Our first destination was Dahab. It’s fair to say that we had never heard of Dahab before January of this year, when some fellow divers in Belize recommended it. The good people at Pause the Moment sealed the deal. Our flight from Milan Malpensa was about 80% full, so we were hopeful that we wouldn’t be arriving to the feared ghost town. After passing through Sharm el Sheikh Airport, our transfer brought us on the fine road to Dahab, largely devoid of other traffic.
Dahab is quiet right now. A significant ex-pat community means there is activity, it’s clearly a draw for serious divers, but tourism as a whole is struggling badly. It does mean that accommodation, restaurants and other traders are offering bargains galore, but costs are low in any event, and you can only hope that with some countries restoring flights, things will begin to improve.
As others have commented before, this is a place where it is very easy to laze and do nothing. The high temperatures are eased by the almost constant breeze, and the beachfront cafés encourage the sedentary lifestyle. For 20LEs (about €2.20), breakfast, free wifi, and sunbeds are yours for the day. Many people opt for this – as we did a couple of times! – as well as drinks, lunch and dips in the beautiful water without moving very far. We chose Shells, though there are a few similar spots like Nirvana (also a very nice Indian restaurant), Yalla Bar, Planet Café and others.
Our activity in Dahab was largely water-based. At Masbat, and at the Laguna, the water is calm and great for swimming. There are countless dive sites, and I went with Red Sea Relax Diving to sites at Bannerfish Bay, Moray Gardens and Golden Blocks. For snorkelling, the options are also wide-ranging, although Eel Gardens – near to where we were staying – was off limits due to rough seas. However, Laguna was very good, and the infamous Blue Hole spectacular.
Laguna is also the hub for windsurfing and kitesurfing. We were dropped on a little sand spit, away from any of the hotels, and it was a wonderful day to swim, snorkel, watch the windsurfers speed by against the magnificent mountainous backdrop.