With over 2,400 kilometres of coastline, crystal clear waters, mysterious wrecks and colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life, Egypt is a diver's paradise. Although the "Land of the Pharaohs" is best known for its historical sights, Egypt offers some of the best diving in the world with its spectacular underwater world. Read more about diving in Egypt and the visa requirements here.
Explore Egypt's history in the Mediterranean
Egypt is blessed with two coastlines: on the Mediterranean Sea and on the Red Sea. The Mediterranean port of Alexandria is a must for history buffs and divers looking for an exciting challenge. Many ancient ruins, including Cleopatra's palace, the Alexandria Lighthouse and historic shipwrecks, can be found in the dark, relatively cool waters. Alexandria itself does not offer bright corals or special fish, but it is an ideal base for a day trip to Omu Sukan. There, you can admire beautiful coral, trigger fish, turtles, white tip reef sharks and eagle rays.
Something for every diver at Egypt’s Red Sea
Formerly a sleepy and lonely Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now one of Egypt's most cherished diving destinations. This quiet village is home to the cheapest dive sites in the whole of the Red Sea. There are several dive sites, with something for everyone. Lighthouse Bay is perfect for novice divers and has breathtaking reefs with vibrant hard and soft coral, moray eels, curious parrot fish and gobies (Gobiidae). Ten kilometres north of Dahab is the Blue Hole, a famous undersea sinkhole with a notorious reputation as the world's deadliest dive site. This is a beautiful 100-metre-deep chasm that is excellent for technical diving and for spotting large barracudas and tuna. The nearby Canyon is a deep rocky gorge that is home to beautiful reefs, green turtles and large schools of banner fish.
Located at the rocky southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm el-Sheikh is Egypt's most popular diving destination. Divers for whom strong currents and a depth of 30 metres are not an issue should definitely look for the world-famous wreck of the SS Thistlegorm. Or take a trip to Ras Mohammed National Park at the very tip of Sinai to see over 200 different species of striking, neon-coloured coral reefs full of Giant Trevallies, Jack Crevalles and large barracudas at Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef.
North-east of the Luxor desert on the Red Sea is the sunny holiday resort of Hurghada. What used to be a small fishing village has in recent decades become one of the favourite destinations for divers travelling to Egypt. Hotels, resorts and entertainment establishments have followed in quick succession, making Hurghada the major holiday destination it is today. Advanced divers can glide over the sunken shipwrecks in El Gouna and Sha'ab Abu Nuhas (not far from Hurghada), where the rusted hulls of seven sunken ships - including a British steamship, the "Carnatic" of 1869 - lie on the seabed. A day trip to the nearby Giftun Islands offers the opportunity to sunbathe on the many white sand beaches and enjoy the beautiful hard and soft corals, large napoleon fish, barracudas and tuna and interesting caves for experienced divers. Hurghada is also the main starting point for liveaboard holidays on the Red Sea.
Is a liveaboard diving holiday a bit too much for you? Marsa Alam - located at 747 kilometres from Cairo and 370 kilometres from Aswan - is a fantastic, not yet crowded place to see big schools of fish and explore colourful reefs without spending hours on a boat. The climate and water conditions here are even better for a great diving holiday than Hurghada. From Marsa Alam, several day trips are also possible, such as to Elphinstone, where you can spot white tip and hammerhead sharks. A dive with one of the last remaining populations of manatees in the Red Sea at Marsa Abu Dabab is also a must.
Apply for an Egypt visa online
The e-visa for Egypt is an official travel authorisation from the Egyptian immigration service that can be applied for online. There are two different variants of the tourist visa for Egypt; a 'single entry' and a 'multiple entry' variant. If you want to get acquainted with diving in Egypt, then the single entry variant is sufficient. Are you an experienced diver and do you travel to Egypt more often to admire its underwater world? Then you should apply for the multiple entry Egypt visa. Both variants have a validity of 90 days. During this period, you can stay in Egypt for a maximum of 30 consecutive days. With the multiple entry visa, you can make an unlimited number of trips to Egypt within the 90-day validity period, but even then each stay may not exceed 30 days. The cost of the multiple entry Egypt visa is slightly higher than the single entry visa, £79.90 and £44.95 per person respectively.