Diving and rock climbing in Egypt
Price From $648 per guest (group of 4 or more)
The Red Sea is called one of the seven wonders of the underwater world. Without exaggeration, it is a paradise for divers and other lovers of outdoor activities.
Egypt has long been a popular tourist destination. Predominantly rest on the sea. Indeed, not many places on earth, where the sea is so clean. There are favorable conditions for learning and practicing diving, technical diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing. And in the distance, behind the hotel fence - the mountains. Reddish, sunburned, seemingly lifeless ridges stretch along the seashore. Ruined ridges, bizarre cliffs, rocky peaks in continuous succession along the road, while driving from Sharm El Sheikh to Dahab.
The water surface hides a rich and wonderful world from the eyes. The crystal clear and warm waters of the Red Sea allow the existence of numerous representatives of underwater flora and fauna, most of which live exclusively in this limited area. Under the water lives its life mysterious colorful kingdom, which beckons with its fantastic scenic diversity. And this life is in full swing even at night.
Just off the coast, diving with a snorkel, you can dive into a strange colorful world of corals, sea urchins, sponges, a variety of fish of different sizes and rich colors. The coastal strip of coral reefs stretches for almost 2 thousand kilometers.
The Bedouin town of Dahab is located on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba in the east of the Sinai Peninsula, 80 km from Sharm. Dahab means “gold” in Arabic. The name comes not from the gold, which has never been here, but from the sandy beaches stretching along the entire city. Dahab is one of the oldest settlements on the Sinai Peninsula. Almost in the center of town you can see the excavation of an ancient port.Compared to Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab is a young actively developing resort. One of the most favorite places for tourists is a pedestrian promenade with many stores, restaurants and cafes, which goes through the entire town.Because of its position, the town has become a favorite place for divers, windsurfers and kitesurfers.
Blue Hole - one of the most mysterious and beautiful places of the Red Sea, which is located 15 kilometers north of Dahab. This is a huge hole in the coral reef, with a diameter of about 55 meters, which in the form of tapered well plummeting down to a depth of 102 meters. The main attraction of the “Blue Hole” is an impressive arch at a depth of 56 meters leading into the bottomless open sea, but this beauty is accessible only to technical divers. Fans of recreational diving will also find Blue Hole no less interesting. After diving the vertical crevice (Bells) to a depth of 27 meters a steep wall, going down to a depth of 400 meters, opens in front of the diver. The route continues along the wall, replete with overhangs, reticulated corals and small caves. The dive ends at Blue Hole, where you can see the freedivers who dive to incredible depths and then come back after a while.
The Canyon - A chasm in the sea floor, about 50 meters long, starts at a depth of 14 meters and goes down to 51 meters. The sun rays streaming through the narrow gap over his head will not leave anyone indifferent - less known, but no less interesting and beautiful place to dive, is located near the north of Dahab. Leaving the canyon you can swim through the bubbles coming from the bottom which are left after your exhalation and slowly seep through the canyon vault. The dive begins and ends in a blue lagoon 2.5 meters deep, where you can encounter the rare Pegasic fish.
But the local dive sites don’t just end with Canyon and Blue Hole.
Egypt has rock climbing!
At least in Sinai. It is understandable - where there are rocks, one wants to climb them. There are three main areas of rock climbing in Egypt. These are sport climbing on punched tracks, climbing with the organization of traditional insurance or “trekking”, and bouldering.
The most developed sports climbing. Currently, in the vicinity of Dahab there are more than sixty climbing paths. They are located on three polygons. It takes 15-30 minutes by car to get from Dahab to the rock climbing tracks. To get to the farthest, most interesting polygon, you need a cross-country vehicle. Most of the lines are equipped with stations interlocked chain with a trigger ring or carabiner. There are routes consisting of two pitches. The length of most routes is 10-25 meters, but there are routes of 30 meters.
The cliffs are granite. There are two main types of routes.
The first type is slabs with a positive gradient and micro-hooks, but with good friction. Climbing “believe the dream,” it teaches you to trust the friction and put your feet well on the rock.
The second type of routes - steep, in some places slightly overhanging walls of smooth granite with hitches and cracks, require skill and imagination from the athlete.
The maximum complexity of the routes is currently 7b. Most routes fall into the 5a - 6c range. There are easy routes for beginners as well as easy routes for learning to lead. There is big potential for breaking through new routes of any complexity. It would be imagination and enthusiasm. For example, famous Moscow climbers Ivan Alentsev and Mikhail Kukharenko in 2011 equipped ten new routes in two weeks. And in 2013, Jamie Brown and Mikhail Khomenyuk added four new lines and upgraded some old routes. Well, sponsorship would not be out of place in this endeavor. There are several companies in Dahab ready to organize trips to the cliffs and provide equipment for the time of the trip. We don’t rent equipment separately.
Activities on Sinai you can do most of the year. As a rule, the weather is predictable - sunny, no precipitation. However, a few times a year it may rain, and even snow.
During the summer months, it can be too hot even in the mountains. For climbing, you should choose north exposure walls, fireplaces that are in the shade most of the day.
March and April are the most comfortable times to climb - it’s already warm and the daylight hours are long.
October through November is also good.
In the winter months it can be cold, especially in the morning hours. At night the temperature often drops below zero. It snows every year in the winter. It melts quickly on the rocks, but on the tops it lies for quite a long time. For ascents you should choose the routes of the south-eastern and southern exposition - it is quite comfortable to climb in the sun.
From mid-February to the end of March in the village of Santa Caterina and the surrounding oases almond blossoms. It is very beautiful.
The district of Santa Caterina is remote from Dahab at 130 kilometers. You can drive this distance by car for an hour and a half to two hours. You can rent a car or take a cab in Dahab. You can make the ascent directly from Dahab and return the same evening. It is more convenient to stay in Santa Caterina for a few days, because on long routes, it is desirable to go at dawn to have time to descend before dark. The village has several comfortable campsites and hotels, where you can stay comfortably and relatively inexpensively. The village has several stores, restaurants and cafes. The range is not too large, but quite sufficient. There is also a hospital and several pharmacies. In between climbs you can organize informative historical and natural history tours. Must visit the monastery of St. Catherine, famous for its ancient library and a unique collection of icons. Unforgettable experience you’ll see the sunrise on the top of Moses Mountain. Trekking in the surrounding mountains is also a lot of fun. You will see picturesque oases, visit the farm of unique animals - rock damans, distant relatives of elephants, which are more like gophers, get acquainted with the life of hospitable Bedouins.
Arrival, accommodation, acquaintance.
In the morning, after breakfast, test dive (diving). In the afternoon departure for the cliffs. The car picks us up from the hotel and in 20 minutes we are at the place known as “The Waterfall”. On those rare days when it rains in Egypt, the water really rages here, but most of the year the wall is dry. There are 12 hat lanes of difficulty from 3A to 7A. After 3-4 hours of climbing return to Dahab and rest on the sea.
The 3rd day. Climbing in the Canyon.
After breakfast we drive out to the rocks. In 30 minutes car takes us to the picturesque Camel Canyon. There are over 30 trails of difficulty from 4a to 7b. We climb until the evening. Or return to Dahab by the afternoon and have a rest by the sea.
Day 4: Diving, rest by the sea.
In the morning we dive at one of the diving sites in Dahab. After diving, free time, optional quad biking or an introductory lesson in windsurfing (extra charge).
Day 5: Excursion to Action Canyons, transfer to Santa Caterina, overnight in a campsite.
Amazingly beautiful place on the way to Santa Caterina. Drive an hour from Dahab. Excursion 4-5 hours, meeting the sunset. After sunset, another hour on the road to the village of Santa Caterina.
Day 6: Climbing the mountain of Santa Catherine in a picturesque gorge. Overnight stay in the camp.
Mount St. Catherine is the highest point of the Sinai Peninsula at 2629 meters. The climbing will be a fascinating experience as you approach the beautiful Wadi Arba’in Gorge (40 Martyrs Gorge). While climbing to the top you can see the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. On the way back we will visit a Bedouin family living at the foot of the mountain and see the Rock Damans, amazing animals bred by Bedouins. In the evening our van will pick us up from Santa Caterina and take us back to Dahab. If desired, can be replaced by climbing the mountain climbing route on Mount Safsafa.
Day 7: in the morning the monastery of St. Catherine, museum. Departure home. Possible with a stop for lunch and swimming in Dahab.
In the morning we will have an excursion to St. Catherine Monastery, located at the foot of Moses Mountain. There we will be able to see the oldest collection of books, display of ancient icons, see the Neopalimaya Kupina, touch the great Christian history.
Optional diving, windsurfing - equipment rental, Quads.