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Last updated on September 2, 2023
Gorgonia Beach Resort house reef, located south of Marsa Alam, is a great spot to discover the Red Sea marine life at shallow depths. On the reef drop off, covered with a wide variety of hard and soft corals, myriads of colorful fish, rays and sea turtles are easy to see, just under the surface of the sea.
Gorgonia Beach Resort is located at the border of Wadi el Gemal National Park, 45km south of Marsa Alam and about sixty kilometers north of Hamata. Only the hotel guests can access the beach (and the snorkeling spot).
A hundred meters long jetty, located in front of the dive center, allows guests to get into the water directly on the drop off (zone 3 on the map below). For drift snorkeling itineraries (zones 4 and 5), check the specific water entrance/exit points on the map.
The main Gorgonia Beach snorkeling area is located at the end of the pontoon (zone 3 on the map above). Once in the water, swim along the reef drop off, which extends all along the coast, on both sides of the pontoon. Be careful not to let you caught by the current, if strong.
The water level on the reef flat is generally too shallow to snorkel it, but some kinds of “natural pools” or “lagoons” (zones 1 and 2 on the map) dug in the reef flat can also be explored.
In the lagoons (zones 1 and 2) you can often see a green sea turtle feeding on seagrass, Halavi rays (or guitarfish), bluespotted ribbontail ray, cowtail stingray and deep flounder on the sand. Indian sailfin tang, network pipefish, lionfish are near corals and white-spotted puffer, masked puffer, and bluespotted cornetfish can be found too.
Around the pontoon, the reef drop off is superb, descending gradually to sandy bottoms (↕18ft/6m). It is full of hard corals in shades of yellow, pink and purple, illuminated by the sun. Many maxima clams are embedded in the reef.
The reef flat (↕2ft/0,5m) is the kingdom of sulphur damsel, Klunzinger’s wrasse, bird wrasse, and regal angelfish, one of the most beautiful fish found in the Red Sea.
In the deeper areas (↕3-10ft/1-3m), bluecheek butterflyfish, bluespine unicornfish, Sohal surgeonfish and shoals of blackspot snappers are easily spotted. From time to time, a green sea turtle or hawksbill sea turtle also comes to the reef.
When the sea conditions allow, advanced snorkelers can engage in drift snorkeling along the northern and southern reef, following the gentle north-south current. The wind often blows, sometimes the sea is too rough for the outer reef.
At higher tide you can snorkel over the shallow reef to get to the reef drop off. Enter at the tip of the small bay past the hotel grounds. Remind to keep distance to the Sohal surgeonfish in October when they defend their territory as they may hurt you with the scalpel-like spine.
You can drift snorkel along to the “blue hole” (see map) which is an interesting spot with orbicular batfish, spotbase burrfish. Always have a look to the deep blue as you may see bluefin trevally, titan triggerfish, turtles or larger species.
The outer coral reef is outstanding. The outer wall grows and branches in beautiful coral gardens mostly of the Porites solida family, hundred of years old, healthy from bottom to the top, reaching 23ft/7 meters in height.
You can exit the water from the resort’s pontoon (exit A on the map) or from the lagoon (exit B).
It is also worth snorkeling from the jetty south towards the next hotel and exit at the close beach, when the bottom gets sandy and less deep. You can enjoy beautiful corals like purple boulder Porites, spot Red Sea anemonefish and the many other common local fish. It will take you about 45 minutes, then you can walk back full of memories.
Gorgonia Beach Resort is the only accommodation available nearby. The resort has several restaurants.
Snorkel Gorgonia Beach vibrant reef drop off in this video 👇 shared by our reporter Juan Carlos!
Watch more snorkeling videos from Juan Carlos on his YouTube channel, Snorkel Lovers.
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.
Deep lagoon visited by pods of spinner dolphins
Vibrant reef drop off with corals and fish
Coral reefs and seagrass meadows visited by dugongs
Free shore access
Sheltered bay with coral reef and seagrass beds visited by turtles
Vibrant reef drop off with colorful fish
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