Small town 100 km away from touristic Sharm-El-Sheikh is loved by divers, kite-serfers and wind-serfers for the special atmosphere of serenity and absence of touristic conveyer.
Unlikely the flat cost of mainland Egypt, Dahab is surrounded by mountains which make local landscape especially beautiful. Mountains playing with blue, pink and violet colors and are especially beautiful on sunset and sunrise time. Dahab initially was founded not like another location for big 5-star hotels. About 15-20 years ago this small Bedouin village started to be filled by downshifters, free romantics and simle adventure lovers, and they started creating this special atmosphere. You can often hear: “This is Dahab. Nobody is in a hurry”. When you are sitting on the cushions and carpet in a small café at the seaside with a cup of bedouin tea listening to quiet waves splash it may seem to you that time has stopped… Dahab is a great place to heal your tired of crazy city hassle soul.
The majority of tourists come to Dahab for diving, wind surfing and kite surfing. So lots of activity during the day time and relaxing night at the chilling restaurants is the normal day schedule for tourists and locals.
Old central part of the town – Lighthouse – is diver’s place. Lots of small seaside restaurans, where you can sunbathe and swim. Here is one divers favourites housereef (espessially good for beginners) where you can also snorkel. Shallow, lively and colorful.
Sometimes you can see here winsurfers breaking the waves.
Like in every city center of any seaside town there’s a seafront with bunch of restaurans, cafes and souvenir shops. In 10 minutes by car from here you can reach Lagoon – spot for kiteschools. Almost regular wind made this shallow sandy bay popular for kite-surffers. Lagoon and sandy bar view became one of Dahab visit cards as well as famous among divers Blue Hole. There are a few big hotels at this area. As usual most of the big hotels are located at the edge of the city.
Where can you go around Dahab? At the first sight it might seem a strange question: what can you see in the desert? Those who think this way most probably forget the fact that Dahab is located on Sinai peninsula. Throwback to history, this area is an anciend field for Judish and early Christian history. Sinai desert was the place where Moses lead his people 40 years. Only 2 hours drive away from Dahab there’s one of the most important Christian shrine – Mount Sinai and St Katrin monastery at it’s bottom. Trip there is one of the most popular local excursions. You can do night tracking all the way up to Mt. Sinai and see the sunrise. They say your sins are forgiven if you do this tracking with your feet. And beauty of dawn in desert mountains is completely breathtaking!
There are a few oases around Dahab. Yes, natural green oasis in the middle of the desert with pomegranate trees and dates palms. There are springs supplying water to the plants. Perhaps, the closest and the most easy accesable is Wadi Gunai. You can go there by taking a quad-bike tour. Some enthusiasts get there by bicycle.
Sands of Colour Canyon
A few more oases can be seen on the way from White to Colour Canyon. It’s also one of the most popular excursion. About 1,5 – 2 hours drive from Dahab. Incredible color combinations of the sands compressed by time, winds and water make magical tracery. Sometimes I think that Martian landscapes should look exactly the same! If you have never been to desert I recommend going there. A very special beauty of the desert can hardly be compared with anything else.
And the most impressive for me was an overnight trip with friends to the desert, canyon El Arada and valley El Maharum. These plases are incredible beautiful! Arabesue canyons in desert mountains, huge rock shaped as an eyed dragon head, sandy dune… Our bedouin friend showed us how to collect wood in the desert, make fire, cook real Bedouin food and bake bread on coal. We slept in sleeping bags under the stars hiding in gorge from wind. And this is the place where meaning of the expression “trembling quitness” becomes absolutely clear to you. It is so quiet around that you can feel like a pressure going into your ears. I have never experienced such quietness anywhere else. Perhaps, it’s not the place where you can live for a long time but it’s definitely worth visiting.
As old residents of this town say, “Dahab is not the place but state of mind”