Northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh, in the Gulf of Aqaba and an hour away by boat, lies Tiran Island. A chain of four prominent coral reefs alternating with lagoons, this crescent-shaped island is one of the best snorkelling and dive spots to visit on your Sharm-el-Sheikh holidays.
The four main areas of the island are named after the 19th century geographers who first surveyed the area – Jackson Reef, Woodhouse Reef, Thomas Reef, and Gordon Reef. The wrecks of grounded ships stand on Jackson Reef to the north and Gordon Reef to the south.
Aquatic birds are abundant on this island, and include the Western reef heron, common spoonbill, and white-cheeked tern. A large population of ospreys also consider the island their home.
Deep under the island’s waters is where the real treasure lies: coral reefs bustling with marine life. The island’s western side is bordered by Laguna Reef, about 10 to 12 metres deep, and divided by a hard coral wall. The southern part of this area is known as South Laguna to tourists and Marsa Shabir to local fishermen. The waters here are a rich turquoise hue and a refuge when storms strike. Discover gorgonians and other corals, as well as reef fauna here, and table corals and fire corals in North Laguna.
Venture into the deeper waters where more fascinating and exotic creatures lurk -- sharks, manta rays, barracudas, and a moray eel with a body as thick as a small man’s waist!