Mar 202014
 

Hurghada is one of the coastal city of Egypt on the west coast of Red Sea. Red Sea is a world famous destination for snorkeling and sea-diving due to its warm crystal clear water with corals and its diversity of marine life, but majority of these diving spots are centered around the island of Ras Mohammad near the east coast in the vicinity of famous resort destinations like Sharm-el-Sheikh and Dahab. Hurghada is not as famous as Dahab or Sherm-el-Shiekh, but it is growing very fast as a dive destination in Egypt. Its less famous name makes it a perfect destination for snorkeling and diving at a relatively lower cost in comparison to Dahab and Sherm-el-Sheikh.

I arrived in Hurghada from nearby Luxor city in the afternoon. My sole purpose to visit Hurghada was the snorkeling, but I was not aware of any diving center. There are lot of information available on the internet and all of those centers charge around 100-120 USD for one day snorkeling. I thought to explore the city in the evening to get a good deal for snorkeling. Meanwhile, I also asked at the front desk of my hotel to arrange a snorkeling trip and they told me that they would confirmed that by the evening.

A View of Hurghada City

A View of Hurghada City

In the evening, the front desk executive informed that I was booked for a snorkeling trip on the next day and it would cost me about 120 EGP. I was asked to be ready by 0730 in the next morning. I was happy with the deal, as it again saved me about 500 EGP from my estimated cost, just like in Abu Simbel and as well as in Edfu, Kom Ombo and Abydos. I paid the amount in advance and went to explore the Hurghada city.

I wanted to move along the sea on any of the beaches. From the hotel window, they appeared within 500 meters , but I kept walking along the coast for nearly 3 kms and to my surprise, I didn’t get any access to the beaches from anywhere. Then, I called one of my local friend in Hurghada, whom I met during the trip to Abu Simbel. She informed that all the beach areas of Hurghada are the private properties, so there is no accessibility for the general public, unless you are staying in any of the coastal resort.

I also didn’t see any public transport in the city. Some micro-buses were running there as a local transport, but I didn’t have any idea of them. Disappointed, I walked around the city, but couldn’t find any other exciting attraction in that booming resort town. I reached to a newly built mosque, known as Hurghada Mosque. It was the only significant architectural monument that I found in Hurghada. I kept walking in the market randomly. The city has a nice market to enjoy variety of cuisines and other shopping items.

A Mosque in Hurghada

A Mosque in Hurghada

Next morning, a van picked me from the hotel. Some people were already in the van. We went to pick some other people and then, reached to a luxury resort on the coast. There were about 10-12 people in our group. As I said earlier that, to access a beach in Hurghada, you have to approach a private resort and thus, we were there at that resort. We accessed the beach from that resort. We went to a shop to collect our equipments for the snorkeling. We got a fin, a dive mask and a snorkel from that shop. Renting those equipments was the part of the package.

Gears for Snorkeling

Gears for Snorkeling

Everybody collected their own set of gears and then we moved towards the docking area. Many small as well as big yachts were parked in the docking area. We boarded a yacht from there and moved towards the Giftun Island in the sea.

Boarding the yacht

Boarding the yacht

Hurghada City from Red Sea

Hurghada City from Red Sea

There were lot of yachts and luxury boats moving all around with the tourists. I haven’t seen such beautiful boats before that trip.

Yachts in the Red Sea

Yachts in the Red Sea

Luxury Yachts in the Red Sea

Luxury Yachts in the Red Sea

The vast expanse of Red Sea was changing color at every step. Water in the sea is crystal clear with blue, green and light yellow colors at different locations.

A Yacht in Red Sea

A Yacht in Red Sea

Our instructor explained us the method of snorkeling and informed us that there would be three snorkeling session. They asked us to rent the buoyancy/wet suits, that cost us 35 EGP. In the absence of prior knowledge, many of us opted for that. Later, I realized that in the warm water of the Red Sea, there is no need to opt for those suits. You can enjoy snorkeling without the suits also.

We reached to a beach known as Paradise Beach on Giftun Island. Hundreds of people were already there. Many of them were basically not interested in snorkeling. They were just lying down on the sand and enjoying the sun bath, like other popular beaches. Some were taking the bath in the sea and others were walking around with their snorkels and other equipments.

Paradise Island

Paradise Beach

View of the island

View of the island

Beach at the island

Beach at the island

Our first snorkeling session was planned near the Paradise Beach. I went in the sea with the snorkel and started to swim with the help of the fin. Since, it was my first snorkeling attempt, I could not able to swim properly with the snorkel pipe outside the water and eyes inside the water. I struggled a lot and finally able to swim for 15 minutes continuously. I saw some colorful fishes and felt in the love with the underwater world.

Coming out after the First Snorkeling Session

Coming out after the First Snorkeling Session

But, that was only the trailer of the incredible experiences of snorkeling I had that day. Second session of snorkeling was in the middle of sea, far away from the beaches. I saw many colorful fishes in that session and it was a thrilling experience.

A Beautiful Yacht in Red Sea

A Beautiful Yacht in Red Sea

After that, we had the lunch on board. Menu was very simple including rice, noodles and chicken with soft drinks. By that time, we all became very friendly with each other, so in the middle of the sea, we enjoyed our lunch.

Lunch at the yacht

Lunch at the yacht

Suddenly, our instructor threw a piece of chicken in the air, and some birds came from nowhere to get that piece. After that we threw many pieces one by one and a large group of birds started following our yacht in the sea.

Flock of Birds

Flock of Birds

We moved to an area, where water color was green. The instructor told us that the green color shows the presence of corals under the water. There were an extensive presence of corals in that area. And It became the most amazing snorkeling session of the day. Best was left for the last. I wish I could had the underwater camera at that moment !

Snorkeling in the sea

Snorkeling in the sea

We enjoyed that session for about 45 minutes and returned back towards the coast.

Leaving the coast of Hurghada

Moving back towards Hurghada

We returned back to the resort by 5 o’clock in the evening and handed over our gears to the shop. Then the same van dropped us one by one to our respective hotels. I enjoyed the whole day very much. Snorkeling in Red Sea was one of the most memorable experience of my life.

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  17 Responses to “Snorkeling in Red Sea near Hurghada, Egypt”

  1. Solobackpacker inspired me to do an Egypt Trip. Carefully read all the instructions and found they were magnificent and highly accurate. My album of photos is :https://goo.gl/photos/L1w3xnJvmtE5APK59 Please feel free to use any if you like on your site, just write in to me and leave my name untouched.

  2. Highly useful and accurate site! You have truly inspired me. I began backpacking late in life (I’m 49 years old now), but have done the EBC trek, Stok Kangri summit this year.

    I have now planned an entire trip Solo to Egypt from December 25, 2015 to January 2, 2016 from Hyderabad, India and found tons of material including how to process my visa on your site. There are one big hole in my itinerary, that I hope you can fill in.

    I am currently returning to Aswan from Abu Simbel on December 28 afternoon (according to you, by the 3am- 1 pm. convoy!) I am booked on December 31 night from Luxor to Cairo.

    Q: Between December 28, 13:00 Hrs at Aswan, and December 31 23:00 Hrs at Luxor train station, do I have time to see Luxor, do a hot air balloon ride, sound & light show at Luxor and also do snorkeling at Hurghada? Is it in any way manageable or should I ditch Hurghada?

    After Egypt, I plan to do several other trips, all depending on advice from Solobackpacker.com!

    • Hi, Thank You for your kind words. In your Egypt itinerary, it’s better to leave Hurghada this time. Enjoy Luxor in your time limit. That place (Luxor) needs plenty of time. πŸ™‚

      • Your tale of Hurghuda impressed me! I am actively considering skipping skipping Alexandria (canceling my train ticket to Alexandria on Dec 31), and instead :

        1. Going to Hurghuda on Dec 31 afternoon by bus, staying overnight there,
        2. Doing either Snorkeling or Scuba Diving (I am PADI certified) the next day on January 1,
        3. Returning by Jan 1 evening bus to Cairo to reach late at night!

        Should I, shouldn’t I? Are the snorkeling/ dives interesting and cheap? Or is Alexandria, and the Bibliotheca better on Jan 1 afternoon?

        I will deeply appreciate and be thankful for your inputs and curse you in either case (Alexandria or Hurghuda to be missed). πŸ™‚

      • Cancelling my trip to Alexandria and instead planned on doing Hurghada, leaving from Luxor on Dec 31 afternoon and Jan 1 till evening. Leaving Hurgahda to Cairo on Jan 1 evening by bus. Does this seem good? Your reply will be much appreciated!

        • Hi,

          Hurghada and Alexandria, both are different cities with different atmosphere. Hurghada is great for the diving and water sports. Except, a newly build grand Mosque, nothing interesting is there , from the history and architecture point of view. Almost all of the beaches in Hurghada are the private properties, so you can not simply walk along the sea-shore. Dahab and Sharm-El-Sheikh are more famous than Hurghada for diving activities.

          Alexandria is a historical city. So, you can find historical monuments like Pompey’s Pillar, Citadel, Catacombs etc. New version of the Great Library is also a architectural marvel. You can walk for miles, while watching the activities along the coast of Mediterranean Sea. Food options are better in Alexandria than Hurghada.

          I hope you can decide now in a better manner. πŸ™‚

          • Thank you! Hurghada it is! Scuba in the Red Sea any day!! Food secondary…and by that time, I would have had my fill of History. I’ll definitely post my experiences post the trip and thank you for all your help!

          • I just came back from 11 days trip to Egypt. I visited Egypt with my wife and two kids. We enjoyed Hurghada a lot. Superb weather and less tourist made our trip more enjoyable.
            I will write a detailed blog later on but i took the clue from this blog, I stayed one day in Seagull resort which is a 5* resort but i cancelled my bookings as i was getting very good deals in other hotels as well as in Seagull iteself :). I chose Le pacha resort which is just in neighborhood of seagull and one third of seagull’s price. I went to hotel Royal City and booked all my tours. I got the snorkelling in 90 pound and desert safari 170 pound + child in 100 pound. Diving costs me around 220 pound.
            I have other numbers of agents who can organize the tours in the similar rates. I travelled from Hurghada to Luxor in GoBus which is state run bus service. Bus is comfortable, AC and very cheap option if you are planning to visit Luxor from Hurghada or viceversa.
            In Hurghada, I have not paid more than 15 pounds to go to any place which in 2-3 km vicinity.

            • Manoj, I would be grateful if you can give me contact details / numbers of agents who can help me do 3 scuba dives from early morning till evening at Hurghada, and also prices (so that I dont get cheated). I’m assuming 220 pounds is for 3 dives? I will not have any time other than Scuba because I’m arriving on Dec 31 late evening/night from Luxor by bus, and leaving for Cairo by the last bus on Jan 1 evening. Im brajendraprasad@gmail.com and my number is 9949531000 (whatsapp).

  3. Hi i will be travelling to Hurghada and my hotel already told me that it will take 75USD for entire day trip for 3 snorkelling sessions. I think they are looting me, now looking at your experience I will try to go to Royal City Hotel which is just 800 meters away from my hotel and see if they can book the snorkelling trip for me with less amount.

  4. Hello,
    Thank you for your account. Do you have a name of the company you went through?
    Good luck on your journey and thank you;)

    • Hi, Thanks. I don’t have any information about the company. Actually, the trip was organised by my hotel, Royal City Hotel, in Hurghada. I booked the trip through them and the next day a van arrived with other fellow travellers and we went ahead.

  5. Hi there! How much was the snorkeling package? I’m thinking of going this April πŸ˜€

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