FROM THE EDITORSnorkelling on a Red Sea reefThe Egyptian Red Sea held a fascination for me right from the moment I first dabbled in the world of diving some 34 years ago. After taking the plunge at the age of 12 in North Wales, I voraciously devoured any literature I could find on scuba diving - and books on the Red Sea were one of my initial discoveries. I marvelled at images of the underwater museum that is the SS Thistlegorm, the vast swathes of fish shoaling off Ras Mohammed’s Shark and Yolanda Reef, the magnificent sharks on the Brothers and Elphinstone, and the wreck graveyard of Abu Nuhas. I longed to explore these heavenly visions myself - and now I have, making more than 50 dive trips to Egypt over the past 20 years. However, the Red Sea holds such a strong allure that whenever I get back home, I am already longing for my next trip to the Middle East. We Europeans are extremely lucky that the Egyptian Red Sea is virtually on our doorstep. Depending on where you live, a mere three to five hour flight and you are touching down in what is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest diving Meccas.

The Red Sea is our nearest Indo-Pacific diving, and the myriad colours of corals, sponges and marine life that greet you when you finally dip your head beneath the surface will literally take your breath away. And this is before you have ventured out to any of the famed dive sites, which include some of the best walls, wrecks and drift dives on the planet. Don’t let the relatively short flight fool you, this is world-class diving on a par with anywhere else on Earth, so I suggest you make the most of it and head out for some Red Sea action of your own.

Over the following pages, you will find an overview of the main diving resorts, together with some of the top dive sites that can be found in those areas, as well as information on things you must do when you are in Egypt, which will help you plan your perfect Red Sea diving excursion.

Mark Evans, Editor-in-Chief

Children enjoying a camel rideMotorcycle inside the ThistlegormPHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL DUXFIELD, BYRON CONROY, AND PAUL AND ANNE MEDCALF