Sharm El Sheikh

Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:03 PM
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Sharm El Sheikh

Has anyone been to Sharm? I'm interested in knowing how good the snorkeling and diving actually is compared to other places around the world.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:58 PM
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I visited Sharm in September and went snorkeling both in Ras Mohammed National Park and at the reef off of the beach at my hotel, the Marriott Renaissance Golden View Beach Resort. I must say, the snorkeling is quite impressive. I have snorkeled in the Caribbean and at hard coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. As far as variety of fish and invertebrates, the snorkeling was comparable, and in many cases better, than the snorkeling I've done in the Caribbean. I liked snorkeling in both places, but they were different. Visibility was great and there are unique opportunities for fish and coral viewing in the Red Sea that you can't get other places.

You should know that the water was very choppy in the National Park, even though it was a beautiful day. I have never experienced water quite so choppy. I am prone to seasickness, but there many other people on our snorkeling/diving boat who were sick, so be prepared for that. If you are diving of course, it won't matter much.

The best snorkeling for me was right off the floating dock at our hotel. During the day, there was a long stretch of reef to explore, and in the evenings you could sit on the dock and watch the fish beneath you. At the hotel alone, we saw lionfish, puffer fish, trigger fish, gorgeous parrotfish, surgeonfish, giant clams, a large barracuda, and more. The hotel also runs a diving program, so it might be something to look into if you want to dive.

Theough my snorkeling experience is somewhat limited, I can't imagine you would be disappointed with the Red Sea.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:20 PM
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My husband, son and two others went diving in Sharm in late August and thought it was spectacular. My husband has nothing to compare it too since it was his first ever diving trip (but he's been snorkeling in Hawaii). My son and his girlfriend have dived in Thailand, Hawaii and other places and thought the Red Sea was "world class". There's a variety of dives, including wall and wreck; there's an abundance of fish, but beware of currents in Tiran. The water is crystal clear and warm like a bathtub. You can book a dive at any of the big hotels or on-line.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:41 PM
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I'm not a snorkeler or diver (hate to get my face wet!), but having lived in Egypt for many years, Sharm is considered one of the world's best places. The reef is almost right at the shoreline - which is horrible for swimming (and there isn't really much of a "beach") - but it means all the major hotels have floating docks. So, you literally walk out on the dock and get in the water right on top of the reef.
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Old Feb 24th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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It has been YEARS since I've been to Sharm (it was Israel then). But I have snorkeled there, Australia, Cook Islands, Belize, Fiji, plus various other spots in the South Pacific, Indonesia and the Caribbean. I ageee about the dangerous currents and the wonderful water temp. But for visibility and incredible sea life, I would rate it third on my list above, after Australia and Aitutaki in the Cooks.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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thanks crosscheck. I have also snorkeled the barrier reef and was wondering how Sharm rated. It seems nothing comes close. I will definately try Aitutaki. Thanks again.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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Also stayed at the Renaissance in Nov 2008. The house reef and floating jetty are quite impressive and so convenient---snorkeled and dove on the reef. Bring an underwater camera---flora and fauna are world class: clownfish, puffers, green morays, lionfish, parrotfish, angelfish. Renaissance dive shop was very professional and helpful.

Agree on the currents. Went to a full day dive on Ras Mohammed and one dive was challenging drift dive.

Sharm as a town is pretty touristy, but if diving and snorkeling are your thing, you won't be disappointed!
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