40 things to do before you’re 40 - Number 17!

17. Scuba dive in the Red Sea

Despite being one of the warmest bodies of saltwater in the world (averaging a bath-like temperature of 22°C!), the Red Sea is a cooling and refreshing oasis from the desert heat around it. It divides the north-east coast of Africa from the Middle East across the ocean, and the weight of history around the area is staggering. It was the Red Sea which Moses miraculously opened up and led his Jewish followers through while being chased by an angry Egyptian army. Pirates, invaders, and crusaders have sailed through the warm waters over the centuries, but on arrival in the gorgeous bohemian town of Dahab, Egypt, it’s all too easy to forget anything important.

In recent years Dahab has expanded beyond its humble origins as a fishing village, and now boasts a smooth fusion of hippy mellowness and resort chic. With its golden beaches and stunning mountain backdrop, Dahab has a long history of luring travellers and trapping them for days or weeks on end.

When you’re relaxed enough in Dahab above ground, why not pop under the sea to see what’s going on below?! The Scuba diving is world-class. Within metres of the shoreline there is a magical array of marine life, including beautiful angelfish, colourful coral reefs, slippery eels, and graceful seahorses. Scuba diving is the only time most people can say they’ve visited (quite literally) a different world. From complete novices to advanced divers, diving in the Red Sea is a completely relaxing and mind-blowing experience.

Be warned – after a few days of crystal-clear scuba diving, desert trekking, ocean-side dinners, and complete relaxation around the Red Sea coast, you will find it extremely difficult to leave and go back to reality.

Topdeck Top Tip: If all the relaxation in Dahab gets too much for you, take a day trip out to Mount Sinai - it’s said to be the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It’s much cooler at the summit (2,285 metres above sea level) so take a few layers with you.

Video 1 - Underwater video showing some of the amazing creatures you might encounter while Scuba diving in the Red Sea – www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP4OdBRtJvs

Video 2 - This short video shows some of the highlights of Dahab, including the local tradition of a Bedouin camel race! www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c-4tMz5Hpo

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