Boats and instructors at the main dive centres tend to be committed to groups, though they will take on independent travellers if they have space: expect to pay around €300 for a PADI Open Water course or around €50 for two boat dives. As in Hurghada, an environmental fee of €3 a day is levied on all divers and snorkellers. The main diving grounds lie 6–8km offshore from the holiday resorts between Safaga Island and the Ras Abu Soma headland to the north. Tubiya Island is ringed with corals just off its beach, while dive boats drop their clients directly over the sunken North and South Fairway Reefs or the twin pairs of sites known as Tubiya Kebir, Tubiya Soraya, Gamul Soraya and Gamul Kebir. Other sites include the Seven Pillars off Ras Abu Soma, and the Panorama Reef and Shark Point, 10km east of Safaga Island. Most of them are notable for their coral pillars and strong currents. Note that among the big fish prevalent in these waters are aggressive hammerhead sharks.


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