Dahab was once a Bedouin fishing village, originally discovered by backpackers drawn to the beautiful location and the excellent conditions for diving and windsurfing.
Located just 60 miles from Sharm el Sheikh the resort of Dahab covers a large area with a long stretch of golden coastline. Made up of several smaller areas; Masbat (seafront) is the place where the first tourists arrived to enjoy the extensive stretch of sandy beach. Laguna-Dahab City is in the southern area and home to the more exclusive hotels and also the main hub for surf-activities in the area. Mashraba is in the south-eastern part of Dahab and has a long beach, several hotels, restaurants and a quiet atmosphere, and in the northern area is Assala the old Bedouin village and home to Eel Garden Beach named due to its close proximity to the popular Eel Garden dive spot.
An entry Visa is required for Egypt and costs approx 15 GBP per person.
Things to do
Snorkelling and diving opportunities here are excellent, with reef sites found close to the shore including the Blue Hole (for experienced divers only), Eel Garden home to a large colony of garden eels, the Canyon a spectacular underwater canyon, and the Lighthouse ideal for beginners due to its large sandy slopes and gentle drop off.
Dahab has three unique areas for windsurfing; a 2.5km sheltered lagoon offers a safe area for beginners due to the shallow water and long sandy spit separating it from the open sea; the second area has calm, flat water conditions ideal for speed sailing, and lastly 'Kamikazee' also known as the wave area this is a popular spot for advanced windsurfers enjoying waves of up to 3 metres high.
Again the warm calm waters and reliable offshore breeze also make this a haven for kite-surfing, a lagoon area for beginners is available and a second area in the open sea with a sandy landing beach.
The order of the day here is simply to enjoy the large expanse of beach and relax, though you can take a safari by jeep, quad bike or camel into the desert and up into the mountains.
If you're looking to explore a little of Egypt there are a number of excursions to enjoy from Dahab, the ancient St. Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai are just 35km away, further a field take a day or overnight trip to Cairo to visit the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza, or tour the temples and the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. For some family fun Sharm el Sheikh around 90-minutes drive away has two aqua parks along with plenty of shopping opportunities.
Out and about
Dahab has two markets worth a visit; the Assala Market is a traditional outdoor market selling everything from perfumes to silver jewellery and decorative carpets to fresh spices and teas. Ghazala Market is unique for an Egyptian market, as the stalls are placed inside an air-conditioned building, great for a break from the heat. All the usual goods can be found here such as rugs, spices and leather items.
The Masbat area offers a wide selection of restaurants with local and international cuisines available; try smoking a shisha in a chill-out café, there's also a variety of nightlife with a choice of cocktail and dance bars.
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