Friday, 9 November 2007

Sharm El Sheikh - Scuba Diving In The Red Sea

As one of the most popular scuba diving resorts in the Red Sea, we thought we would take a closer look at Sharm El Sheikh, to see why huge numbers of scuba divers visit here each year.

Sharm El Shiekh is located on the Southern tip of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, and is today the main destination for those wishing to scuba dive in some of the Red Sea's best dive sites. From Sharm El Sheikh, day boats regularly visit dive sites such as the Thistlegorm Wreck, the Straits of Tiran, the Dunraven Wreck and Ras Mohamed.
Getting to Sharm El Sheikh is relatively easy from most major western airports, and there are numerous airlines offering cheap flights to Sharm El Sheikh from Manchester, Gatwick and other major UK airports. These cheap flights, coupled with the huge increase in hotels and other forms of accomodation in Sharm El Sheikh have resulted competitive prices for those seeking a cheap scuba diving holiday. The main airport in the region is Ras Nusrani, which also serves as the destination airport for those travelling on to the resort of Dahab further north on the Sinai Peninsula. There are a number of luxury coach and bus companies operating trips to Sharm El Sheik from Cairo, although the distances involved do tend to deter people on a limited timeframe.

Today, there is a large number of excellent hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, including the Hilton, the Movenpick and the Intercontinental.

There are a huge number of dive operators in Sharm El Sheikh, many of which are very well established and extremely well organised and equipped. The dive industry in Sharm El Sheikh is undoubtedly big business, and the huge numbers of day boats leaving the harbour each morning is testimony to this.

Of the dive operators in Sharm El Sheikh, there are a number of better knowns dive operations including the Oonas Dive Club, the Red Sea Diving College and the Camel Dive Club. Today, these operators are able to offer a complete package for a scuba diving holiday, including the accomodation in Sharm El Sheikh, the diving, and even the bars and restaurants in which to discuss the days diving afterwards!

As with the majority of scuba diving in the Red Sea, the diving in Sharm El Sheikh is excellent, and offers a wide range of dive sites for divers of all levels of experience. For the more experienced divers, sites such as the Thistlegorm Wreck or Shark and Yolanda Reef can prove to be the highlight of a scuba diving holiday. For beginners, or those wanting to learn to scuba dive, there are a huge number of shallower reefs, which offer good diving in an environment highly conducive for those wanting to learn to scuba dive.

Throughout the Sharm El Sheikh region, the coral reefs offer a good range of both hard and soft corals, and the marine life on the reefs is comparable to other destinations such as the Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef.

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