I'll admit it, I'm totally obsessed with scuba diving. Every country I visit I go out of my way to head to the ocean and dive straight in. I'll miss tourist attractions, nights out, and days on the beach because of it. So on my latest solo adventure around the Middle East I gave myself the challange of diving as many countries as I could along the Red Sea. A, because it is my favourite dive spot in the world and B, because a scuba dive mission is the best mission of all. So I documented my dives in Egypt, Israel and Jordan to bring to you my opinion on the best country to dive the Red Sea. Let's do this....
Most people come to Jordan to visit Petra and Wadi Rum, but if you look beyound the tourist attractions (all be it, amazing ones) you may stumble across the small ocean-side town of Aqaba, on the southermost part of Jordan. Sitting right on the Red Sea, Aqaba is home to some brilliant dive sites and lively,healthy corals. Unlike Eilat in Israel and Dahab, Egypt, here you can see big and small animals alike. On one dive you may see whale sharks, and the next a nudibranch. Shore diving isn't a big thing, which means it's all about days out on boats - the best kind of dive days. A standout dive instructor - who offers the best facilities this side of the Red Sea, with brand new equipment, proffesional staff, and a day out on the boat you won't forget is scuba instructor Omar Madain ( the one that took all these awesome photos) and tell him Girls that Scuba Sarah sent you!
If you were to ask me whether it was worth diving in Eilat, I would have to say no from my experiece. While the dive sites are nice, and there is plenty to see, the ocean is full of beginner divers, in-experienced divers, and divers that don't care about the ocean. Eilat is a popular holiday destination and if you are a first time diver I'm sure is amazing. But for anyone wanting to do some serious diving I would say stay away from the crowded shores of Eilat. As far as I know, this is the only place you can scuba dive in Israel, so therefore, I think its worth keeping to the overland activites. Eilat is really beautiful, the desert is breathtaking and the chilled vibe is perfect for getting away from the city life in Tel Aviv. I LOVED my solo travels through Israel, I really fell for the country, but unfortanely not the scuba diving. If you are looking for a dive shop in Eilat I can reccomened Aqua Sport, but there are literally dozens scattered along the shore line.
Oh, Dahab, I love you so! And for me, you come out on top! I've been lucky enough to scuba dive all over the world, and there is no where quite like Dahab. The corals and marine life are un-matched elsewhere, and the warm water and good visiblity make it perfect diving conditions. While you can't expect to see any big aminals here, the sheer amout of marine life you will encounter makes up for it. Dive sites like Gaber El Binte and The Islands are as close as you will get to swimming in a fish tanks - expected to be caught up in a raining fish storm more than once. Life is Dahab is wonderful and chilled, diving is cheap and world class and let's also not forget Egypt is an absolutely beautiful country. Dive with Red Sea Relax, and you'll more than likely see me there too! Meet you in the ocean...
Heading to dive in the Red Sea soon? I'd reccomened to jump in in Dahab and Aqaba, and leave Isreal for over-land exploration. Of course, there are still many more countries that you can dive in the Red Sea at, such as Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Sudan and Eritrea, and they are all on my list! Until then I'll see you in Aqaba or Dahab.
Thanks to Omar for the amazing photos. See more of his work, and follow him on Instagram.