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Best diving sites in Hurghada

1 - Erg Sabina

is about 90 minutes on boat from Hurghada, located on the eastern side of the narrowest part of Giftun Island. Erg Sabina is a beautiful little coral reef between 10 and 12 meters deep, where the word biodiversity finds meaning.

This dive site is not 100% protected from the wind, but as a shallow dive site, it is always suitable for all levels. Erg Sabina can be subject to strong currents – due to the shape of the Giftun Strait bottleneck – depending on the season, stay alert and keep all safety considerations in mind.

The area is perfect for underwater photography; clear waters and corals form a fantastic panorama.

Erg Sabine is surrounded by a sandy plateau, stretching towards the north and ending at another but smaller erg.

Erg Sabina is the most beautiful on the north side. In addition to the reef, there are some large corals, along with schools of fish in the current. Approximately 50 meters north, you will find a breathtaking small erg full of soft corals and glass fishes. And if you take the time to look under the table corals or the coral blocks, you could be surprised by what you can find.

The main attraction of the site is a gigantic coral pinnacle overgrown with hard and soft corals, boasting of amazing fire corals where marine life abounds. Nudibranch, lobsters, and angelfish are regular residents.

Life around Erg Sabina is mesmerizing. Spectacular schools of crystal fish swimming by. You can spot colorful butterflyfish, crocodile fish, turtles, and eagle rays. Lionfish, groupers, clownfish, jackfish, surgeonfish and a lot more species are living around the reef. The huge amount of small fishes also attracts predators like mackerel, groupers, and scorpionfish. You can be the witness of a marvelous spectacle: a school of glassfish darts through the water in response to the predator’s ferocious attack, who is trying to split the school in half and the ones in doubt will become lunch. On the sandy bottom of the reef are well-camouflaged crocodile fishes hunting from there. If you are lucky, you might even encounter a whale shark whose appearance is always sensational.

Erg Sabina, with its rich underwater world, provides exceptional dives.

2 - Small Giftun Island

has been a marine reserve for a few years now and it makes a big difference as this is one of the best dives in the area. The entry fee is well worth the money.

At about 1 hour sailing from Hurghada, Small Giftun is a dive site specially made for drift dives. With the current carrying you, this dive is a relaxing exploration.

The wall at Small Giftun drops away to about 100 meters. So pick you depth and gradually work your way back up as you drift along in the current.

The current at Small Giftun is always from the north, but it is unpredictable, sometimes mild, sometimes howling. There are some picturesque coral formations sticking out from the main wall to explore, often decorated with soft corals.

At Small Giftun you can have the chance to see ambush predators on the reef and pelagic species in the blue.

The drift dive starts at the southern end of Small Giftun Island, at the opposite of the police station. With the reef on your right side, you will be drifting along a wall. As you can pick your depth, though it is worth heading down to 30 meters, in order to see a spectacular display of gorgonian corals. Look carefully among their branches and you may spot one of the shy longnose hawkfish. It is also worth keeping an eye on the blue open water – tuna and trevallies may be passing by and in the early morning, you may be lucky enough to spot a shark. After a while floating along with the current you will reach a large sandy plateau that lies between 15 and 25 meters. This coral garden has more life than the wall and generally, there is less current. Look out for blue-spotted stingrays in the sand between the coral heads, turtles and lots of giant morays. And if you look attentively you may discover some of the species that camouflage themselves, such as scorpionfish, stonefish or crocodile fish or other critters, such as nudibranch and flatworms. And don’t forget the schooling fusiliers and goatfish that you will encounter.

At 40 meters depth, there is even a nice small cave where you can go through, full of beautiful lionfish and with hundreds of anthias fish above the cave.

Often done as a drift dive, this dive site can also be explored in a normal dive starting from where the boat moored. The normal dive will be on the large sandy plateau, where there is still a lot to see.

Small Giftun is suitable for divers of every level, but if you decide to make your dive as a drift dive, it is advisable to be an experienced diver, due to the strong currents along the wall.

With its marvelous dives, Small Giftun is attracting many divers and envying many beginners.

3 - Abu Ramada

is an island situated to the south of Giftun National Park and it is about 60 to 90 minutes away from Hurghada by boat.

The Abu Ramada dive site offers 3 beautiful dives:

-Erg Abu Ramada

It is located on the south-eastern side of Abu Ramada Island. At this dive site, you will find a lot of pinnacles, close together and forming a line, on a sandy plateau at a depth of 18 meters.

The biggest pinnacle is fully inhabited with glassfish and lionfish. All pinnacles are covered with pretty gorgonians.

As marine life, you will find schools of groupers, barracudas, tunas, and Napoleon. Erg Abu Ramada is suitable for all levels of divers.

-Abu Ramada South

It is situated on the southern side of Abu Ramada Island. It is a popular dive site and it is sheltered.

In this area, there is also a caveat about 20 meters depth, where you can spot a sea star, an octopus or lionfish.

South-west of the reef you will find a steep drop off with pinnacles where moray eels and sweetlips are permanent residents.

On the west side of Abu Ramada South, you can go through a nice coral garden where you may encounter turtles. There is a long coral formation with on the other side an amazing marine life, such as lionfish and Glassfish. There is even an eel garden. Morays, blue-spotted stingrays and Napoleon are regularly passing by. On the way back to the boat, you will go over beautiful coral blocks where you may find crocodile fish or a school of goatfish.

-Abu Ramada North

This is mostly done as a drift dive, due to the rough sea conditions. But if the current is good, it can be done as a normal dive. It is also called “The Aquarium” due to the enormous marine life you can encounter at this side of the reef.

It starts on a beautiful plateau, heading towards a sheer bottomless drop-off.

The wall is covered with gorgonians and soft corals. Into the blue, you can spot barracudas, tuna, jacks and from time to time even eagle rays and reef sharks.

Abu Ramada Island is just a wonderful dive site with lots of possibilities for diving or even snorkeling.

4 - Shaab El Erg

is a horseshoe-shaped reef (about 7 KM in length) with at the center a small lagoon scattered with ergs. It is also one of the natural habitats in the Red Sea of a large group of Spinner dolphins. The open end of the reef is facing south.

Shaab El Erg has a sandy bottom at a depth of 12 meters and it gently drops down to a coral garden.

Shaab El Erg is huge reef plenty of marine life including sea slugs, blue-spotted rays, moray eels, and Napoleon wrasse.

It is a shallow dive site till approximately 22 meters, has a channel and an ‘island’ with a little lagoon.

Being a favorite meeting point for dolphins, Shaab El Erg gives you a great opportunity to dive with these magnificent mammals.

Imagine this amazing sight. You are diving at Shaab El Erg and suddenly a group of dolphins, in perfect formation, is heading your way and the dolphins are passing by a few times, curious as they are. Wouldn’t this be a lifetime experience? Their dynamic swimming and their attitude are more graceful than you could ever feel and see. If you encounter dolphins, it is better to swim parallel to them and raise their curiosity. If you are swimming towards them, they will often go away. But most of the time they start to play and they want to impress the divers with their unusual movements and pirouettes.

At the south-eastern end of Shaab El Erg is a circa 8 meters deep channel between the end of the main reef and two small round reefs that are very beautiful and overgrown with table corals and small coral blocks.

From the plateau to the wall, you will find three pinnacles close to each other, from big to the smallest. After heading out of the channel you will find another 4 pinnacles lined up and leading you to the lagoon over a beautiful coral garden with many table corals.

Shaab El Erg is also ideal for night dives. While night diving you have a great chance to spot nudibranch, feather stars and other micro-life that you would simply pass by on any other normal dive.

Diving at Shaab El Erg is really worth a boat trip.

5 - Fanous

means a kind of lighthouse in the Arabic language. They call this dive site Fanous because of the small light point located on the eastern part of the dive site. The reef itself is approximately 300 meters long and extends on the west side.

This dive site is about 30 minutes away from Hurghada by boat.

At El Fanous you can make 2 different dives: one on the east side and another on the west side.

Let’s talk here about the dives you will make on the west side: Fanous West.

When you start your dive, from the boat, of course, you will have the reef on your right side and follow it. The depth under the boat is about 7 meters. To continue the dive you will pass through a kind of canal before reaching a sandy lagoon.

You will cross the lagoon in the north-west direction keeping the reef on the right side. While crossing the lagoon you will see several small coral pinnacles where unexpected small inhabitants can be spotted.

When you reach the northern edge of the lagoon, you will continue north to an erg covered with hard corals that you can admire.

You will return to the boat on the other side of the lagoon, keeping another main reef on your left side.

At Fanous West you will encounter a lot of blue-spotted stingrays, stonefish and sometimes big sand rays. Moray eels, Picasso fish, all kinds of triggerfish, butterflyfish, octopus, and even squids can be seen at this dive site.

The best dive you can have is when you have the chance to encounter a pod of dolphins hanging around in the lagoon.

Fanous is a dive site known to be a place where dolphins stop regularly to play or feed.

You pass through the same canal as in the begin of your dive to get to the boat. The whole dive is a shallow dive with a maximum depth in the lagoon between 12 and 14 meters.

Most of the time current is mild but sometimes it happens that the current is very strong and then the best way to explore Fanous West is to make a drift dive from the north side of the reef, heading into the lagoon and passing through the canal before reaching the boat.

Fanous West is suitable for all levels of divers.

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