The island of Tiran is located at the southern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is a 2'000 meter deep cut in the bottom of the ocean. Here the Gulf narrows and becomes shallower.
With the change of tides, huge quantities of water flow through this bottleneck and cause very strong currents. In the center of the Strait of Tiran, a ridge pushes up, running from north to south. On its highest elevation four coral reefs (Gordon, Woodhouse, Thomas and Jackson, which are named after British cartographers) have formed.
The currents around these reefs are the cause for the extraordinary diversity of corals and big fish swarms. Among others, you can see barracudas, snappers as well as sharks.
These dive sites can be reached by boat around one hour cruising time from Naama Bay.
Tiran and Ras Mohammed offer excellent opportunities to see the fascinating underwater world. Tiran is closer to Sharm, 17 km away, while Ras is about 35 km away. Boat excursions to Tiran include two spots for snorkelling and swimming in the Blue lagoon near the island. Lunch on board is included. One also has a chance to go snorkelling along the Gordon reef near the wreckage of a Russian ship.
A couple of hours by boat from Naama Bay will get you to Tiran Island. In the centre of the Strait of Tiran, between Tiran Island and Sinai, four reefs can be found. They are all named after 19th century english cartographers. The reefs are called Jackson Reef, Woodhouse Reef, Thomas Reef and Gordon Reef.
Jackson Reef is usually the most crowded of the four. Because of this reason the boat I was on didn't go to this site. We dived the Woodhouse Reef and the Gordon Reef. The last one can be easily recognised by the Loulia wreck that lies on the northwestern side of the reef. Usually there are waves on that side of the reef and the diving always takes place on the other side, where water is very calm and where there are fixed moorings.
The diving at both sights is superb though the currents at the Woodhouse Reef can get quite stong. You will se many red anemones here with them cute little clown fish. Get to close to the anemone and the clown fish will attack. Whooooh we're scared. I love the personality of this fish, it's so small but it has the attitude of a shark ready to kill.
Unfortunately we could only do two dives at Tiran, but usually you can do a third dive too. The reason we could only do two dives was that Mubarak the Egyptian president was in Sharm and therefor all boats had to make a detour to get to Tiran Island, which took about an hour longer each way. Too bad since I really enjoyed diving at Tiran!
This trip to Tiran island has one and just one purpose - snorkel. We visited three different spots, all with different characteristics. We were a large group, and we really had fun, in a new, clean and well maintained boat, where even the lunch... was good.
Bargain! With a list price of 25£, we paid... 17€.
This trip was such a relaxing one, if you didnt fancy snorkelling then you could just relax and enjoy the sights, i chose to snorkel and it was well organised and i felt very safe, the underwater experience was amazing, it was my first time out, as im a little scared of the deep blue. The fish and corals were such an experience, i even got to a dolphin, turtle and number of other wierd looking fish, it was like swimming in a tropical fish tank, the people on the boat were very informative and friendly and even looked after out son who was a little sea sick, so was i but they gave us some tablets and they worked a treat, they even managed to talk my 7 year old into having a go at snorkelling and he really enjoyed it.