* This site is usually sheltered from waves and wind.
* A wealth of corals and reef fish.
* Many scorpionfish and nudibranchia slugs, which can be seen mostly at night.
* A suitable site for snorkeling.
* The current, which generally runs eastwards, tends to get stronger the closer it is to the headland.
* Do not dive too deeply, especially in the vicinity of The Cathedral.
Far Garden is situated in the northernmost part of a splendid bay just north of Na’ama Bay. Because of the many hard coral formations and their configuration, Far Garden is considered a veritable underwater garden. It differs from the other localities in the bay, since there is a series of large hard coral pinnacles located between the ledge along the reef and the drop-off, which becomes gradually steeper in an eastward direction. Here you can make either a circling loop dive or a drift dive.
The first dive allows you to explore the pinnacles, which are about thirty meters from one another and feature an extraordinary outcrop of both hard and soft corals. They are frequented by a great number of reef fish, small anthias, lionfish, suez fusiliers sergeant majors.
Continue east until you reach a cave – the entrance of which is crowned by a colony of Porites lutea coral – that opens out at 5 meters’ depth and houses a large school of glassfish. An alternative, if weather conditions are favorable, is to make a drift dive from this cave, descending diagonally to 30 meters’ depth, where you will see, from above, the top of a majestic and vast overhang known as The Cathedral that opens out at a depth of about 45 meters and penetrates the reef for a dozen meters. From this point you can begin resurfacing by skirting the headland.
* Easy diving that allows you to observe many species of multicoloured Alcyonarians, sponges and a fairly wide variety of corals.
* A suitable site for night dives and snorkeling.
* Beware of the many glass-bottom boats that pass near the reef without any regard whatsoever for divers.
This is the diving site closest to Na’ama Bay and the most southerly of the Gardens. Unfortunately, because of the excessive number of divers and the debris deposited on the corals during the construction of the hotel complex above it, this locality has lost much of ist original allure. Near the reef is a vast whitish area with a great number of dead madrepores, often called the dead area. Despite the above disadvantages Near Garden still remains a good alternative for afternoon and night dives.
Diving begins from a boat moored on the ‘shamandura’ fixed to the bottom at 15 meters depth.
Descend onto a sandy plateau at about 15-20 meters that is bordered on the edge of the drop-off by a series of stony coral heads, and then proceed to a beautiful chain of pinnacles running in a northwest-southeast direction that become deeper and deeper. After passing this underwater ridge, go northwards to explore the numerous gullies in the reef by crossing a narrow passageway between two madreporic formations inhabited by a colony of glassfish (Parapriacanthus guentheri).
During your dive you will come upon many blue-spotted stingrays (Taeniura lymma), napoleon fish (Cheilinus undulatus), orange-striped triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus) and Red-toothed triggerfish (Odonus niger).
* Rather easy diving suitable for beginners and for check dives.
* An ideal spot when the sea conditions are not optimal elsewhere.
* Here you can see spotted eagle rays and manta rays in the summer.
* Since this site is fine for a lunch break, the mooring line often crowded with many boats, especially in the late morning hours.
As its name implies, this site lies in the central part of the bay between Far Garden and Near Garden, more or less on a line with the impressive Hyatt Regency complex.
Totally sheltered from wind, waves and currents, Middle Garden has a fixed mooring point just opposite the central section of the hotel. Dives are made onto a vast sandy plateau that is from 6 to 10 meters deep; from here you can go northeast, keeping the reef to your left and then descending to a maximum depth of 14 meters, where you will see the drop-off.
After having gone a few dozen meters, the plateau narrows, giving rise to a beautiful avenue of white sand bordered by hard corals. Experienced divers who have a good reserve of air can go as far as a group of three hard coral pinnacles situated at precisely the mid-way point between Middle and Far Garden: because of its fixed mooring this site is used as a diving point itself that many instructors call Middle-Far Garden.
An alternative is a drift dive heading southwest towards Near Garden; naturally, this can be done when the tide is ebbing and the current is favorable.
* Easy diving without any problem.
* A varied and colourful landscape.
* Large areas of soft coral growth.
* A wealth of reef fauna.
* Suitable for night diving.
* Check the direction of the current.
* The best time for your dive is at ebb tide when the current, which runs south, is fastest.
Although ist conformation is similar to Amphoras and Turtle Bay and, indeed, is common to this entire stretch of coast, Paradise differs in the taller coral pinnacles that rise on the slope between the reef ledge and the drop-off.
Here these towers look like sculpture pieces with a variety of hues due to the growth of red, pinkish and yellow Alcyonarians (genus Dendronephthya).
The overall effect is a magnificent environment that is unique in ist kind.
This site extends between the two small beaches on a line with the Royal Paradise Resort. Access can be gained from the shore by asking the diving centre there. However, the classic dive is a drift dive to the south from a boat. After descending for 24-28 meters, near the drop-off area and keeping the reef to your left, you can glide through the pinkish pinnacles that are sometimes crowned with Acropora sp. Other larger table corals grow on the bottom, from which some gorgonians also break loose.
By going through this superb marine landscape you will be able to admire a host of reef fauna, from parrotfish to the large napoleon fish, swarms of butterfly fish and the ever-present anthias, not to mention some beautiful morays that dwell in the gorges of the pinnacles, especially in the southernmost part of the dive.
* Easy diving in a sheltered spot, with mixed reef and pelagic fauna. Suitable for all diving levels.
* Very interesting for snorkelers.
* The most interesting part of this site is at a depth of 4-12 meters.
Ras Bob is a very sheltered dive site with mixed fauna and suitable for all diving levels, as normally has no currents.
There is no Arabic name for this site, as it was named after a the underwater cameraman Bob Johnson, who worked for many years as Diving Instructor in
Sharm el Sheikh.
Ras Bob`s interesting part is between 5 and 15 m. The underwater landscape is determined by many small bays with sand floor, gullies and small caves. Hint for uw-photographers: Ras Bob is an ideal site to search for juvenile reef fishes.
On the sandy patches you can observe blue-spotted stingrays and crocodile fish.
The reef, both east and west from the mooring is covered with many different types of stony and soft corals.
* Easy dives suitable for beginners and check dives.
* Rich reef fauna in an interesting underwater environment.
* This site is recommended for night dives and snorkeling.
* Diving is best in the afternoon.
* Beware of the triggerfish during the nesting period.
Ras Cathy is a few hundred meters west of Temple and in some respects has a similar configuration. Boats usually moor from the bow side at the ‘shamandura’, which is located near a large coral pinnacle. Since this site is well sheltered from prevailing winds you can moor there without any problem.
Dives are made at the coral pinnacle which rises up from a sandy plateau which stretches from a depth of about 5 meters to 16-18 meters where the reef drops off.
Here you will find gorgonian fan corals. While exploring the plateau you will see two more coral pinnacles a few dozen meters from one another that are filled with Alcyonarians with numerous specimens of Lithophython arboreum, or Broccoli coral. These pinnacles are a favourite haunt of abundant and varied reef fauna, especially anthias and butterfly fish (the genera Chaetodon and Heniochus).
Hidden in crevices on the pinnacles you will see glassfish, lionfish and bigeyes, while along the sandy bottom there are crocodile fish (Cociella crocodila), blue-spotted stingrays (Taeniura lymma) and some scorpion fish (Scorpaenopsis sp.).
Sometimes, when the tide is rising, you may come upon a rather strong local current that will allow you to make a drift dive towards Temple (about 400 m away),going over numerous coral formations and large Acroporidae.
* The dives here are usually easy and pleasant and allow you to observe many madreporic colonies and mixed fauna, both reef and pelagic.
* You need not venture far from the slope of the reef to observe coral formations and the reef and pelagic species that move around the plateau.
* When you are close to the beacon, go straight to the open sea to facilitate your return to the boat. The current may be strong.
Ras Gamila, the house reef of the Baron Resort, begins at the south of Ras Nasrani and ends at the lighthouse, entry to the Tiran Strait. This reef fascinates all divers, beginners and experts alike, for its abundance of marine life.
There are schools of yellowfin goatfish, barracudas, feathertail and honeycomb rays, as well as the ever present house turtle to be observed at every dive. Some mantas can be seen, especially during the summer months. And with some luck you may encounter a whale shark.
Due to the water current condition of the Tiran Strait very spectacular hard coral formations have evolved. The reef falls off gradually from shallow water to a depth of about 10 – 15 meters sandy bottom (ideal for beginners) to a maximum depth of 30 – 40 meters.
* Easy diving which will allow you to observe pelagic fish such as tuna, jackfish and barracuda.
* A good spot for night diving, during which you can see a great many Nudibranchia mollusks such as the Hexabranchus sangineus (Spanish dancer).
* The current may become very strong around the cape.
Lies about 12 km to the north of Sharm el Sheikh, and is an easy dive for divers of all levels.
The reef flat is cut away in a series of shallow bays at around 6 m. Outside, the reef drops away in a wall of buttresses and sandy gullies to a depth of about 60 m. The best diving here is done shallow, amongst the coral heads outside of the bays and in the caves and shallow swim-through’s between them. Giant morays and blue-spotted stingrays inhabit this area. At night the reef comes to life with crabs, spanish dancers and on the sand cone shells and calamari.
The shape of the reef dictates that inside of the headland currents run towards the north, if at all. The headland catches strong current, which brings in pelagic fish, such as jacks and tuna and more rarely manta and even whale shark have been seen here.
* A splendid gorgonian forest.
* Rich in reef and pelagic fauna (jackfish, barracuda, tuna).
* An interesting night dive during which you can observe parrotfish sleeping in their lair.
* Excellent for snorkeling.
* There may be strong currents, especially near the cape.
* It is high tide when the rocky bluff on the reef is almost completely covered by the water.
Ras Umm Sid is the name of the promontory with a high lighthouse that marks the beginning of the Strait of Tiran on the western coast. The diving site, easily accessible by land, is immediately east of the lighthouse, opposite the famous Italian restaurant El-Fanar. It is renowned for the extraordinary proliferation of gorgonians (Subergorgia hicksoni) that create a veritable forest here, the most beautiful in all the northern Red Sea.
Access from the beach, which is facilitated by a small metal ladder, is possible only when the tide is high enough to allow you to swim past the reef platform, which is quite extensive here.
The classic dive – weather you choose to dive from the shore or from a boat – is a descent to 25 meters, where you pass through the famous gorgonian forest, and then an ascent to the plateau at 14 meters’ depth.
Here, among numerous coral pinnacles covered with Alcyonarians, there are several reef fish, lionfish (pterois volitans) and parrotfish (scarus sp.). From this point, if you have dived from the shore you can return shallow, keeping the reef to your right at a depth of 5-6 meters to explore the gorges, in particular a small cave populated by a colony of glassfish (Parapriacanthus guentheri) and hatchet fish (Pempheris vanicolensis).
If you have a boat you can continue in the direction of paradise.
* Easy dive: a site suitable for check dives and relatively inexperienced divers.
* An interesting underwater landscape rich in stony and soft corals.
* Excellent for night dives and snorkeling.
* During night dives you should have a compass to get back easily to your boat.
* Do not get too close to the triggerfish, especially during the nesting period, as they may attack you.
This site lies in the middle of a large bay between Ras Umm Sid and Ras Cathy that is bordered by a tall cliff of fossil coral on which two large tourist villages have been built – Farana King Snefro and Reef Oasis.
On a vast sandy plateau at a depth of 6-24 meters there are three coral pillars that resemble the columns of an ancient temple, hence the name given to this site by the first divers in the early 1970s.
Two moorings at either side of the largest pillar, which touches the surface, make it easy to tie up your boat, which is made even easier by the total lack of wind and waves in this sheltered bay.
Temple is one of the most popular sites in the area because it guarantees easy diving without any technical problems in any weather condition. Although it has certainly suffered from overcrowding, the site is still rather interesting and is particularly suitable for night dives.
Furthermore, the presence of many species of Butterfly fish, Angelfish and especially Arabian angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus) and some Napoleon fish is virtually guaranteed.
Since Temple is rather small, you can explore the site choosing you own diving route.
* Current : up to 2 * A strikingly beautiful underwater landscape.
* Rich in reef fauna, with many parrotfish (Scarus sp. and Cetoscarus bicolor).
* Various pelagic predator species. * A suitable site for snorkeling and night diving.
* If you dive from the land make sure the tide is not low, because you may damage the reef.
* Be careful of your depth in the canyon.
* A depth of 5-20 meters is the most interesting for observing fauna.
Tower is a spectacular diving site characterized by a deep canyon whose walls descend vertically for over 120 meters. It is accessible from the land, at the Tower Club tourist village. The classic dive begins at the small beach in the bay by the large fossil coral tower the site was named after. Diving from a boat is made easy because of a ’shamandura‘ (mooring point). If you dive from the shore, after having swum past the reef ledge that borders the bay and extends for a few dozen meters, you will find yourself over the deep canyon, with it’s crystal-clear waters. By keeping the reef to your left and descending for 15 meters, you will soon reach the edge of a large, slightly inclined sandy plateau that runs at a depth of 12-25 meters and that has some coral pinnacles. You return by doubling back on the same dive, but this time swimming upwards at 12-5 meters to explore the crevices and caves, one of which has a school of glassfish (Parapriacanthus guentheri). Before resurfacing, you should explore the two interesting large caves at the beginning of the canyon towards the beach, at about 5 meters depth: they are populated by lionfish, glassfish, bigeyes (Priacanthidae) and cube boxfish (Ostracion cubicus). By diving from a boat you also have the opportunity to make a drift dive towards Sodfa.
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