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 house reef snorkeling
Snorkelers enjoy Gorgonia Beach reef drop off around the pontoon (zone 3).

How to get to Gorgonia Beach snorkeling spot?

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).

Water entrance for snorkeling Gorgonia Beach

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.

Gorgonia Beach Resort snorkeling map

Gorgonia Beach reef snorkeling exploration

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.

Encounter with Halavi ray
The lagoons seagrass beds are the best locations to encounter sea turtles, stingrays, and (on the picture), Halavi rays. Picture taken in zone 1.

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.

Giant clam on Gorgonia Beach Resort house reef
A maxima clam found on the reef flat of zone 3.

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.

1/ North reef (itinerary 4 on the map, approx 1100m) – If you are a real reef lover

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.

School of blue line snapper at Gorgonia Beach Resort
Schools of blackspot snappers are frequently seen sheltering on the drop off.

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).

Gorgonia Beach south reef
A beautiful coral underwaterscape on the south reef (zone 5 on the map).

2/ South reef (itinerary 5 on the map, approx. 1500m) – Just enjoy

It is also worth snorkeling from the jetty south towards the next hotel and exit at the close beach, when the bottom getting 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.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Gorgonia Beach Resort is the only accommodation available nearby. The resort has several restaurants.

 

  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaWadi el Gemal National Park
  • Maximum depth18ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom ladders set on the jetty of the resort or to lagoons from beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsAccess to the resort is for guests only
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

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.