Best time to visit Egypt

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling in Egypt

The incredible Red Sea welcomes you to see its rich marine life, but Alexandria's harbour on the Mediterranean Sea is also perfect for discovering the ancient sunken cities of Egypt

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Very good visibility, nice water temperature, fabulous reefs, and a good variety and abundance of fish is just part of what Red Sea snorkelling and diving can offer. For both the water quality and the sheer amount of marine life the Red Sea is unrivalled. Even on Christmas Eve, you can find yourself diving with dolphins, turtles, giant groupers, or swimming amidst a breath-taking shoal of butterfly fish.

El Gouna, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, El Quseir, and the Sinai Peninsula resorts of Sharm El Sheikh are the best-known snorkelling sites. If there is a coral paradise in the Red Sea, it is in the Ras Mohammed National Marine Park. It can only be described as an extraordinary coral garden with small colourful reef fish, large pelagic creatures, and another biodiversity. Surrounded by a spectacular coral reef born 70,000 years ago, the park is characterised by vertical walls that can reach 700 meters deep and nutrient-laden currents that feed the huge variety of coral that has created a perfect habitat for marine fauna.

Dahab offers great scuba diving opportunities and is world famous for the Dahab Blue Hole dive site. It features a coral reef gently sloping down as well as shallow coral gardens.

Marine life in the Red Sea varies from region to region, with large mammals such as dugong and dolphins most likely to be spotted in quieter areas. Turtles, stingrays, eels, and octopi are more common sights in many of the resorts. The Red Sea is home to a number of endangered species, the dugong (seen most commonly in Marsa Alam) and both Green and Hawksbill sea turtles are protected species sighted more often here than anywhere else in the world.

If you don’t like crowded dive sites, try to avoid the high season from July to December. Grey reef sharks, dolphins and dugongs can be spotted year round. Whale shark season occurs from the end of May until the end of July. At this time the plankton blooms bring manta rays in to feed and turtles nest. Hammerhead sharks can be seen all over the Red Sea. The Thresher Shark can be best spotted in winter. Pick the driest season in December-February or the calmest times in June-August and dive in! For snorkelling the best period is the summer season (from May to October). The coldest water is in December and January.

Alexandria offers an alternative dive to the clear and warm waters of the Red Sea. Though its marine fauna and flora may not be as abundant it is littered with historic shipwrecks and ancient ruins. Dipping around Alexandria's harbour is a perfect underwater archaeological adventure! You'll see the sunken ruins of the Ptolemaic palace occupied by Egypt's Macedonian rulers, including Cleopatra. Don't miss the remains of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. One unforgettable impression is diving near the island of Aboukir. It's the site of the Battle of the Nile in 1798, where Napoleon's fleet was sunk. Find the wreck of the flagship L'Orient with cannons and anchors or make a dive trip to the ruins of wrecks during World War I and II. For professional divers, it will be exciting to dive to the British destroyer HMS Attack (140 feet of water), sunk by a U-boat in 1917. For less-skilled divers, several other war wrecks are approachable too. One can dive around Alexandria's harbour year-round, but the best time is from April to December when the water temperature is high

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Egypt for diving and snorkelling?

Diving and snorkelling in Egypt are best done from May to October as the water is warm, the Read Sea is calm and visibility is superb. From November to April is the rainy season and visibility levels can be affected. December and January have the coldest water temperature. For snorkelling, the summer season is recommended. Show more

Where are the best snorkelling sites in the Red Sea?

If you are thinking about snorkelling in the Red Sea, El Gouna, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, El Quseir, Sharm El Sheikh, and the Ras Mohammed National Marine Park are some of the must-visit places. The Ras Mohammed National Marine Park has coral gardens that are extraordinary and conditions that are perfect for marine fauna. Show more

What kind of marine life can be seen in the Red Sea?

The Red Sea is a habitat to varied marine life from large mammals such as dolphins and dugongs in relatively undisturbed destinations to turtles, stingrays, eels, and octopi among others. Endangered species including Green and Hawksbill sea turtles, and dugongs can also be spotted more often than anywhere else. Whale sharks and manta rays are visible from May to July. Show more

Where can historic shipwrecks be found in Egypt?

You can visit Alexandria for an archaeologically significant diving adventure with opportunities to explore underwater ruins and historic shipwrecks. The harbour, where the sunken ruins of the Ptolemaic palace can be found, was occupied by Egypt's Macedonian rulers – Cleopatra included. The island, Aboukir, the site of the Battle of the Nile in 1798, also presents a thrilling opportunity to dive and discover the wrecks of ships from the World Wars. Show more

When is the ideal time to dive around Alexandria's harbour and see the sunken ruins?

If you want to dive around Alexandria's harbour, you can do so year-round but April to December presents the best water temperature. In these waters, there are historic shipwrecks and ancient ruins like the Lighthouse of Alexandria. A good dive site is the British destroyer HMS Attack, sunk by a U-boat in 1917, for professional divers in search of adventure. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin