How To Spend A Weekend In Dahab’s Ras Abu Gallum

Forget about Sharm, Hurghada, Gouna, and anything in between, because Dahab is the Red Sea’s hidden gem. A heavenly destination for beach-goers, snorkelers, divers, water-sports fanatics, outdoors and nature lovers.

I was lucky to spend the last weekend in the serenity of Dahab, but the downside was how far Dahab is, which I believe requires more than a weekend stay, honestly if I had the choice I would have preferred to stay at least for two nights, that’s why I would recommend you to go at least over a long weekend.

4978814755_4268779662_zCourtesy of: Konstantin Zamkov

Getting There

By Air

Fly from Cairo to Sharm El-Sheikh, then hitch a taxi ride from Sharm Airport to Dahab, an 85KM one way ride would cost something around EGP 100-120 per ride -use your bargaining skills but don’t go lower than this price

By Bus

Take a bus from Cairo to Sharm El-Sheikh, GoBus.com is a very convenient option where prices vary from EGP 65 per way to EGP 180 depending on your selected bus class, from the bus station hitch a taxi ride to Dahab which should cost you something around EGP 120-150 -again negotiate the price before you hop-on.

10854993_10156192881950596_4237133027506334953_oRas Abu Galum Entrance Sign by Passainte Assem

Self-Drive

Via Taba – Nekhel Road

  • Distance: 537KM
  • Duration: Around 7 hours*

Via St. Catherine 

  • Distance: 594 KM
  • Duration: Around 8 hours*

Via Sharm El-Sheikh

  • Distance: 592 KM
  • Duration: Around 8 hours*

*Depending on the number of security checks, how long you will be asked to stay in each security check point, and if there aren’t any maintenance works on the road.

Accommodation

Camping

Camping under a sea of stars -better call it a million stars accommodation- on the sound of waves lapping the shore.

  • At Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate: Not the best camping option, camping at the Blue Lagoon is of higher quality. You will find huts to sleep in, but it’s better to sleep outside, and watch the stars. Bringing your own sleeping bag is a must, and a tent is optional -unless you cannot sleep outdoors. Costing around EGP 50 a night excluding food, and meals start from EGP 80 per meal.
  • At the Blue Lagoon: Same as Abu Galoum however it’s a better option, with nicer views, and higher quality, which explains the slight increase in price.
12032899_10156192884805596_868187363698615497_oThe dining area at Ras Abu Gallum Camp by Passainte Assem

Hotel Stay

In case you are not a camping guru, a hotel stay is another option where you can spend the day in Abu Galum then head back to stay in a hotel

  • Fancy 5 Star Hotels: not my cup of tea, you’d find plenty of options by following this link
  • Affordable stays near the light house: starting from EGP 90

The Blue Hole

Not just a name, but a reality, it’s better start your snorkel at the bells area -as shown below- where you’d walk on some rocks, then jump into the water, to be surrounded from both sides by narrow coral reefs, be sure to stay careful, and not to touch any of the coral reefs; 1. to not kill or cause any damage to them, 2. to avoid causing harm to yourself as these corals usually have very sharp edges.

2513923022_0b7330dbd4_zThe Bells area at the Blue Hole by Jeremy Rover

After getting out of this narrowness, in the depth you’d find colorful corals, and intriguing marine life. As you swim further, suddenly there won’t be any coral reefs or marine life on sight, only a big blue hole that you are making part of, which is basically a 100 metres in depth where only advanced divers are allowed admission.

10452826_10156192893470596_7288831175934293873_oThe starting point to the Blue Hole by Passainte Assem

Important to know

  • The Blue Hole Dive: There are other dives that are much more rewarding than this one, however it’s a signature dive for avid divers, just like how Mt. Everest to mountaineers is. It’s known as the most dangerous, and deadliest on earth, and named as the “Diving Cemetery” for the reason that a considerable number of divers have lost their lives there, -only one woman, the rest are men- due to lack of preparation, experience, running out of oxygen, getting lost, or falling victim to nitrogen narcosis -it’s dangerous as the dive is so deep, which makes nitrogen narcosis getting its toll on the diver (the ability to make decisions), so divers keep getting deeper without having air supply or ability to take decisions, and they unfortunately lose their lives.
  • Free-diving: Is a sport widely practiced at The Blue Hole whereas divers get rid of their oxygen tanks, hold their breath while holding a rope attached to a floating device, try to go as deep as they can without any oxygen supply -so creepy!

Snorkeling & Diving in the Blue Hole

  • Snorkeling: snorkeling masks rental varies between EGP 40-80 per day all depending on your bargaining skills.
  • Diving: diving at a decent place will range from 150-220 per person, per guided dive including equipment

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The Blue Hole To Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate Hike

An approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes -highly depending on your pace- easy hike where the mountain would be on your left, and the scenic red sea on your right, where there isn’t a better way to disconnect, and meditate. The hike starts with a moderately steep trail that lasts for 15 minutes then a pretty flat trail that takes up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. (below image of the hiking trail to Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate by Passainte Assem)

Camel Back Riding

Those who are too lazy to hike, or wanting to experience the view of Sinai’s mountains facing the Red Sea from another perspective could hitch a camel ride from the Blue Hole to Ras Abu Galoum or the other way around.

12027307_10156192890025596_3748911333970819112_oThe trail followed to Ras Abu Gallum by Passainte Assem

Boat from The Blue Hole To Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate

For the lazy people out there, you could skip the hike, and the camel back ride to hire a boat that takes around 20 minutes, carries between 8-10 people, costing EGP 400 for a group of minimum 6 people.

The Blue Lagoon

Dahab’s best kept secret for so many years, a place that thankfully hasn’t been spoilt by irresponsible tourism, resorts and big hotel chains, it’s all about a couple of bamboo huts, a restaurant serving Bedouin delicacies, Bedouin tea made with a herb called 7abaq (habaq), a toilet facility, and an electric power system that goes out by maximum 10 PM, making a thrilling chance to experience amazing clear night skies lit by a full moon, or millions of stars.

The Blue Lagoon is a windsurfers’ and kitesurfers’ heaven thanks to its windy weather conditions, and flat waters, making it also enjoyable for a quick dip. Getting here from Ras Abu Gallum would be by 4×4, costing around EGP 60 per person for two ways, you could also walk it instead.

blue lagoon - blogThe Magical Blue Lagoon by Hesham Al-Qersh

Day Trips From Dahab

  • Abu Gallum: costing EGP 175 including camel ride and lunch
  • Saint Catherine: costing EGP 150 including guide and entry fees
  • The Colored Canyon: costing EGP 175 including lunch
234195991_efb964eea2_zSt. Catherine’s Monastery by Dion Crannitch

Other Diving Spots

Dahab is probably Egypt’s best diving spot, to name some; Canyon, Coral Garden, Eel Garden, Lighthouse, Moray Garden, Islands, Three Pools, Gabr El Bint, Ras Abu Gallum, and Abu Helal.

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Have you ever been to Dahab, what’s your favorite spot? But if you haven’t are you excited enough to go? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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