Protected from the ocean currents, the waters of the Red Sea are particularly calm and enjoy high temperatures. These conditions have led to the development of a wealth of undersea life, dominated by hard and soft coral, and with a high percentage of species only to be found here. With over 200 species of coral (8% endemic), over 1000 species of fish (17% endemic) and 1000 species of invertebrates, the waters of Egypt offer an endless spectacle to visitors.

Snorkeling with clownfish in Sharm El-Sheikh, Red Sea
The Red Sea clownfish (right, photographed at Ras Um Sid) is easily spotted at shallow reefs in the Egyptian Riviera, especially in Sharm el-Sheikh (left).

The most popular snorkeling destinations on Red Sea Egyptian coastline, from north to south, are Tawa, Nuweiba, Dahab (and its world famous Blue Hole), Sharm El-Sheikh (and the world’s famous Tiran Island, and Ras Muhammad), Hurghada (and the Giftun Islands) and Marsa Alam, the southernmost town in the Red Sea Riviera.

Many snorkeling spots are accessible from the shore, edged by a narrow fringing reef ending in a drop off facing the open sea. The coral, which rise to the surface of the water, literally “drops” towards the ocean depths in a wealth of colours and shapes.

Snorkeling with dolphins in Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam region is one of the Egyptian snorkeling hotspots: left, coral reef at Abu Dabbab; right, spinner dolphins at Sataya Reef.

Egyptian reefs are home to exceptional underwater sea life: shoals of surgeonfish, anthias, angelfish, endemic Red Sea clownfish, butterflyfish (including the unique Bluecheek butterflyfish), and a whole host of other species. Encounters with turtles and rays are rare in Sharm el-Sheikh but frequent in Marsa Alam region, which is also home to an important dugong population. The gentleness of the waves, the excellent visibility and the proximity of the reef drop-offs from the beaches all add to the quality and simplicity of snorkeling here.

When to go snorkeling Egypt?

Snorkeling is possible all the year round in Red Sea coasts of Egypt, where the water temperature is relatively constant, around 77°F/25°C. The climate, which is dry and hot in this part of Egypt, becomes sweltering from mid-June to mid-September, when the temperatures can get up to 104°F/40°C. In winter, snorkeling can be trickier because of the wind and the air temperature, which is cooler (don’t forget your rashguard). April, May, September and October are the best months to explore the region.

Best months for snorkeling the Red Sea riviera
Cool and windy
Warm and sunny
Hot and sunny

Our favorite Red Sea guide

The definitive guide to over 1200 marine species of the Red Sea region: fishes, turtles, whales, dolphins, invertebrates and corals, nudibranchs and marine plants.

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More than 220 spots have already been published on Snorkeling Report, but there are still many spots to be added! You too can contribute to populate the map by sharing your favorite snorkeling spots around the world. The more snorkelers will contribute, the easier it will be for you, and other snorkelers, to find sites and enjoy the underwater world!


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