Looking for info on house reefs diving, hotels, food and best areas

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

mises

Registered
Messages
30
Reaction score
10
Location
Montreal, Canada
# of dives
50 - 99
Hi again!

Posted recently on a liveaboard to the Egyptian Red Sea and gotten useful information!
We will be a couple diving and ended up booking with Blue O2, the best of wrecks route

Before the week of liveaboard, we want to spend a day or two diving near the departure port (Hurghada).
Then after the LOB, we would like to do 3-6 days of beach/house reef diving and, perhaps, day trip(s).
We noticed multiple mentions of excellent local diving conditions all over the Egyptian Red Sea.

This is our first time in the area and are completely unfamiliar with standards and diving expectations in Egypt Red Sea.

I'd love to hear some insights and recommendations for:
- the best areas for local diving (day boats, bus, beach dives)
- best hotel(s) or dive resort(s) with excellent house reef
- other useful info (how is the food in the area, at the hotel, are there good restaurant options? How the vibe of the area? Can we meet other divers and travellers in that area? What do people typically do in the evening?)


Here are some of the areas I often saw mentioned online:

- Hurghada (any good house reef? local dives? Dive Center? Would be the best area to stay before the departure of LOB (1/2 nights))
- Soma Bay
- Abu Dabbab / Oasis Dive resort area
- Marsa Alam
- Wadi Lahami
- Quseer
- Sharm El Sheikh

Feedback from your experience at these areas or others not mentioned that are even better would be greatly appreciated!

We bring our own gear. We only need air/nitrox tanks and weights to dive.
I was under the impression you could dive cheaply (fee for tanks/weights) when booking at dive resorts and diving their house reef.. So far, all the self-proclaimed dive resort I've looked at do not include house reef diving or cheap access.. they recommend looking at the price of their in-resort dive center... which has very high prices to dive the resort reef (~35-60$ PER DIVE)?!
Is this the expectation for the Red Sea.. It's almost as expensive as the full day boat trips...?

Here's an example:

Diving | The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge
3 dives house reef - 92,00 € --> 115$ (38.5$ per dive)
vs.

Full day boat trip incl. 2 dives and tank/weight 78,00 €
Surcharge 3rd dive boat 25,00 €
total: 103 euro --> 129$ (43$ per dive for a full day of boat diving)
I don't understand how filling a tank and lending weights costs close to the same price as going on a full day of boat diving an hour + away..? Especially when you are staying at the hotel that hosts the dive center and calls itself a "Dive Resort"


Thank you so much for all the insights & help!
Cheers
 

Sunn

Contributor
Messages
425
Reaction score
139
Location
Europe
Hi again!

I was under the impression you could dive cheaply (fee for tanks/weights) when booking at dive resorts and diving their house reef.. So far, all the self-proclaimed dive resort I've looked at do not include house reef diving or cheap access..

mainly because the resorts (most of them) have no house reef...

try to figure how they have build the hotels and resorts along the coast....
 

Altamira

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
2,041
Reaction score
2,160
Location
TX
# of dives
200 - 499
Ft. Arabesque in Hurghada has a very nice house reef and excellent close in, shallow water snorkeling among the coral heads right in front of the hotel. In addition, the on-site dive op, IDive, is outstanding as well. The dive op also has boat dives if you are interested. When I was there a couple years ago, they required a checkout dive, and thereafter, you did not need a dive guide, but they did require you have a dive buddy.
 

JustSurfaceInterval

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
297
Reaction score
177
Location
Germany
# of dives
200 - 499
For the discussion about costs and prices see here (your other post. It's more conevenient for everyone to keep topics "clean").
Compare to the others Hurghada is the least attractive one. Unless you want a wreck tour.
Oasis/Marsa Shagra is a special location, even more is you book the tents. The Abu Dabbab sites and Elphinstone are also easy to reach/dive from e.g. Three Corners Equinox.
Sharm is, of course, well known for Ras Mohammed, and the Thisthlegorm but i would also mention Dahab with some iconic dive sites.

The final choice will indeed depend of what you are looking for in terms of diving but also what you are expecting / needing back on shore

Just my personal opinions... your miles may vary...
 

mises

Registered
Messages
30
Reaction score
10
Location
Montreal, Canada
# of dives
50 - 99
mainly because the resorts (most of them) have no house reef...

try to figure how they have build the hotels and resorts along the coast....
Hey thanks for taking the time to reply!

I’m not sure I understand what you mean, would you care to explain further?
> try to figure how they have build the hotels and resorts along the coast....

Thanks!
 

mises

Registered
Messages
30
Reaction score
10
Location
Montreal, Canada
# of dives
50 - 99
Ft. Arabesque in Hurghada has a very nice house reef and excellent close in, shallow water snorkeling among the coral heads right in front of the hotel. In addition, the on-site dive op, IDive, is outstanding as well. The dive op also has boat dives if you are interested. When I was there a couple years ago, they required a checkout dive, and thereafter, you did not need a dive guide, but they did require you have a dive buddy.
If you stay there, does it includes dives or get a discount of house reef dives or its full price?

Thanks!
 

Altamira

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
2,041
Reaction score
2,160
Location
TX
# of dives
200 - 499
If you stay there, does it includes dives or get a discount of house reef dives or its full price?

Thanks!

Ft. Arabesque is an AI resort, and when we were there in 2018, it did not include diving. I doubt it includes diving because it has an on-site dive op, but the dive op is not owned by the resort to my knowledge. We did get a discount, but I don't know if that is available now. A lot of dive ops were really hurt by Covid, and I would assume they are trying to reset their business model. I found IDive to be very responsive to my emails in 2018, and wish I had more current information for you. We really had a nice time at the resort, diving and snorkeling, but that was 3 years ago.
 

Sunn

Contributor
Messages
425
Reaction score
139
Location
Europe
Hey thanks for taking the time to reply!

I’m not sure I understand what you mean, would you care to explain further?
> try to figure how they have build the hotels and resorts along the coast....

Thanks!

Once upon a time.... there were virgin coasts, with a reef, and one day came a rich investor, then cranes, bulldozers, even sometimes dynamite (I've seen it) and it ended with a brand new resort with, of course, a dive center and a nice marina.

TCHwt1ao_t.jpg


Do you think the house reef is still pristine ?

Some, like The Breakers, respected the coast (more or less), but most of them in the past did what seemed the easiest way.... and were even not conscious there was a marine life.
 

Searcaigh

Chromodoris gordonii
Staff member
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
6,973
Reaction score
6,067
Location
Dubai, UAE
# of dives
1000 - 2499
Once upon a time.... there were virgin coasts, with a reef, and one day came a rich investor, then cranes, bulldozers, even sometimes dynamite (I've seen it) and it ended with a brand new resort with, of course, a dive center and a nice marina.

Almost the same on the other side of the Red Sea
 

Mod63

Contributor
Scuba instructor
Messages
429
Reaction score
293
Location
Home of the largest gathering of drunkards
# of dives
1000 - 2499
a note on where to stay: hwo much time do you want to spend travelling? Marsa Alam (the city, not the airport), is between 3:30h and 4h drive, Wadi Lahami is 5h. Sharm El Sheikh is on the other side of the Red Sea on the Sinai peninsula; the latest info I have is that the ferry is still not running so you need to fly. If your intend for the first 2 days is just to get accomodated and get in some set up dives, I would recommend stay close to Hurgada e.g. in Makdi Bay or Soma Bay and head further south after the LOB.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

Top Bottom