Sinai attracts visitors from across the globe to dive into its clear waters, populated with a bounty of sea life, wrecks, caves, and striking corals. This might explain why diving in Sinai is an ever-popular activity for people of all ages and levels of experience.
Abraham’s Sinai diving guide is here to help you navigate the best sites, schools, and prices in the area. Oh, and we also want to mention— Abraham Tours is gearing up to launch a variety of new tours in and around Sinai! Keep an eye on our website for the latest updates!
As a diver’s utopia, Sinai has no shortage of reputable schools and centers on tap for every level and experience.
- A PADI-certified center, the Venus Diving Center in Nuweiba, southern Sinai, is a go-to not only for introductory dives and snorkeling but a huge variety of diving courses including open water, rescue, and Divemaster.
- Try your hand at diving for the first time, or become PADI certified with Desert Divers Dahab, offering learning to dive experiences, advanced diver trips and courses, as well as rescue options. Or, how about taking a deep breath before freediving in speculator waters among the wonders of ocean marine life?
- Providing underwater experiences in the Red Sea with local guides and instructors, Scuba Seekers has multiple guided dives through Dahab, safari trips, and learn to dive courses, including recreational, technical, and instructor training, alongside underwater photography workshops.
- Located in both Sharm El Sheikh and Taba, the Red Sea Waterworld has a diverse mix of diving excursions up for grabs, including shore and boat diving, snorkeling and diving courses, underwater explorations, and even water sports!
- Certified by SSI, PADI, and IAC regulations, Sinai Divers in Dahab, Marsa Alam, and east of the Sinai Peninsula in Aqaba, takes small groups on diving tours sprawling the regions. From diving off a custom-built boat, to snorkeling and partaking in a range of diving courses, the centers cater to everyone.
The Best Diving Sites in Sinai
In this exceptional, triangular-shaped region, enveloped by an expanse of crystal waters, the thrilling sites for diving in Sinai are endless, combined with an assortment of Island reefs and a diversity of local sites.
Ras Abu Galum Diving
Suitable for divers of all levels, the protected Ras Abu Galum National Park, which has six diving sites, is your opportunity to swim amid a paradise of colorful reef fish, octopus, and even spot sea turtles drifting through the waters. Accessible by boat or camel, the Ras Abu Galum diving reef wall reaches a depth of 30 meters, with stunning rock formations submerged beneath the reserve.
Sharm El Sheikh
An Egyptian city located on the coastal strip along the southern end of the Peninsula, Sharm El-Sheikh is an attractive expanse, brimming with spots for diving in Sinai, no matter your experience. Explore the swirl or reefs, pinnacles, and underwater wrecks in an area flush with dozens of sites for visiting on day trips, diving boats setting sail, and home to Ras Mohamed National Park, which protects miles of precious marine life along the Red Sea reef.
Not-to-be missed diving sites in Sharm El Sheikh include Amphoras, named after a Turkish 17th-century vessel which features a shipwreck and marine species including scorpionfish and pipefish; Ras Um Sid, suitable for divers of all levels and entered by sandy gravel road, is distinctive for its abundance of rays, octopodes, and sole, among other sea life; and also the Straits of Tiran, a popular spot for diving in Sinai located a short boat ride from Sharm El Sheikh, beloved for its clear waters, vibrant coral, and swarms of fish.
The Blue Hole Sinai
The spectacular underwater arch at the Blue Hole Sinai, a site located north of the Egyptian town Dahab, is essentially a submarine sinkhole in which divers can reach a whopping depth of 100 meters. Popular for scuba diving, free diving, and snorkeling, be advised, this site is most suited for experienced divers. Due to the number of fatalities that have occured over the last decade, you must explore this site supervised by a qualified diving instructor who knows the area inside out.
Other Diving in Sinai Sites
- The Dahan Canyon: Easy to enter and exit, the Canyon—remains from volcanic activity—is an exploration through caves and openings reaching various depths. This area is a paradise for spotting butterflyfish, parrotfish, octopus, and stunning coral.
- Shark Observatory: A thrilling experience in Sharm El Sheikh, the observatory, which reaches a depth of 40 meters, is your chance to swim among various species of shark, mysterious caves, and lookout points where beams of spotlight shine through.
- Sha’ab Samadai Reef: Also known as Dolphin House, this incredible diving spot in Marsa Alam is located on the western shore of the Red Sea. A breeding site and a haven for the Spinner Dolphins which live there, this carefully protected national park (declared in 2004), is split into zones for dolphins, snorkelers, and divers, who can explore the textured coral garden and swim among anemone fish, turtles, and plenty of other species.
- Jackson Reef: Reachable by day boats or liveaboards, this site is located in the most northern reef of the Strait of Tiran, and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Aimed more toward the experienced diver, this vibrant reef has an average depth of 20 meters. Brimming with underwater species, see if you can spot the stingrays and red anemonefish. Be cautious though as the currents are known to be strong.
Diving Safari Sinai
Liveaboard boats, also referred to as diving safaris, have been kitted out to whisk divers away on underwater vacations. Chock-a-block itineraries are designed to showcase multiple diving sites to divers, including reefs and wrecks. Onboard single, quad, or dorm rooms are typically on offer, and keep in mind, it’s usually cheaper to travel in a pair or small group, with prices varying widely depending on the class of boat and length of the trip.
Aside from diving in Sinai, there are many other activities to keep you busy around the clock. With a bounty of beaches in the region, including Ras-a-Satan, a peaceful spot close to Nuweiba; Paradise, a resort in Bir Swear; and Ras Um Sid, just south of Na’ama Bay, swimming, snorkeling, freediving and sailing trips await you from the foot of their sandy shores.
The cost of diving in Sinai varies depending on the activity, diving school or tour provider. But to give you a general idea, here’s a rough guide of example diving experiences and what you can expect to pay in Sinai:
- A guided house reef dive: $45
- A full day of diving with two dives: $62
- A two day diving package: Can be found for $67
- A Discover Scuba Diving course: Around $85
- A 2-3 day PADI Entry Level Course (including equipment with three open water sessions and two dives): $280
- A boat safari from Sharm El Sheikh to Ras Mohammad, including transfers, lunch, and two dives: Around $190.
- A short distance snorkeling trip (with equipment): Expect to pay around $25
- Keep in mind, equipment rental is often charged at an additional cost, typically around $30-$35 for full scuba gear.
Where to Stay
Sinai is packed with accommodations for every type of traveler, from the budget-conscious to the luxury-seeker.
Habiba Beach Lodge in Nuweiba is an affordable option, surrounded by palm trees and picturesque gardens, and with comfortable standard and triple en-suite rooms designed to reflect traditional Egyptian style. Scope of activities includes snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, sightseeing, and even a yacht for hire! Or, alternatively, the Penguin Village Dahab has three classes of rooms, each offering a balcony, and with breakfast, airport pickup, diving trips and daily excursions available.
For a touch of serenity, Aqua Sun in south Sinai, enveloped by 2km of private beach, has elegant Egyptian designed rooms with private bathrooms, a trendy restaurant, and bar, as well as an airy yoga and meditation studio for your daily fix. For a touch of dazzle, head to the Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel & Spa – Sharm El Sheikh at Na’ama Bay, resting on the seafront and boasting a private beach. With restaurants, entertainment, stunning reefs, and water activities on offer, alongside golfing, a luxurious wellness center, and spa, you can take your pick of a room with a garden view, sea view, or even upgrade to the Stella Suite.
Resorts are also popular in Sinai for those who prefer everything at arm’s reach. The lavish Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh is a special encounter, with stunningly designed rooms and suites, exemplary dining, a spa, fitness center, pool, and all types of diving experiences in the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea.
Entering Sinai From Israel
The Taba Eilat crossing (also known as the Menachem Begin crossing) is the international border separating Israel from Egypt, and visitors must obtain an Egyptian tourist visa in order to cross (lasting up to 14 days). There is also a border fee of approximately $30 that each traveler must pay before departing Israel. As of July 1, 2021, 74 countries are eligible to obtain a visa electronically.
Although the rules are constantly changing, Egypt currently requires visitors who are vaccinated twice or more to show a valid certificate and a PCR test prior to entering. Unvaccinated visitors, those who have received one vaccine, or who have recovered from Covid-19 must show a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before crossing the border.
In addition, although you can bring your own scuba gear into Sinai, there are specific regulations for traveling with scuba tanks you should check with your airline prior to flying. Keep in mind, only some airlines allow a scuba equipment allowance. For less experienced divers, the simpler option might be to rent scuba gear in Egypt.