My favourite snorkelling spots in South Sinai

 Egypt’s Red Sea Coast was an eye-opener. I had snorkelled before in memorable locations – Zanzibar, Colombia’s Caribbean islands, the Red Sea stretches of Israel and Jordan. None prepared me for the wows that followed.

As I love water with all my heart, almost no day went by without a dip in the sea. The air temperature was perfect, the sea temperature – just right. At the end of November/beginning of December, I could comfortably swim in my bathing suit around Sharm el-Sheikh, but needed an extra layer (some 0.5 mm neoprene shorts and a rashguard shirt) in Dahab and Nuweiba, even at El Fanar.  

We also travel with our own water shoes, fins, mask, and snorkel, which we always wash and dry properly [Egypt’s dry winter air helped us a lot to this end].  


Eel Garden

We were staying 6 minutes away on foot, so we walked. There is a public beach, where you can leave your towel.

The miracle begins right from the shore and the swim through the passageway stretching beneath me was something so majestic… that I’ll always remember it.

Snorkelling at the Eel Garden, Dahab, Egypt

At its end? The reef wall and the light-turquoise open water, one of the most beautiful underwater pictures I’ve seen. It’s captivating. It’s mesmerising.    

Snorkelling at the Eel Garden, Dahab, Egypt

The tricky part? The currents.

They are strong the farther you swim from the shore, so be careful.


Blue Hole

At first, given the ‘reputation’ of the place, I was very reluctant to swim there. I had read a lot of articles on the, sadly, too many casualties at the Blue Hole, but then, once I got into the water, I realised that divers should come well-prepared here… but there are no actual dangers for snorkellers.

Snorkelling at the Blue Hole, Dahab, Egypt

The moment I got my head into the water (I’d recommend entering on the left side, from the stairs to the viewpoint), I realised that I had never been closer to a natural aquarium experience. Our world is, indeed, wonderful. This time, the wonder came in shades of dark blue and the contrasts were so strong right before sunset… that it was hard to say goodbye.

Snorkelling at the Blue Hole, Dahab, Egypt

The only downside? The too many restaurant owners (even guards) insisting to help you out (keep your car keys, for instance) and the too frequent boats arriving and departing (from the left side of the Blue Hole).


Naama Bay [the eastern end]

I’ve read so many stories… about how the coral is destroyed in Naama Bay and that other places in Sharm are better options. Indeed, I had swum about 500 meters to the west of Oonas Dive Club Hotel and was disappointed. The coral was dead, the water – murky. On the eastern end (the beach adjacent to Oonas), however, the visibility was good – excellent on some days. 

Our last swim in Naama Bay, Sharm, Egypt

The coral is destroyed close to the shore, but as you swim farther, you encounter a healthy reef and vibrant life.

Snorkelling in Naama Bay, Sharm, Egypt

It abounds in surgeonfish – very territorial –, lionfish, and pufferfish /all possibly hazardous, do your homework/. I’ve also spotted a bluespotted stingray, but by far the most emotional encounter was with a giant manta ray (2-3 metres in size).  


I may not have liked my overall experience in Egypt, but the snorkelling I’ve had was the best of my life. For that, I’d return!



Hope that my chronic sinusitis recedes [I am working on it] and that I can dive again and put my PADI certification to good use. Until then, snorkelling in itself provides access to an enchanting world, which we should protect!


How can we do that?

Use natural sun protection, good for the corals – mango butter, shea butter, carrot oil.

Apply the do-not-touch rule – safer for you, safer for the animals.

Don’t stand or lean on the coral.

Leave the beach clean and help keep the beach clean if it’s been littered by other people.

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