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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.

School of striped mackerel in Marsa El Nabaa
The Indian mackerel are frequently seen swimming with their mouths open and gill rakers visible.

How to get to the Marsa El Nabaa snorkeling spot

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:

  1. By the pontoon, freely accessible from the beach. To reach it, ask a taxi to drop you at South Egypt Divers diving club, located near the pontoon.
  2. By booking a day use at Sharm El Nabaa Camp Marsa Alam, a private beach facing the spot. You can rent beach huts and deckchairs here.
  3. By the beach at Three Corners Equinox Beach Resort, Marsa El Nabaa’s main resort.

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.

Marsa El Nabaa snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Marsa El Nabaa

  • For Zone 1, the best water entry point is the Three Corners Equinox Beach Resort’s beach.
  • For zone 2, get in the water from the pontoon. It is equipped with several stairs, making water entrance very easy.
  • For Zone 3, you will enter the water from a small boat.

Marsa El Nabaa snorkeling exploration tips

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).

Coral reef at Marsa El Nabaa
The coral reef at Marsa El Nabaa is still in relatively good health.

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.

Reef fish at Marsa El Nabaa
The Sohal surgeonfish and the orange-lined triggerfish are some of the most colorful inhabitants of Marsa El Nabaa.

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.

Snorkeler with a dugong in Marsa El Nabaa
Encounters with dugongs are always unforgettable moments.

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.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

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.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth30ft/10m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach, a pontoon or a boat (depending on the snorkeling area)
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

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.