The Sinai Peninsula is surrounded by sea on three sides: the Mediterranean in the north, and the Red Sea, split into the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, in the south. The coast and the coral reef along the Gulf of Aqaba, stretching from Sharm el Sheikh to Taba, is a world class tourist destination offering a pleasant climate all year round and excellent diving. Called sometimes the Red Sea Riviera or the Sinai Riviera, you find a wide range of water sports apart from diving and snorkelling.
“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.”
– Jacques Yves Cousteau
See map of and read about the Red Sea beaches and diving spots.
Scuba diving is one of the reason why many people visit Sinai, as it has some of the best diving in the world. Coral reefs line the Gulf of Aqaba coast, home to a very diverse marine life, and you also find several ship-wrecks to explore. Many internationally recognised operators exist, offering accredited courses for beginners, as well as dives for the more experienced. Some hotels have their own house reef for diving, and excursions are organised to all the other sites either on land or sea.
Offshore diving / Liveaboard
Shorter and longer boat trips are organised from the Red Sea resorts to dive sites found off the shore. The ultimate diving adventure is living aboard a yacht and being out at sea for days, but day-trips are also a great option for those who wish to return to their hotel rooms every night. Many of the attractions are further off the coast, such as the wreck of the Thistlegorm, but there is plenty of other great diving spots within easier reach. It is up for the individual to decide if he or she would prefer the comfort of the city or the adventure of living aboard a ship, but either case there is a lot to discover.
Snorkelling and free-diving
Diving without an oxigen bottle is also very popular and you can still see a lot. Snorkeling is recommended for everyone and with parental supervision quite small kids are able to snorkel. While snorkeling is a leasurely activity free-diving is a sport with people diving impressive depths.
“Care should be taken to avoid damaging the coral, use designated entry points only. You should also be aware that there are hazards since some of the fish life is poisonous if touched and you can injure yourself on the coral if you get too close.
Free Diving is very popular in Dahab due to its proximity to the Blue Hole where many of the worlds top freedivers train, compete and attempt world records. You can undertake training to improve your free diving skills and experience the underwater world in a new way. “ (TripAdvisor)
Windsurfing and kitesurfing
There are excellent windsurfing locations in South Sinai, both along the Gulf of Aqaba, between Sharm el-Sheikh and Taba, and the Gulf of Suez. While most foreigners visit the first, the coast around the town of Ras Sudr is popular with people from Cairo. Kitesurfing, a sport involving a surf board and a small parachute sail, is becoming increasingly popular, and you’ll find operators training and renting equipment in all coastal tourist destinations. Prestigious competitions of both sports are often held along the coast of the Red Sea resorts of Egypt.