Now that you are surrounded by the dazzling beauty of Dahab, Egypt and all the majesty of the Red Sea, with the high weather moderated by the clear waters, there is only one thing that comes to mind to get that cherry on top of your adventure: taking a dive into all that beauty and majesty, surrounded by colorful corals and unsteady wildlife. Hundreds of people want to dive in the waters of this sea, making this activity really popular and placing it on the top of every to-do list, and you don’t want to be left out. If you feel ready, get your backpack, take a deep breath and let’s dive into the majestically alive Red Sea.
In the beautiful and calm town of Dahab, located on the Sinai Peninsula, we can find some of the most popular diving spots of the world, like the Canyon and the famous Blue Hole. The prestigious Red Sea offers several places to people who love this activity, and it doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or a professional, this task is for everyone. But the balance between the amazing experience and the danger might be one of the most attractive things that we can find in this adventure.
Many people who come to take a dive in Dahab need to encounter the mentioned Blue Hole, an apparently endless gorge cut out of the stone wall closest to the shore, where the highlights of the show are the majestic view under the water and the dangerous nitrogen narcosis that you may suffer about 300 meters underwater; a beautiful example of being in the line between danger and majesty, giving you that shot of adrenaline we all have lost in our everyday routine.
Located 85 km north of the far more popular and, therefore, more crowded diving site of Sharm El Sheik, Dahab has the infertile mountains of the Sinai Desert as a breathtaking background. The contrast between overland, high mountains, and deeply submerged ecosystems couldn’t be more fascinating. All the best dive areas are available right off the shoreline, and leaving the desert straight into the Red Sea adds to the special attraction and different contrasting experiences Egypt offers.
We can find a lot of diving spots, each one with a particular attractiveness, like the Golden Blocks towards the south, situated in a quiet, moon-shaped bay, and the famous Canyon to the north. You need each and every breath of air you can hold for that last one, so you first snorkel over coral greenhouses and gardens until you get to the edge of the huge wall before giving the OK sign, diving in and going down. Underneath, below a rock-head, a large tight abyss opens up, and you dive through it into a more extensive slit overflowing with groups of glassfish. After exploring the expanding, dim canyon you go back to the entrance with hopefully enough air left to look around the rock-head for a little longer and take in as much of its beauty as you possibly can.
Watch the beauty and feel the danger
You should not miss one of the most captivating places: the Eel Garden. This slight dive of around 15 meters brings you down a delicate and dull sand slope, or at least that’s what it looks like. If you stay still for long enough you will understand this diving site’s name, as a swarm of thin eels will rise up out of the sand, like cobras hypnotized by a snake charmer and a flute. The enticing spectacle makes you want to spend the entire dive here and avoid taking off to a further foray, to see coral fans and the poisonous lionfish with its mane-like spikes.
The breathtaking Blue Hole
The Blue Hole is one of the most popular and a world-class diving spot, and most people that go to Dahab have this specific site on their list. If you give it a try you will totally understand why. But be careful, diving into this apparently endless abyss is not recommended if you are not highly experienced, as it drops to a slope 300 meters down, or even more, and then keeps going down to what feels like infinity. You can even find memorials on the shoreline, dedicated to divers who couldn’t fight the nitrogen narcosis they felt while diving in too deep, caused by the pressure of the water. This is clearly enough to have many people backing off, even the most confident ones.
Blue Hole memorial plaques
The most secure and energizing way to see the Blue Hole is to first take a short trek over a low peninsula to the Bells. Hopping into this thin pool between the rocks is great practice for what is to come. When you get to the top edge of the wall, a tight vertical shaft dives through the stone, around 30 meters deep. The only route through this is to make a dive straight into the pitch black abyss.
For a frightening moment, you lose all visibility before a faint sparkle of light appears toward the finish of the shaft and you pop out of the wall to be welcomed by the Big Blue and all its chilling majesty. The alarming perspective of the untamed ocean at these profundities leaves you with no reference points, no south, no west, no east, no north; only a tempting, dark blue surrounding you.
And then, you suddenly find yourself in the middle of one of the most beautiful abysses in the whole world, you feel complete and adrenaline fills your body. The calm surrounds you and you are there floating along colorful and grass corals, conger eels and sea snakes. Don’t forget that the danger has a lot of presence in this adventure, so be sure to watch your depth gouge to avoid being attracted downwards to an apparently endless obscurity.
Think about how many people have experienced what you just experienced, feel deeply calm and amazing just like you did on all your previous dives, get this adventure off your list, and get ready for the next one. After diving into this unforgettable trip in the Red Sea, we can assure you that you are just ready for whatever your next destination is.
Learn how to dive
Of the many tour and dive companies on the Red Sea, Experience Egypt organizes dive packages in Dahab, via the Orca Dive Club. Prices are keen and instruction standards are high, so it is an ideal place if you want to take the plunge on an open-water course. You need to get the basic qualification, which takes about five days and allows you to dive down to 20 meters. At the other end of the experience, Dahab is becoming a red-hot destination for Tec divers who do more technical dives and use nitrox rebreathers, which allow them to dive to 80 meters or more. And if you’re wondering how to get there, Egypt Air flies directly to Cairo, for transfers to Dahab.
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