As you well know by now, though this blog and through Instagram, we came back a week ago from a lovely little vacation in Dahab, Egypt. A small coastal town along the Red Sea in the Sinai peninsula. It has the typical vacation-spot leisurely activities to do, such as souvenir shopping, swimming, and sight-seeing, but there is more!
This place is in a unique geological disposition having the sea, mountains and desert all closely knit together. Which makes this an excellent place to find adventurous and outdoor activities to do! Let’s dive in to our list of things to do in Dahab, shall we?
1 – Scuba Diving
If you love water life and are a decent swimmer, this is a great place to try out scuba diving. It is very popular here in Dahab because of it’s many coral reefs and crystal-blue waters. There are plenty of diving centres where you can sign up. We went with Big Blue Dahab, which had an outpost at our hotel site.
I’m going to give you the heads up that no one else gave us when we first decided to plunge into scuba diving lessons. Scuba diving is not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of confidence. You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer, I would say I’m fairly average, but I was not able to complete the second day of lessons due to a loss in confidence over a particular skill, which led to a panic under 12 feet of water.
What’s great about scuba diving, is that you can learn at your own pace. I received a document that shows the progress I made, so I won’t have to repeat my lessons all over for the skills I succeeded in. That made me feel a lot better and confident that I can try again and get my official certification next time.
My husband, on the other hand, got his Padi Certification done no problem! I don’t at all mean to scare anyone away from scuba diving, quite the opposite, just be prepared to find it a challenge, but it is so rewarding when you go through with it!
2 – Quad Riding/Beach Buggy
This looked so neat! Unfortunately we did not get the chance to do this, but that doesn’t mean we won’t in the future! There are a few quad centres, and they usually take out a group of 10 or more out into the desert. Be sure to dress appropriately for the time of day since you’ll be exposed to the sun for a couple of hours with little to no shade.
If you are travelling as a couple, you can ride a two seater if you prefer. They also provide face scarves and show you how to wrap your face to protect yourself from the flying sand, so what other excuse could you have to not give it a go?
3 – Camel Ride and Bedouin Dinner
Imagine a ride into the mountains to watch the sunset while on a majestic animal of the desert while dinner is prepared for you over the fire. If this does not sound amazing, you’re crazy! This was, by far, one of my most favourite experiences in my life, period.
Through our hotel, Dahab Paradise, we signed up for a camel ride in the the mountains, and a Bedouin dinner; a very ancient and cultural way to experience eating. There is a fire pit where the food is prepared, and we sit around it on beautiful blankets and cushions. When the sun is gone, the stars come out. It is a breath-taking experience.
Scuba diving is not for everyone, but don’t fret! Snorkelling is the next best thing, and renting equipment is extremely cheap. Dahab has several popular snorkelling sights. One of them is the Blue Hole, which is the most popular and visited one. We went to the Three Pools and we spent a solid hour or more snorkelling and recording underwater. I highly recommend you invest in some sort of under-water recording apparatus, because it is an experience and sight that you will want to share!
5 – Parasailing
We spotted people para-sailing, and were about to jump to do that, but chose to do scuba diving instead. There are parasailing centres along Peace road in town where you can learn more about what it entails and book. I recommend that you get someone that is trusted and has a good reputation.
6 – St. Catherine Monastery Hike
If you like history and hiking, then check out a day trip to the St. Catherine Monastery. It is a few hours north into the mountains. The full name is actually “Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai” and is run by the Coptic Church, and is a UNESCO heritage site. This place is really neat! Not only is it one of the oldest running monasteries but also has the world’s oldest running libraries! It lies right at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Bonus Activity: Sea-Shell Searching
This activity and fun and free! But there is one major downside: you are not allowed to take any of these shells through an airport. We learned that the hard way after collecting many beautiful shells. So make sure you take pictures of all the shells and sea creatures you may find! There are plenty of star fish, hermits crabs and regular crabs to spot!
I hope this entices you to come to Egypt for a lovely beach holiday full of active things to do! If you want to know about another popular Red Sea destination, check out my blog post about the famous Sharm El Sheikh!
Have you been to the Red Sea or Dahab? Is Egypt on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!