Diving, chilling and desert adventures in Dahab, Egypt

November 26, 2013 by  

In this article, our guest author, Mina Mahrous describes Dahab, one of his favourite places to relax, go diving and above all chill out in his home country of Egypt.

Thinking of Dahab, you would normally imagine diving and some great coral reefs, but while this is true, Dahab has much more to it than just diving. My first visit to Dahab was as a child with my family, as a 2 days trip from Sharm el Sheikh. We spent the night in the Blue Hole, camping under the stars and using the cool sea water as a fridge for our watermelon. Dahab held a special “hippie” place in my heart since then.

Mina relaxes at the Yalla Bar in Dahab, Egypt Photo: Mina Mahrous

Mina relaxes at the Yalla Bar in Dahab, Egypt

I returned many years later, this time with my friends, and even though the city has developed a lot, it still holds its hippie and simplistic charm. Diving is still one of the top activities to be enjoyed in Dahab, but I was never a diver, and I still enjoy Dahab more than any other beach city in Sinai.

Water adventures in Dahab

Whether it is diving or snorkeling, Dahab promises amazing views, colorful corals and hundreds of fish species. There is a reason it is called the divers’ Mecca. Inside the city you can sit in one of the many restaurants and start your dive/snorkel from there, or you can book a diving adventure with one of the countless diving centers that dot the promenade.

Divers at Dahab in Egypt Photo: Mina Mahrous (Dainute)

Divers at Dahab in Egypt

If you decide to get out of the city, you won’t run out of places. Very near to the north of Dahab there is the Blue Hole (literally) which is one of the most famous diving spots in Sinai. Other very famous diving spots include The Canyon, The Caves, The Eel Garden, Gabr El Bint and many others that are close to Dahab. To the south, about 100km away there is the famous Ras Mohammed national park, where more than a 1000 water species are kept for divers to watch!

Other water adventures are also available in Dahab, from snorkeling to boat trips that will take you to amazing scuba diving spots to glass bottom yachts (I’d recommend these if you are afraid of swimming around fish) and even to water sports like kite boarding and wind surfing. There are several ways to get interactive with the waters and witness the colorful underwater world in Dahab.

Just chilling in Dahab, Egypt Photo: Mina Mahrous (Dainute)

Just chilling in Dahab, Egypt

Relax in Dahab

My favorite ‘activity’ in Dahab is just sitting and relaxing. Dotting the shore inside Dahab are numerous restaurants and bars, each with its own atmosphere, colors and music. Sit and order some drinks or fresh sea food, work on your tan, go for a swim or sit in the shade. It is just so relaxing in the warm mornings of Dahab to sit there, watch the sea and watch the divers come and go. A day in Dahab is almost always very relaxing. Personally I loved sitting at Yalla Bar, prices are more or less the same as most other bars, but portions are HUGE and the staff are really friendly, plus they always have amazing deals – usually for breakfast and evening happy hours.

On the beach in Dahab, Egypt Photo: Mina Mahrous (Dainute)

On the beach in Dahab, Egypt

Day trips from Dahab

Dahab is located on the Eastern shores of Sinai, centrally located between Sharm el Sheikh to the south, Nuweiba and Taba to the north and St. Catherine to the west. This makes it a perfect base to explore all of Sinai, taking day trips over land to the other cities, and also day trips on boats for some water adventures or some safari trips in the desert.

A day/night trip to St. Catherine to climb Mount Sinai for a breathtaking sunrise is my top recommendation. I did this climb before with a friend and hands down this is the best sunrise I have seen so far, although the climb is a bit tiring, especially the last part when the climb turns into a steep staircase carved in the rocks!

Also, a day trip to Ras Mohammed for diving or just snorkeling is a must. I’ve never been to Ras Mohammed on just a day trip, I usually go there to camp with my friends for a few days and I love it there, but a day trip would do if you’re short of time.

Climbing Mt Sinai in Egypt Photo: Mina Mahrous

Climbing Mt Sinai in Egypt

Getting to and from Dahab

Even though Dahab is known for being a relaxed town that feels like it’s left out from the rest of chaotic Egypt, it doesn’t mean that it is completely remote. On the contrary, it is very easy to get to Dahab; there are several daily busses from Sharm el Sheikh, and direct buses from Cairo, as well as a network of daily buses connecting it to the other cities and towns of Sinai. Just make sure you actually take the bus as touts will always try to sell you private car rides once you get in the bus station – Insiders tip: Those rides are worth it if you are 3 or more people. If you are two or a single traveler, the bus is definitely cheaper.

Also, from Dahab it is easy to get to Taba and cross over to Israel, or get to Nuweiba and take the ferry to Aqaba, Jordan. It is also one hour away from the international airport in Sharm el Sheikh

Into the desert from Dahab Photo: Mina Mahrous

Into the desert from Dahab

Desert adventures from Dahab

There is no comparison between the desert in Sinai and the western desert of Egypt like in Siwa Oasis. Yet, it is undeniable that the mountainous terrain of Sinai and Dahab has its own charm. Taking camel treks in the desert or visiting a Bedouin camp for dinner is always an entrancing experience. Take a jeep excursion to get in touch with the rough nature of the desert, climbing up and down sand dunes and rock mountains.

I didn’t meet one person who disliked their stay in Dahab; it always seems to meet one’s taste in adventure or relaxation. There is something for everyone in there!

Yalla Bar bioMina Mahrous is the first Egyptian travel blogger! Rather than accepting the conventional dictated future for people his age in Egypt, he decided to try and follow his dreams of traveling. He blogs about his travels and hardships of traveling with an Egyptian passport, all from an Egyptian point of view. You can follow his blog Someday I’ll Be There, or follow him on facebook, twitter and google+.

For more travels in Egypt:

What makes the perfect holiday in Marsa Matrouh?
6 misconceptions I had about Alexandria
The Siwa sunset at Fatnas Island

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com - Read the original article here

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Comments

9 Comments on "Diving, chilling and desert adventures in Dahab, Egypt"

  1. John on Wed, 27th Nov 2013 2:27 pm 

    One of the mountains I dream to climb is the Mt. Sinai. Aside from its biblical relevance I know that it will be a magnificent experience for me. This post is very informative. I would also love to try riding at the back of the camel.

  2. Heather Cowper on Wed, 27th Nov 2013 4:07 pm 

    @John I love hiking so Mt Sinai would also be on my list

  3. Punjabi Restaurants in Jaipur on Thu, 28th Nov 2013 11:11 am 

    Thank you Mina Mahrous for giving this wonderful feeling about Dahab its looking very exciting place for adventure…wanna go there really superb post….!!!!

  4. Sam on Thu, 28th Nov 2013 5:03 pm 

    How great to hear about Egypt from an Egyptians point of view! I went to Dahad a few years ago, and liked it well enough, but actually prefered a smaller town up the coast called Nuweiba, as it was quieter, less touristy and the sea was much calmer.
    Sam´s last blog post ..Finding Beauty in…Guayaquil

  5. Heather Cowper on Fri, 29th Nov 2013 9:07 am 

    @Sam Thanks for the tip – perhaps it’s worth staying a few days in both locations

  6. Swetha Jain on Mon, 2nd Dec 2013 8:10 am 

    Dahad looks especially beautiful in the pics here. I would love to visit a place like this. It has sea,desert,mountains. That much is already a lot to want to visit this place.
    Swetha Jain´s last blog post ..Diwali in India: Let your light shine

  7. Heather Cowper on Mon, 2nd Dec 2013 8:47 am 

    @Swetha Thanks for the comment, I’d love to be going back to Egypt

  8. Beth on Mon, 2nd Dec 2013 1:11 pm 

    Dahad looks like a place of natural beauty. I would love to climb Mt. Sinai!
    Beth´s last blog post ..Welcome to Maldives Month

  9. Heather Cowper on Mon, 2nd Dec 2013 6:21 pm 

    @Beth – me too, I’m more of an outdoor active than sit on the beach girl

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