As well a classic wreck and reef dives of the north, Hurghada is a gateway to some of the best sites in the Southern Red Sea. From beginner scuba experiences to deep and cave technical diving exploration, it is a diving destination of variety in underwater topography, marine life and wrecks. The area is also famed for having impressive local reefs, particularly within the protected marine park of Giftun Island.
Most of the dive sites around Hurghada can be reached within 40 minutes from a boat, offering an excellent mix of options for full day and half-day trips. Unlike Egypt’s other major dive resort of Sharm el Sheikh, boats leave from private jetties belonging to the many beachside resorts where centres are generally based.
A huge number of divers also depart Hurghada for some of the Red Seas most celebrated sites to the south. The town’s new marina has added another level of luxury for liveaboard travellers with a wealth of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to chill out on the last day of trips - just a short walk from the dive deck.
Topside travel tips
Eating out: There are a number of restaurants and bars scattered around the town, but the main focus of evening entertainment is at the new cosmopolitan marina. The White Elephant Thai and the Masala Indian restaurants are excellent. Italian, Spanish, Japanese or a hearty meal at the steak restaurant, there’s a huge variety of eateries to choose. For fish-lovers, don’t miss a trip to Sardina.
Venturing into town, Drifters bistro and steakhouse on Mashribiva Street is a popular spot for locals. Cliffside on Sheraton Road, you will find Felfela restaurant, which offers traditional Egyptian food and stunning views and also Tokyo Joe's. One of the best Italian restaurants in town is Da Nanni next to La Perla Hotel.
Social scene: Papas at the marina is the most popular bar for divers. Hurghada’s first bar, Peanuts, in El Dahar in the old town is also a popular hangout for residents and tourists. For pumping tunes and late nights, Ministry of Sound and Hed Kandi at the marina are popular choices.
Desert: with the highest mountains of the Eastern Desert in view, daytrips to see nature in Hurghada topside are a must-do. Explore the Wadis (valleys) and mountains by foot, camel, jeep or quad bike. Most desert trips include a visit to a Bedouin settlement.
Relax: A white sandy beach, surrounded by coral reefs, Mahmeya Beach is a great chill-out day trip by boat. The island has a small beach club, which serves up fabulous lunches.
Windsurfing and kitesurfing: Egypt’s windy city is a popular spot for kite and windsurfers, with lots of excellent centres offering lessons and kit hire. It is also possible to join a kitesurfing boat safari.
For general information about travelling and diving in Egypt, see the main destination page for Egypt.
Enjoy a holiday in the sun right by the Red Sea in a beautiful and well equipped apartment located in the prestigious El Andalous development. Located 15 kilometres south of Hurghada airport, Sahl Hasheesh Resort is a new, secure and highly desirable holiday destination. Day boat diving is available, including trips to some fantastic wrecks. The nearby dive centre will also provide dive training.
Mainland town of Hurghada functions also as a residential city as well as a tourist hotspot, so the feel of the place is noticeably different from places such as Sharm el Sheikh
- Gota Abu Ramada, a network of coral gardens from which the most famous is adequately named “the Aquarium”. A perfect place to learn to dive, with a profusion of Red Sea coral reef population.
- Sha’ab Ruhr Umm Gamar, a dense population of reef species and pelagics crowds this relatively small reef. The site was badly damaged a few of years ago by an outburst of the Crown of Thorns sea star, but now is again a favourite of advanced divers.
- Small Giftun, a spectacular site especially for technical divers, in the Giftun National Park. Sheer walls, caves, canyons, a great playground for the experienced with a profusion of giant fans and black corals and big game, including whale sharks, barracudas, oceanic white tip sharks.
- Carless Reef or “moray eel house”. The site, very popular in Hurghada is accessible both to beginners and experienced divers. Two coral towers close to a plateau at 16 meters, is where a big population of friendly giant moray eels make the dive an unforgettable one.
Conditions are perfect for novices: shallow, warm, clear with the possibility of visiting fantastic wrecks that are within your depth. The wrecks on the north of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas Reef are outstanding and shallow enough for inexperienced divers to visit on extended day trips. From west to east these are the Giannis D, the Carnatic, the Chrisoula K and the Kimon M.
- Avoid Rogue Operators - Dive only with legal diving operators on your next trip to Egypt’s Red Sea. All CDWS member dive operators have met ISO standards EN 14467 / ISO 24803 for diving to ensure your diving safety. Look out for the CDWS logo for the symbol of quality and safety.
|For nightlife, shopping, clubs, casinos and great diving||Even quieter than Hurghada within easy reach of Petra||Southern Red Sea and very close to the Elphinstone reef.||Shore diving and home to the famous 'Blue Hole'||Completely safe scuba diving training in an environmentally friendly location|