Technical dive sites in Sharm El Sheikh
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The Sinai peninsula offers some of the world’s most famous dive sites. Nearly all are suitable for technical diving, and some sites are especially interesting for long and deep dives. The four main areas described below contain these tech dive highlights. All are accessible by daily dive boat from Sharm el Sheikh. See also our technical diving in Dahab page.
The Ras Mohammed area separates the Gulf of Aqaba from the Gulf of Suez. Currents transport food for large schools of reef and pelagic fish. Steep walls and drop offs are ideal for tech training and guided technical dives. From June to September you can expect to decompress in the company of schooling snappers, batfish and jackfish.
- Ras Za'atar
- Situated at the southern entrance of the large bay Marsa Bareika, this dive combines a vertical wall, impressive chimneys and blue water. This is a good place to find large tuna, barracudas and in summer, cruising grey reef sharks. Make your decompression stops among the gullies and soft corals with a view into the blue.
- Jackfish Alley
- We conduct our deeper dives at Jackfish Alley where the satellite reef drops off. Hunting jackfish and the occasional eagle ray pass here. Then we can explore the broad plateau and a canyon that begins at 22m. Decompress along the wall, enjoying coral heads and a view over the sandy alleyway, from which this site gets its name.
- Shark Observatory
- This site is named after the observation balcony at Ras Mohammed's tip. It is famous for its vertical coral wall dropping to over 120m. In the clear open water sometimes eagle rays and the occasional shark pass by. The rich coral wall is perfect for decompression stops, with impressive gorgonian fans and chimneys.
- Anemone City
- Anemone City is our dive of choice for deeper trimix dives. This wall descends to well over 150m. It is a combination of hard fossil coral overhangs and ledges draped in soft coral, teeming with life. End your dive at the spot that gives this site its name, a ledge of spaghetti anemones colonized by clownfish, damsels and chromis.
- Eel Garden Canyon
- This canyon is a great multilevel dive. It is a secretive snaking crack away from the main reef, dipping down to just shy of 60 meters. It is an almost guaranteed “all to yourself” experience with interesting decompression above the biggest group of garden eels you will ever see.
The Straits of Tiran
The Straits of Tiran in the Gulf of Aqaba is famous for its 4 isolated reefs that rise from the ocean floor. Jackson, Thomas, Woodhouse and Gordon reefs are excellent dive sites. Of these, Jackson and Thomas Reefs are particularly interesting for tech divers. Deep water funnels through the saddles that join the reefs together. You will enjoy the rich pelagic life and unusual coral formations.
- Jackson Reef
- The most northerly of Tiran's reefs, Jackson Reef has an amazing underwater landscape. Tech divers may enjoy coral overhangs, ledges, and an eel garden at 45m. Current permitting, you can extend the dive across the coral garden towards neighbouring Woodhouse Reef. On the north side of Jackson Reef, the remains of the mysterious Lara wreck lie at depths of 45m plus. The Lara was a Cypriot merchant ship that collided with the reef in 1981. Scalloped hammerhead shark sightings are common here between July and October.
- Thomas Reef
- Thomas Reef, the smallest reef in the Straits, is our most popular technical dive. It holds the inviting canyon that runs parallel to the main reef, after a sandy plateau. The canyon is a long narrow opening in the reef, with hard coral walls descending to a sandy bottom at approximately 96 m. Three arches cross the canyon at different depths, creating unusual light effects.
- Million Hope
- 175 meters in length with a tonnage of 26,181 this bulk carrier crashed as recently as 1996 just past the Strait. The Million Hope is likely to be the biggest ship wreck you will ever dive. The crews’ quarters, workshop and bridge are easily accessible and her superstructure is a view to behold. Please note: the Million Hope is offered only as a dive from our 8.5 meter semi-rigid speedboat. It is also weather dependant.
- White Knight
- This dive site on the Sinai coast is famous for its canyon with small caves and crevices. Tech divers may follow the canyon's sandy bottom to a sand plateau at 45m. From there the main reef drops off into the deep. For an enjoyable end to the dive, White Knight houses a colony of shy sand eels at 13m.
- Tower is a vertical chimney-like formation that descends to over 120m. It has ledges and shelters in the shallower water. Tower has clear water, schooling fusiliers and a beautiful coral garden around which to complete your decompression stop. Enjoy some spectacular light effects on this dive.
- SS Thistlegorm
- The world famous wreck of the SS Thistlegorm, with her military cargo, lies in sand at 32m, in the Gulf of Suez. While not a deep dive, it is an excellent technical dive to enjoy extended bottom time. Explore the ship's whole length of 131m, and current permitting, you could get closer to the massive anchor chain. Often unseen by recreational divers, two 126 ton locomotives lie a short distance away from the wreck. Explore the 4-bladed brass propeller and have longer to enjoy the diverse cargo inside the wreck.
- Dahab's most famous dive sites are the Blue Hole and the Canyon. Both offer impressive topography, and easy entry and exit by shore. A day-trip from Sharm offers an easy way to tec dive at one of these sites. The excursion to Dahab includes return transport, one guided technical dive and a relaxed lunch including soft drinks.