In pursuit of a little Winter sun and some nice blue water diving with pretty fish to get me through the dreary UK Winter, I decided to do a mini break to Marsa Shagra. I didn't want to use a whole week of holiday as I have big trips later in the year so decided that 5 nights was doable by flying easyjet from Gatwick to Hurghada going out on Thursday and coming back Tuesday (also the flights were pretty cheap). Transfer time is about 3.5 hours with a stop for stretch of legs / toilet break / snacks at a cafe en route. The flight times meant I could still fit in 4 days of diving.
Marsa Shagra operates an unlimited house reef diving system which was perfect for my relaxing little break as we could dive whenever we wanted and weren't tied to a schedule. We opted for house reef only diving but you can do excursions at a supplement subject to minimum numbers. On the house reef you can decide to go and come back by shore or use the little zodiacs. More info on Marsa Shagra here and I booked through Oonas:
I did 9 dives on the North and South House reefs over 4 days, a mixture of shore and zodiac. Water temp was around 21-23 degrees but the wind was very cold and so I was glad I had taken my drysuit. Plenty of people in wetsuits but I like to be comfortable and was a lot warmer in my drysuit than my wetsuit (I took both).
The coral on the house reefs is beautiful and in really good condition and always plenty to see. The plus side of going off season is that you pretty much have the reef to yourself too, so very relaxing, peaceful dives. On my dives I saw turtles, rays - blue spotted, torpedo and some large ones I forget the name of, lots of different pufferfish and porcupine fish, nudibranchs, turtles, bat fish, wrasse, parrot fish, morays etc. I think the Red Sea always has plenty to offer! You can do night dives too (we didn't as it was a bit nippy).
The resort is also excellent with water stations everywhere and a great variety of food on offer. The only beer is Stella so if you like a drink probably best to buy duty free and just use the included soft drinks as mixers! The tents are lovely and I have stayed in them before but knowing the air temps are cool at night in Feb I went for an en suite chalet this time. The air con can be switched to heating mode and they are nice and spacious with a terrace overlooking the sea, so perfect for a bit of relaxing and sunbathing between dives.
I have included a few snaps below and as always, if anyone has any questions, ask away!