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.
Courtesy of: Konstantin Zamkov
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
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.
Ras Abu Galum Entrance Sign by Passainte Assem
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.
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.
The dining area at Ras Abu Gallum Camp by Passainte Assem
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.
The 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.
The 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
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.
The 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.
The 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
St. 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.
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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