Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through them. Our content is not influenced by commissions.
Sharm el Sheikh offers some of the best snorkeling in the world. The waters of the Red Sea are crystal clear and there is an abundance of marine life to see. Many hotels in Sharm have private beaches with their own house reefs.
In this guide I will run you through why the Ras Um EL Sid area is the best for snorkeling in Sharm and five hotels which offer incredible snorkeling on-site. I have also included a FAQ section at the end to answer any questions you might have about snorkeling in Sharm.
Which Area is Best for Snorkeling?
Most of the beach hotels in Sharm el Sheikh advertise excellent snorkeling from their house reef, so you could be forgiven for thinking it doesn’t matter which hotel you stay at. Although it is true that the snorkeling will be pretty good at all of these hotels, some offer much better snorkeling than others.
Many of the reefs in Sharm are very shallow (1 or 2 feet), and then suddenly drop off. The shallow part is too shallow to swim in, and all you’re left with is a big wall of coral to look at when you’re snorkeling. If you will only be snorkeling once or twice, this isn’t too bad as there’s still plenty to see in these reefs. However, if you’re looking for the best snorkeling, you will want to look at the hotels on the Ras Um El Sid beach.
Ras Um El Sid
The Ras Um El Sid beach gives you access to the Temple Reef, which is a few meters deep rather than a few feet! This means you can actually swim over the reef and will have much more to see than just a wall of coral.
The first four hotels on our list are all located on the Ras Um El Sid beach, so the snorkeling will be similar. The last hotel on our list – the Hyatt Regency – isn’t in the same area, but it does still offer some excellent snorkeling.
There will, of course, be other hotels which offer great snorkeling. But after doing some research, these are the best five I could find. I have personally stayed at the Reef Oasis Beach Resort and I can confirm the snorkeling there is quite amazing, along with the hotel.
If you decide to stay in a different hotel outside of the Ras Um El Sid area, there is a public beach at Ras Um El Sid called El Fanar, but it does have a small entry fee.
Best Hotels for Snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh
Below you can find five of the best hotels for snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh. Each of these hotels has access to a house reef which offers fantastic snorkeling right on your doorstep.
Reef Oasis Beach Resort
The Reef Oasis Beach Resort is located near the middle of Ras Um El Sid beach. It features a private section of the beach with a jetty which takes you out to the reef. It is a family-friendly resort with numerous swimming pools and lots of activities for kids. Facilities include a tennis court, fitness center, and games room. – See reviews & prices
Jaz Fanara Resort
The Jaz Fanara Resort is right next to the Reef Oasis Beach Resort. The Jaz Fanara Resort doesn’t have a jetty so you will have to swim or walk out to the reef. But once you get out there, the snorkeling is just as good. It is best suited for couples but good for families too. Facilities include swimming pool, tennis court, and children’s playground. – See reviews & prices
Club El Faraana Reef Resort
The Club El Faraana Reef Resort is located on the other side of the Reef Oasis Beach Resort. Like the Reef Oasis Beach Resort, there is a jetty for snorkelers to access the reef. It is suitable for couples and families. Facilities include a tennis court, spa and wellness center, and three swimming pools. – See reviews & prices
Sentido Reef Oasis Senses Resort
The Sentido Reef Oasis Senses Resort is located right behind the Reef Oasis Beach Resort and shares the same stretch of beach. Because it is behind the Reef Oasis Beach Resort, it is a bit of a walk to the beach. The resort itself is a bit more luxurious. Facilities include a tennis court, fitness centre, and a spa and wellness center. – See reviews & prices
The Hyatt Regency is the only hotel on our list not located in the Ras Um El Sid area. It does, however, still offer some fantastic snorkeling in the Middle Garden Reef. There is a jetty providing easy access for snorkelers. The hotel itself is luxurious and set in landscaped gardens and lagoon-style swimming pools. Suitable for families and couples. Facilites include a tennis court, fitness center, and plenty of activities for children. – See reviews & prices
How good is the snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh?
Sharm el Sheikh offers some of the best snorkeling in the world. There is an incredible array of coral, fishes, and other marine life to see in the crystal clear waters of the red sea. Best of all, if you choose the right hotel, you have access to this amazing underwater world right on your doorstep!
Is snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh dangerous?
Like with any sea or water-based activity, there are dangers. Make sure you never snorkel alone and always stick to the designated snorkeling areas.
You may have been put off by a few reports of shark attacks in Sharm over the years. Whilst it is true that there are sharks in the Red Sea, and they have attacked people, the chances of being attacked are incredibly low.
Other than sharks, there are a few other marine creatures that pose a threat. For example, lionfish and scorpionfish have venomous spines, and certain species of coral can sting. But you have to remember that these animals aren’t out to get you. As long as you keep your distance and watch where you step, you should be absolutely fine.
How clear is the water?
Very clear. One of the biggest attractions of Sharm, and one of the reasons it offers such amazing snorkeling is the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. It really does feel like you’re in a swimming pool and even when the water gets 5 or 10 meters deep, you can still easily see the bottom.
What marine life is there in the Red Sea?
There are certainly too many species to name them all here! But some of the highlights you might come across include moray eels, blue-spotted stringrays, spotted eagle rays, lionfish, reef sharks, clownfish, and turtles. There’s also a chance of seeing the largest fish in the world – the whale shark – although you will be very lucky if you get to see one.
Should I rent or buy snorkeling gear?
If you plan on doing quite a lot of snorkeling, I would recommend buying the gear before you go. You want to spend some time making sure you get the right gear for you. The last thing you want is a mask that doesn’t fit right and lets water in.
As you would expect, there are many places that offer snorkeling gear to rent in Sharm, so if you don’t have the luggage space or will only be doing some light snorkeling, renting shouldn’t be a problem.
In terms of what gear you need, a snorkel and mask are essential of course (along with sun protection), and you may want to get some fins if you want to be able to move a bit quicker. Fins are certainly not necessary though, especially if you will only be snorkeling from the hotel beach.
What time of year is best for snorkeling in Sharm el Sheikh?
There is good quality snorkeling all year round in Sharm. The main difference between the time of year you go is the temperature.
In the summer, the sea temperature is wonderful. It’s like stepping into a bath! The downside is the air temperature gets ridiculously hot. In July and August, it can get up to 100 °F (38 °C)!
In the winter, the air temperature will usually peak at around 72 °F (22 °C) and the sea temperature gets a bit chilly. For longer snorkeling sessions, you might want to get a thin wetsuit for the winter.
If possible, I would avoid the summer and winter altogether and aim to go in either March, April, October, or November. But whatever time of year you go, the snorkeling is excellent.
Is it worth going on a snorkeling trip?
There are two main snorkeling trips offered in Sharm: Tiran Island and Ras Mohammed. I have been on both of these trips, and to be honest, I had just as good a time and saw the same marine life snorkeling from the beach at Reef Oasis Beach Resort.
If you like the experience of boat trips and meeting new people, these trips are great. But in my opinion, if you stay at the right hotel, the snorkeling from the beach will be just as good.
Hopefully this guide has covered everything you need to know about finding the best hotel for snorkeling in Sharm. If you do have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment below.