This spot has been added by


15 spots added - 262 photos shared

Other contributors You can help us keep this page up-to-date by uploading your pictures to the photo gallery, or by sending us your comments via the contact form

Last updated on

Marsa Shouna, south of Port Ghalib, is one of the few bays in the region that has remained entirely natural. Between its reef areas featuring colorful underwater life and its seagrass beds visited by sea turtles, guitarfish and occasional dugongs, this site is definitely worth a visit.

Guitarfish at Marsa Shouna
The fascinating Guitarfish is frequently seen on the bay’s sandy beds.

How to get to Marsa Shouna snorkeling spot?

Marsa Shouna, or Marsa Shoona, is a bay in the Marsa Alam region. It is located approximately 6 miles/10 kilometers south of Port Ghalib, and 9 miles/15 kilometers south of Marsa Alam Airport.

Marsa Shouna is entirely wild – not a common thing in the region – and can be accessed freely from the shore. You can easily reach the bay by cab from the surrounding area, particularly from Marsa Mubarak, a bay famous for its turtles and dugongs.

Another option for getting to Marsa Shouna is to book a boat trip. Most hotels and diving clubs in the area offer this tour, starting at 40 euros per person (2024).

Finally, as Marsa Shouna is one of the few bays in Marsa Alam where cruise ships are allowed to moor, it is often included in liveaboard itineraries visiting the southern Red Sea.

Marsa Shouna Snorkeling Map
Marsa Shouna snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Marsa Shouna

If you arrive by the road, you can enter the water from the shore. There’s no beach, and you need to find a passage deep enough in the reef flats to enter the water.

If you’re visiting this spot on a boat trip or cruise, the water entrance is from your boat (or one of its zodiacs).

Marsa Shouna snorkeling exploration tips

There are 3 main snorkeling areas at Marsa Shouna: the Northern Reef, the Southern Reef, and the seagrass beds in the center of the bay.

1. The Northern Reef

The Northern Reef (itinerary 1 on the map) is the most popular, as it’s along this reef that boats come to moor. Well sheltered from the north-easterly wind, it generally offers better sea conditions than the southern reef.

Coral reef at Marsa Shouna
A school of Raccoon butterflyfish over a fire coral reef.

Due to the large number of visitors, the northern reef is partially damaged. Resilient, fast-growing fire corals make up more than half of the reef’s coral population, forming massive colonies in places.

Depth increases as you move away from the shore, but remains reasonable (↕10 to 12 feet/3 to 4 meters) in the mooring area.

Following the reef edge, you’ll see a wide variety of fish, including anthias, bannerfish and large moray eels. At sunset, lionfish and scorpionfish (different species) come out of hiding and can be seen in large numbers, even at shallow depths.

Tasseled scorpionfish at Marsa Shouna
A Tasseled scorpionfish spotted on the Northern Reef.

2. The Southern Reef

Less visited than the Northern Reef, the Southern Reef (itinerary 2 on the map) has healthier coral, except in the areas closest to the beach.

The ideal way to explore the reef is by drift snorkeling, dropped off at the entrance to the bay by zodiac (an option usually chosen by cruises).

Here too, dozens if not hundreds of species can be seen on the reef. Emperor angelfish, Sohal surgeonfish grazing on the flats and schools of Cornetfish are easily spotted. The area is also visited by large Green Turtles, though these are more easily seen in the seagrass beds (see below).

Green sea turtle in Marsa Shouna seagrass meadows
Marsa Shouna is one of Marsa Alam best locations to spot Green turtles.

3. The seagrass beds

The center of the bay (zone 3 on the map) is made up of sandy beds covered with small seagrass (↕3-23 feet/1-7 meters). This is where you’ll see the most Sea turtles, often resting on the sand or feeding on the grass. The seagrass beds are also the preferred habitat of Guitar rays (fairly common) and Seahorses (very difficult to see when snorkeling).

Occasional Dugong visits are reported, but if you want to get the best chances to spot one, head for Marsa Mubarak, Marsa El Nabaa or Abu Dabbab.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

Marsa Shouna is a natural bay, with no facilities. Most tours include lunch, so check when you book it.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth33+ feet/10+ meters at the foot of the reef
  • Water entranceFrom a beach or from a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree from the shore, or cost of a day tour or liveaboard
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

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.