Marjan & I spend as much time as we can in Dahab, former hippie hang-out and Israeli R&R destination, fabulous snorkelling right from the beach, plenty of different reef sites, stunning mountains lining the coast, laid back and cheap, and a world-class freediving location (yes it has one of those blue holes, and yes it has many overambitious scuba divers dying in it too).
Marjan’s school started later than planned because of the political troubles and she got extra days off. We spend another five days in Dahab and it was virtually deserted, Cairo international school teachers (late starts were ordered by the Egyptian Ministry of Education….) and some other Caireens, that was it. This village, its stunning attractions and its operators and staff deserve better.
I know Dahab from its pre-lonely planet days – spent my first couple of days in a palm leaf hut on the beach there when it was still in Israeli hands in 1978 – and yes, it has changed, all of that beach has now been transformed in a promenade, on the outskirts there is plenty of (only very partially successful) resort development, and the Bedouin village, Assalah, has grown into a large settlement, the reef, like all reefs worldwide are endangered (but less effected by climate change effects than many others), sea life is probably less than 30 years ago but still spectacular and abundant. Youtube has plenty of (free)diving videos shot in dahab. I chose the below because it features images of both a turtle and the awesome spotted eagle ray (and the obligatory lionfish), all of whom we saw during our last visit (haven’t been to Dahab without seeing a turtle yet – this kinda ray was a first). Enjoy and don’t let the current travel warnings scare you off.