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Snorkeling in Egypt: Best 7 Places to Snorkel in Egypt

Welcome to the mesmerizing realm of snorkeling in Egypt, a pursuit that has captured the hearts of travelers from all corners of the globe. With its rich history, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture, Egypt is more than just pyramids and pharaohs – it’s also home to an underwater paradise that beckons to be explored. Beneath the glistening surface of the Red Sea lies a breathtaking tapestry of colors and life, where coral reefs and marine creatures create a symphony of beauty and wonder. As you venture into this aquatic wonderland, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of tranquility and awe, where every glide through the water reveals a new chapter in the story of Egypt’s marine treasures.

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Where is the best snorkeling in Egypt?

The best snorkeling destinations in Egypt are renowned for their stunning underwater landscapes and diverse marine life. Here are some of the top spots:

1- Sharm el-Sheikh

Renowned as Egypt’s premier snorkeling destination, Sharm el-Sheikh offers many top-tier sites, from offshore marine parks to accessible shore snorkeling areas. The majority of hotels grant access to their private reefs. Among these, Ras Mohammed National Park stands out, showcasing extraordinary coral reefs, including the captivating seashell-shaped Gordon Reef. While a boat excursion is necessary to reach this site, the unparalleled experience justifies the journey. The sheltered reefs encompass four areas with vibrant marine life, including clams, robust corals, surgeonfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, and goldies. Notably shallow, this reef is a favorite among underwater photographers.

Snorkeling in Egypt

2- Marsa Alam

Positioned along the western coast of the Gulf of Aden, Marsa Alam boasts two of the world’s premier locations for snorkeling with spinner dolphins. The Samadai Reef, reachable with a 45-minute boat voyage from Marsa Alam Marina, and the Sataya Reef, requiring a 2.5-hour trip from Hamata Jetty, are collectively called the ‘Dolphin House.’ Aside from its dolphin inhabitants, Marsa Alam is a sanctuary for dugongs and is one of the prime destinations for swimming alongside green sea turtles.

3- Taba

Taba, the northernmost resort on the Red Sea, maintains a lower profile than its neighboring counterparts, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. While numerous snorkeling sites dot the area, Fjord Bay emerges as one of the excellent choices. A mere 15 kilometers south of the city, this sheltered bay harbors an abundance of miniature and brilliantly colored fish within its maximum depth of 12 meters. A short boat journey from Taba leads to Pharaoh’s Coral Island. In proximity, Picasso Reef boasts impressive table coral colonies and a thriving population of Picasso Fish.

Snorkeling in Egypt

4- Hurghada

Once a humble fishing village, Hurghada has transformed into a snorkeling haven due to its remarkable coral reefs, neighboring islands, and submerged pinnacles. Giftun Island National Park, located in the Paradise Islands, reigns as Hurghada’s most extraordinary snorkeling location. Floating 45 minutes from the coastline, this desert island is accessible via numerous budget-friendly day packages. The surrounding reefs host an array of marine life, including morays, nudibranchs, rays, barracuda, and occasional turtles. Napoleon Wrasse also frequents the site. Soma Bay and Abu Ramada Island are additional favored snorkeling sites within Hurghada.

5- Nuweiba

Positioned midway between Taba and Dahab, Nuweiba presents a serene and relaxed atmosphere for snorkeling enthusiasts. The highlight is the Abu Lou Lou Reef at the Coral Resort Nuweiba, renowned as ‘lionfish city’ due to its dense lionfish population. The reef is also home to moray eels, pufferfish, surgeonfish, and occasional turtles. With depths ranging from 5 to 20 meters, it caters well to both novice and less confident snorkelers.

Snorkeling in Egypt

6- Dahab

Nestled about 100 kilometers north of Sharm el-Sheikh, the quaint town of Dahab is famous for the mesmerizing Blue Hole, a staggering 394-foot deep underwater sinkhole that lures divers. While the site is considered one of the world’s most difficult dive spots and suited for experienced divers, snorkelers can enjoy its surroundings. The coral walls encircling the sinkhole thrive with abundant shoals of surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and Red Sea bannerfish.

Closer to the town center, Mashraba offers excellent reef snorkeling with the advantage of fewer crowds. Its shallow reef entrance makes it ideal for beginners. The Canyon, another popular snorkeling destination, allows snorkelers to explore the small lagoon and reef drop-off. Easily accessible from the shore, this spot teems with scorpionfish, parrotfish, clownfish, and pufferfish.

7- Tiran Island

Situated in the Straits of Tiran and cherished as a favored snorkeling locale near Sharm el-Sheikh, Tiran Island requires a two-hour boat journey, a small effort rewarded by its captivating marine life. The surrounding waters are home to sharks, manta rays, barracuda, grouper, and snappers. The island boasts a captivating history as well. During World War II, it served as a defensive point for Egypt against potential Suez Canal attacks.

Snorkeling in Egypt

Best time to go snorkeling in Egypt

When is the optimal period to indulge in snorkeling adventures in Egypt? Fortunately, this question has a straightforward answer—Egypt is a year-round haven! Egypt stands apart unlike numerous destinations that grapple with monsoon seasons, trade winds, or frigid sea temperatures unsuitable for aquatic activities.

The conditions for snorkeling in Egypt remain splendid regardless of when you choose to embark on your aquatic escapades. During the summer months of July and August, water temperatures can ascend to a balmy 29-30 °C. Conversely, the coolest sea temperatures are encountered in December and January, measuring around 20-21 °C. During this period, using a 3 mm wetsuit might enhance your comfort, although some swimmers opt to forego it.

For the optimal snorkeling experience in Egypt, the late spring to early summer and the autumn months emerge as prime intervals. The water maintains an inviting warmth within these time frames while the air temperatures remain temperate. If your itinerary also includes historical excursions, such as exploring the Pyramids, planning your visit for the winter or spring months is advisable.

For snorkeling enthusiasts, crafting your journey between May and the end of June or from mid-September through November is highly recommended. During these stretches, the air temperature hovers around 30-35 °C, and the sea temperature ranges from 26-28 °C—ideal conditions for an exceptional snorkeling experience in Egypt. On the other hand, the scorching summer months of July and August are tailor-made for those who relish the heat, with air temperatures soaring to 40-44 °C. In Egypt, the sun’s intensity is considerable, underscoring the importance of diligent UV protection and the use of reef-safe sunscreen.


Gear and Essentials for Snorkeling in Egypt

When gearing up for an unforgettable snorkeling experience in Egypt, having the right equipment can make all the difference. We’ve compiled a simple checklist of essential items to ensure you’re fully prepared to explore the stunning underwater world of the Red Sea. First and foremost, your mask and snorkel are your windows to the aquatic wonders beneath. Opt for a mask that provides a comfortable and snug fit, creating a watertight seal around your face.

Pair it with a high-quality snorkel that enables easy breathing while you float and observe the marine life. Fins are another crucial component, as they allow you to move effortlessly through the water, getting you up close and personal with the vibrant coral reefs and marine creatures.

If you plan to snorkel in calmer waters, a wetsuit is a wise addition to your gear collection. It not only keeps you warm but also offers some added buoyancy. If packing a wetsuit seems cumbersome, worry not, as many snorkeling spots offer gear rental services on the beach. This can be a convenient and cost-effective option, especially for those who don’t snorkel frequently.

Capturing mesmerizing underwater scenes is a desire many snorkelers share, and an underwater camera is your tool for the job. These compact devices are designed to withstand the aquatic environment and preserve your memories in vivid detail. Remember, Egypt is known for its intense sunlight, so packing and applying sunscreen is paramount. Choose a reef-safe sunscreen to protect your skin and the delicate marine ecosystem. Additionally, consider wearing a rash guard or a lightweight long-sleeved shirt to shield yourself from the intense sun, especially if you’re prone to sunburn.

While having the right gear is essential, choosing the right fit and quality is equally important. Ill-fitting gear can lead to discomfort and leakage, hindering your snorkeling experience. Take your time to try out different options and find what suits you best. Suppose you’re not ready to invest in your own gear. In that case, renting locally can be a practical solution, ensuring you have access to well-maintained equipment without the hassle of carrying it around.

With the right gear in tow, including well-fitting masks, comfortable snorkels, efficient fins, possibly a wetsuit, and a trusty underwater camera, along with proper sun protection, you’ll be ready to dive into the enchanting underwater realm of Egypt’s Red Sea with comfort and confidence.

Snorkeling in Egypt

Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Embarking on your first snorkeling adventure? Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Choose the Right Location: Opt for calm and shallow waters, especially if you’re new to snorkeling. Look for spots with clear visibility and minimal currents to enhance your comfort and visibility.
  • Select Proper Gear: Invest in good-quality snorkeling gear, including a mask, snorkel, and fins. Ensure the mask fits snugly on your face and provides a clear view, and choose comfortable fins that fit well.
  • Practice Breathing: Practice breathing through the snorkel in shallow water before heading out into deeper waters. Get accustomed to breathing steadily and calmly.
  • Check Equipment: Before you start, check that your mask forms a proper seal and your snorkel is free from obstructions. Test your gear in shallow water to address any issues before venturing farther out.
  • Stay Relaxed: Keep calm and relaxed in the water. Slow, controlled movements will help you conserve energy and maintain buoyancy.
  • Use a Life Jacket: If you’re not a strong swimmer, consider using a life jacket or snorkel vest to ensure safety and peace of mind.
  • Clear Your Snorkel: Learn the technique of clearing water from your snorkel. Exhale sharply to expel water if it enters the snorkel while you’re submerged.
  • Practice Buoyancy: Get a feel for controlling your buoyancy. Use your breath to control your depth—inhale to rise, exhale to descend.
  • Avoid Touching Marine Life: Respect the marine environment by refraining from touching or disturbing marine life. Admire from a respectful distance to protect both the ecosystem and yourself.
  • Buddy System: Snorkel with a buddy, especially if you’re a beginner. Having someone nearby adds an extra layer of safety and makes the experience more enjoyable.
  • Stay Aware of Conditions: Keep an eye on changing weather conditions and tides. If the sea becomes rough or visibility decreases, it’s best to exit the water.
  • Stay Hydrated: Snorkeling can be physically demanding, so stay hydrated before and after your adventure.
  • Limit Sun Exposure: Wear a rash guard or wetsuit to protect your skin from the sun. Apply waterproof sunscreen to exposed areas and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Equalize Ears: If you dive down, equalize your ears by gently pinching your nostrils and exhaling through your nose. This prevents discomfort as you descend.
  • Know Your Limits: Don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re tired or uncomfortable, taking a break or heading back to shore is okay.

Remember, practice makes perfect. As you gain more experience, your snorkeling skills will improve, and you’ll feel more confident exploring the underwater world.

Related FAQs 

Does Egypt have good snorkeling?

Yes, Egypt offers excellent snorkeling opportunities, particularly in its coastal areas along the Red Sea. The Red Sea is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and clear waters, making it a popular destination for snorkelers and divers.

Is snorkeling safe in Sharm el Sheikh?

Yes, snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh is generally considered safe. The area is a well-established tourist destination with proper infrastructure for water activities. However, as with any water-related activity, it’s essential to follow safety guidelines, listen to local authorities, and choose reputable tour operators or snorkeling sites.

Which House Reef has the best snorkeling in Egypt?

Egypt has several excellent house reefs for snorkeling, but one of the most notable is the house reef at the Baron Palace Sahl Hasheesh in Hurghada. This reef is known for its biodiversity, colorful corals, and various marine species that can be easily observed while snorkeling.

Can you swim with turtles in Egypt?

You can swim with turtles in Egypt, particularly in the Red Sea area. Many snorkeling and diving sites along the Red Sea coast offer opportunities to encounter sea turtles, including species like the Green Sea Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle. Some popular locations for turtle sightings include Ras Mohammed National Park and Marsa Alam.

Is snorkeling in Hurghada worth it?

Yes, snorkeling in Hurghada is generally considered worth it. Hurghada is a well-known Egyptian resort city located along the Red Sea coast. It offers a variety of snorkeling opportunities, with numerous dive centers and tour operators offering trips to various snorkeling sites. The marine life, coral reefs, and clear waters make it a worthwhile destination for snorkelers.


In conclusion, embarking on a snorkeling adventure in Egypt offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the mesmerizing underwater world of the Red Sea. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, Egypt is a top-tier destination for snorkelers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a novice eager to discover the beauty beneath the waves, Egypt’s coastal gems like Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and Dahab promise an unforgettable experience.

The blend of stunning marine ecosystems, historical wrecks, and a comfortable year-round climate makes Egypt a haven for those seeking both relaxation and adventure. By immersing yourself in the captivating underwater landscapes, you’re creating cherished memories and contributing to preserving these delicate ecosystems for generations to come. So, gear up, dive in, and let the magic of snorkeling in Egypt redefine your sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world.

About the author

I am a content creator, especially in the travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.

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