I visited Makadi Bay (south of Hurghada with my wife in September 2010 mainly for snorkeling. The experience was really nice.
Here is a link to a portfolio of pictures and videos of the below recommended sites: http://www.flixya.com/gallery/70775
*Oct-03-2010 still adding material to the portfolio during coming weeks
I personally recommend visiting following reefs:
Fort Arabesque House Reef (beach access)
Ras Disha (boat trip)
Tobia Arbaa (boat trip)
Sharm-El-Naga (beach access)
Gota Abu Ramada (boat trip)
Erg Soraya at Little Giftun (boat trip)
There are many other sites too, but for some reason I didn't find operators organising trips out.
Snorkelling trips - these are generally a fun day, and a good chance to play in the sea and see fish, especially if you're not up for diving. However, we went to Giftun Island - if you're expecting hundreds of tropical fish and colourful coral reefs, think again. This part of the Red Sea is so heavily touristed that most of the coral is dead, and after standing all over the coral a lot of obnoxious guests like to go fishing. If you are going to Egypt for the sealife, go to Sharm el Sheikh instead.
What makes Hurghada and the Red Sea really worth the visits are the beauties under water. The easiest access might be the glass boat or the submarine but much more fun is to jump yourself into the water and snorkel at the coral reefs. There are plenty of such tours offered everywhere. Look around to find the most suitable ones for you. It covers mostly the whole day, the boat is going about one hour until it reaches a reef. Usually you do one snorkelling before lunch (which is usually offered on board and included), during that time the boat often moves to an other place where you are snorkelling again. Dont expect that your boat with about 20 - 30 or so people is the only one around. Mostly some boats are anchoring together, one tied to the other and a lot of people are snorkelling together with you. So you happen almost always to see others snorkelling around you but what you see around the reef is simply great. Incredible varieties of species of the maritime fauna, swarms of colourful fish and all the phantastic things you have seen only in the best aquaria and in books are around you and obviously dont care about you at all.
On some of the tours the Giftun island is visited.
We hired a boat for one day and went snorkling.
A local man contacted us and after a very long discussion about prices, we agreed that we could have the boat with snorkling material and with a guide to show us the most beautiful spots under water and a cook to make us a meal on board. We payed 200 euro for everything and we had the boat for ourselves all day long.
It was an unforgettable day !
We stayed at the "Sun&Sea" hotel, and there was (still is, I hope) an agency called "Magic lamp" in charge of all kinds of "sea trips"...Two young, enthusiastic and energetic guides (Ahmed and Basil) were just great. Snorkling was amazing, as well as, glass-bottom boat and Love island! It's not the most exotic trip you've ever had, but it's fun
Those who have tryed it love it and those who had never done it have a chance to do it. Hurghada is one of the best places to experiance the new world. You can find the underwater tours in every hotel and agency in Hurghada. So give it a try !!!
There are several types of Stingray. This is the one I had the pleasure to see while snorkeling. Unfortunatly, the picture I have taken with small disposable camera was not very good, so the one I have put here is borrowed from the following site:
I know, I look silly. I felt that way when I got all these things on myself. But once I got into the water and saw all the mirracles living there...
Snorkeling is something that even senior travelers can enjoy. It's much better than glass submarine where you you are just a spectator. This way, you actually become a part of Red Sea's marine life! Amazing...
Another word of advice, if you happen to be on the upper deck of the boat when you get your snorkeling equipment, don't put it on untill you get down! We had some people puting it on and trying to go downstairs with fins on their feet!!!
The one in lighter circle is me, just so you could recognize me :-)
The Red Sea is the paradise for the people they like diving and snorkeling. Under the water you can see many beautiful colorful fishes: angelfish, bigeye, lionfish, hawkfish, parrotfish, tigerfish, smalltooth grouper, sabre squrellfish, spine porcupine fish, suez fusilier, surgeonfish, seahorse, masked butterfly fish, moray eel, pugoplites diacanthus, amphiprion bicintus, black spotted grunts, grouper, coral grouper, goatfish, mimic blenny, anthias squamipinnis, bristley puffer, urchin, stringrey and other.
When you're staying in Hurghada you should try a snorkel trip.
I don't think it is an unforgettable experience, but it is worth a try.
Most of the coral reefs reserved for the snorklers are destroyed by snorkelers, so don't expect to see the images you'll see on TV.
You'll come across large amounts of colourful fish and you?ll see what is left of the once beautiful coral reefs.
A full day snorkelling trip with food and drinks will cost you 30 euros or more.
Beware of the sharp reefs when snorkling, you can get a scar on your leg like I did.
For the rest nice exotic fish in all colours and sizes. I even saw an octopus winking his eyes, but was too late to take a picture of it. Also dangerous sea-eagles to step on. So always take your water-sandals with you.
We went through our agents to book our excursion. Just keep one thing in mind: you might want to bring your own gear. My niece had no trouble with hers, but my mask didn't have a very good seal, so I ended up swimming instead. I still had a good time though.
A paradise-island outside Hurghada(about 45 minutes boattrip), no resorts, just a small bar and a lunch-restaurant. You can go snorkelling here. If you are like me - not into scuba-diving - you can se a lot of nice fish just off the beach too.... :-)
We went there with our travel-agent, but I am sure you can book tours as independent traveller too...or just become friends with a local fisherman with a fast boat. :-)
If you are in the red sea area so one of the main reasons beside looking at the sea from the beach should be trying to live and unite with the nature.
Snorkling is a perfect idea in addition to glass boats. You will get the chance to feel some of the most attractive creatures in life. The colourful fish.
Snorkeling in the Red Sea is a MUST DO activity while in Hurghada. If you do nothing else, do this. The day we went, the water was crystal clear and calm. We were fortunate enough to say a couple of rays, sea urchins, and other "shy" sea life. When we relayed this information to the other boat passengers they were amazed. If they had only swam away from the boat they would've seen these too.