50 Images of SCUBA Diving around El Quseir, Marsa Alam, South of Egypt
The South of Egypt is popular for experienced SCUBA divers due to its incredible marine life just off-shore and stunning dive sites like Elphinstone reef reachable by boat during a day trip. Luckily this SCUBA diving area is easy to reach and getting more and more affordable. The El Quseir area offers dense coral cover and larger marine life like dugongs, dolphins, turtles and rays. Discover diving around El Quseir in 50 photos and get lots of tips for your next dive vacation.
Luxor day trip - Highly recommended when staying in El Quseir or Marsa Alam!
Resort-Based or Self-Organized Dive & Stay in Egypt?
Although cities like Dahab, Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh have quite a lot of stay-only and low-budget options (including camping), the further South you go - the more accommodations are available as package deals. You can find a large variety of all-in resort packages but also dive resort packages with a number of dives included as well.
For sure you can find a way to organize everything yourself, but consider a lot of bargaining / spending time on organizing everything with maybe delays or no-shows. You either need to have 'an Egyptian friend' to organize everything for you or probably make a lot of calls when you are there. Be considerate about insurance and safety standards as well.
If you prefer a deco-beer or such, consider that outside the bigger hotels and resorts there is almost no alcohol available - or at least not legally. Port Ghalib is an exception in this area, but alcohol here does not come cheap.
Resorts might be a cheaper option if you calculate all the costs and time needed. They also offer organized trips, sharing transportation costs and such with more people, but also have more people wanting a commission - so it is not necessarily cheaper but at least less stressful during your holiday. This might be more like a mass-tourism experience. Up to you!
Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam in El Quseir, Egypt (photo credit)
SCUBA Diving around El Quseir
Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam in El Quseir
Would you rather pick your hotel first or the dive center when planning your trip to the South of Egypt? Well, I guess this depends on what kind of trip you are booking. Is it a dive trip or a trip with some diving? How many people? Is everybody diving? Do you want to dive every day? Are you bringing kids? Etcetera. Are you on a larger budget for a relatively small amount of time or the other way around?
Last time I was in the Marsa Alam area I stayed in Sol Y Mar, Jaz Dar El Madina at Coraya Bay which was great. Coraya Bay Divers dive center is located right at this bay and I was very happy with their service, staff, the impressive house reef and SCUBA diving facilities. This was a specific dive trip with a group of divers.
This time I wanted to stay for up to a month around Marsa Alam and I found a great deal at Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam for 21 days all-in. Three times a day an incredible buffet meal (with Egyptian red wine aka red diesel ;)) or a special meal at one of the other restaurants was included, plus snacks and 'local' drinks (draft beer). This package came with a return flight from Weeze / Niederrhein Airport (Germany) to Hurghada (not Marsa Alam airport!) and minibus transportation to this fairy-tale like resort in El Quseir. This package costed around 700 Euro (800 USD) per person based on a double room with pool and ocean view.
Note about El Qusier: As Marsa Alam is more famous than El Quseir the resorts often have Marsa Alam in their name. Along the coastline between El Quseir and Marsa Alam you can find many resorts; some being officially in El Quseir, some in Marsa Alam.
|Dive area name||Eastern Egypt, Red Sea, El Quseir (or Kosseir, Al Qusair, El Quseir, Quseir, Qusseir, Qosseir, القصير el Qoṣēr)|
|Dive center||Deep Ocean Blue Diving Center|
|Famous for||Rays, turtles, dugongs and lots of colorful nudibranch and other macro.
Abu Dabbab, Marsa Mubarak and Elphinstone Reef are a few of the famous dive sites around.
|Price||Single dive 22 euro (about 25 USD) including tank, weights, soft drinks, discounts on multiple dives / days available.
Price minibus (shore diving) 28 euro (about 32 USD), discounts on multiple dives / days available.
2-Tank boat dive with lunch and drinks 60 euro (about 68 USD).
Full set of dive gear rental 19 euro (about 22 USD) per day.
|Hotel recommendation||Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam, El Quseir, Egypt has an amazing house reef, various ocean view pools and entertainment.|
50 Images of SCUBA Diving Around El Quseir / Marsa Alam, Red Sea, Egypt
Get am impression by what to expect of diving aroun El Quseir / Marsa Alam by scrolling through the following 50 underwater photos.
Of course I want to show you the beauty and diversity of this area underwater but I have to admit unfortunately there are quite a few areas with dead and dying coral reef as well as bleaching. These photos are taken at various dive sites including the house reef of Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam, Halg Salmaan, Korafi, Zerib, Marsa Mubarak and Shoona.
Deep Ocean Blue Dive Center, El Quseir, Egypt
Deep Ocean Blue Diving Center, El Quseir
Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam has a dive center on-sight called Deep Ocean Blue Diving Center. Deep Ocean Blue is run and owned by Sabina and Nader, a friendly German-Egyptian couple with two kids who love to play in the rinsing tanks.
Deep Ocean Blue has some of the lowest prices for SCUBA diving in the Marsa Alam region while offering good service in a more laid-back style. For shore diving (from Safaga to Port Ghalib) by minibus as well as boat dive trips (from Port Ghalib) they pick-up divers from hotels in El Quseir as well as Marsa Alam, even though they often have their own dive center... Dive spots like the famous Elphinstone can be reached by day trip you need a minimum of 6 divers which might be hard during low season.
The Dreams Beach Resort Marsa Alam house reef is great, worth at least a few dives. It has an easy-entry by jetty right at the drop-off and the staff will bring you by pick-up truck as the dive center is not located on the beach but at entrance of the resort.
Venicia day trip boat from Deep Ocean Blue Diving Center, El Quseir
Comparing dive destinations
|Bottom structure||Reef structure||Pelagic
(big stuff in the blue)
(bigger stuff on the reef)
(small stuff on the reef)
|Flat bottom with bumps/big rocks/pinnacles||Hard corals
|Slope (going down slowly)||Soft corals
|Rays||Eels/snakes||Sea horses and pipe fish||Small
(you can easily swim against it)
(steep but you see the bottom)
(you can swim against it for a little while/higher air consumption)
(steep and you can't see the bottom)
(you cannot swim against it)
|Sponges||Sardines/herrings||Puffers||Shrimps||Pumping/washing machine/OMG/hold your regulator
5 Practical Tips for El Quseir, Egypt
1. Bring Reef-Safe Sunscreen
It does not seem to be widly available around Egypt. Read more about why this is so important and many other tips: How to Help Saving the Reef - 10 Easy Ways
2. Bring a bag to keep your dive bag clean
Egypt is 'quite sandy' and that is often what you want to prevent regarding dive gear. Also a dive gear bag, the one you check-in, can get damaged by sand and salt water. One of the reasons I always keep my dive bag in my room and bring my dive gear in an IKEA bag to the dive shop. More Tips To Save Money on SCUBA Gear
3. Keep your distance from marine life
Getting as close to marine life as possible (or re-arranging 'things' for a photo) seems quite common among dive guides and underwater photographers in Egypt. Be careful when using flash and keep your distance from the reef when you are taking a photo. Unfortunately there are many bad examples around, please be considerate and protect what you love.
4. Bring Your Own
Often resorts have small convenience stores for some extra coffee/thee for in the room, tampons, small games and such. Prices can be ridiculous however, so either bring your own or be a bargaining master. Most resorts have nothing but extreme heat and sand within walking distance...
5. Visit a Local Restaurant
If you eat fish, try to organize a trip to El Fardous Fish Restaurant in El Quseir. Alcohol is not available but the food is truly amazing. El Quseir is also the place to buy products for normal prizes (from shampoo to scarfs), not really souvenirs. Consider covering your knees and shoulders as it a local Muslim village.
Thank you for reading and have fun SCUBA diving in Egypt!
Make sure to read Exploring Luxor From Marsa Alam, Ancient Egypt as well.
Do you have more tips for diving in Egypt? Share them as a comment.
Founder of Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
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