7 Fun things to do in Dahab, Egypt
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
Dahab is a small coastal town on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. It's not only famous for its scuba diving, but also for its relaxed vibes as well as being a prominent digital nomad community. However, Dahab is so much more than that! In our opinion, this place has the best atmosphere in the whole country. In this blog, we narrow down our favorite (adventure!) things to do in and around Dahab.
Check out our video on Dahab to get a sense of what it's like there!
Where is Dahab and how to get there?
Dahab is located on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula, about 80 kilometers northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Situated along a narrow strip of the Red Sea, you can see Saudi Arabia across the Gulf of Aqaba.
There is a bus from Cairo to Dahab for only $11 and the journey takes around 10-12 hours. From Sharm-El-Sheikh there is also a direct bus that operates once a day but taking a taxi is easier. This would take you 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Dahab and it will cost around $30-50 (depending on how you arrange it!).
Important things to know before you go to Dahab
It’s probably best to visit Dahab between October and November or between March and May if you want to avoid the unbearable heat during the summer as well as the cold winter nights. In the winter it can snow in certain places like at Mount Sinai so we do not recommend going then.
Dahab overall is safe. The whole town is surrounded by security checkpoints so once you’re in the town you can go wherever you want on foot. They’ve had issues in the past (bombings) by terrorist groups however the last time was in 2006 so it has become more secure over the years.
It’s cheaper to get your PADI open-water diver certificate here instead of in Europe and the US. In Dahab, the prices range from $300 to $400 to get your PADI certificate while in Europe and the US this costs around $500. Another difference is that in Dahab you learn directly in the sea instead of in a pool first because of perfect conditions (reefs are right off the shore and water is shallow). This makes the experience also way more fun!
Where to eat in Dahab?
Dahab has a variety of restaurants from all over the world. This can be a bit overwhelming to choose from. You can find our favorite places to eat in Dahab in the list below:
Ralph’s German bakery: for breakfast/lunch pastries and coffee - there are 2 locations
Nirvana: best Indian food - try the Malai kofte
The vegan lab: amazing vegan burger
Box meal: great noodles and rice
Seaweed sushi bar
Coffee and cotton: amazing coffee but a bit more expensive!
Mirage: good for coworking - you can sit outside - also has affordable local food
ElMasryeen King Falafel: very very cheap - try the local “Koshary” here
Fun things to do in Dahab
There are so many outdoor adventures to enjoy here and we’ll now tell you what fun activities you can do in Dahab.
You can also watch our video on what to do in Dahab.
7. Explore Downtown Dahab
For your first day in Dahab, we recommend taking a stroll downtown to get a lay of the land. Downtown Dahab has a chill, laid-back vibe to it. From small local shops to beautiful seaside restaurants and coffee shops, the atmosphere is relaxed everywhere you turn. Palm trees line the streets and every place you visit has a style of its own. Nothing is too manicured in Dahab, which is something we really loved about it.
6. Eat A Bedouin Dinner
Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab still maintains its rural way of life and culture. We had the opportunity to attend a Bedouin dinner in a small valley near Dahab with friends and it was a great experience. The Bedouin barbecue included chicken, vegetables, rice, local bread, and tea, which was delicious. You can easily book your Bedouin dinner in town, with different programs to choose from, whether you want to just chill beside the fire or enjoy some Egyptian traditional shows. Make sure to kick back and look up to the sky once the sun goes down. You might get lucky and see a few shooting stars!
5. Hike During The Sunset Around Dahab
One of the best activities to do near Dahab is a sunset hike. We found a great route where you can reach the viewpoint within about 45 minutes from the lighthouse area in Dahab. If you walk towards the Blue Hole from Dahab, then turn left at the first valley outside the town buildings, you will find a gorgeous red and brown valley. Walk up the gradual slope until you find big boulders on your right. Here, you can turn right and find a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset overlooking Dahab. You can find the route on our map as you navigate towards the peak “Jabal Umm Misma”.
4. Dive In The Blue Hole
One of the most famous areas near Dahab is the Blue Hole. This has been nicknamed the “world’s most dangerous diving site” since there have been many deaths here over the years. But it’s also ranked as one of the top diving sites worldwide. The submarine sinkhole goes straight down for over 100 meters and is a natural phenomenon worth visiting. You can choose to either snorkel, dive, or just take in the sights. Since we didn’t have our PADI diving certification at this point, we decided to snorkel. Looking down into the infinite blue below the reef was a little scary at first, but we soon settled in and enjoyed seeing tons of new fish in the red sea.
3. Hike Mount Sinai
The Mt. Sinai hike, also called the Saint Catherine hike, is one of the must-do activities while in Dahab. We started the journey to the base of the hike at 10 pm from our accommodation in Dahab and started the hike around 2 am so that we could reach the top for sunrise. This trek is famous because it is the same place where Moses received the 10 Commandments from God. Therefore, it is one of the most sacred locations in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While it was exhilarating to hike at such an odd time, we recommend doing this hike in the spring or summer when it’s warmer. During our trek, we ran into snow near the top, which made for extremely cold and slippery conditions. In the summer, you will likely have better weather for the sunrise and stay warmer throughout your journey.
2. Explore Abu Galum & Blue Lagoon
Another fun thing to do when in Dahab is exploring the nearby Abu Galum and the Blue Lagoon. To get to Abu Galum, you need to take a boat from the Blue Hole. Then, you can snorkel in the colorful reefs of Abu Galum before getting into a car to the famous Blue Lagoon. The turquoise-blue Lagoon is an oasis of tranquility and the perfect place to relax or try kitesurfing. We did this as a day trip, but we recommend staying the night in one of the so-called “Hushas” or small huts built by locals in the area. In this way, you don’t have to catch the last boat back to the Blue Hole before sunset and have time to enjoy the sunset and stars in this magical setting.
1. Learn To Scuba Dive
With beautiful coral reefs adjacent to the waterfront, learning to scuba dive is a must-do activity when in Dahab. The instructors are really passionate about what they do and the conditions are perfect here for beginners since the lighthouse bay area is protected from extreme currents and winds. We didn’t realize initially how much effort it would take to learn the theoretical and skill-based sections of the PADI open water course but were happy we did it. We got our training from Bana at Nomad Divers and highly recommend him for his professionalism and ability to get anyone comfortable with scuba diving, no matter their ability or comfort level in the water.
Other things to do in Dahab
Since we only visited Dahab for two weeks, we didn’t have time to do everything in the area. But there are many other great outdoor activities to do here, which include kitesurfing, windsurfing, free-diving, rock climbing, camel rides, horseback rides, and ATV rides. Other places that are worth visiting include Wishwashi Canyon, the Colored Canyon, Nuweiba, and Ras Mohammed National Park.
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More Helpful Info About Dahab
If you still need more information about Dahab, make sure to check out these other great articles below:
Epic Things to Do in Dahab: Your Unconventional Guide by Curls En Route
14 Best Things to Do in Dahab, Egypt & the Sinai Peninsula by The Cure For Curiosity
10 Exciting Things To Do In Dahab, Egypt by The Adventurous Feet
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