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Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites and Beyond

With the enormous diversity of the Sharm el Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy on their Red Sea diving holiday, whether you choose to make daily boat dives or perhaps join a Red Sea liveaboard dive safari. Non-divers are always welcome on-board to snorkel at the best sites.

Diver Level 1: from Beginner         Diver Level 2: from Intermediate         Diver Level 3: Advanced only

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Map of the Dive Sites of the Northern Red Sea

From the Straits of Tiran in the north, to Abu Nuhas in the South

Dive Sites of Tiran

Million Hope

Diver level 2

The wreck is located near the coast of Nabq, to the north of Sharm el Sheikh. This site can only be dived in very good sea conditions and it’s best when there is no current. You cannot dive inside, but the size of the wreck and the fantastic soft corals make this a very nice site, best dived from a liveaboard.

Kormoran

Diver level 2

Lying in the shallows to the north of Tiran Island, this can only be dived in calm sea conditions. Strong currents are possible here and the visibility can be poor.

Jackson Reef

Diver level 2

The most northerly of the Tiran reefs and one of the most beautiful Sharm el Sheikh dive sites. Jackson Reef is heavily populated with coral plateaus combined with dramatic walls. It is famous for schooling hammerheads that can be found on the north side of the reef early in the summer.  Keep your eye in the blue in the summer – pelagics can be seen.

Jackson Reef, photo by Ken Sullivan

Woodhouse Reef

Diver level 2

A long, slender reef located between Jackson and Thomas. Woodhouse provides a combination of coral plateaus and walls. This site is one of the easiest site for one-way drift diving, as there are no complicated corners (which create back currents) to deal with. Woodhouse is one of Sharm el Sheikh dive sites that is ideal for beginners to experience their first drift dive.

Clownfish, photo by Jeff Rotman
Coral reef, photo by Jeff Rotman

South Laguna

Diver level 1

Almost famous for the yacht, De Lara, that can often be found moored here (the boat of our “big boss” Umbarak!!).  On a more serious note; the site is located to the east of Tiran and borders Tiran Island creating the north and south lagoon. These reefs are made up of hard coral plateaus. Situated to the north can be found the wreck of the Kormoran – a nice shallow wreck for beginners.

Thomas Reef

Diver level 3

Situated between Gordon and Woodhouse; this is the smallest of the reefs in the Staits of Tiran with deep plunging walls covered with soft coral and an amazing gorgonia forest at 25m. It is possible to circumnavigate this reef in one dive, current permitting. Make sure to keep your eye in the blue during the summer months for passing pelagics but don’t forget to look at the reef sometimes!

Gordon Reef

Diver level 2

Gordon Reef is the most southerly of the four reefs in Tiran. It is land-marked in the north by the wreck of the “Loullia”, and in the south by the shallow plateau. This plateau provides protection from the waves and makes this a good location for new divers to experience their first drift dives. The entire reef is host to small and large fish in abundance – turtles, giant moray, eagle rays and mantas in the spring.

Local Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites

Ras Gamilla

Diver level 1

Ras Gamilla is the house reef of the Baron Resort beginning at Ras Nasrani and ending at the lighthouse (entrance to the Straits of Tiran). One of Sharm el Sheikh dive sites that is good for all diver levels with an abundance of marine life. The reef descends gradually from shallow water to a sandy bottom at depths of 10m – 15m, continuing downwards to a depths of 30m – 40m. The most amazing gorgonia forest can be found at around 25m.

Ras Bob

Diver level 1

Ras Bob is a sheltered dive site suitable for all levels and good for snorkellers. It has no Arabic name as it was named after our friend and underwater photographer, Bob Johnson, who worked for many years as an Instructor in Sharm el Sheikh. The most interesting area is between 5m and 15m and is an ideal place to search for juvenile reef fishes.

Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea

Sharks Bay

Diver level 1

Our house reef gently slopes down in a series of ledges that makes it an that site for training dives. It is also a great site for photographers wanting to see the abundant marine life. Whale sharks and mantas visit this bay in the springtime; hence, where the name came from. Eagle rays, giant moray and Napoleon are very common here.

Middle Garden

Diver level 1

Totally sheltered so an easy site suitable for all level of divers. This dive site is located opposite the Sharm Hyatt Resort between Near and Far Gardens. Sandy plateau at 10m descending to maximum depth of 20m where you will see the drop-off. A good place in the summer to see manta and eagle rays and maybe even whale sharks.

Naama Bay

Diver level 1

One of the least known dive sites in Sharm el Sheikh. The bay contains large areas of sand and sea grass where you find marine life you cannot see on the drop offs and coral gardens. Many different kind of nudibranches and wart slugs, ghost pipefish, shrimpfish, seahorses, crocodile and stonefish.

Tower

Diver level 1

Located 15 minutes south of Naama Bay and an excellent wall dive for all levels. It is named after the fossil coral tower rising above the south side of the bay. Take time at the end of the dive to explore the shallow reef at the back of the bay. Keep your eye in the blue, especially in the summer, for passing pelagics.

Amphoras

Diver level 2

Southwest of Tower; a sandy slope which begins at about 12m and has pinnacles covered with various corals giving shelter to schools of glassfish. The name comes from a 15th century Turkish shipwreck with a cargo of amphoras and the original anchor is still stuck in the reef at about 25m. South towards the drop-off are beautiful large gorgonian fans.

Ras Umm Sid

Diver level 2

Located to the north of Temple, it is situated on the corner of the bay and is well known for its gorgonian forest and rich fish life because of its exposure to strong currents. The dive ends on a plateau at a depth of 15m shallowing up to 5m and is home to colonies of many reef fish and some of our pelagics can also be observed in the springtime. As the currents are sometimes tricky, this dive is usually done as a drift dive but is also one of the few Sharm el Sheikh dive sites that is accessible from the shore.

Ras Katy

Diver level 1

A few hundred metres west of Temple; coral pinnacles rise on the sandy plateau from 5m to 18m where the drop-off begins which is home to countless schools of anthias and many species of butterflyfish. Caves and crevices are inhabited by glassfish and lionfish, on the sandy areas you can see crocodilefish, bluespotted stingrays, scorpionfish and triggerfish.

Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea
Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea

Ras Nasrani

Diver level 2

Located about 12km to the north of Sharm el Sheikh, this is an easy dive site for all levels but is also one of the most beautiful of Sharm el Sheikh’s dive sites. The shallow reef is made up of a series of sheltered bays which are home to a variety of fish; nudibranchs and octopus are common here. The shallows drop off to a depth of 60m. The current runs towards the corner and ranges from weak to moderate, picking up speed as you approach the headland. After you pass the large gorgonian fan corals at 20m, there are beautiful mushroom shaped coral heads which continue on after the headland. Always keep one eye in the blue for the pelagics cruising by.

White Knights

Diver level 1

A sheltered bay that is located less than 1km north of Sharks Bay. The reef drops to a depth of 12m, at the centre of which is a deep sandy canyon with swim-throughs at 10m and 35m. The canyon is the most interesting part of this dive and provides all the depths needed for inexperienced and training dives (for example in your PADI Open Water Course and the deep dive for your PADI Advanced Course).

Far Garden

Diver level 2

This reef is located 1km to the north of Naama Bay and is the most seaward of the “gardens”, making it a more colourful reef frequently visited by pelagics and usually sheltered from both wind and waves. There is a sandy slope with stunning coral pinnacles to 25m where it falls off to a steep wall. Towards the corner, there is a cave that opens out at 5m and is home to a large school of glassfish. The headland gets a lot of current and makes a great drift dive in either direction.

Near Garden

Diver level 2

Five minutes outside Naama Bay and an ideal site for snorkelers. A sandy ledge at around 15m drops off at 25m to a steep wall. Currents can run strong in either direction. One of the best Sharm el Sheikh dive sites for finding spotted stingrays, turtles, napoleons and triggerfish with occasional sightings of grey reef sharks and eagle rays.

Sodfa

Diver level 2

Located ten minutes away from the Naama Bay jetty this site makes an easy alternative for a relaxing afternoon dive. There is a large sandy slope at a depth of 1m and the drop-off is at 25m. The coral pinnacles are home for thousands of glassfish and there is a very interesting gorgonia forest on the edge of the drop-off.

Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea

Pinkie's Wall

Diver level 2

A good wall dive and, having no mooring, it must be done as a drift dive from the boat. It is best to drift with the current taking in the nearby site “Amphoras”. Pinkies Wall is sheer and seemingly bottomless and richly covered in soft corals of mauve and pink that give it its name. It can be dived at any depth but is best at around 15m.

Paradise

Diver level 2

An impressive site in front of the Royal Paradise Hotel – one of the top sites between Tower and Ras Umm Sid with large coral pinnacles bordering the drop off that host a variety of fish species. The slope drops down to 50m so you may see trevallies and tuna, turtles and manta rays; shallow areas with caves and overhangs and a large population of glassfish.

Temple

Diver level 1

Situated in the middle of the bay at Ras Umm Sid there stands a large coral tower at a depth of 15m which is known as the “Temple”. This is one of the gentlest of the Sharm el Sheikh dive sites and it is perfect for beginners and training dives. You can easily spend a lazy 40 minutes exploring this coral reef that is home to a variety of fish, nudibranchs, moray eels and octopus. Mantas have been seen here in springtime.

Dive Sites of Ras Mohammed

Ras Ghozlani

 Diver level 2

One of the most beautiful dive sites in the Ras Mohammed area. With a beautiful display of stunning table corals and glassfish covered coral pinnacles, this site makes for a gentle drift dive with a 15m sandy bottom which is very good for beginners. The landscape offers lots of opportunities for photographers.

Ras Za'atar

Diver level 2

This site is a deep wall dive to 50m and the highlight of this is the corner which is teeming with soft corals and with a cave that is home to a school of glassfish accompanied by large red mouth groupers. Keep your eye in the blue, there is the chance that you may see one of our larger pelagics; whale sharks, sharks and manta.

Lionfish, photo by Jeff Rotman

Jackfish Alley

Diver level 2

South of Ras Mohammed; a shallow and well sheltered reef. The highlights are the caves at a depth of 8m which provide a very picturesque swim-through and can be done at the beginning or the end of the dive, the glassfish coral pinnacle at 12m is another beautiful landmark. One of Sharm el Sheikh dive sites perfect for photographers and beginners.

Eel Garden

Diver level 1

Located between Shark Observatory and Jackfish Alley in front of a small beach; the gentle sandy slope starts at 12m until the main drop off at 35m. It’s home to an impressive colony of garden eels which you can only find here in the Red Sea, they emerge from the sand and sway in the current but are very timid so approach them carefully or they will disappear.

Sharm el Sheikh dive sites

Shark Observatory

Diver level 2

A famous wall dive, dramatic and bottomless, in Ras Mohammed which can be dived from the shore as well as from the boat. As you drift along you may encounter turtles, giant morays and napoleons who are regular visitors to this reef. Schooling longnose parrotfish and masked puffers can be seen in the summertime.

Anemone City

Diver level 2

A broad shoulder of reef that juts out at a depth of 20m off the wall of Ras Mohammed. When the current is running large schools of trevallies can be seen and in the shallow water you can find an abundance of anemones after which the site is named. Clownfish in their hundreds occupy this dive site which is a perfect location for photographers.

Shark and Yolanda Reefs

Diver level 3

These world famous Sharm el Sheikh dive sites offer a combination of sheer walls and coral plateaus teeming with a variety of fish life, and the cargo of the Yolanda at 5m – toilets! The purple soft coral and gorgonias are stunning. The site comes to life in the summer months as the schools of barracudas, batfish and snapper gather for mating accompanied by our greater pelagics.

Coral reef, photo by Itamar Grinberg

Dive Sites of Sha’ab Mahmoud and Beyond

Stingray Station

Diver level 1

Stingray Station lies at the western extremity of the Alternatives; this is an irregular reef and owes its name to the gathering of stingrays in March and April. The whole area is known as home to large groupers, turtles and leopard shark and lots of fantastic small marine life. Like the Alternatives this is a nice site for beginners and photographers and a good night dive.

Alternatives

Diver level 1

These are a chain of flat-topped reefs known by local fisherman as the “Saba Erg” (seven pinnacles). They are all at a maximum depth of 15m and you can swim from one to the other making it one of Sharm el Sheikh dive sites that is perfect for beginners. Large feathertailed rays and leopard sharks are commonly found on the seabed especially in the spring.

Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea, Thistlegorm

Lonely Mushroom

Diver level 1

Lonely Mushroom is located to the north west of the Alternatives and Stingray Station; an outlying satellite reef, it is a small site in itself. The best dives are to be found by circling it several times at increasingly shallow depths and also exploring the surrounding plateau where you can find some interesting amphoras. A great site for photographers and beginners.

Dunraven

Diver level 2

At the southern extreme of ‘Sha’ab Mahmoud’  there are a series of shallow reefs and lagoons among which lies the wreck of the 72m English steamer sunk in 1876 on its way from Bombay to England loaded with timber and spices. The hull lies upside down at a maximum depth of 29m, the prop and rudder lie at 19m. The wreck is home to a wide variety of marine life including glassfish, jackfish, crocodilefish and scorpionfish. The wreck has largely broken up as it lies upside down upon the reef but there are three large holes in the hull which allow divers to penetrate the wreck and examine the two large boilers and host of fallen metal work.

Small Crack

Diver level 2

This is an opening about halfway down the long, thin Sha’ab Mahmoud reef. The dive begins on the outer reef where you will find a series of coral pinnacles that are home to many small fish. The highlight is the swim-through back into the lagoon at a depth of 5m. The rip current that runs through here attracts a multitude of marine life.  An absolutely breathtaking Sharm el Sheikh dive sites.

Chrisoula K

 Diver level 2

Also known as the “wreck of tiles”; a lot of confusion exists over the real identity of this wreck but it is best known as the Chrisoula K, on her way to Jeddah carrying 3700 tonnes of Italian tiles she ran aground on 31st August 1981. The propeller and winch are interesting points; and the intact engine room is worth a visit for the more experienced diver.

Grouper and Sweepers, photo by Ken Sullivan
Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea, Thistlegorm

Thistlegorm

Diver level 3

The most famous Sharm el Sheikh dive sites is this amazing wreck. The British Merchant Navy ship, sunk in 1941 and discovered by Jacques Cousteau is full of historical relics from the war – motorcycles, railway locomotives, bren-gun carriers and trucks to name but a few. It has been adopted by the marine life to form an artificial reef. The ultimate dive for wreck enthusiasts it is also a beautiful dive attracting schools of barracuda, giant tuna and snapper. The SS Thistlegorm Wreck lies in around 30m of water. The deepest point is the prop, about 32m deep and the shallowest part is only 16m deep. Currents can sometimes be strong and  the dive can be quite challenging. Visibility is usually good but is dependent on the current and weather conditions.

Kingston / Shag Rock

Diver level 1

A combination dive starting at the “Kingston”, the remains of a steam sail ship that ran into the reef and is now home to schooling sweetlips and goatfish. The stern and propeller lie at 12m and are an excellent photographic opportunity. This dive is finished drifting along a panoramic sloping reef teeming with marine life and amazing hard coral formations.

Carnatic

 Diver level 2

A steam sail ship built in 1862 which hit the reef on the night of September 12th 1869, coming to rest on the seabed on the 14th September. A passenger ship carrying bales of cotton, port, copper ingots and 40,000 sterling in gold coins destined for Bombay. Most of the dive is spent along side the wreck although penetrating the holds is easy. A well preserved old sail ship with coral encrusted davits and an hourglass stern – great for photography.

Sharm el Sheikh Dive Sites, Red Sea, Dunraven

Bluff Point | Barge

Diver level 2

A stunning early morning drift dive starting on the outer wall of Gubal Island and finishing on the protected shallow plateau. With beautiful gorgonia forests, a large variety of marine life and many turtles; as the islands of Gubal are a nesting area. Be aware – the currents can be very strong! There is very little known about the Barge at Bluff Point, sometimes also called the Gubal Barge. Local rumour states that it sunk during the Arab-Israeli war in 1973, it was a barge lost in tow or maybe the even remains of a dive charter boat.

Damsel fish, photo by Vicki Major

Giannis D

Diver level 2

A Greek Cargo Ship carrying timber that was sailing from Croatia and destined for Jeddah when she struck the reef in April 1983. Lying in 25m the highlights of the dive are the command bridge, engine room which is full of glassfish and the huge winch that reaches to 6m. A great dive for photographers.

Unknown Wreck

Diver level 2

The “Wreck of Lentils” – the name is based on the cargo of the ship which was falsely identified as “Seastar” or the “Olden” but in reality is the Kimon M. A cargo ship from Suez that hit the reef in 1978, which can be dived externally taking in the propeller, winches and the bow area. It is unstable and exploration of its holds might be dangerous and should be avoided.