If you go to Egypt the usual sights to see are the beauty of the Red Sea or the pyramidsof Cairo. If you want a place away from the tourist routes, but with extraordinary underwater wonders, I suggest a location that is one hundred kilometers north of Sharm el-Sheik. It’s called Dahab, a seaside town of about thirteen hundred inhabitants, unknown to most people and hardly accessible by plane or bus. For those wishing to enjoy the wonders of one of the most beautiful seas in the world, this is the place. You can get there on a jeep after a hike in the desert.

For those that snorkeling isn't their cup of tea it is still a great place
For those that snorkeling isn’t their cup of tea it is still a great place

Dahab means gold and it is still unknown if its is called so due to the color of its beaches or to the market of the most precious metal in the world that used to be here in the past. It lies on the Gulf of Aqaba and is a very windy, popular with windsurfers.

Windsurfing in Dahab
Windsurfing in Dahab

Your first stop can be the Papyrus Museum, an attraction sponsored by the government that only serves to swell the coffers of the state (the papyri are also found in the bazaar at half price). Then you can go into the sea where to meet your guide for a trip with camels. You can reach the reef after a few kilometres and know that its beauty is only second to the Australian reef. There you will also find the Blue Hole, a deep hole about one hundred and fifty feet wide populated by the most beautiful fish in the world.

Easy entry at Blue Hole
Easy entry at Blue Hole

Snorkelling in this place is a unique and spectacular. The recommendations are a must since the victims of the strong currents and lack of knowledge of the place are many. It is highly recommended to use fins, masks and snorkels to see the show and to resist the ocean current. From the shore you can dive in the Blue Hole via a jetty and the fear is so great. It seems you take a leap into the endless void inside a hole that goes from blue to black after only ten meters. But once inside it seems like you are flying. The fish are many and, probably because they are accustomed to human presence, you get to almost touch them. There are several species and many colors.

Blue Hole freediving
Blue Hole freediving

It is here that you will have the chance to see from up close many clown fish. Its white, orange and black colours seem to be painted by hand. The complete tour of the Blue Hole allows you to see corals and anemones lively dancing to the rhythm of the waves. Then you come to the edge overlooking the open sea. Taking care not to cut yourself on the sharp coral and rocks, you may begin the exploration of the reef.

Over-under taken at Canyon in Dahab Egypt while freediving
Over-under taken at Canyon in Dahab Egypt while freediving

The clear water allows you to see up to twenty feet deep. Then, even if you no longer see it, the barrier continues to the bottom. You can see fish, coral and starfish with colors so vivid and bright that it may seem unnatural. And if you’re lucky, you may get to spot even some giant turtles. It is fortunate that Dahab is so isolated and unknown. If it were easy to reach, at this time its gold would have been plundered by man already.

A clown fish on the reef