Diving the Red Sea
The answer is short and easy: Diving… The Red Sea is one of the most beautiful diving destinations in the world, and relatively close to Europe. There are many all-inclusive resorts along the Red Sea (around Hurghada and Sharm-el-Sheikh for instance) but we opted for a more laidback atmosphere on the Eastern side of Egypt, in Dahab.
Time of year: October
Time spend: 9 days
Means to travel: Guided tours from 1 overnight spot
- Mt Sinai
- Dahab & Blue Hole dive site
- Ras Mohamed Marine Park
The journey – Where we went & Stayed the night
As our main focus of this trip was diving the Red Sea, we decided to take a resort with halfboard so we would not have to think about meals when we were there. There are ample options along the coast of Dahab, and we landed on the Tropitel Resort. It’s a no frills resort with good food, a pool and a beach at your toes, with different packages you can choose from like All Inclusive or halfboard. While it is a bit away from Dahab town, it was good enough for us, as we could take their shuttle to town if we felt like it.
When it comes to diving, Egypt really is a must-do with it’s aquarium feel and marine preserve right off the coast. But only diving would sell the country short, so here are some dive and non-dive highlights we visited:
- The Blue Hole (dive site) – Magical experience to dive at this world-renowned site.
- Ras Mohamed National Marine Park – We went here twice, exploring different sites to dive, but above water, the national park also sports some beautiful coves and coastline.
- Mt Sinai – Nothing beats a good midnight hike :-). As you leave before dawn, you climb up Mt Sinai on a rocky path, together with fellow tripsters. It is a great experience which is rewarded with a stunning sunrise at the top, enjoyed under a smelly camel blanket. On the way down, you cut through the mountain into a small archway only to find beautiful St Catherine Monastery at the bottom of the valley.
- Petra, Jordan – We did not go, but from Dahab it can be done as a daytrip and was highly recommended by anyone who did manage to squeeze it into their itinerary.
You can visit Egypt in many different ways. We have heard people that would dive and never leave their All Inclusive resort, while others really take the opportunity to see the sites and immerse themselves in the local life. With this mix of tourists, it is unavoidable that your experience may be tainted a by not-so-like-minded travelers.
- Hissing & Kissing – While we have seen many places in the world, Egypt is the one country we have been uncomfortable, specifically in their attitude towards women. We know full well to dress appropriately in a country like Egypt, but that did not stop Egyptian men from harrassing. Come prepared for this, to ensure it is not too much of a let down. It is unfortunately a reason for us to steer clear… no matter how great the diving
- “All inclusive mayhem” – They are everywhere, holiday goers that only come to drink, party, and let go. Egypt is a great destination for them and as much as you would like to avoid it, you can not always do so. Choose your destination wisely (venture out of Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada) if you are not up for this or be ready for it.
- Pyramid/perfume push – On another trip in Cairo, the ultimate moment everybody gets lured into when going on a trip to the pyramids is the somewhat forceful sale of… well anything really! Stay polite but firm, and you can get away unscathed and with your money still in your pocket. It can feel mighty uncomfortable to stand your ground though…
Have a look at other African destinations or check our blog section for more on Egypt and the adventures we had!