When we are travelling, we always have that internalised struggle between whether we should be relaxing or being adventurous. We love the idea of chilling out, laying on the beach, slurping on some exotic cocktails, but after a couple of days of recuperating, that fear of missing out feeling really starts to kicks in. Luckily for us, on our epic adventure across Egypt, we came across the little town of Dahab on the Gulf of Aqaba which holds the key to solving our travel conundrum.
How, you may ask?
Well not only is Dahab an amazing beach location to chill out and get the summer body out in full force, but is home to some seriously spectacular outdoor adventure activities both on land and at sea. The region boasts over 30 magnificent diving locations for you to swim amongst the marine life and discover the unbelievably breathtaking coral reefs. Dahab is a seriously underrated getaway spot, so we are writing this blog to give you an insight into this seaside haven.
Where on Earth is Dahab?
There is no doubt about it, if you are going to Egypt, prepare yourself for some long and tiresome bus drives between locations, and getting to Dahab for us was definitely one of those marathon road trips.
There are two main options, the first is the cheap and cheerful option (which of course we decided to do), which is just a casual 11-hour bus drive from the Cairo. Not going to lie, it was a challenging journey to manage, but luckily due to the diverse scenery and a whole season of Game of Thrones on hand, we managed to keep ourselves occupied (haha).
If you’re not a fan of losing feeling to your bum as a result of an 11 hour trek, there is an alternative, Dahab is only a 100km drive from the popular beach destination of Sharm El Sheikh, which is probably a better option if you are short on time.
So now that you know where it is and how to get there, what adventure activates can you actually experience?
Jump on an ATV and Explore the Sinai Mountain Range.
Nothing beats that exhilarating feeling of the wind blowing through your hair, whilst driving through a desert flanked by the breathtaking backdrop of the Sinai Mountain Range. Going on an ATV tour is one of the best ways to explore the exciting landscape around Dahab.
Our guide first took us to explore the flat plains of the desert which were surrounded by the craggy Sinai Mountains. We must have annoyed our guide because we wanted to stop so often to take happy snaps, everything was so picturesque. After about an hour or so we left the desert and ventured on to a nearby Bedouin village where were welcomed by locals, shared a cup of tea and learned about their culture. We then had an opportunity to stretch our legs and hike up a small mountain to a magnificent view point showcasing the sunset over the mountain range in one direction and the Gulf of Aqaba in the other. It was a fabulous way to end the tour.
It’s Home to one of the few ‘blue holes’ and best diving spots in the world
Dahab is well renowned for its diving and snorkeling, with over 30 different locations to choose from. We couldn’t wait to get out our beach bodies out (or lack thereof ha ha) and discover the flourishing underwater sea life.
Dahab is home to one of the five well-known blue holes situated around the world, which is basically a 95-meter sheer drop in the coral reef into the abyss. The unique blue hole lures divers from across the world because it contains a horizontal tunnel section about 54 meters down that leads out to open ocean. This aspect of the hole adds to its technical difficulty and has resulted in several deaths from divers missing the tunnel and descending past a point of no return. Pretty heavy stuff, but it is completely safe for snorkelling so don’t stress. It was actually one of our favourite spots, especially when you snorkel along the coral ledge on the perimeter of the hole.
The Dahab blue hole is situated only a couple of kilometers north of the town centre and is super easy to get to. There are plenty of amenities at the site, with several dive shops, cafes and restaurants to chill at before and after your snorkel/dive. There is also a couple of short hiking tracks where you can get a birds eye view of the hole in all of its glory.
Drink Tea with a local Bedouin Tribe
The Dahab region is home to the Bedouin people, which are a group of nomadic desert dwellers that have been around since the 14th century. They have an interesting way of life, but sadly their culture has faced erosion due to a number of factors including tourism and the political climate over the years. We were fortunate that our hotel welcomed members of the local Bedouin tribe to share their stories over a tea, it was a great way for us to engage with the local people and get an insight into their traditional way of life.
Watch the sunset over the Laguna Beach
One of the best beaches to chill in Dahab is Laguna Beach, whether it be topping up on that much-needed vitamin D, windsurfing, or enjoying the sunset over the mountains, this is truly a perfect location to spend a few hours and unwind.
Check out the Bazaar and Dine on the Beachfront
We absolutely fell in love with the food in Egypt, we were literally eating falafels and humus three times a day (OMG delicious). We were surprised not only by the variety of food that Dahab had to offer but also quality of food, especially when it came to fresh seafood.
We ended up eating out most evenings around Dahab’s Bazaar, which is a strip of restaurants and shops that travels along the stunning coastline. We spoiled ourselves by indulging in cocktails and shisha while watching the sun set behind the Sinai Mountains in the far distance. The bazaar is absolutely buzzing, and there are plenty of cool places set right on the waterfront to enjoy, it is definitely a must for a night out.
Go Hiking and Explore the Mountain Range
Dahab is completely surrounded by breathtaking scenery, so if you want to burn off some of those calories from the excessive amount of falafels and hummus you’ve gulping down, then we recommend exploring the beautiful mountain range and deserts.
There are a few ways you can go about it, the best option is to hire a Bedouin guide, they know the best places to take you and will show you desert locations that the main day trips won’t take you.
As an alternative, if hiking is too much effort you can hire a camel and go on a guided tour through the desert. If you are keen for a little bit of hiking, your best bet would be to go on an ATV tour, they stop in a few locations where they allow you to wander and guide you to a few viewpoints.
A Dahab getaway is the perfect mix between relaxation and adventure, I know Egypt has been served a bad reputation of late, but the people are friendly and welcoming. I believe it is quite safe, you just need to take the normal precautions as you would anywhere.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading our guide, if you need any more advice on Dahab, or have any questions make sure to get in contact with us on social media or by leaving a comment below.