A complete travel guide featuring 20 awesome things to do in Dahab, Egypt. Discover why this epic coastal town is so much more than just a scuba diving and kite surfing destination!
Located on the Gulf of Aqaba near the Red Sea lies Dahab, one of Egypt’s best-kept secrets!
The city of Dahab is better referred to as a quaint, coastal village. Here, you’ll find a laid-back hippy charm, mixed in with traditional Bedouin culture and plenty of opportunities for adventure!
In this detailed travel guide, I’ll reveal to you the top 20 things to do in Dahab, Egypt, that I hope will inspire your visit! I’ve also included a bunch of useful information in this guide, including how to get here, where to stay, and the best places to visit.
How to Get to Dahab
Dahab is located on the edge of the Gulf of Aqaba, in Egypt’s far eastern Sinai Peninsula. Below are the best ways to get here.
The closest airport is the Sharm El-Sheik international airport, located approximately 1-hour’s drive from Dahab. Travelers flying in from international destinations can often find direct flights, which avoids a layover in Cairo.
From Sharm el-Sheikh airport, you can pay a driver or taxi to drive you to Dahab. This should not cost you more than 600 Egyptian pounds. You can book this online.
Furthermore, Dahab is a popular destination for Israelis as well as other residents of the Middle East. As a result, many people drive to Dahab by crossing at the Egyptian border town of Taba.
One of the cheapest ways to get to Dahab is to take advantage of Egypt’s cost-effective bus network.
There are direct buses from Sharm el-Sheikh and Cairo. I had great experiences with GoBus, which has its own bus station in Dahab.
Useful Map for Exploring Dahab in Egypt
Although Dahab has all the right ingredients to become a very popular tourist destination, the truth is that it is still flying under the radar!
Beyond the kite surfing and scuba diving crowd, Dahab is often overlooked in favor of more famous Red Sea holiday destinations like Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh. However, there are so many epic activities and places to see in Dahab that you should definitely add to your Egypt itinerary!
Below is a quick map that you can use to navigate this travel guide.
Travel Tip: Dahab is an adventure playground! Before you go, make sure you’re covered for adventure activities and water sports like scuba diving and hiking. I recommend WorldNomads because they specifically cover adventure travel.
20 Epic Things to do in Dahab, Egypt
From hiking the world’s holiest mountain to diving in one of the world’s most famous dive sites, let’s jump into this epic travel guide featuring 20 amazing things to do in Dahab, Egypt!
1. The Mount Sinai Sunrise Hike
Hiking Mount Sinai is often the number one most recommended activity in Dahab.
This mountain, located in the Saint Catherine region of the Sinai Desert is almost universally accepted as being the biblical Mount Sinai. This is the place where Moses was said to have received the ten commandments from god.
If this has been on your bucket list and you find yourself in Dahab, then you’re in luck! This is the closest tourist town to Mount Sinai (also called Jabel Mousa/Mount Moussa or Moses Mountain), making it an ideal base for an overnight sunrise hike.
The journey usually takes a few hours by bus, and getting here by yourself is tricky due to strict security measures. Luckily, hiking tours from Dahab are very cheap.
Book: Mount Sinai Sunrise Hike (from Dahab)
2. Saint Catherine’s Monastery
Mount Sinai isn’t the only religiously significant landmark in this region. Just below the base of these Sinai Mountains, you’ll find the St. Catherine’s Monastery, which is considered to be the oldest continuously worked Christian Monasteries on earth.
Usually, the organized trips to hike Mount Sinai include a guided tour of the monastery. Therefore, you’ll get to tick off two birds with one stone with a trip out to this rugged and undeniably spiritual part of Egypt.
3. The Famous Dahab Blue Hole
The famous Blue Hole is widely considered to be one of the most renowned dive sites in the world. And, since it’s located on the edge of the Gulf of Aqaba, just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of Dahab, it’s very accessible from town by taxi.
This natural submarine sinkhole drops to an outrageous depth of over 120 meters (390 feet), just a few steps from the shore! Its steep, vertical walls are lined with amazing coral reefs, making it an idyllic site for recreational divers, free divers, and snorkelers.
However, the Dahab Blue Hole is also quite an infamous dive site carrying the burden of being the world’s deadliest! However, regular, recreational diving is very safe, as the most dangerous element is the 55-meter (180-foot) deep arch, which is best left for qualified, technical divers!
Travel tip: the Egyptian Government charges a USD 10 fee, payable upon entry to the Blue Hole area.
#1 Egypt Group Tour
Interested in traveling through Egypt on an organized group tour? I traveled with TravelTalk Tours on their Essential Egypt trip. I would highly recommend this trip to anybody looking to see all the ancient sites and fascinating landscapes while making some new friends for life!
4. The Colored Canyon in the Sinai Desert
Looking for something adventurous to do in Dahab? Make sure you dedicate a day to exploring all of the epic Sinai Desert canyons located right near Dahab.
The most famous canyon is the Colored Canyon (Salama Canyon), which is an eroded sandstone canyon with amazing geological patterns.
Below I’ve linked the best trip in the area, which also includes some of the other must-see destinations in Dahab’s desert including the White Canyon, Ain Khudra Oasis, and Mushroom Rock.
5. Scuba Diving or Free Diving
Did you know that the Red Sea is one of the best dive destinations on earth? This unique region is well known for its healthy coral reefs, abundant marine life, and insane visibility!
Therefore, you’re correct to assume that one of the best things to do in Dahab is to go scuba diving or snorkeling! The Dahab promenade is lined with dive centers where qualified scuba divers can dive at famous shore dives the Blue Hole, Ras Abu Galum, the Canyon, 3 Pools, and the Caves.
If free diving sounds more like your type of adventure, you’ll be stoked to hear there are plenty of good schools in Dahab as well!
6. Sinai Desert Jeep or Camel Ride
Ever wanted to go on a quad bike, 4WD, or jeep safari through the sand dunes? What about a camel ride with local Bedouins?
The South Sinai Desert surrounding Dahab is a great place to do both!
7. The Blue Lagoon
When visiting Dahab, make sure to allocate enough time for a day trip to the Blue Lagoon!
This is a crystal clear sheltered lagoon located just a short distance north of Dahab. The water color here is one of the most tranquil shades of blue I’ve ever witnessed, making it a great place to swim and enjoy the serenity. Also, it’s a great spot to watch professional kite surfers right from the shore!
However, getting here requires a bit of an adventure. Read my guide (linked above) for more information on how to get here.
8. Day Trip to Petra (Jordan) from Dahab
Did you know that you can visit the amazing archaeological site of Petra from Dahab on a day trip?
There’s one company (linked below) running complete, organized day trips to Petra in Jordan by air-conditioned bus. This is a full 18-hour tour and includes lunch, all entrance fees, and a local guide.
Getting to Jordan by yourself on an overland journey can be a little difficult due to the logistics and border measures in Tala Bay. However, this trip organizes it all for you at a price that you can’t beat with a flight and transport booked independently.
Book your trip: Full Day Petra Adventure (from Dahab)
9. Kite Surfing
Due to the high mountains of Sinai and neighboring Saudi Arabia, combined with the narrow Gulf of Aqaba, Dahab is notoriously windy.
As a result, Dahab is one of the world’s most popular kite surfing locations in Egypt, if not the world.
If you’ve always wanted to give this awesome sport a try, then you’ve come to the right place. There are many kit surf schools in Dahab offering lessons to beginners and advanced surfers!
10. Lagoona Beach and Dahab Lagoon
The Laguna Area has the main beach in the Egyptian city of Dahab. This is a far-stretching sand spit on the southern end of town, forming a naturally protected lagoon.
You’ll find this beach just a short walk or bike ride from the main town. And, it’s a great place to swim, relax, or go kite surfing!
Furthermore, the Lagoona beach also makes for an awesome sunset spot where you can relax and watch the sun set behind the Sinai Mountains.
11. The Dahab Salt Lake (Magic Lake)
Located immediately next to the big Dahab Lagoon is one of the most underrated attractions in Dahab!
Locals call it the Magic Lake or the Dahab Salt Lake. Chances are that you’ll pass right by it, but I highly recommend going for a swim. The percentage of salt is extremely high in this lake, which gives you crazy buoyancy just like the famous Dead Sea.
You’ll often see locals come here to cover themselves in the salty, white mud. This is a natural mud mask that many claim removes impurities and dead skin from the body.
Did you know? Dahab was once a former Bedouin fishing village. This quaint town attracted its first tourists when divers discovered the Blue Hole.
12. Ras Abu Galum to Blue Hole Hike
Looking for an amazing coastal hike in Dahab? Look no further than the epic trail running north from the Blue Hole to the popular snorkeling and diving spot known as Ras Abu Galum (Abu Galoum).
This is quite an easy hike, following a level path along the Gulf of Aqaba. On the way, you’ll get dramatic views of the soaring Sinai Mountains dropping into the deep blue abyss.
Since this is a protected area, many sections along this coastal walk harbor rich coral reefs.
13. Explore the Outskirts of Dahab by Scooter
One of the funnest things to do in Dahab is to rent your own set of two wheels and explore!
While travelers won’t require a scooter to get to the main attractions in Dahab town, it is worthwhile if you would like to tour the surrounding area.
We rented a scooter and drove up to the large hill overlooking Dahab. From here, we captured some awesome photos of the lagoon and the many Dahab resorts and luxury hotels dotting the coast.
14. Rock Climbing
Many of the jagged peaks and canyons behind Dahab offer epic rock climbing opportunities! Although this isn’t something I was able to fit into my Dahab itinerary, I stumbled upon this epic 3-day expedition into the South Sinai Desert which has a Tripadvisor Badge of Excellence!
If you end up doing this activity in Dahab, make sure to let me know how it was!
15. Day Trip to Cairo (Giza Pyramids) from Dahab
Visiting Sinai but still want to squeeze in a trip to the famous Egyptian Pyramids?
While it’s certainly a big day, visiting some of Egypt’s famous landmarks like the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Saqqara Necropolis, and the Egyptian Museum can be done on a long, 21-hour day trip from Sharm el-Sheikh (only an hour’s drive from Dahab).
Charming Egypt Tours is the only company running this tour, and they have an excellent reputation!
16. Promenade and the Dahab Community Market
The main strip in Dahab is called the promenade. This is a beachside, concrete boardwalk with several dive shops, ocean-view restaurants, trendy cafes, and small bazaars. This is the strip comprising the Eel Garden and Lighthouse area.
When visiting Dahab, you’ll likely walk this strip daily, since it’s where most things are happening.
However, if you’re lucky enough to visit on a Friday, make sure to head down here for the Dahab Community Market. This is a weekly affair where many vendors come to sell their wares, including hand-made jewelry, Egyptian cotton clothes, and fresh food.
Everything here is offered at affordable prices. But, you’ll need to put your haggling shoes on!
17. The Why Not Bazaar
The famous Why Not Bazar is a popular place for tourists to snap an iconic Instagram photo beneath a chalkboard sign surrounded by all sorts of trinkets.
However, if you step into this quirky shop, you’ll find that it’s one of the most unique in Dahab. These guys sell everything from jewelry to organic natural medicines.
While I didn’t buy anything, browsing this store was one of the most interesting things to do in Dahab, and a great place to snap some photos.
18. Beachfront Restaurants & Cafes Near Eel Garden & Lighthouse
After a long day of scuba diving, kite surfing, or heading out to explore all of Dahab’s epic attractions, one of the best things to do is just to relax and unwind at one of the many beachfront restaurants and cafes.
The entire coastal strip from Eel Garden to Lighthouse is occupied by great restaurants serving up delicious food for affordable prices.
One of my favorite afternoons in Dahab was spent drinking beer and smoking shisha with my good friends while watching the sunset light up the mountains of Saudi Arabia in the distance.
19. Ralph’s German Bakery
Who would expect to find a top-notch German Bakery in this remote coastal town of Egypt?
Dahab has two awesome spots to grab a delicious croissant or a loaf of freshly baked bread. Both of these are run by Ralph, and he’s named his bakery Ralph’s German Bakery.
This is one of the best places in Dahab to have breakfast, as they serve up a great coffee too!
20. Make Friends at My Hostel in Dahab
While Dahab does cater for luxury travel, it is still very much a backpacker town. Budget travelers looking for the absolute best hostel vibe in Dahab (perhaps even in Egypt) should not look past My Hostel. No, I don’t own this hostel, that’s just the name!
At My Hostel, you’ll find an awesome rooftop terrace and a chill co-working area offering some of the fastest wifi speeds in Dahab. Every night, this rooftop is full of travelers from all over the world, and a great place to meet people.
So, as the hostel owner and now my good friend, Medhat told me,
It’s Dahab man, the best thing to do here is… nothing!
Tip: My Hostel is also connected to the popular Octopus Divers dive center. This is one of the best and most cost-effective dive shops in Dahab.
Places to Stay in Dahab Egypt
Dahab is much smaller and more laid back than its more luxurious neighbor Sharm el-Sheikh. However, there is still a wide range of accommodation options, from epic rooftop hostels to luxurious beach-side resorts.
Below are the top-rated accommodation options for Dahab.
- Swiss Inn Resort Dahab – The best luxury resort in Dahab offers its guests a gym facility, a private beach, a children’s play area, multiple pools, restaurants, a shuttle service, and its very own dive center.
- Jaz Dahabeya – Overlooking the Red Sea and Sinai Mountains this resort is a perfect pick for those wanting to enjoy 4-star luxury without breaking the bank. The resort offers its own reviving and reinvigorating treatments in its spa facility, pool, children’s play area, and gym. Breakfast and dinner are included.
- My Hostel – Easily the best hostel in Dahab, if not in all of Egypt! This is complete with a roof-top terrace and chill co-work area. An excellent vibe and the owner Medhat can also arrange tours and diving for you at the best price in Dahab.
Where to Eat in Dahab
Looking for some great places to eat in the Egyptian coastal city of Dahab? Below are some good recommendations to start.
- Ralph’s Bakery – great fresh bed and delicious cakes
- Namaste Indian – the best Indian food in Egypt
- Eltanur – awesome pizza and milkshakes
- Epic local restaurant near My Hostel- copy and paste “كوارع هاوس” into Google Maps (next to Kings of the Liver). Here you can eat delicious local street food like koshiri for under 30 Egyptian Pounds ($1.70) a meal.
Dahab Travel Tips and FAQs
Dahab is one of the safest cities I traveled to in Egypt. There haven’t been any issues with attacks since the 2006 bombings. There’s also very little crime– nobody even locks up their bikes!
The cost of living in Dahab is very affordable. Hostel dorms are usually less than USD 15 per night and you can eat delicious Egyptian food for under $4 a meal. Expect to pay more (around $7-10 a meal) and the beachside restaurants.
Of course. However, I wouldn’t suggest taking the overland option. Instead, simply fly from Hurghada airport to Sharm el-Sheikh, and get a taxi or bus to Dahab.
Dahab is a year-round holiday destination. However, most people recommend visiting during Spring/Fall (March to May and September to November). The hottest months are during the summer months of June to August when the Red Sea area of Egypt, including Dahab, gets notoriously hot.
Almost everybody visits Dahab planning to spend 2-3 days there, but end up staying much longer. I would recommend at least 5-7 days to get the most out of this amazing destination.
More Egypt Travel Guides & Inspiration
And that’s a wrap for this detailed travel guide featuring the top 20 things to do in Dahab, Egypt.
I hope you enjoy this tiny slice of backpacker paradise and make some life-long memories as I have.
While you’re here, below you’ll find a few more articles from Egypt that I’m sure will come in useful for your travels.
More Dahab and Egypt travel inspiration: