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Ras Um Sid, located just few miles south of Na’ama Bay, is fringed by a narrow coral reef. With its reef flat colonized by dozens of giant clams and its spectacular reef drop-off on the Red Sea, this is one of the top snorkeling spots accessible from the shore in Sharm el-Sheikh. On the reef you will find clownfish, angelfish, several species of butterflyfish, and shoals of sea goldie living above an exceptional coral wall.

The pontoon at El Fanar Beach
The jetty at El Fanar Beach provides easy water entrance directly on the drop-off.

How to get to the Ras Um Sid snorkeling spot

Ras Um Sid, aka El Fanar Beach, is part of a series of four very close snorkeling spots that follow one another along the southern coast of Hadaba, the southernmost district of Sharm el-Sheikh. This area is considered the best for snorkeling from the shore in Sharm. These four spots are, from west to east: Ras Katy, Faraana Reef, Temple Reef and Ras Um Sid. Due to their proximity, if you are a good swimmer you could consider exploring several spots during the same session by following the reef.

The easiest way to reach Ras Umm Sid is to spend the day at El Fanar Beach, a small beach resort located in the central part of the spot. You’ll have to pay an approximately $10 per person entrance fee, but you will enjoy the facilities of the resort (deck chairs, bar, restaurant, showers). At the end of a small pier, there is a ladder where you can easily enter the water, directly on the reef.

To reach the spot free of charge, you need to enter the water from the public beach, and swim to the spot (follow the reef edge for about 270 yards to the east). Last option, some snorkeling tours include a stop at Ras Um Sid.

Ras Um Sid/El Fanar Beach snorkeling map
Ras Um Sid/El Fanar Beach snorkeling map. Links to nearby spots: Temple Reef, Faraana Reef, Ras Katy.

Water entrance for snorkeling Ras Um Sid

You can enter the water either from the El Fanar Beach pier (by far the best option), from the public beach (but you’ll have to swim about 270 yards to reach the central part of the spot), or directly from a boat, if you take part in a snorkeling tour.

Snorkeling tips to enjoy the best of Ras Um Sid marine life

The area to explore covers a narrow strip between the reef flat (↕2ft/0.5m), colonized by hundreds of giant clams, and the reef drop-off, some 20 yards from the beach. The drop-off plunges abruptly down toward an immaculate sandy seabed (↕50ft/15m).

The reef drop off at Ras Um Sid/El Fanar Beach
Ras Um Sid features a colorful, healthy coral drop-off.

On the drop-off, the seabed is exceptional. In the presence of the density and variety of the underwater life here, sometimes you will not know which way to look. The shoals of Red Sea bannerfish rest in the shade of the drop-off and are scarcely troubled by solitary regal angelfish and parrotfish meandering on the reef.

Red Sea anemonefish in Ras Um Sid.
The Red Sea clownfish is common at Ras Um Sid’s reef, sometimes at very shallow depths.

Swim along the reef edge and, here and there, you will spot triggerfish, a small group of bluecheek butterflyfish (endemic to the region) or a bluespotted grouper. The Red Sea clownfish, hiding in their anemone, are very common throughout the location, including on the shallow reef flat.

You may also have the chance to encounter a Napoleon wrasse or a bluespotted eagle ray, two larger species that occasionally visit the reef.

Yellowbar angelfish in Ras Um Sid
The yellowbar angelfish, one of the Red Sea’s most beautiful fish, is frequently seen at this location.

The Red Sea is a particularly sheltered sea, and this spot can be explored practically year-round. It is not recommended to snorkel left to the pontoon, especially if you don’t wear swim fins, as currents can be strong along the cape.

During the winter months, the air temperature in the region falls and the wind sometimes blows all day. Don’t forget your rashguard so that you don’t have to shorten your exploration due to the cold.

Spotted eagle ray at Ras Um Sid.

Restaurants and accommodation near Ras Um Sid

If you choose to spend the day at El Fanar Beach, you can have a meal at the restaurant, but it is not allowed to take a picnic with you. On the public beach, there are two mid-category restaurants above the beach, offering a spectacular view on the reef (Sadiki Café and Farsha Café).

A few luxury hotels are available in the area, particularly the Renaissance Sharm el-Sheikh Golden View Beach Resort, adjacent to El Fanar Beach.

Snorkel Ras Um Sid 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.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth3ft/1m on the reef flat, 65ft/20m on the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom a ladder, a beach or a boat
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree (or $10pp. El Fanar Beach entrance fee)
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

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.