It seems to be that every morning you open your curtains expecting to find Spring has arrived only to see grey skies and snow laden clouds. If you’ve not already booked your holiday why not think about taking a trip to the Red Sea, a location which enjoys almost all year sunshine, tropical waters and is surrounded by golden beaches. The sea itself offers you the chance to explore a diverse underwater world inhabited by over 1200 species of fish and home to spectacular coral reefs. It’s easy to see why deep sea diving is a popular activity in this area and why the Red Sea is considered one of the top ten diving locations in the world.
Lying between Africa and Asia, the Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean and benefits from having an enviable selection of holiday resorts to choose from including those based in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Many resorts are designed specifically for deep sea divers, the emphasis being on quality dive sites providing expert staff for all abilities as well as high end accommodation. Here’s a selection of the top diving resorts in the Red Sea to help you decide where to go:
- Aqaba, Jordan
This resort is located on the north eastern tip of the Red Sea in Jordan and is renowned as a luxury seaside and diving destination due its special economic status granted by the Tourism Division. The resort benefits from a wide range of restaurants and hotels in Aqaba ranging from luxury 5 star accommodation to budget -friendly accommodation. It’s also an ideal location to make a day trip to visit Petra, the architecturally historical city cut into the side of the rocks which is now a World Heritage Site. Divers can enjoy exploring the Red Sea Marine Peace Park renowned for its calm, clear warm waters which are filled with seal life, coral and ship wrecks.
- Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm El Sheikh is the most popular diving resort in the Red Sea, attracting more than 300,000 Britons alone in 2012. The resort is well equipped for all traveller needs, being home to hotels, golf courses, shopping, camel rides and sulphur springs. In terms of deep sea diving, its location is ideal for accessing many of the best sites including a wide selection of day trips further afield. A popular choice is the night dive trip to The Temple; 3 pinnacles rising up from the sea separated by sand. Or you might choose to visit the Thistlegorm World War II shipwreck which sunk in April 1940 and was rediscovered by world famous diver, Jacques Cousteau, in 1956.
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah is quieter than other sites due to Saudi Arabia’s more stringent visa entry for divers and other tourists. However, once you’re there you’ll be rewarded with less crowded diving boats and a vast selection of unspoilt coral reefs, with Saudi Arabia’s coastline stretching over 79 per cent of the eastern sea shoreline.
So if you’re a nature lover or just fancy having a more active and adventurous getaway this year perhaps a diving holiday is the solution. In each resort you’ll find fully qualified instructors, guides and diving schools to suit all abilities and ages, with each offering equipment rental so you don’t need to spend a fortune before you get there.
An underwater paradise of turtles, tropical fish and brightly coloured coral reefs set amidst the golden beaches of the Red Sea. Or bitter winds, grey skies and rain at home. Will you decide to take a diving holiday this year?