In the Bible’s Book of Exodus, Moses is said to have parted the Red Sea to travel from Egypt to Israel—and Egypt, Israel, and Jordan still nestle together on the Gulf of Aqaba today. Visit the Israeli resort city of Eilat or Jordan’s historic Aqaba—or head to the south of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to Sharm El Sheikh or the laid-back dive town of Dahab. On the Red Sea’s west coast, bordering the Western Desert, Egyptian resorts include Marsa Alam and Hurghada.
Wherever you base yourself, snorkeling, scuba diving, and island-hopping are the Red Sea’s top highlights.
Things to Know Before You Go
With the closest tropical coral reef to Europe, the Red Sea is a favorite winter-sun destination for Europeans.
The Red Sea is a popular family choice, and the main resorts are stroller-friendly.
Eilat is the best Red Sea resort for travelers who rely on wheelchairs.
According to the United States Department of State, safety in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, outside Sharm El Sheikh, has come into question due to terrorism. Check your government’s travel advisories for the latest information.
How to Get There
Eilat, Aqaba, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and Marsa Alam all have international airports with flights from Europe and connections domestically and to the Middle East. Safaga and Aqaba are popular cruise ports.
When to Get There
October and November are the perfect months to visit the Red Sea, with both the water and the air pleasantly warm. Many travelers find July and August uncomfortably hot.
Diving the Red Sea
The different Red Sea resorts have their own signature dive sites. Advanced divers love Marsa Alam for the hammerhead sharks often spotted at sites like Elphinstone Reef, and Sharm El Sheikh divers adore the SS Thistlegorm, a World War II cargo ship loaded with retro motorcycles. In Dahab, the Blue Hole sinkhole attracts adventurers, while Eilat’s Coral Beach Nature Reserve has some of the Red Sea’s best accessible coral.
- Things to do in Cairo
- Things to do in Luxor
- Things to do in Hurghada
- Things to do in Aswan
- Things to do in Sharm el Sheikh
- Things to do in Giza
- Things to do in Marsa Alam
- Things to do in Alexandria
- Things to do in Safaga
- Things to do in Port Said
- Things to do in Jordan
- Things to do in Palestinian Territories
- Things to do in Red Sea
- Things to do in Saint Catherine
- Things to do in West Bank