Diving in Hurgaha, Red Sea

diving hurghada
Although Hurghada is known worldwide for its wrecks but there are also healthy beautiful reefs. Pic by Eric Burgers

Hurghada is a town located at the entrance of the Gulf of Suez, about 65 kilometers southwest of the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, near Sharm El Sheikh. It is an area that has changed from being a fishers village to a tourists area thanks to its great diving spots, becoming the main gateway for liveaboard trips for both routes to the north and south of the Red Sea.

The attractions of Hurghada to divers are so many that it has now become the second most popular diving destination in the Red Sea. The wreck diving enthusiasts have a paradise in Hurghada comparable only to Truk Lagoon. The wrecks found in this stretch are world-class like the Salem Express, the Giannis D or the Carnatic, but you can also enjoy beautiful coral gardens, diving with pelagic creatures like the oceanic whitetip shark, turtles, dolphins, tropical fish and colorful walls plagued with gorgonians.

Although Hurghada is usually visited by liveaboards, another interesting option is to stay at a resort that allows you to release nitrogen by taking a trip to the Temple of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. 

Hurghada wrecks

Hurghada diving areas

Wrecks

Abu Nuhas reef, wreck graveyard

On Shadwan Channel there is a reef that seems to have a magnet for shipwrecks. Up to seven freighters lie at the bottom of it for joy of thousands of divers that visit Abu Nuhas every year. These wrecks have been colonized by both hard and soft corals and plenty of fish have made these remains their salty home. Napoleon wrasses, stone fish, anthias, batfish, emperor angelfish, nudibranchs, octopuses, dolphins or turtles have found in these wrecks an ideal environment.  

abu nuhas plan
Map with the main wrecks in Abu Nuhas

Salem Express

The Salem Express wreck has an air of mystery that overwhelms any diver. The sinking of the Salem Express skewed the life of 470 people in 1991 in one of the greatest maritime tragedies in the Red Sea. Diving this wreck is a unique experience that can’t be compared to any other shipwreck. You can still find remains of personal belongings of the passengers and crew but, curiously, although we can see some emperor angelfish, clownfish or frog fish, marine life has not colonized the wreck, perhaps knowing about the tragedy that led to this collapse so recent.

Rosalie Moller

The Rosalie Moller is one of those remnants left by the Second World War in the bottom of the Red Sea and has become a delight for tech divers. This 110 meters long cargo sunk in 1940 near Gubal Island while transporting coal. It was attacked by two German planes in the same operation that led to the sea to the legendary Thistlegorm. The Rosalie Moller lies today at 50 meters deep and is considered one of the best deep diving spots in the Red Sea. 

Ulysses

The Ulysses sunk more than a century ago, next to one of the most beautiful reefs, Bluff Point, and is noted for the large number of hard and soft corals that have colonized its remains and the beautiful fish species that have made this wreck their home. Turtles, dolphins, frogfish, lionfish, trumpetfish, large schools of glass fish… it is a great opportunity to have an overview of the great biodiversity that provides the Red Sea. 

Coral Reefs

hurghada reefs
Coral reefs of Hurghada are full of life, both small and big. Pic by Eric Burgers

Shaab El Erg

Shaab El Erg is a 5 km long reef whose main attraction is diving with the resident bottlenose dolphins. In its seven dive sites you can see healthy coral gardens, tropical fish (like the Red Sea bannerfish, endemic to this area), sea turtles, and some mobulas and reef sharks. 

Bluff Point

Bluff Point is a diving point that increasingly receives more and more divers because of its shallowness, allowing you long dives where you can see a huge amount of marine life and it is also on the way to one of the shining stars of diving in the Red Sea, the Thistlegorm. You’ll dive with turtles, lionfish, many nudibranchs, moray eels and huge stonefishes. 

Carless Reef

Carless Reef is an isolated reef that receives nutrient-rich waters and it is of great interest because of the large amount of life that it houses. Healthy hard and soft corals are home to many beautiful reef species, with two undisputed stars, two huge moray eels very curious and friendly with divers. In this colorful reef, when currents are strong, dolphins, sharks and schools of tuna come to feed. 

Panorama Reef

Panorama Reef is a large coral reef with a rugged look full of healthy coral. Its name refers to the beauty of this reef seen from the blue … but also to the beauty of blue seen from the reef. Besides lots of colorful fish you’ll have amazing encounters with gray reef sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and occasionally hammerhead sharks and even manta rays. 

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