Israel (State of Israel)

Languages: Arabic, Hebrew

Currencies: ILS · Israeli new shekel (₪)

Capitol: Jerusalem

Continents: Asia

Borders: Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon

More useful information

Area: 20,770km2

Population: 9,216,900

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +972

Timezones: UTC+02:00

Last updated on April 17, 2024

If you are based in Europe, you really don’t have to travel far for incredible diving adventures. One of the most stunning and exciting destinations for divers is the Red Sea Gulf of Aqaba. This region offers some of the best diving spots in the world. I took this picture from the shore. 

I spent a week snorkeling and diving in different spots of the Red Sea in Gulf of Aqaba. It’s one of the most accessible coral reefs I’ve seen. Here are my favourite and best spots for diving in the Red Sea. 

Best spots for snorkeling & diving in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba.

Best snorkeling & diving in the Red Sea.

Gulf of Aqaba is exceptional spot for snorkeling and diving experience. There are one of the most crystal clear waters I’ve seen and of course incredible coral reef (which unfortunately is collapsing due to climate change). Honestly, I dived in remote destinations and very often it turned out that the diving experience was extremely poor – one them was Bermuda (dark, zero visibility) and the other one was – as much I LOVE Canary Islands (diving was poor – not on every island!). 

Best spots for snorkeling & diving in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba.

Tiran Island in Gulf of Aqaba.

One of the top spots for diving in the Gulf of Aqaba is the Tiran Island. Located at the entrance of the Gulf, this island is home to some of the most magnificent coral reefs in the area. The island is surrounded by deep waters, which attract a wide variety of marine life, including barracudas, sharks and rays. 

But Tiran Island is also known for its strong currents, which can make diving trhilling advanture but very challenging. If you are an experienced diver looking for an adrenaline rush, this is the perfect spot for you. Otherwise stay closer to Jordan shores where incredible coral reef starts few metres from the beach. 

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Yolanda Reef!

Another popular diving spot in the Gulf of Aqaba is the Yolanda Reef. This reef is located at the southern end of the Straits of Tiran, and it is known for its large schools of fish and colorful coral. 

This diving spot is best known for Yolanda shipwreck, which sank in 1980. The shipwreck is now covered in coral and serves as an artificial reef.

Eilat - exceptional snorkeling experience.

Israel has a tiny access to Red Sea. Eilat – the only Israeli port is located on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is known for its stunning coral formations and diverse marine life, including sea turtles and dolphins. This is one of the best snorkeling spots I came across while traveling the world.

Global climate change and the rise of the sea temperature causes severe bleaching to the coral reef of the Red Sea (Cornet fish is the best example – you’ll see a picture below of a bright grey cornet fish, it always used to be dark grey). 

I always advise to check best diving recommendations on To reach exceptional snorkeling spots, you will need to travel a little outside Eilat city. But no worries, this will be easy since public transport in Eilat is very well organized. It’s best to get a bus card but if you don’t have one you can still purchase ticket in the bus.

Snorkeling in South Beach and Coral Beach Reserve - Israel.

How to get to South Beach from Eilat?

Coral Beach Reserve spreads over couple kilometres along the Red Sea cost. To reach one of the diving or snorkeling spots you need to take bus no 16 which goes from Eilat city centre western direction toward South Beach – see the map. On the way back from South Beach to Eilat city centre you will need to take no 15 (not 16!) Thanks to different numbers you will never get confused which direction you are traveling.. Bus no 16 goes from Eilat to Dolphins Beach, Coral Beach and the Underwater Observatory Marine Park. 

These buses run even in Shabbat! The first beach is Dolphins Beach. Although I would never advise visiting places like this, this is where dolphins are kept for tourist attraction. Most people don’t realize dolphins always look happy, even when they suffer – which may be confusing for observers. Dolphins like any other captured animal, suffer while imprisoned, dolphins are only happy when free. Entry fee to Dolphins Beach is 300 shekels.

Coral Beach Reserve.

Coral Beach is one of the best snorkeling spots in Red Sea. There are few shops in the area, opened also in Shabbat. This is where I did my first dive in Israel. The diving centre was located just on the beach, so I though it will be convenient to dive from the shore. Hovewer the experience was average,  they gave me the wrong gear size and they guide wasn’t interacting too much. He didn’t even say buy after the dive. Money makers. The only reason they have clients is because of the convenient spot. Don’t pick them. The prices were as follows: 190 shekels – refreshment dive, 240 shekels 2 dives a day and + insurance (if you have your travel insurance – make sure you have underwater sports included!!!). The insurance with a diving centre will cost you 99 shekels for 5 days and it’s recognised in Jordan and Egypt as well.

DID YOU KNOW – the best decompression chamber in the world is in Egypt, due to the highest number of diving accidents. Every year thousands of tourists with very little diving experience come to swim in spectacular waters of Sharm El Sheikh (Egipt). 

Coral Beach is the most amazing place for snorkeling, it is possible to spot dolphins, sharks and sea snakes.


There are brilliant facilities available for visitors: private lockers, showers, beds, shop and nice changing rooms.

It felt so safe on the beach that I left the rest of my staff on the bridge and went snorkeling.

Direct access to the sea is denied from the shore, in case to protect the coral reef.

You can only access the sea from the bridges. There are plenty of safety ropes & swimming tracks in the water. 

Red Sea is salty enough to protect you from drowning.

Sea dept near the bridge is 15 metres but the visibility is unbelievable!

Things you get to see near the bridge are more fascinating than most of my dives! Watch my video from snorkeling with a tropical marine life: Snorkeling in Coral Beach, Eilat.

Water temperature in December was 21-22 degrees, which was much warmer than the air temperature. 

If you take a 10 minutes walk you’ll reach the Underwater Observatory Marine Park (entry ticket is something like 100 shekels).

Diver’s Village over the Red Sea.

If you walk south direction from the South Beach you will reach another amazing diving spot near Diver’s village. It’s a far end of Israel, only 1 km from the Egipt border in Taba. There’s definitely fewer people than on the Coral Beach.

Diving in the Red Sea of Jordan.

If you are looking for a more relaxed underwater experience, the King Abdullah Reef is the perfect spot for diving in the Red Sea.

This reef is located near the Jordanian coast, and it is known for its gentle currents and shallow waters. The King Abdullah Reef is home to a variety of colorful fish, and its coral gardens are breathtaking. This spot is perfect for beginner divers or those who prefer a more peaceful diving experience.

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Diving in Aqaba with International Diving Centre.

Aqaba, is the only port city in Jordan. Aqaba offers lots of diving centres but as for me International Diving Centre run by Mohammad is the best place for an underwater adventure. Guys are extremely nice and professional. The centre was previously run by Mohammad’s Grandfather and has lots reviews on Tripadvisor. Diving in the Red Sea of Aqaba is absolutely fabulous! I couldn’t get enough for two days, there are many great sites from a ship, plane or tank wrecks, sunk in Aqaba Gulf to attract divers. 

Diving in underwater canyons - Aqaba.

You access the sea from the shore, there is no boat ride. You will dive across three amazing underwater canyons. You will see huge pipes connecting Jordan with Israel (clever way to hide something from public eye ;). 

WATCH: Anyway, you can watch here what to expect from this tropical diving adventure: Diving near the ship on the bottom of Gulf of Aqaba and Deep diving in Red Sea in Jordan

Take a look at the amazing free diving in lava tunnels in Isla Isabela, Galapgos islands: Isla Isabela lava tunnels tour. I dived in waters of Pacific & Oceania, South-East Asia, Maldoves, Canary Islands, South America, Bermuda and diving in the Red Sea is definitely on the top of my list for best underwater experience. So far Galapagos Islands & Maldives are king!

Best spots for snorkeling & diving in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba.
Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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