Impressive coral reefs, protected marine parks and shipwrecks, Sharm el Sheikh diving is an exciting affair. With Ras Mohamed National Park at the door step and the Thistlegorm, one of the world’s best wreck dives, only a short boat ride away, Sharm el Sheikh has some world-famous dive sites that are on any serious diver’s wish list. The town has experienced a booming tourism growth since the 80’s and now offers a full spectrum of facilities, including hotels, restaurants, bars, malls and plenty of dive centers. Due to the high number of divers that visit Sharm el Sheikh, some dive sites can get very crowded.
When diving in Sharm el Sheikh, divers can choose from a wide range of diving operations. There are tons of dive centers to choose from, small establishments and large operations. Dive resorts combine accommodation, restaurants and dive center to cater fully to divers and create a relaxed and no-fuss diving holiday. Another great way to combine the best dive sites in Sharm el Sheikh is to explore the waters by liveaboard. These overnight diving safaris in the Red Sea visit places like Ras Mohamed, the Thistlegorm, and the Strait of Tiran, and allow serious divers to get lots of dives in.
With sunny conditions year-round, diving in Sharm el Sheikh is possible throughout the year. Summers can be very hot though, with air temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius. Water temperatures are warmest from June to September, up to 28 degrees Celsius and coolest around December till February, as low as 22 degrees. Depending on the water temperature, a 3mm to 5mm wetsuit is usually sufficient, maybe even a 7mm one in the coldest months. Water visibility is more than excellent much of the time, usually between 20 and 30 meters, but at certain times and places can be up to 60 meters.
Sharm el Sheikh has its own international airport with excellent connections to Europe and the rest of the world. Taxis are an affordable way to get around Sharm el Sheikh and official taxis can be recognized by their white and blue color.
Ras Bob, named after underwater cameraman Bob Johnson, is a nice local Sharm el Sheikh dive site with sheltered conditions. A shallow dive with many small bays, caves and gullies, Ras Bob is an excellent dive for beginner and experienced divers alike. The sandy bottom is the perfect home for Blue-spotted stingrays and crocodile fish.
Declared a national park in 1993, Ras Mohamed is one of the best-protected reefs in Egypt. It is situated at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula and has steep coral wall that drops off to 1000 meters deep, attracting larger fish and turtles. Dive sites Shark Reef and Jolanda are one rock formation that splits into two pinnacles at about 26 meters deep. Dives usually start at the eastern pinnacles, known as Shark Reef, and make their way to Jolanda pinnacle with the current. Named after a freighter ship that sunk in 1980, Jolanda is a shallower site that is now littered with the ship’s cargo of bathroom supplies. Offering a unique photo opportunity and a reason for giggles, Jolanda is one of the few places in the world where divers get to explore toilet bowls for marine life.
Jackson Reef, situated in the Strait of Tiran, is Sharm el Sheik’s most thrilling drift dive. The fast current takes divers past a coral-covered wall that is home to numerous schooling fish. In the months of August to October, scalloped hammerheads frequent the waters here.
The Thistlegorm is listed on many divers’ to-dive list. This steam ship, carrying supplies during World War II, was sunk by German bomber planes in 1941 and has been at the bottom of the ocean for over 70 years. Frozen in time, this broken ship is now one of the world’s most famous wreck dives. Diving the Thistlegorm feels like swimming through a history museum, with Bedford trucks, motorbikes, rifles, ammunition, and even a locomotive all left in place. The Thistlegorm is an advanced dive, due to a maximum depth of 32 meters and strong currents sometimes.
The Ocean Collage Dive Center gets raving online reviews, offering a full range of PADI dive courses, including TecRec training. This experienced and professional team of divers has been awarded for their 'Outstanding Contribution to Diver Education’ by PADI, and is an excellent choice for dive training on any level in Sharm el Sheikh.
Elite diving is a well-recommended Sharm el Sheikh dive center with excellent customer satisfaction. Their full range of diving offers include attractively priced diving holidays, family diving, and cruise and stay packages, which include a few nights on a liveaboard vessel.
Established in Sharm El Sheikh in 1986, Camel Dive Club is one of the most experienced dive centers in the region. Their Camel Hotel is located in the center of Na’ama Bay and was custom designed for divers. Only minutes from the jetty, Camel Hotel has one of the best bars in Sharm El Sheikh and restaurants with excellent international cuisine, making this a good overall place to stay and dive with.
Oonas Dive Club conveniently combines dive center, hotel, bar, and restaurant to create an informal and friendly atmosphere for divers. Winner of a certificate of excellence and ranked in the top 25 of bargain hotels in Egypt by Trip Advisor, Oonas has contributed towards many happy divers’ successful Sharm el Sheikh diving holidays.
With locations all over Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera, Emperor Divers is a well-established dive operation with excellent customer reviews. Their all-encompassing offer of dive services includes a large liveaboard fleet with several trips leaving from Sharm-el-Sheikh. Itineraries, depending on the choice of liveaboard trip, may include Ras Mohamed, Straits of Tiran, The Thistlegorm and even Dahab and Ras Abu Galum.
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A group of friends and I have been recently on the Carlton Queen. Impression: Although the boat was apparently renovated, there is still some work on it. Ok, boats in EGY do not have an easy live due to wind and seaconditions, but anyway (doors which could not be closed as the wood had been widened by water, shower not working, toilets not really working, cockroaches, bulleyes which were not properly sealed so that one mattrass was completely soaked...). Food is ok, but not special, and some of ...
Ras Bob, named after underwater cameraman Bob Johnson, is a nice local Sharm el Sheikh dive site with sheltered conditions. A shallow dive with many small bays, caves and gullies, Ras Bob is an excel...
The Ocean Collage Dive Center gets raving online reviews, offering a full range of PADI dive courses, including TecRec training. This experienced and professional team of divers has been awarded for t...
Dived the same dive spot over and over again? Know every fish, stone, and coral by name? Find out how you can shoot common subjects in a different way. Creativity is the key!
Distracted by too many things while shooting underwater images? Let's work on a mindset! Part 2 of the series: During the photo dive.
The SS Thistlegorm rests at the bottom of the northern Red Sea. Bombed and sunk during World War II, this ship was first discovered by Jacques Cousteau and then forgotten about till the 1990s. Now it is the Red Sea’s most famous (and most dived) wreck.