While renowned for its pristine beaches with long stretches of sand, there’s actually a hive of activity going on underwater at Marsa Alam. Hidden away deep below the surface, dive down to find undisturbed coral reefs, schools of multi-coloured fish and marine mammals a go-go. At Marsa Alam, the diving and snorkelling possibilities are endless!
Thanks to the arrival of its international airport at the beginning of the noughties, Marsa Alam has now opened up its shores to an increasing number of diving aficionados. While this immensely popular Red Sea diving destination is a mere 60km from the airport, the brand new Port Ghalib Marina offers a suave selection of luxurious beach resorts and hotels just 5km away. For couples looking for an idyllic relaxing getaway, Marina Lodge boasts Red Sea views, Nubian-style rooms and a private beach. While it may be tempting to stay at the lodge and relax by one of three outdoor pools, you would however miss out on all the diving fun, marine wildlife and coral reefs.
There are plenty of diving and snorkelling activities and destinations for all abilities, and equipment can easily be rented on site. The biggest draws in the area include Elphinstone, Shaab Samadal and Fury Shoals. The former lies 20km off Marsa Alam’s shore, and the reef measures 300 metres long and its walls drop to dizzying depths of more than 100 metres. Expect to get up close and personal with turtles, coral fish, barracudas and – if you’re lucky – sharks! However, the strong currents here make this destination ideal for more experienced divers. Meanwhile, if you want to spot dolphins, head out to the horseshoe-shaped reef at Shaab Samadai, which is also aptly known as Dolphin House. This excursion is highly accessible with snorkelling trips available, meanwhile those with diving skills can explore the various caves, swim-throughs and drop-offs. Lastly, head further south and avoid the crowds at Fury Shoals, which is home to pristine reefs of diverse corals, old wrecks, thousands of colourful fish and dolphins.
If you’re looking for a fully immersive experience, why not try a seven-day liveaboard safari. The Aquarius Diving Club offers a tour which includes Elphinstone and Fury Shoals, among many other destinations. A liveaboard safari is a great way to experience a variety of dives, from a maze of canyons, labyrinthine caves and craggy corals to night dives, ships wrecks and magnificent marine mammals too! And at the end of the day, you can retreat back to your luxury cabin and enjoy a delicious meal on board.
LuxairTours offers interesting packages to Marsa Alam.