Know Before You Go: Scuba Diving in Sharm el Sheikh
A trip to Sharm el Sheikh puts you right beside the Red Sea, Europe’s favorite scuba diving destination thanks to its vibrant coral and clear, warm waters. Here’s what you need to know before you don your tank and descend below the surface.
Book the right trip for you
Because qualifications matter when it comes to scuba diving.
You don’t need any previous experience to join a “discover scuba diving” trip. Your instructor will first give you training in the basics before you enter the shallow water, then closely supervise you at all times. Other trips, particularly multidive packages, are typically suitable only for divers who are already certified. Meanwhile, some deeper sites, such as Dahab’s Blue Hole and the Thistlegorm wreck, require advanced certification.
Don't dive right before a flight
Or a Mt. Sinai climb, for that matter.
Flying after diving can be dangerous, leaving you at risk of decompression sickness (the notorious “bends”). For safety’s sake, plan for at least 24 hours between finishing your last dive and flying—or climbing towering mountains such as the 7,497-foot (2,285-meter) Mt. Sinai.
You don't want your scuba souvenir to be a sunburn.
Most dive boats seem well-protected from the sun, but it’s easy to burn while lounging on deck or waiting for pickup after your dive. While dive professionals usually carry goodies such as mask cleaner, when it comes to sunscreen you’re on your own.
And be sure to pack some snacks.
For a low-impact sport, scuba diving can be surprisingly hard on the body. Ensure you’re thoroughly hydrated—a hangover increases your risk of decompression illness—and have had a solid breakfast before you set out. Keep your fluids up while on the boat, and don’t drink alcohol until you’ve finished diving for the day.
Don't touch the coral
Because harming the local flora is no bueno.
A popular dive saying goes, “take only pictures, leave only bubbles.” A single misplaced fin can wipe out coral colonies that took decades to grow, so watch your buoyancy, mind the coral, and don’t take marine souvenirs.
Explore Sharm el Sheikh scuba experiences