As you know, we are from Europe, and Egypt is the most popular destination from here if we would like go to snorkeling! It is not so far (circa 4 hours flying) , the weather conditions are perfect, the Red Sea has stunning underwater life, what else needs a snorkeler for a perfect holiday? We visit this beautiful country as often as possible, this spring we decided to make an El Faraana snorkeling trip! We made a short summary about this area for you, let’s see what can you expect if you decide toparticipate on an El Faraana snorkeling holiday!
Hotels in the El Faraana Snorkeling Area
The El Faraana bay located in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, south from the city centre. This is big bay sheltered by cliffs from both side which means that the El Faraana is not windy most of the time. If you see big waves on the open sea, you do not need to worry, on the beaches in the bay you will feel just a gentle breeze.
You can choose between 3 different hotels if you would like to make an El Faraana snorkeling holiday. These hotels have own beach sections. It is super comfortable to discover the bay if you stay in the nearby hotels. You can relax on the beach or at the hotel bar, go into the water when you want and stay as long as you want. That is the reason why we prefer staying in hotels with own housereef.
The El Faraana snorkeling area is so big, there are too many things to explore, so if you are on a one – week long holiday you can discover every day something new underwater.
The 3 hotels in the bay are the followings:
- Iberotel Club Fanara and Residence **** (left side of the bay)
- Reef Oasis ***** (in the middle of the bay)
- Club Faraana Reef Resort **** (right side of the bay)
These hotels are on different levels and offer different services. It is important to know that the “Stars” mean something different in Egypt than for example in Europe. In general the real level is always with one star lower than the indicated and there can be big differences between hotels on the same level. We suggest to read many feedbacks before book a hotel and try to get informations about the actual service!
We stayed while our El Faraana Snorkeling holiday in the Club Faraana Reef Resort. This is not the best hotel, but for us it had the best location in the bay. It is an older hotel, some parts are already closed waiting for renewing, generally it is a 3 star hotel on european level. We had no significant problem during our stay, everything worked in the room, the food was OK. Shopping facilites are in walking distance like Il Mercato shopping centre, Old Market and Alf Leila Wa Leila, so you like to go out in the evenings this place is for you! We read reviews about the other 2 hotels here as well, the most loved is the Iberotel Club Fanara.
People like it because it has a very good price value for money, the service is excellent , the hotel area and the rooms are well-kept. The Iberotel can be a good choice for an El Faraana snorkleing trip! If we will be back one time to this area, maybe we also stay in this hotel! The Reef Oasis is a 5 star hotel, has a great service and from outside it seemed really nice and modern, but it has a higher price compares to the others.
All hotels are on the high cliff in this bay, so you need to go down to the beach on a long path or take the stairs. This is a comfortable walk, but if it is hot can be exacting and you will visit the bar immediately to get some drink! From the high cliffs you can make beautiful panorama photos about the whole bay!
The El Faraana Reef Resort has a circa 250 m long beach area. On the right side you can take the pier to go into the water, but you can swim out over the coral reef because the water-level is enough high even by sea low-tide.
El Faraana Snorkeling Places
According to reviews the El Faraana has one of the best reefs for snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh, so it was no question for us to visit this bay!
This area has 3 well-known and popular snorkeling places and all 3 spots can be discovered if you stay in this bay, it is like a mini snorkeling safari, so we decided to use the “El Faraana snorkeling trip” name for this holiday.
The reefs in the shallow water in front of the hotels offer nice things to see as well, although we must admit that here you will find only few corals. On some places you will see just the rest of the reefs, which is a sad thing to see. But by each hotel there are some nice, relatively healthy areas with corals and different species of tropical fish. We think the most healthiest corals in the shallow water are in front of the Reef Oasis Hotel.
We saw every day more eagle rays, sometimes in the shallow water, sometimes far from the shore, so sure you also will see them!
If your are an advanced snorkeler and would like to see more beautiful places, you need to visit the famous diving and snorkeling spots.
The 3 well-known places which you can visit while your El Faraana snorkeling holiday:
- Temple Reef in the middle of the bay
- Ras Kathy on the right side
- Ras um Sid on the left side
The Temple in situated in front of the El Faraana Reef Resort, you need to swim circa 300 m to reach the spot. The Temple is a can be the first highlight on your El Faraana snorkeling list.
The Temple reef consists of two bigger and countless underwater towers full with corals. The top of the biggest tower is not really nice, the corals are damaged, but below you will find nice corals, there is even a big fan coral between the two big towers. You can see here different fish species like lion fish, parrotfish, angelfish, bannerfish, domino fish, napoleon wrasse. The divers said us that a white tip shark sometimes also visit the Temple, but it is very shy and stays in the deep. The best is if you visit the Temple in the morning hours. It is a popular diving spot and in the afternoons the place could be busy with many ships around!
The Ras Kathy is not just one reef, it is a bigger snorkelling area right from the El Faraana. It is located circa 500-600 m from the Faraana Reef Resort’s pier, and you need to swim there, there is no walking way on the shore. From the street you can reach this area through a public beach, many local people spend their time there, we have never entered here so we have no exact informations about this beach and the entry fees. But if you feel yourself fit, you can swim there easily, many snorkelers do this and explore this area while their El Faraana snorkeling holiday!
After the pier the coral wall is not really nice and because of the currents the visibility could be also bad. But be patient, the visibility will be better and the corals are more beautiful if you continue swimming further. Around the biggest underwater towers at the Ras Kathy the visibility always good, the water is crystal clear and the corals are in perfect condition!
Many rare blue corals can be found here and a lot of tropical fish. At the Ras Kathy we say every time eagle rays, so be open-eyed!
If you visit the Ras Kathy, be careful with the seascopes and glass boats! As this area has really nice reefs, these boats are cruising regularly here, and you need to pay attention to them! They often go to close to the reefs to offer the best view to the guest and the currents after the ships can swept you away. Normally they must honk to warn the snorkelers in the water, but always be cautious with them!
Ras um Sid
The Ras um sid area is the third part on our El Faraana snorkeling summary, on the left side at the bay. The distance is circa 500 m from the El Faraana Hotel’s Beach. While you swim towards the corner, you will snorkel in front of the Iberotel Club Fanara Hotel. Do not hurry, here in the shallow water there are many interesting things to see like clownfish and big school of bannerfish.
The most beautiful part is directly at the corner, after the wood pier, where the corals are healthy and because of the currents you have the chance to see bigger fish as well like tuna or jewfish. The people see here often manta rays as well, we were not enough lucky to see one, maybe next time 🙂 In the deep you can see very big fan corals if the visibility is good.
The Ras um Sid area is recommended for good swimmers. The current at the corner coud be really strong and carry you away from the pier. There is a a metal stick with a red flag on it which marks the spot where is recommended to turn back. It is not an obligatory turning point, you can decide according to your water skills to turn back or swim further. We suppose to take your time and swim slowly after the pier, and monitor the currents. If you feel them safe and you can easily swim back into the other directions, swim forward slowly, but remember that the currents can turn directions and can be really strong just in a second! Respect the sea and your limits!
We have spent a great week here in the” El Faraana snorkeling area “. We recommend Sharm el Sheikh and this bay for everybody who wanna enjoy a great view every day and discover the underwter life of the Red Sea on an easy and comfortable way.