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Last updated on August 20, 2023
The Royal Tulip Resort and the Magic Tulip Resort, north of Marsa Alam, are bordered by a beautiful coral reef. A pontoon, about 700m long, crosses the lagoon and provides direct access to the drop off. On the reef, covered with corals and giant clams, snorkelers can enjoy the vibrant Red Sea life. If clownfish, butterflyfish and tangs are easy to spot everywhere around the reef, lucky snorkelers may also encounter sea turtles, reef sharks, and exceptionally spinner dolphins.
This spot can be accessed from the Royal Tulip Beach Resort and the Magic Tulip Beach Resort beaches. These two resorts are located some 20km south of Marsa Alam airport, and 50km north of Marsa Alam town.
The water entrance is from the two platforms of the pontoon, equipped with ladders, depending on the area you want to explore.
The platform at the end of the pontoon, 700m from the beach, is the water entrance for snorkeling zones 1 and 2, the reef drop off. The intermediate platform, about 250m from the beach, is the entrance point for exploring zone 3.
Snorkeling at Royal Tulip Beach Resort and the Magic Tulip Beach Resort can be divided into 3 zones, with different levels:
1/ The reef drop off around the pontoon (zone 1 on the map)
This is the main snorkeling area. The pontoon allows you to get into the water directly on the reef. The depth is about 3ft/1m on the flat, and about 30ft/10m meters at the foot of the drop off. You can snorkel along the reef on either side of the pontoon, but be careful not to let yourself be caught by the current (north-south, or left to right when facing the sea).
In this area, the corals are in very good condition, very colorful, and cover the entire reef. Many reef fish can be spotted, including several species of butterflyfish, Red Sea clownfish, sohal surgeonfish. Occasionally, green sea turtles, reef sharks, or barracudas are encountered on the reef. Spinner dolphins, which can often be seen a little further offshore, will come closer to the reef.
2/ Drift snorkeling along the drop off (zone 2 on the map)
The most experienced snorkelers can consider drift snorkeling along the drop off, south of the pontoon. After getting into the water from the platform, it is possible to follow the reef edge for nearly 1km, slightly drifted by the north-south current, to the exit point, which is marked with a black rock in front of a small house. Then you can walk back to the hotels following the beach. Do not engage in drift snorkeling alone, and ask for local advice before entering the water.
Along this itinerary, the profile of the drop off is quite similar to the area around the pontoon, but you’ll reach even more preserved and spectacular reefs.
3/ The surroundings of the intermediate platform (zone 3 on the map)
You can also around the intermediate platform of the pontoon. Here, you are in the middle of the lagoon and the seabed is, therefore, quite poor. However, an interesting sea life lurks around the ladder and pillars of the pontoon, including small morays and lionfish.
On this spot, as often in the Red Sea, the water is crystal-clear, with a temperature of 72 to 84°F/22 to 29°C depending on the season.
The Royal Tulip Beach Resort and the Magic Tulip Beach Resort offer full board stays. There is also an a la carte restaurant by the beach.
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.
thanks for the great site description. we had a great time and it the spot is very nice. good healthy corals and when you get 100m away from the platform its not very crowded. few additional notes:
1. when you snorkel zone 2, make sure to mention it to the life guard and ask to confirm where you can get out. The rock is clear when you know where it is located. For me the exit point was not very clear.
2. snorkling in zone 1 is nice (most busy) and you can snorkel to the platform to the north (left). on the platform you can also rest. in case you decide to walk home instead of snorkling back or start snorkling at the northen platform be prepared and take 2 euro per person (Oct. 2022) for the guard there.
3. personally I did not go further norh then the northern platform but it also looked very good there.
4. zone 3 was very poor during our stay nothing notably was seen there.
all together a great spot to snorkel directly from he resort when ever you want.
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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.
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