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What's better Hurghada or Marsa Alam?

Where is the best diving in Egypt?

Where is the best diving in Egypt? The Egyptian Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Marsa Alam, both offer diving by colorful coral reefs, are the destinations of many tourists and divers. How are they different and where is the better diving? In Hurghada, you go to the coral reefs on larger diving boats, in Marsa Alam you usually dive from the shore or possibly from a speedboat. Read how these tourist resorts differ. It has to be said that the Red Sea in Egypt is among the best places for diving in the world.

How is the diving in Hurghada?

You can reach the coral reefs in Hurghada by boat

In Hurghada, you go diving to the coral reefs in larger comfortable boats. Every day you can get to different dive sites, of which there are more than 30 in Hurghada. It is ideal for a week or even longer diving vacation. On the diving boat you have a complete service and a crew that helps you. Getting in and out of the water is easy and there is no need to carry diving gear far. This way you will avoid getting dressed on the sandy shore and not always easy entry into the water. You spend the whole day on the boat (approximately from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). There are 2 to 3 dives led by a dive guide. Lunch is served between dives. You can rest on the boat, change clothes, use the toilet...

Diving prices are lower in Hurghada than in Marsa Alam

Diving in Hurghada is generally cheaper than in Marsa Alam even though there are boats. There is a lot of competition in Hurghada, but you need to choose a dive center well to get to the best dive sites of the Red Sea in Hurghada. Even ones that are comparable to the dive sites that are visited by diving safari boats.

Hurghada is a coastal city

In addition to the hotel complexes, there is also a city where you can get to know the local culture. There are mostly shallow sandy lagoons and shoals near the hotels, suitable for those who just want to swim and refresh themselves in the water. Dives from shore are basically not offered, only as part of diving courses. There are only a few hotels in Hurghada that have a coral reef, such as Arabella, Arabia and Bel Air, or hotels south of Hurghada in Sahl Hasheesh and Makadi Bay.

Air and water temperature in Hurghada

There are shoals off the coast of Hurghada and also at the nearby reefs, this means that the water temperature is lower in winter in the coastal lagoons than at the deep reefs. The air temperature in winter at night is around 15 degrees Celsius, and because of this the shallow lagoons cool down faster. The air is over 20 degrees even in winter. The water temperature also does not drop below 20 degrees. In summer, when it is over 30 degrees even at night, the shallow lagoons, on the other hand, heat up and the water here is warmer than at the deeper reefs. The water temperature at the reefs rises to a maximum of 29 degrees in summer.

The best coral reefs and diving in Hurghada

The best dive sites in Hurghada are around the nearby islands of Small Giftun and Abu Ramada. If the diving boat has a Zodiac speedboat with, it is possible to organize a dive in the current - a pick-up drift. Deep coral walls with stronger currents richly covered with corals can be found at the dive sites North Abu Ramada (an environment very similar to the famous Elphinstone), Erg Somaya or Police Station near the island of Small Giftun. Even experienced divers will come into their own here. Other nice coral reefs can be found north of Hurghada at Umm Gamar Island or Carless Reef. If you are just starting out with diving, "stationary" dives from a moored boat will be suitable for you. Boats are usually anchored above a shallow plateau, hidden from waves and strong currents. However, this does not mean that you will be deprived of anything, there are dive sites with extensive shallow coral gardens full of fish such as Gotta Abu Ramada or Shaab Sabina. Places with the opportunity to meet dolphins, the so-called Dolphin House, are Shaab El Erg and El Fanous. And there are also wrecks.

Private diving trip to Marsa Alam

We can organize a private two- to three-day trip to Marsa Alam from Hurghada. Along the way, we will visit a diving camp near El Quseir, where it is possible to spend the night and dive from the shore. We will arrange another overnight stay in Port Ghalib, a port town right next to Marsa Alam. We will organize speed boat diving to Elphinstone and Abu Dabab.

How is the diving in Marsa Alam?

Diving in Marsa Alam is mainly done from shore

In Marsa Alam you go diving mostly from the beach. This means getting dressed on the sand and not always easy to get in and out of the water, especially when there are waves. Wind blows quite often near the Red Sea. For a change, you are not limited by the time schedule of going out on a diving boat. Boat trips are also organized here, but not as common as in Hurghada. We recommend a 3-4 hour trip by speedboat. Thanks to this, you can quickly get to interesting locations where there is a chance to see sharks. Just expect to be in a wetsuit and wet the whole time, especially when it's windy and the sea is rough. Speedboat trips are not always possible due to the weather.

Diving prices are higher in Marsa Alam than in Hurghada

Shore dives are usually organized by the diving center directly at the hotel where you are staying. Boat trips are also offered here, as well as speed boats for diving. However, prices are usually higher than in Hurghada.

Marsa Alam equals hotel complexes

There are large hotel complexes, from which tourists basically do not leave. A city like Hurghada is not here. On the other hand, there is a coral reef right by the shore.

Air and water temperature in Marsa Alam

Marsa Alam is further south, so it tends to be a bit warmer here than in Hurghada. However, there are deeper walls of coral reefs near the coast. This means that there are slightly smaller fluctuations in water temperature if we compare winter and summer. The temperature of water and air in winter does not fall below 20 degrees Celsius, and in summer the water is around 30 degrees, the air a little more.)

The best coral reefs and diving in Marsa Alam

The best diving and dive sites of the Red Sea in Marsa Alam can be reached by speedboat or safari boat. These include Elphinstone, a deep reef overgrown with diverse corals teeming with life. You have the chance to see sharks. Another interesting place is Abu Dabab 5, a reef not far from the coast where you can also see sharks, especially whitetip reef sharks resting in shallower caves. Abu Dabab is a well-known site near the coast, where giant turtles graze on the grass. There is also Satayah Dolphin House accessible by boat.