There’s something about the coastal regions along the Red Sea that keeps people coming back every year. Maybe it’s the serenity, the fact that some towns are still undiscovered by tourists, or because the places are less-frequented and have fewer crowds.
One such place is Dahab, a small town in Egypt situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula along the Red Sea coast. It was once a small fishing village, but with time people discovered its true potential, and now it’s a famous diving destination and attracts many tourists each year.
And even though it’s a small town of 15,000 inhabitants, there are several amazing places to visit and things to do in Dahab.
Best Time to Visit Dahab
The weather in Dahab is favourable all-year round; however, if you want to enjoy all the activities and explore without much hassle, we recommend going between May and October.
The reason? You see, January is the busiest month in Dahab. The weather is a bit colder during this time, and the hotels and flight rates are quite expensive. Therefore, what’s the point of visiting when you can’t enjoy the water?
However, the weather is warm from May to October, making it perfect for enjoying swimming, diving, windsurfing, and other water sports. The crowds during this time are more, but you get lower-cost flight and hotel rates and amazing weather.
How to Get to Dahab
The best and most convenient way to get to Dahab is via Sharm Al Sheikh. You can get a flight to the Sharm-Al-Sheikh International Airport (SSH), and from there, you can take a 1-hour road trip via bus or taxi to Dahab.
Or if you’re in Cairo, you can get to Dahab via bus, but it’s almost a 9-hour drive.
How to Get Around Dahab
Dahab is quite a small town; therefore, it has its perks! This means you can easily get around the city on foot or by bicycle. You will find plenty of places that offer rent-a-bike services.
However, if walking or cycling isn’t your thing, you can also get around Dahab via taxi. But we would suggest setting the fare and drop-off point before hiring one.
Now that you know when to visit Dahab, how to get there, and get around the city, it’s time to tell you about the things to do and the best places to visit in Dahab.
7 Best Things to Do in Dahab
Dahab is a small town with a limited population, but still, there are many fun things to do in the city. Following, we have put together a list of some of the best things to do in Dahab to make your visit memorable and worthwhile.
1. Snorkelling at Abu Galoum
As Dahab is located in the Sinai Peninsula, you will find several water activities to keep you busy during your trip.
Therefore, we will start with snorkelling at Abu Galoum. It is a large sheltered cove, perfect for snorkelling. The edge of the shore of Abu Galoum is lined with beautiful coral reefs in crystal clear water; therefore, if you have your snorkelling gear at hand, jump in and start exploring. Or, you could rent snorkelling gear from the small shops on the shore.
You will find amazing sea creatures in the waters of Abu Galoum, including clownfish, sea goldies, green sea turtles, and of course, all the exotic and vibrant species inhabiting the coral reefs.
A trip to Abu Galoum is often combined with one of Egypt’s most famous dive sites, the Blue Hole (an entry fee applies). The Blue Hole, Dahab is best for experienced divers, though you’ll also find free dive training and snorkelling opportunities in the crystal-clear shallow waters.
2. Exploring the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a natural pond of clear and calm waters sheltered by a stretch of sand and rock. It has a magnificent beach with water of several different shades of blue. One look at the sparkling blue water, and you will want to dive right in!
The inviting water of the Blue Lagoon is perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and especially kite surfing. The turquoise water of the lagoon is relatively calm, with strong winds that make the environment ideal for kite surfing. In fact, the Blue Lagoon is locally known as the kite surfers’ paradise!
Once you’re done with all the water activities, you can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the sunset alongside a classic bedouin meal from one of the local restaurants lining the beach.
3. Riding a Camel
You must have enjoyed several thrill rides at amusement parks; however, nothing beats our very own natural thrill ride, the camel!
Therefore, if you’re in Dahab, your trip would be incomplete if you don’t ride a camel! The city offers several camel safari options, but we suggest taking the one from Blue Hole to Ras Abu Galoum.
The camel ride between the two points is almost 1 hour and 30 minutes long, but it is truly an experience of a lifetime! The rocky ride atop the ships of the desert will take you through mountains and along the beautiful coast of the Red Sea.
With the soft wind rustling through your hair and the serene ride amidst the scenic views, you will surely have a unique experience riding a camel.
4. Hiking Up Mount Sinai
Although Dahab is more famous for its water activities, it also offers visitors a hiking adventure up Mount Sinai.
Sinai Mountain is also known as Moses Mountain and holds quite a religious significance, as this is where Moses received the ten commandments from God.
As you make your way up the mountain, you will first come across Saint Catherine’s Monastery; therefore, we suggest taking a tour before continuing your uphill hike.
It takes almost 2 hours to reach the top, from where you can have a breathtaking view of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea coast. We recommend getting there just before sunrise so that you can see the rising sun and its beautiful rays engulf the city of Dahab.
5. Taking In the Beauty of the Colored Canyon
If you want to experience the natural wonders in Dahab, visit the Sinai Desert and explore the Colored Canyon.
The canyon is a narrow valley that contains layers of multicoloured rocks. These rocks have eroded over the years and reveal vibrant swirls inside the rock. The Colored Canyon has multiple canyons and rocks, including the Small Colored Canyon, the White Canyon, Ein Khudra, and Mushroom Rock.
All these geological wonders are a must-see attraction in Dahab and make for amazing instagrammable pictures.
6. Quad Biking Through the Sinai Desert
If you’re up for some adventure, head toward the Sinai Desert and book a quad-bike tour! If the serene camel ride didn’t have your adrenaline rushing, a quad bike sure would.
The best part is that you don’t need a license or know how to drive to ride a quad bike. Just get one, and the quad bike centre staff will give you instructions on how to ride it.
And that’s all you need to cruise through the desert at high speed while enjoying the setting sun in the surrounding mountains.
7. Shopping at the Friday Market
Aren’t you missing something amidst all the snorkelling, diving, climbing, and riding? Yes, you are! Shopping!
What good is a trip if you don’t visit the local souks deep inside the city streets?
The Friday Market in Dahab is a weekly market set up every Friday at the Sheikh Salem House in the Eel Garden for a few hours. It offers different kinds of local spices, various homemade food, and souvenir items.
So, if you’re looking for unique items to take back home as a souvenir or gift, you can get some at a reasonable price at the Friday Market.
These were 7 of the best things to do in Dahab; however, we have listed a few possible day trips from the city if you want to explore the nearby places and attractions.
Possible Day Trips From Dahab
Why miss the golden opportunity to check out some of the amazing places in the surrounding regions when in Dahab? Here are a few day trip options from Dahab:
1. Day Trip to The Historical City of Petra
The ancient city of Petra, situated in southern Jordan, is one of the most famous archaeological sites. The town dates back to the 5th century BC and is said to be the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom. It is a half-built, half-carved city surrounded by mountains and is also known as the Rose City due to the pinkish-red colour of the stones used in its carving.
It has several temples, tombs, and chambers showing Hellenistic architecture.
You can book a full-day tour from Dahab to visit the historical city and admire its architecture and designs. Tour companies offer pickup from your hotel, a boat ride from Taba to Aqaba, and a bus ride from Aqaba to Petra and back, or even overnight stays to make the most of your time in Petra.
So, if you have time, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the ruins of one of the very first settlements in the world!
2. Day Trip to Luxor
Luxor is a city in southern Egypt, home to the ancient city of Thebes. It is the world’s biggest open-air museum, as all the ruins of the historical cities, temples, and complexes are within the now thriving city!
The city’s main attractions are the monuments of past Egyptian pharaohs and Gods, the Valley of Kings, the Valley of Queens, the city of Amun, the Colossi of Memnon, and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the first and only woman to rule Egypt.
Luxor is a 7-hour distance from Dahab, so you can either go by bus or take the 1-hour 15-minute flight from Sharm Al Sheikh Airport to Luxor International Airport. Regardless of how you choose to travel, your Luxor trip can easily be covered in a day if planned properly.
3. Day Trip to see the Pyramids of Giza
If you’re in Egypt, it’s only fair if you want to look at one of the Modern Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Giza.
The three great pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with the Great Sphinx of Giza, are the main reason why Egypt is known worldwide.
However, to visit Cairo, you can take a 6-hour road trip or a 1-hour flight from Sharm Al-Sheikh to Cairo. Again, if planned well, you can easily visit Giza and make it back to Dahab within 24 hours.
With the best things to do and possible day trips from Dahab sorted, let’s look at the accommodation options in Dahab.
Best Places to Stay in Dahab for Families
Here are some of the best places to stay in Dahab, based on your budget:
Best Luxury Resort in Dahab: Le Méridien Dahab Resort
This resort has been permanently closed. We will update our recommendation shortly – we believe they will reopen as Retac Qunay Resort & Spa!
If you’re looking for a luxury hotel to stay in Dahab, we recommend staying at the Le Meridien Dahab Resort & Spa.
It offers a private beach, beachfront rooms with large windows, plush bed linen, a comfortable sitting area, and private bathrooms in every room. Each room has a mini bar with tea and coffee-making options.
You can enjoy delicious food at the on-site restaurant while relaxing on the beach or enjoying the scenic view from your room.
Best Mid-Range Family Accommodation: Swiss Royal Dahab
We recommend staying at the Swiss Royal Dahab for a more budget-friendly option.
It has several accommodation options, including a villa. All rooms and units have a flat-screen satellite TV, a sitting area, and private bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. Plus, it has an on-site restaurant, bar, and free Wi-Fi.
Best Value Family Accommodation in Dahab: Penguin Village Dahab
Penguin Village Dahab is a 3-star accommodation option in Dahab, yet it offers plenty of amenities to visitors.
It has centrally air-conditioned rooms with balconies overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba. It has free water sports facilities, free Wi-Fi, and free public parking at a nearby spot.
So, if you’re looking for a reasonably-priced place to stay with the family, Penguin Village is a great option in Dahab.
You can check out all Dahab accommodation options here:
Dahab might be a small town, but it offers lots of fun things to do and places to visit for families in a relaxed coastal atmosphere.
More on Visiting Egypt
Still in the planning stages of a trip to Egypt? You may also want to check out:
- Our complete guide to planning a family holiday in Egypt
- What to wear in Egypt and a detailed family packing list for Egypt
- An ideal 7 day Egypt itinerary for culture and history
- Dealing with Baksheesh – the gratuity culture in Egypt
- What to expect on an Egypt Nile Cruise
- Is Egypt safe for family travellers?
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