Ahhh, Dahab…my beautiful beautiful Dahab. To me, it is one of those places you can’t quite explain how you fell in love with it, yet you also do know why–and very, very well. As with every great love, you can’t explain why you love it so much despite its (perhaps many) flaws. Basically, your feelings combine to form a complex paradox. And so, I deeply enjoy sharing my love for this magical little coastal town in the Sinai (Egypt) with the world. Today, I present you things to do in Dahab, Egypt!
Dive the Blue Hole
Yes, it is crowded. Yes, if it’s not protected, it will disappear. So if you go, make sure you emphasize to your guides the importance of protecting it. And, once you dive into the blue, enjoy. Dahab’s Blue Hole is a gorgeous, magical place. I went diving there for one of my required open water dives for my Advanced PADI certification with Penguin Divers and my experience was sublime. Our guide Hamdy knew the site better than he knew himself, that I was sure of. In a place so crowded, we only saw a couple of snorkelers during our descent and one snorkeler once at surface. Which means? It is still possible to only see the 4 other divers in your group and no one else when diving this beauty. We also saw a lot of fish and beautiful coral, deep at 30 m, so make sure you hire a very knowledgeable guide when diving this site. This will guarantee as great of an experience as mine. While some might say it is overrated, the Blue Hole is still a must in my book when visiting Dahab!
Camel safari, snorkeling and Bedouin lunch at Ras Abu Gallum reserve
I had to show 2 photos here because the Ras Abu Gallum trip is out of this world. The perfect mix between desert adventure, gorgeous underwater world, and good food is this tour. I took a day trip: A camel safari that involved many things I always dreamed of doing: Snorkeling in blue coral heavens, riding a camel for more than 15 mins, mingling with the locals (Bedouins) and sharing a meal cooked by them in front of us. And while not all dreams are how you imagined them (the 1.5 hour camel ride EACH WAY was both painful and kind of scary!), it is one of those things you are so glad you did anyway! I always smile big when I remember this trip =) as I said, a day trip includes a 1.5 hour camel ride (remember: Each way!) through a precarious narrow dirt path by the mountainous coast, as Ras Abu Gallum can’t be reach by car. Btw, you may opt to hike instead (which I will do next time I visit!). Once there, it is a protected oasis, sprinkled with Bedouin huts in which you may stay overnight if you wish. We opted to snorkel and the corals were gorgeous. half through the day, you enjoy Bedouin lunch cooked by you and a sumptuous feat indeed! We also got delicious, sweet Bedouin tea. The best part? Ras Abu Gallum was so desolated when we visited! Definitely added to our experience and another tour you can’t miss while in Dahab.
ATV tour around Dahab
Omg, this must have been one of the funnest things I did one of the 4-5 times I visited Dahab! Once again, I arranged my ATV tour through Penguin Village and always, always bargained my price like a true local! Don’t forget to do this; it is indeed part of the culture. SO! We drove from Mashraba, where Penguin is located, all the way to the oasis in Dahab (or so that’s how it is called). Racing “is not allowed,” but we could get a dose of it on the way back *wink* Great GREAT trip! If you love adventure, this is a must when visiting Dahab! To book, while you can visit Lonely Planet website for a list of off-road activities and tours in Dahab and Viator, I highly recommend you book locally (in Egypt). Why? A) Much cheaper B) Your bargaining skills determine how much cheaper! *wink*
A great alternative to go around Dahab if you think a Jeep tour would be boring, don’t like ATV’s and/or you find riding a camel too scary (or too painful). Routes vary: You could opt to go through the desert, around Dahab, or beyond. Most hostels and hotels sprinkled throughout Mashraba and the glitzy ones around the windsurfing beach on the other side of town offer many alternatives – all you have to do is ask!
Snorkeling around Mashraba, the Lighthouse, and other sites
The most cost-effective activity in Dahab! Simply hire or bring your own snorkeling gear and head to the water where marked. Dahab is surrounded by reefs, so it is opt to you where to go! The most popular spot is the Lighthouse for both divers and snorkelers, though much of the reef has been damaged by tourists stepping on it when entering through non-marked areas. Please, make sure you go in where a “easy entry” sign is on or ask the locals which are good spots to venture out independently. Take care of the reefs!
So there you have them, some travel inspiration for things to do in Dahab! There are several other activities in this charming little town, so I will have more posts like this in the future. Cheers and have a great week!
Have you visited Dahab? What’s your favorite thing to do there?