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Located just minutes from Marsa Alam Airport, Coraya Bay is one of the best options in the area if you’re looking for a hotel with a house reef. The bay, lined with resorts, offers several snorkeling areas for all levels. While beginners will swim among hundreds of colorful fish on the bay’s reefs, most advanced snorkelers can consider engaging in drift snorkeling along the spectacular outer drop-offs.

Coraya Bay reef drop off
A snorkeler skin diving on Coraya Bay’s reef drop off.

How to get to the Coraya Bay snorkeling spot

Coraya Bay is 10 minutes away from Marsa Alam International Airport (no noise).

Several hotels are located around the bay: Jaz Lamaya Resort with jetty access, Steigenberger Coraya Beach, Jaz Samaya Resort, Jaz Solaya, Jaz Maraya Resort, TUI Blue Alaya and more. If you stay in one of these resorts, you’ll be just steps from the snorkeling spot.

Coraya Bay snorkeling map Marsa Alam

Water entrance for snorkeling Coraya Bay

There are 4 recommended water entry/exit points for this spot, depending on the area you wish to explore. Point A corresponds to the beach shared by the resorts, while points B, C and D are jetties equipped with ladders.

Coraya Bay snorkeling exploration tips

Coraya Bay can be divided into several snorkeling areas, each with different characteristics and access points:

Zone 1/ The bay (areas 1, 2, and 3 on the map)

This is the main snorkeling area, suitable for beginners. It encompasses two reefs (zones 1 and 2) and the shallow seagrass beds facing the beach (zone 3).

Beautiful corals and an abundance of fish are found here. Many reef fish can be spotted, including several species of butterflyfish, Sohal surgeonfish and school of Indian mackerel ram feeding on microplankton, regal angelfish, spot-fin porcupinefish, masked puffer, Arabian Picasso triggerfish, and bluespotted ribbontail ray.

Black tailed butterflyfish in Marsa Alam
A black-tailed butterflyfish spotted on the reef edge.

White-spotted puffer is common in the seagrass area. Titan triggerfish, lionfish, leopard torpedo ray, and green sea turtles may be seen too. Area 2 is where you have the best chances for spotting Red Sea clownfish, maxima clams, and stonefish.

The reef drop-off is about 27ft/9m meters around the jetty and got also a diving platform. On the jetty in boxes you can leave towels and enter easily to see immediately many fish.

Zone 2/ The northern reef (area 4)

This area can be explored in drift snorkeling, slowly drifting by the north-south current. Enter the water from jetty B (facing TUI BLUE Alaya) then follow the reef edge until you enter the bay. The quickest exit point is jetty C, but you can also follow the reef until you reach the beach.

This session takes about 1 hour. Be careful not to let yourself be caught by the current and check ahead exit point. Do not engage in drift snorkeling alone, and ask for local advice before entering the water.

Titan triggerfish in Coraya Bay
Close encounter with a titan triggerfish on the drop-off. This species, quite inquisitive, can become aggressive towards snorkelers if you get too close to their nest during mating season.

Zone 3/ The southern reef (area 5)

As for the northern reef, this area can be explored by drift snorkeling, entering the water by jetty C and exiting by jetty D. Then you can walk back to the hotels following the beach.

The reef is healthy, with a wide diversity of corals, however, plastic is with windy weather drifted towards the jetty from the open sea. Please help to collect this plastic and keep the ocean clean!

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are around ten resorts around the bay, including the Jaz Lamaya Resort, the Steigenberger Coraya Beach, the Jaz Solaya Resort, the Jaz Samaya Resort and the TUI BLUE Alaya.

Coraya Diver offers day trips to nearby sites such as Abu Dabbab or you can ask for reef snorkeling locations accessed by speedboat right from the jetty from €15pp (2020). It is also possible to go to Abu Dabbab yourself by Steven’s Taxi and then just pay the beach entrance fee of about €7pp (2020) for the day.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth9m/27ft at the foot of the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom jetties (or a beach)
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsAccess to the resort is for guests only

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.