Diving El Quseir

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El Quseir, Egypt

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Country: Egypt  Area: Egypt

Water Temp: 19 - 32°C (66 - 90°F)

Visibility: 20 - 50m (66 - 164 ft)

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El Quseir is an ancient Egyptian town, located on the edge of the Red Sea.  Today, it is a quiet resort town that draws in guests with its stunning beaches, clear waters, coral reefs and the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Far removed from the other resort-dominated towns that line the Red Sea, El Quseir is a wonderful place to see the region before the onset of tourism. 

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El Quseir looks markedly different from the other resort-dominated towns that fringe the Red Sea. Here, you are more likely to wander between worn down Ottoman Empire buildings than you are mass hotel complexes. Winding streets meander through colourful architecture, with tombs and forts cropping up frequently between buildings. Couple that with a pleasant dry climate and a rich variety of land and water activities for the whole family, and you’ve got a unique Egyptian holiday in the making.

Just beyond the shores of El Quseir lies a fairly untouched underwater world that is well worth exploring. Dive shops are located sporadically along 50 kilometers of shoreline, which ensures your dives are quiet and near exclusive. The regions most famous sites include Brothers and Elphinstone, which are also visited by a number of liveaboards sailing the Red Sea.

Marine Conservation

Marine life in the waters around El Quseir have, thankfully, been subject to less degradation than that which surround the  more developed towns along the Red Sea. Furthermore, businesses in El Quseir also seem to devote more energy and funds to conservation, research and rehabilitation. A number of local dive shops have joined together to establish new mooring sites and repair old ones in an effort to better protect the reefs. There are also other planned projects that have yet to be realized.

Beyond the dive shops, there are a few researchers that spend time around El Quseir, with various areas of focus. Researchers come from both Egypt and abroad.

 

Giant Green Turtle, El Quseir, Credit

Climate

El Quseir is located in a hot desert climate. It is among the warmest cities in the whole of Egypt, with very little annual variation in temperature. The summer months (May – October) are the warmest, with daytime highs hovering between 29 – 30 degrees Celsius. The winter months are not noticeably cooler. Temperatures from November – April range between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is virtually non-existent year round.

Ocean temperatures in the summer range between 25°C and 29 °C. The water cools in the winter to about 22°C.

360 days of sunshine, but mostly pretty windy
 
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Wildlife Calendar

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

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Shore Diving

There are no shore dives off of El Quseir.

Boat Diving

There is a rich diversity of dive sites along the coast of El Quseir. With dive operators located across 50 kilometers of beachfront, you’re sure to have a number of dives almost entirely to yourself. The sites visited depend largely on where your particular dive shop is located – and how far you wish to travel by road and by boat.

Generally, the dives occur on reefs – though there are two wreck dives in the area (accessible to intermediate divers and above). Most dives have a maximum depth of 30 – 40 meters. Advanced divers are especially well catered to here, though there are a number of sites that can be explored by beginners. Some of the most famous dive sites off the coast include Brothers and the Elphinstone and Abu Dabbab reefs.  

House reef – Wall diving (depending on weather condition)

On Minibus Safaris – Coral gardens, canyons, caves (reachable in 10 – 60 minutes)

Daily Boat trips – upon request to all our local dive sites for all levels.

Red Sea Wall – for all levels.

Elphinstone Reef –  for experienced divers.

Salem Express (Wreck)–  Intermediate divers can dive the wreck of the Salem Express sunk in 1991. The ship was carrying 700 passengers from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to take them to Mecca on their annual religious pilgrimage. Only 2 people survived making it a sombre dive site.

The Salem Express wreck, Credit

Liveaboard Diving

A number of liveaboards sail in the Red Sea, often departing from Hurghada, Marsa Ghalib or Hamata Port (changes seasonally). These liveaboards generally visit sites near El Quseir, including Brothers and Elphinstone.

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How to Get there

El Quseir is located 140 kilometers (1.5 hours) south of Hurghada and 73 kilometers (1 hour) north of Marsa Alam. Both towns have international airports. You can get to El Quseir from either town either by bus, taxi or private vehicle.

Blue Spotted Ray, Credit

 

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Where to Eat & Drink

Most restaurants and bars in El Quseir are run out of lodges and hotels, which tend to offer all-inclusive packages to their guests. That said, there are a handful of independently owned restaurants that provide a great taste of fresh seafood and local cuisine. Two favourites include El Fardouz and Restaurant Marianne. Keep your eye out for numerous Koshary vendors as well, if you’re interested in trying some fantastic Egyptian street food.

Alcohol is generally difficult to come by outside of the lodges. Most street side cafes will serve tea and sheesha instead.

Variegated lizardfish camouflaged on a reef, near El Quseir, Egypt, Credit

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Other Activities

One of the most unique activities in El Quseir is wandering the streets of the old town, visiting local moments and learning about the city’s history. This happens to be one of the few towns along the Red Sea where elements of the pre-tourism culture are still visible. Highlights include the centrally located fortress with a museum inside, the harbour, and a beachside promenade. The 13th century mosque is also a worthwhile stop on a self-guided walking tour. There are a number of crafts and trinkets for sale in the market and at small shops.

El Quseir Fort, Credit

If interested in exploring the desert, a number of resorts run camel, quad and horseback riding trips.

Children are well catered for her, whether they are interested in diving or not. A few lodges run Kids Clubs, and provide playgrounds and kiddie pools to their guests. Additionally, some dive shops offer courses that cater to children aged 8-years and above.

If you have more time you can visit sites at Karnak, like the Karnak Temple - which is about 3hrs away from El Quseir, Credit

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Tips

Most resorts have their own dive centers, and will only allow guests to dive with them.

Spanish Dancer, Credit

Alcohol is difficult to find beyond the lodges and resorts.

Another tip - keep your fingers away from the Giant Moray, Credit

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Rating 2/10

Fisher mans town

El Quseir7 Apr 2017 - 17 Apr 2017

EL quasir its a fisher mans town very small , the town its desert and very dirty and abandond . you can do a fiew dives frome the sure but i whont racomand them .

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