When you check my scuba diving statistics, you will notice that most of my dives are made in Holland, and in a distant second place is Egypt.
Already I have been there four times; two times to Dahab in the Sinaï, one time to Marsa Alam in the south, and finally I've done a live-aboard safari from Hurgada.
What makes Egypt so special is first of all it's location. From Holland it is only a 4,5 hour flight and you are ready to dive! It is also one of the most northern places where you can find reef building corals. That is because the warm Indian ocean is squished into to the Red Sea and up the Gulf of Suez.
Both shore dives and live-aboard diving is really amazing, each with its own charms.
My first scuba diving experience in Egypt was in Dahab, on the Eastern shores of the Sinaï. This part of the Red Sea is called the Gulf of Aqaba. Most of the dives here are shore dives. An ideal place if you are looking for a laid back place, with a nice boulevard and sea side restaurants. Especially famous for the blue hole, my favourite dive sites here are the Islands and the Lighthouse (the latter is an especially awesome night dive site). Nearby are some other tourist attractions if you are into a non-diving day, like the Saint Catherine Monestary and Mount Sinaï.
Live aboardMarsa Alam in the south of Egypt is where the dive sites are still somewhat undisturbed. Though the complete shoreline is a huge construction site with resorts being built everywhere, this is where you can still find so called tented camps. Very basic, but with friendly personnel and a relaxed atmosphere. Both shore and boat dives are possible, with unique sites like Abu Dabab where you might spot a Dugong if you are lucky.
Relaxed as Marsa Alam or Dahab may be, nothing compares to a live-aboard. Image the day programme: get up early in the morning, put on your diving gear and start diving. After that get a nice breakfast and some extra sleep and do another dive just before lunch. After lunch your hair is dry again, so time to do another dive. And finally just before or after dinner, squeeze in a night dive.
And the best part: no need to assemble and disassemble your scuba gear every time, just keep it all together and put it on before a dive.
The only live-aboard I've done in the Red Sea is the so-called North Safari. This is a trip that starts and finished in Hurgada, making a round trip to the southern part of the Sinaï, and famous for the amount of wrecks at sport-diving depths (less than 30 meters)