Coral Diving in Egypt

Known for its year-round sunshine, crystal-clear water and pristine reefs, Egypt’s Red Sea is the perfect escape for Europeans looking to experience epic coral diving close to home. Boasting over 200 species of soft and hard coral, diving in Egypt seldom disappoints, whether exploring iconic coral-encrusted wrecks or healthy reefs in the sunlit shallows. And with its rich culture and storied history to explore on land, Egypt has few rivals for European divers looking for a short-haul holiday with warm water, great visibility and an abundance of colourful corals. For those looking to explore the best coral diving in Egypt, our team of dive travel specialists have found Hurghada hard to beat. With access to some of the Red Sea’s finest dive sites, world-famous wrecks and beautiful hotels with superb house reefs, Hurghada is the best access point for the full breadth of Egypt’s coral diving.

SS Thistlegorm

The SS Thistlegorm shipwreck, located in the northern Red Sea, is regularly touted as one of the best wreck dives in the world. Discovered by legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau in the early 1950s, the sunken remains of the former WWII British cargo steamship offer an intriguing glimpse back in time and some superb coral diving in Egypt.

The wreck's exterior is, thanks to almost 100 years below the waves, awash with colour; with swaying soft corals, delicate sea fans and several shades of sponges providing refuge for myriad colourful reef fish, morays and hawksbill turtles. While the wreck's exterior has found new life as a living artificial reef, the interior serves as a war museum. Divers who penetrate the wreck will see Bedford trucks, armoured vehicles, motorcycles, Bren guns and various aircraft parts lining its holds.

The Giftun Islands

If you'd prefer to cast your gaze over a natural reef rather than an artificial one, and would appreciate an extra hour in bed, then the short trip out to Giftun National Park offers some of Hurghada's best coral diving. In Egypt, thanks to the clear water, plenty of sunlight reaches the reefs, helping the algae inside the corals photosynthesise and bloom into impressive coral gardens. Big Giftun and Small Giftun are the two main dive sites to see the healthy coral reefs, alongside Napoleon wrasses, turtles and blizzards of reef fish. If you're lucky, you might also hear the inimitable clicks of local dolphins.

The Oberoi House Reef

One of the best ways to enjoy the coral diving in Egypt is to decamp in a hotel with its own house reef. House reefs allow you to explore on your own schedule and are usually shallow enough that you can enjoy a longer dive without worrying too much about air consumption.

South of Hurghada, the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh has one of the best house reefs in the world. Sitting on the edge of the Red Sea, the shallow reefs are bathed in sunlight during the day and allow for a hassle-free night dive once the sun has set. The reef starts a few fin kicks from the private beach, so both snorkellers and divers alike can explore the delicate corals and their accompanying anthias, turtles, eagle rays, octopuses, lionfish, trumpet fish and stingrays (to name but a few).

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Coral Diving in Egypt' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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