Jun
30

Snorkelling at Pharoah’s Island in Taba

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Pharoah's Island Snorkelling

In line with virtually all other sea side resorts in Egypt, snorkelling trips are available for visitors to Taba and Taba Heights. The destination is Pharoah’s Island and it is also known as Farun Island. It lies just off the Sinai coast around 40 minutes sailing time from Taba Heights marina. On the island, the most prominent landmark is the old fort built in the time of the Crusades by the Saracens.

The snorkelling trip is operated on a wonderful boat with masts and plenty of deck space so you can soak up the sun. The setting in the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba is wonderful with the mountains of the Sinai on one side and spectacular views across to Jordan on the other. However, the exceptional views are found beneath the clear, warm waters.

Before you put on your mask and enter the water, the guide will brief you on a few points about the snorkelling area. Dive boats also visit Pharoah’s Island so although its easy to just look down and watch the array of marine life, you have to be aware of other boats, divers and where you are.

Once the formalities are complete, your snorkelling group enters the water and you are an observer on a magnificent underwater world full of life and colour. Many people believe that scuba diving is the best way to see the amazing marine life on the coral reefs but snorkelling has one big advantage. Normal scuba gear is what is known as open circuit. In Layman’s terms, this means that when you breathe out using scuba gear, you release a stream of bubbles into the water.  This tends to upset the fish so it’s harder to get close to them. However, there are no bubbles when snorkelling and you can drift along in your own silent world and you’ll be amazed at how just close you can get to the little fish without frightening them away.

Clown Fish, Pharoah's Island

The array of fish and things to see while snorkelling at Pharoah’s Island is quite simply mind blowing. Ideally you should try to get closer to the coral as many of the creatures stay close to it but remember not to touch as there are plenty of things such as Fire Coral and Lion Fish that can give you a nasty sting. It is quite possible you will see the little Clown Fish which everyone loves. If you are very lucky, you may even see a Frog Fish which is found in this part of Egypt. Trips to Pharoah’s Island  are popular and run on a daily basis.

 

Comments

  1. Don Faust says:

    Nice… sounds like a great area. I love snorkeling.

  2. Our Big Blue Marble says:

    Hi Don,

    The snorkelling is great in most resorts but this is one of the nicest settings. Taba Heights is still fairly quiet compared to some of the other resorts so you don’t tend to get dozens of boats packed with snorkellers and divers in the same place.

  3. Superb article. I love snorkelling – though I’ve never been to Pharoah island. Sounds like MAGIC.

  4. Andrea says:

    Such beautiful fish! Seems like there are lots of great opportunities for snorkeling and diving in the Middle East – when we were in Jordan our guide was showing us his underwater photos from Aqaba

    • Rob says:

      Hi Andrea
      I’ve dived in both Taba and across the water in Aqaba. For marine life, I would say that Taba is much better but in Aqaba there are a couple of wrecks and it is possible to do night dives which aren’t permitted in Taba. I also think the dive centres in Egypt are more professional. If you are interested, you can see my underwater pics from Aqaba on my Flickr site – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbmexplorer/sets/72157627494164506/

  5. Inspired! Going back to Egypt in May for a few free dives so will check it out!

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