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Marsa Alam

The once barren desertscape of Marsa Alam has emerged as one of the Red Seas main diving destinations, following a mass investment in tourist development. The new international airport and billion-dollar development of Port Ghalib has created a highly attractive option for divers in search of uncrowded and virtually untouched stretches of Red Sea reefs but with all the comforts available on land.

Marsa Alam lies approximately 260km to the south of the major destination of Hurghada and close the Tropic of Cancer.

While many divers flock here to board liveaboards to visit the remote reefs of the south, this area is also a much celebrated land-based dive spot. Healthy reefs, large pelagic visitors, life encrusted pinnacles, high-energy drop offs, an interesting network of caves and coral blanketed wrecks, Marsa Alams 100km-long stretch of coast offers incredible variety and promise for underwater visitors of all levels. This is where the Red Sea dugong is more likely to be encountered than anywhere else.

It is also possible for divers to enjoy some of the Red Seas best reefs, which were traditionally only available to those making the journey by liveaboard. The famous Elphinstone Reef is easily accessible by dayboat. Strong currents ever-present in this exposed offshore area demand a good skill level. To dive Elphinstone, dive centres generally require proof of a minimum of 50 logged dives.Packed with all types of marine life, its sheer, coral encrusted walls are famed for attracting sharks, particularly oceanic whitetips. Divers here also commonly spot hammerhead, grey reef and silky sharks around the deep drop offs. The eastern and western walls of Elphinstone reef are blanketed in soft coral.

On shore, accommodation options are diverse. Divers can still opt to stay within the traditional desert camps - a signature of early adventure dives of the Egyptian Red Sea. Those, not so keen on the old school experience, have the choice of a range of hotels and resorts, with the most plush and modern situated within the mini-Venice styled town of Port Ghalib, Here a series of restaurants, shops and resorts are interlinked by a network of small bridges and accessed by water taxis.

Topside attractions
Port Ghalib is the main focus of activities topside, from a selection of cafes, restaurants and bars to enjoy during the evening, to a massive selection of sports and excursions to keep you busy when not diving in the day.
Like many Red Sea resorts theres a range of watersports, such as kayaking, waterskiing and windsurfing, and a series of different desert excursions available by jeep, camel and quad bike. However, unlike most other Red Sea resorts, clay pigeon shooting and even paint ball have entered its long list of adventure experiences.
Despite all the activities on land, however, Port Ghalib has still maintained a relaxed and restful holiday atmosphere. And catching a water taxi to go for dinner is not something you can experience in many parts of the world.

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CDWS The diving industry in Egypt is regulated by the Chamber of Diving and Watersports. For your safety and quality of service, ensure you book with a CDWS member operator. All CDWS members have passed an ISO audit to meet European standards for recreational diving in order to obtain their operating licence from the Ministry of Tourism.
For a full list of legal dive operators in Egypt click here: