Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on January 14, 2024
Marsa El Nabaa is a bay in the north of Marsa Alam, Egypt, very close to the famous Abu Dabbab beach. It features several snorkeling areas including a fringing reef and a patch reef where many colorful fish live. There is also deeper seagrass beds that are frequently visited by dugong. Although the corals are quite damaged in the area, a glimpse of the Red Sea underwater life awaits you just below the surface of the water.
Marsa El Nabaa is a bay located between Port Ghalib and Marsa Alam, on the southern coast of the Egyptian Red Sea. It is about 22 miles south of Marsa Alam airport.
There are three main ways to access this spot:
Marsa El Nabaa is located less than 2 miles south of Abu Dabbab, another famous snorkeling spot and one of the very best in Egypt to swim with green sea turtles.
There are three main snorkeling areas in Marsa El Nabaa, two with shore access (zones 1 and 2 on the map above) and one accessible by boat (zone 3).
1/ The Three Corners Equinox Beach Resort‘s house reef (zone 1 on the map)
This reef has the healthiest coral in Marsa El Nabaa, although it does not match the beauty of neighboring reef Abu Dabbab. The steep drop-off features different types of corals, some of them very colorful. The reef’s most common inhabitants are butterflyfish, wrasse, damselfish, and dozens of leopard blennies sheltering in the fire coral.
2/ The patch coral reef in the center of the bay (zone 2 on the map)
This circular reef is approximately 220 yards wide. You can snorkel all around it (route of about 550 yards), or stay in the areas next to the pontoon. The coral is quite damaged on the small drop-offs. Even so, you might still spot surgeonfish, triggerfish and butterflyfish.
With a bit of luck, you may also encounter a school of mackerel crossing the reef flat or a crocodilefish camouflaged on the sand.
3/ The seagrass beds that extend beyond the reefs (zone 3 on the map).
The dugong which frequently visits Marsa El Nabaa, will sometimes approaches the reefs and then can be seen without taking a boat. You will have a better chance of seeing a dugong by reaching the deeper seagrass beds further offshore (↕30ft/10m).
Two diving clubs, Extra Divers Equinox Marsa Alam (at The Three Corners Equinox Beach Resort) and South Egypt Divers offer short boat trips (approx. $5 per person in 2022) to snorkel with the dugong. However, there is no guarantee and quite often no dugong is seen during the tour. Usually, a complimentary tour is offered until you see the dugong, but check with the tour when you book.
The closest hotel to Marsa El Nabaa is The Three Corners Equinox Beach Resort, located on the beach. You can also reach the spot on foot from the Malikia Resort Abu Dabbab and the Sataya Resort Marsa Alam.
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.
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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.
Sheltered bay with coral reef and seagrass beds visited by turtles
Vibrant reef drop off with colorful fish
Small bay with dugongs, sea turtles and reef fish
Lagoon and drop-off with colorful fish
Vibrant reef drop offs with colorful fish, rays and sea turtles
Canyon and reef drop off with colorful marine life