Diving Hurghada

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Hurghada, Egypt


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Country: Egypt  Area: Egypt

Water Temp: 21 - 28°C (70 - 82°F)

Visibility: 15 - 20m (49 - 66 ft)

Depth Range: 10 - 40m (33 - 131 ft)

Hawksbill Turtle Nesting Season - Late May to Early June, Green Turtle Nesting Season – Late June to Early July, Coral Spawning – First Full Moon in April and September, Schooling Hammerheads on Jackson Reef – July to September, Schooling Hammerheads in Daedalus – May to July

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A gateway to some of the most exciting and diverse diving for all levels of divers, Hurghada is a good place to base yourself or to board a Liveaboard to explore the best that the Red Sea offers.  It is set against a dramatic desert landscape with stretches of natural beach and has calm clear waters. This all combined with a year-round warm climate makes it a popular tourist destination for divers and non divers alike.

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Hurghada is located on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt and is a popular holiday destination offering package holidays and luxury hotels for all, not just divers.  Its placement on the coast means it has access to some of the best dive sites in the northern Red Sea and Sinai Peninsula (by day boat) and is also one of the main liveaboard departures points for Southern and Northern Itineraries. 



The climate in this area is a sub tropical desert climate with warm winters and a very hot summer. With agreeable water temperatures most of the year it adds up to a year round pleasant dive conditions.  Although the dive season is year round there are more popular times of the year than others due to marine life seasons and water temperature changes.

The water is at its coldest in February and then warms up and peaks at its warmest of around 28C in the high season of August. This is a quite large difference in temperature so you will need to make sure you take the appropriate exposure protection for the time of year you are visiting. 

At its coldest a 5mm full length wetsuit will be adequate for most people, but if you feel the cold or are planning on a week of diving on a liveaboard, a drysuit may be worth considering due to the loss of core temperature that can occur with taking part in long deep dives four times a day.

Shaab Sabina, Hurghada, Credit

Marine Conservation

Hurghada’s rapid transformation from a small fishing village into a massive resort town has led to some disappointing degradation of the offshore coral reefs. Illegal landfill operations and irresponsible diving has pushed many of Hurghada’s fans to newer locations throughout the Red Sea.

That said, this deterioration has inspired numerous conservationists to take action, preserving the spectacular reefs that do remain further afield and restoring those near the shore. The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association is a leader amongst these NGOs, and has made considerable gains in cleaning up the ocean, educating lodges regarding proper practices, and conserving the marine life in order to ensure sustain these precious resources. Through research, lobbying and considerable local involvement, this organization has expanded operations into preserving the whole of the Red Sea, encouraging sustainable and responsible tourism.

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A wide range of diverse marine life inhabits the Red Sea from tiny nudibranches to the largest fish, the Whale Shark.  This makes it an underwater photographer’s paradise as there is always something exciting and different to capture.  Like any area in the world there are better places and times to see certain species. 

If you are a major Shark enthusiast then Liveaboard itineraries should provide you with the best chance to see a wide range of shark species. This can include Grey Reef Sharks, White Tip Reef Sharks, Silky Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Thresher Sharks and the curious Oceanic White tip Shark.  A well known site for these encounters are The Brothers Islands, with its resident Grey Reef Sharks, occasional Hammerheads and in the winter months the shy Thresher Shark. 

Some top reefs are Elphinstone which is famous for common pelagic encounters including the Whale Shark in season and Daedalus which commonly has schooling hammerheads events at the right time of year.  All of these dive sites are offshore pinnacles and islands with dramatic reef walls down to 40m which then drop down to 100’s of meters deep  - this does mean strong currents and choppier seas, so you will have to be a more experienced diver to dive these sites and note that the only way is by liveaboard.

Diving Hurghada, Credit

Another popular creature which is regularly seen on dives in the red sea is the Sea Turtle. The 2 most common species that can be seen year round are the Hawksbill and Green Turtle.  The Hawksbill can be seen in many of the dive sites from the north to the south.  The Green Turtles are seen less, but are almost guaranteed to be seen in the southern dive site of Marsa Shouna, eating away at the bays sea grass.  In the same bay there are also regular sightings of a Dugong, but you do have to be lucky and keep an eye out.

The Red Sea offers more than just exhilarating and memorable marine encounters; it also offers a huge variety of wrecks with some very interesting history.  A lot of these wrecks can be penetrated, but before you do you should ensure you are experienced and confident enough with your general diving and in particular your buoyancy. 

The main wreck location near Hurghada is Abu Nuhas.  This shipwreck graveyard is home to a diverse selection of wrecks that have run into the reef and sunk all very close to each other.  Another very famous wreck and a 'must dive' in the North is definitely the wreck of the Thistlegorm.  This was a cargo ship which was bombed during the second world war and is now broken in half and sitting on the sea floor at 30m.  The wreck is such an interesting dive site as is still holds much of its cargo in the holds such as cars and motorbikes; it is also becoming an artificial reef and is host to a large amount of marine life.

Why so serious? Credit

Day trips

Hurghada serves a host of dive sites which you can reach from day boats and liveaboards.  There is also a huge variation in type of dive that you can take part in from famous historic wreck dives, spectacular wall dives, and colourful reef dives full of diverse marine life.  This means that it does truly cater for every divers experience and interests. 

When you choose to dive Hurghada the first decision you need to make is land based or liveaboard.  Both options allow you to dive exciting and popular sites but if you do want to visit areas that you cannot reach by day boat (and are therefore less crowded and tend to have a greater chance of seeing larger marine life) then a liveaboard is the only way to do this.


Liveaboards from Hurghada visit the north and south.  There are many choices of itineraries to choose from so you will need to research the routes for each before you make a decision to ensure you pick one best suited to your level and interests. 

It is worth noting that a lot of liveaboard itineraries also do have a minimum dive quantity and minimum experience level required. They are also completely dive focussed not really suitable to nondivers as the general day is dive, eat, sleep, dive, eat, sleep and so on with up to four dives a day. 

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Getting there

The easiest way to access Hurghada is via the city’s international airport, that connects numerous European and domestic flights to the resort town daily. This allows visitors to bypass Cairo entirely.  

Otherwise, Hurghada is connected to Cairo by a 7-hour bus trip. Super Jet and Go Bus are among the best operators, and they leave Cairo multiple times daily. It is also possible to reach Hurghada by bus from Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan. All cities have busses that run daily.

For guests connecting with Sharm el Sheikh, there is a luxury high-speed ferry connecting the two ports a few times per week. Hotels and travel agencies in Hurghada can assist with bookings, which should be organized in advance.

Marina in Hurghada, Credit


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Where to Eat & Drink

Hurgada has a wide variety of restaurants, serving anything from Italian to Asian to authentically Egyptian. In matching the wide variety of accommodation, restaurants prices range from local right through to high-end international fare. Most restaurants offer a pleasant street side café atmosphere, with excellent opportunities to people watch. Guests will also find familiar international brands, including KFC and McDonalds, if feeling like really treating yourself!

Hurghada has a reasonable nightlife that transforms this resort based town in the evenings. Night clubs, pubs, bars and cafes line the streets, giving visitors various options to choose from.

Local entertainment, Credit

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Other Activities

In addition to diving and snorkelling opportunities, visitors might also opt to travel further into the Red Sea, visiting the unpopulated Big and Little Gifton Islands to lounge on white sand beaches. Otherwise, there are dozens of opportunities to head into the desert on quad bikes and camels with Bedoin tribesmen. Jumping out of the resort bubble is often a highlight for guests visiting Hurghada.

It is also possible to join a sightseeing tour that features the city of Hurghada, profiling impressive mosques, churches and bazaars. Prices in these bazaars tend to be lower – but do require more negotiations. Otherwise, enjoy the plenty of shopping opportunities on the Sekalla High Street! 

Camel Riding, Credit

Hurgada’s many resorts cater well to vacationing families, offering many child-friendly activities. Most dive centres offer bubble maker courses for curious children, and otherwise there is a decent aquarium in town that allows non-divers to witness the magic below.

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Hurghada is a resort-based town that is generally safe for tourists. If planning a visit, it is important to read-up on Egypt’s broader security situation as it has changed dramatically in recent years. That said, Hurghada is rarely affected by Cairo’s political unrest and visitors are able to bypass the capital entirely by flying directly into the city’s international airport if they so desire.

Since the town is built almost entirely around large resorts, visitors infrequently leave the compounds making this a very safe and peaceful destination. Resorts will easily coordinate tours into the desert and neighbouring towns, which generally tend to be hassle free. Should you decide to enter the bazaars in the main city of Hurghada, some visitors report pushy vendors and inflated prices. However, as with any market, a firm and friendly approach to bartering will serve you well as you navigate the corridors.


Turtle in Hurghada, Credit

Hurghada does have a local clinic and high quality hospital with English-speaking doctors. Be sure to travel with up to date travel insurance!

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Rating 2/10

White dolphin Dive Center, Hurgada. A bad experience

Hurghada3 Apr 2015 - 4 Apr 2015

We booked this center in our hotel. Very cheap price 30$ transfer, boat, 2 dives and lunch. Many people on board, The staff were very rude (andrea from Austria, Ahmed Egypcian), they didn't help you very much and the dive master (Ahmed, license CMAS 255) was arrogant and he broked a big coral with a stone to make exit a octopus hiden inside. We were stunned. The boat were more or less ok, the food also ok. The rest bad or very bad. We will not repeat.

diving goggles 1208672 m

Camelia Kemenes

Wow.. that is cheap.. I guess you pay for what you get sometimes! It is a real shame when diving gives people bad experience - destruction of the coral is inexcusable!!!


Brian Espin

They should know better than destroying the environment that people pay to see.

Rating 9/10

First time Dive

Hurghada27 Mar 2015 - 27 Mar 2015 with Panorama Divers

Unbelievable as it is (growing up in the Cayman Islands) this was my first proper experience of Scuba Diving, and I cannot imagine a better place for it than in the Red Sea.

The competent Shelly from Panorama Divers took me under her wing and was the perfect instructor. Keeping a watchful eye on me, she let me get to grips with the diving lifestyle. Got to see a variety of life under the seas with a stop at the 'tv station' of fishy life being my favorite part.

This taster has wet my appetite and I expect to do a lot more diving in the years to come.

Thanks again Shelly and Panorama Divers.


Carla Gomez

Great place to do you first diving.. even if you failed in the Cayman!!!



In March I have a ten-day vacation in Egypt. Specifically holiday in Sunrise Royal Makadi Resort. I know that there are many diving places around resort. I would like to know or any diving center organizes diving with sharks?

Thank you

Best regards Zygimantas.

Astrid Quiñónez Tovar

1 vote

There should be pretty good provision for this.. however dive centers may not be able to 'guarantee' seeing sharks - but can take you to places where they are frequently seen. If you can't find answers from dive operators in Makadi - you are pretty close to Hurghada (a massive diving hub - you can probably get in touch with some via this site, or also maybe Safaga).

Rating 10/10

Hurghada, Red Sea, Egypt

Hurghada5 Dec 2014 - 12 Dec 2014 with Panorama Divers

Fantastic dive sites, too much wildlife to list here. Beautiful coral gardens, fantastic drop offs, there really is something for all levels of experience.

I dive with Panorama Divers, who are professional, knowledgeable, friendly and fun! They have a great working knowledge of the sites, and will ensure you get the trip of a lifetime. High standard of equipment, well maintained. The boat is spacious and comfortable, with great food.

What are you waiting for!

dolphin ray starfish
Showing 3 of 7 comments. Show all

Caroline Peach

Why don't you contact Panorama Divers, and they can recommend the best time to visit depending on what you would like to see?


Norma Thompson

Stunning photos Caroline!


Caroline Peach

For more of these great photos, check out www.shelleydiver.wix.com/redseadiving - gallery, as she is the one that took them! She can organise trips, courses etc too :-)

Rating 7/10

Hurghada, Egypt

Hurghada9 Sep 2014 - 16 Sep 2014

I started my scuba journey in Hurghada with the Funny Divers team. We completed our OW referral and then had 3 days diving with 2 dives per day.

Funny Divers were fabulous from the first contact to picking us up at the hotel to dropping us off at the end of the day. The boat was spacious and not over crowded. Each dive the visibility was fantastic, marine and coral life in abundance. We also saw huge Nepoleon fish, plenty of Morays in all sizes, Lion fish, Scorpian Fish, Crocodile fish, Clown fish with their little babies, Blue spotted rays and also two sea walkermen.

Being my first proper trip out at sea as a qualified diver it was fantastic. The FunnyDivers team were fabulous, friendly and very helpful.

Looking forward to a return to Egypt in the coming years that's for sure.


Jaromíra Tomanová

Congratulations on the OW - a even bigger world is open to you now! :)

Rating 10/10

Great first diving experience: INTRODUCTION DIVE

Hurghada1 May 2014 - 1 May 2014

It was our first time diving and we choosed the right dive center NEW SON BIJOU DIVING CENTER to do our first steps into the diving world. Whole experience was fantastic! From first email contact to pick up from our hotel to sorting dive equipment in the diving center. Before first time diving Ahmed explained us how equipment works, sings underwater, what we can except,....so we felt very comfortable, relaxed and the whole time very safe! That day we made 2 dives, between the dives we had delicious lunch. The atmosphere on the boat was very relaxed and lots of space to chill out! Whole team is very professional, friendly, helpful, dive equipment is well maintained and some was new, but most importantly, diving was excellent! There is no massive tourism, everything is very personal and nobody hurry you while you get prepared for your dive. If you want your first experience to be great than this is the place to be! Thank you for all!

20140510140216 20140510140257 P5030248 20140510141602
Showing 3 of 4 comments. Show all

Laura Brown

Yes, I was veeeery luck to dive with Dugong during Introduction dive in Marsa Alam


Randy Chacko

Wow! Getting to see a dugong on an intro dive is very very lucky. I've dived with Manatees in Florida but never Dugongs...yet :)

Martin Crowly

Have swam with dugong in florida but never dived with them, I wish I had been there. Heading for Makadi Bay in march any tips

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