab to the south. There are camps at Bier Zweir and simple beach huts on the shores at the Laguna and Ras Abu Galum.
Nuweiba is a major port city, connecting Egypt to Jordan at their port of Aqaba. The city is spread out with four major hubs: the Muzeina, Port (Mina), Center and Tarabin areas. There are beaches in the Muzeina and Tarabin areas, as well as at the high-end hotels located after the Port.
The coast between Nuweiba and Taba is lined with simple beach camps and it is a pleasantly undeveloped sea shore. There are a few bigger hotels along the way, but fortunately they don’t dominate. The main areas are Ras Shaitan and Bier Sweir, with the later offering finer sandy beaches. The Basata ecolodge was the first environmental beach camp and is still popular.
The town of Ras Sudr, coming from Cairo, is shortly after the Suez Canal and there are long stretches of holiday villages before and after town with apartments owned by Caireans. There are a few resorts as well, but on this side of the Sinai peninsula there is no coral and generally it is not suitable for diving or snorkeling. Wind-surfing, however, is popular.