Diving and Snorkelling in Sharm El Sheikh
In: Sharm el-Sheikh - Egypt By: Adam
When you're enjoying your own holiday to Sharm El Sheikh you'll find that there are a mind-blowing number of activities for you to get involved in. One of Sharm's biggest attractions, and with good reason, is the Red Sea.
The Red Sea is home to over 1,000 different species, and can boast some of the world's best hard and soft corals. Not only is the diving there made special by the underwater variety, take a dive there and you're in the northernmost tropical sea in the world.
Sharm is classed as one of the best diving locations in the world, and there are plenty of instructors who'll tell you this too. The coral and fish are stunning, colourful and breath-taking to first time visitors and old pros alike.
Though there are also a number of dive sites in Egypt where coral forms unusal shapes perfect for curious divers, in Sharm the corals come within one metre of the surface and continue down into the clear waters. Marine life thrives all over the reef, giving you the chance to view them from the surface if snorkelling rather than diving takes your fancy.
Different diving experiences are there to be had in the north and the south of the region, from the Straits of Tiran down to Ras Mohamed. There are regular trips into the Gulf of Suez to visit the wrecks of Dunraven, Thistlegorm and the Abu Nuas area.
More experienced divers can dive deeper down from a boat which is about 20 metres, specifically designed for divers. Boats often also include a sun deck for those who aren't in a hurry to dive in, as well as a bar for lunch and refreshments.
When it comes to diving in the Red Sea, some rules do apply. Keep familiar with the guidelines so you can enjoy your trip safely.
- Do not feed the fish – even if you are just trying to be nice! This also means not throwing food into the water, along with any other waste.
- You cannot fish with 150 metres of reef, to protect the life in the sea. As much as you may want to, do not collect corals or shells; you will get (severely) told off if caught.
- Stay safe by doing a pre-dive check with your swimming buddy. Do not dive out of your depth, there is often a 30 metre limit.
Snorkelling in Sharm El Sheikh is said to be a major highlight of vacating to the city and there you can hire equipment for a very good price in snorkelling areas so you don't need to lug your own equipment with you. Again, be cautious of the reef, as it grows very slowly and brushing past it to heavily can destroy its growth.
Although the area is well monitored, it is also advised you swim with a snorkelling buddy so you can keep an eye out for each other.
Diving and snorkelling in Sharm El Sheikh provides a once in lifetime experience which you will never forget and is a great way to speak to some of the locals outside of the hotel or the bazaar.
The vibrant colours in their dizzying variety are truly stunning, you will rarely see anything else like it. The image is imprinted in my mind, long time after coming home - and I have to say Sharm underwater (as well as above) is a magical place that you will want to visit again and again.
Though there are plenty of different travel operators going into Egypt, I went to Sharm with easyJet holidays last year and if I can afford to I'll be back for my Egypt holidays in 2012.