Gordon Reef is the most southern of the four reefs located between the Sinai Peninsula and Tiran Island. It is known for the wreck of the Lovilla, which ran aground on the northern end in September 1981. The southern part of the reef, sheltered from wind and waves, is covered by corals and rich in fish.
Gordon Reef is only accessible by boat. This is one of the most popular snorkeling tours in Sharm el-Sheikh, and you will have no trouble finding tour operators to take you. Most excursions to Gordon Reef leave from Sharm el-Mina marina, south of Sharm el-Sheikh. Excursions generally include stops on 3 to 4 snorkeling spots (Ras Bob, Ras Um Sid…), and tour organizers generally provide meals and drinks – ask them for more details. It takes about 1 hour 30 minute by boat to reach the reef from the marina.
Your guide will show you where to get into the water from the boat.
The area to explore covers the south edge of the reef, which is sheltered from the wind and the waves. Gordon Reef has both a shallow reef flat (↕2ft/0.5m), and drop-offs opening to the sea (↕12-20ft/4-6m). The reef flat is covered by giant clams. Due to the shallowness of the water, the luminosity is exceptional, and taking underwater photos is a real pleasure.
On the drop-offs, the diversity of coral is striking, and a large amount of underwater life is drawn to the coral areas. The coral (mainly of the acropora type) is very well preserved. Crowds of damselfish and anthias are drawn to the coral beds, while surgeonfish and butterflyfish with spectacular colours (several of which are endemic to the Red Sea) come and go along the reef. In the deep blue of the reef drop-off, you may also have the chance to see a humphead wrasse or an impressive grouper, although they are shy.
This is a very popular spot at certain times of day, so watch out for the boats and the other snorkelers.
Gordon Reef is completely natural. Tour organizers generally provide drinks and meal (check beforehand).
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Reef flat and drop off with many coral and reef fish
Reef drop off with coral and fish
Deep sink hole and reef drop off with coral and fish
Immersed tank and reef drop off with coral and fish
Sheltered bay with coral reef and seagrass beds visited by turtles
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