Hurghada is known as the diver’s gateway to the Red Sea. Until the early 1980’s it was a small fishing village but has since grown into a large diving town. It is a great place for new scuba divers to learn and an excellent place for experienced divers to explore.
Hurghada is located on the Egyptian Red Sea coastline, 530 km south of Cairo and about 75 km south west of Sharm El Sheik. 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 plane: The easiest way to access Hurghada is through the city’s international airport which has direct flights to many airports in Europe and around the Middle East. There are also direct flights on local airlines to and from Cairo. Additionally, you can fly to Luxor and drive for about 4 hours to Hurghada.
By bus: Hurghada is connected to Cairo by a 7 hour bus trip. The main carriers are Go Bus and Super Jet. Buses also run from Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan and leave multiple times daily.
By ferry: There is a high-speed ferry connecting Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada which runs a few times per week. It takes 90 minutes and costs about 40 US Dollars.
BEST TIME TO GO
Hurghada is characterized by a warm desert-like climate which means that diving happens year round. However, there are more popular times of the year to visit based on marine life and changes in water temperature. The water is at its coldest in February with temperatures of about 21 degrees Celsius. The weather gets much warmer between June and August, with temperatures around 38 degrees Celsius. It is also very windy in March and that makes some of the deep sea dive spots very turbulent to visit.
The area is well looked after by the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA). They constantly monitor the reefs and wrecks.
LEARNING TO DIVE
If you’ve never dived before, that shouldn’t stop you. There are many diving centers situated in and around Hurghada that will be happy to help you learn and get your PADI accreditation. We dived with Hurghada Red Sea Divers. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) website also provides in depth information on the types of diving courses available and which centers are not accredited globally.
MUST SEE DIVE SPOTS
There are spots for every diver in Hurghada. For experienced divers, there are deep pinnacles, wall dives and shipwrecks. For newer divers, there are shallow water dives and snorkeling spots.
- Abu Ramada Island
This is a small island with a number of dive sites that are great for beginners. The Oval Reef at Abu Ramada is a perfect spot with light currents and over 1000 fish species inhabiting the area.
- Shaab el Erg
Located in the northern area, this is a horseshoe shaped reef filled with turtles, sting rays and moray eels. Shaab el Erg is also the perfect location for dolphin spotting. Divers can visit the Dolphin House dive spot which contains a lagoon channel used by the dolphins.
- The Brothers Islands
This is a popular spot for viewing a range of sharks. Here you can see Grey Reef sharks, White Tip Reef sharks, Thresher sharks and Hammerhead sharks.
- Careless Reef
This reef is only reachable in good weather and calm water currents. Here you will find acres of corals as well as an abundance of White Tip Reef sharks and Hammerhead shark.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE NOT DIVING
If you’re not the one diving, there are tons of non-diving activities surrounding Hurghada. Windsurfing, jet skiing, quad biking or just relaxing on the beautiful beaches are all options.
It’s always a good idea to invest in travel insurance when travelling but be sure that it covers scuba diving too. Check for regular updates regarding the political status before traveling to Egypt. The Egypt Travel Advice page provides real-time updates on all areas.