Spot

Ras Um Sid


Ras Um Sid, located just few miles south of Na'ama Bay, is fringed by a narrow coral reef. With its reef flat colonized by dozens of giant clams and its spectacular reef drop-off on the Red Sea, is one of the top snorkeling spots accessible from the shore in Sharm el-Sheikh. On the reef you will find clownfish, angelfish, several species of butterflyfish, and shoals of sea goldie living above an exceptional coral wall.
How to get there?

Ras Um Sid is a small peninsula located between Na’ama Bay and the old Sharm el-Sheikh. There are three options to reach the spot.

The easiest way to reach the spot is to spend the day at El Fanar Beach, small beach resort located on the central part of the spot. You’ll have to pay a $10 per person entrance fee, but you will enjoy the facilities of the complex (deck chairs, bar, restaurant, showers…). At the end of a small pier, there is a ladder where you can easy enter the water, directly on the reef.

To reach the spot free of charge, you need to enter the water from the public beach (see map above), and swim to the spot (follow the reef edge for about 250 yards to the east). 

Last option, some snorkeling excursions include a stop at Ras Um Sid. In this case, you will enter the water directly from the boat.

Water entrance

You can enter the water either from the El Fanar Beach pier (by far the best option), from the public beach (but you’ll have to swim about 250 yards to reach the central part of the spot), or directly from a boat, if you take part to an organized tour.

Aerial view


Exploration

The area to explore covers a narrow strip between the reef flat (↕2ft/0.5m), colonized by hundreds of giant clams, and the reef drop-off, some 20 yards from the beach. The drop-off plunges abruptly down toward an immaculate sandy seabed (↕50ft/15m).

Snorkeling Report Ras Um Sid Sharm el Sheikh red sea Egypt Clownfish
Red Sea clownfish at Ras Um Sid

On the drop-off, the seabed is exceptional. In the presence of the density and variety of the underwater life here, sometimes you will not know which way to look: shoals of Red Sea bannerfish rest in the shade of the drop-off, scarcely troubled by the superb angelfish and parrotfish meandering on the reef alone. Swim along the reef edge and, here and there, you will surely spot a triggerfish, a small group of blue cheek butterflyfish (endemic of the region) or a bluespotted grouper. And as you find yourself face to face with Red Sea clownfish playing in their anemone, you may be surprised by an humphead wrasse darting in the deep blue sea



The Red Sea is a particularly sheltered sea, and this spot can explored practically all the year round. During the winter months, the air temperature in the region falls and the wind sometimes blows all day. Don't forget your rashguard so that you don't have to cut short your exploration due to the cold. 

Restaurants and accomodation

If you choose to spend the day at El Fanar Beach, you can have a meal at the restaurant, but it is not allowed to take a picnic with you. On the public beach, there are two mid-category restaurants above the beach, offering a spectacular view on the reef (Sadiki Café and Farsha Café). A few luxury hotels have opened close to the area, particularly the Renaissance Sharm el-Sheikh Golden View Beach Resort, adjacent to El Fanar Beach.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    65ft (20m)
  • Water entrance
    From a ladder, a beach or a boat
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Free (or $10pp. El Fanar Beach entrance fee)
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes
  • Public toilets & showers
    Yes

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Ras Um Sid

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Royal angelfish
Pygoplites diacanthus Abundant
Emperor angelfish
Pomacanthus imperator Rare
Bluecheek butterflyfish
Chaetodon semilarvatus Common on deeper areas
Diagonal butterflyfish
Chaetodon fasciatus Abundant
Blacktail butterflyfish
Chaetodon austriacus Abundant
Red Sea bannerfish
Heniochus intermedius Common, in shoal of 10-20
Sohal surgeonfish
Acanthurus sohal Abundant on shallow areas
Klunzinger's wrasse
Thalassoma rueppellii Abundant
Arabian Picasso triggerfish
Rhinecanthus assasi Abundant
Red Sea clownfish
Amphiprion bicinctus Common
Eritrean butterflyfish
Chaetodon paucifasciatus Common
Red pencil urchin
Heterocentrotus mamillatus Common but sometimes hard to find
Green Chromis
Chromis viridis Abundant
Sulphur damsel
Pomacentrus sulfureus Abundant
Indo-Pacific sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis Abundant
Red Sea sailfin tang
Zebrasoma desjardinii Common
Purple Tang
Zebrasoma xanthurum Common but very shy
Sea goldie
Pseudanthias squamipinnis Abundant on the drop-off
Giant clam
Tridacna sp. Abundant on shallow areas
Masked puffer
Arothron diadematus Common
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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