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Firstly I have to say I love my parents in law. They've agreed to come with us on a family holiday to the Red Sea next year & if we want to do some diving they'll look after the kids - result!!

I fancy going to Sharm, but we were looking on the internet last night & my wife found a hotel in Taba that she liked the look of. I've never been to Taba, but have been to Sharm (but not for about 12 years) & was after some advice as to which would be better.

What's the diving like in Taba compared to Sharm? Any recommendations for dive centres? Do the centres in Sharm still do day runs the Thistlegorm (my major reason for Sharm), and if so which?

Lastly would we have any issues regarding medical requirements as my wife is a diabetic diver?

Richard
 

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It's 5 years since we were in Taba but:-

Taba was quiet with, I found, limited diving.Shallow and fairly dead.
Fantastic hotel - Hyatt Regency anyway.
I don't think that medical facilities are up to much if this is a consideration.

Sharm is massive in comparison much more bucket and spade now. It grows each year but:-

good range of dives including thistlegorm, Ras Mohammed, Tiran etc.
Hospital.
We use Emperor Divers who certanly do the TG.


For diving I would go to Sharm, for peace and quiet Taba

HTH
 

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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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If you've not been to Sharm for 12 years, you won't recognise the place and will likely not like what's happened to it.

It's become the Blackpool of the Red Sea and has too large a concentration of non-divers so has lost most, if not all, its appeal.

The diving away from the local reefs was still very good (2 years ago, I've not been back since) but the local reefs have been trashed. You may well remember Temple as a beautiful site teeming with fish and soft coral .... well it's largely barren rock now :(

Taba does not have anything to match Ras Mohammed or Tiran but the local diving coral is in better condition and there are more fish .... if you are lucky you might see a frog fish or two but there are no pelagics. It is markedly cooler in Taba and depending on the time of year the sun sets early behind an escarpment meaning it can get even chillier.

I would take Taba for the peace and quiet.

HTH
Mal
 

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Spent a week in Sharm last year. I can't think of any reason I'd ever go back. I was there once before in November 2001, and since then it became much more crowded, much more dirty, and lost all the appeal I thought it had in '01.

Everybody there is desperately busy trying to get their share of the tourist dollar. Not with any great charm either.

Think Spanish Costa with Egyptian 'efficiency'.

Can't think of a lot kids might have found diverting either.

Never been to Taba, but it would need to be really bad to be any worse.

I must say though, an evening spent on the roof of the Camel bar in 30+ degrees with sheeshah pipes and beer is still a great way to end a day.
 

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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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Please bear in mind these are my personal perspectives :D

Hurghada is becoming more like Sharm (again I have not been there for 2 years and won't be rushing back). The diving from Hurghada is better overall but still nothing to match RasMo. It's weather dependent but Carless Reef and Giftun are very nice though.

Why not think about further north or further south .... e.g. El Gouna or Marsa Alam? I went to El Gouna quite a few years ago but not been back lately (possibly later this year) and thought it was very nice. They don't run trips to the Thistlegorm anymore but you can get to the Rosalie Moller which is arguably a better wreck (certainly less busy and still with lots of coral formations on it and teeming with fish). It was a lot quieter than the other resorts and didn't seem to attract the partying crowds that the others do.

I went to Marsa Alam last year to the Tulip Resort which is an Italian run hotel and really enjoyed it.

It has to be said the African part of Egypt seems to suffer more from Wind than the Sinai side which is evidenced by the numbers of Windsurfers and kite boarders so expect some windy days.


HTH
Mal
 

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We had a poor Hurghada experience staying at the Hilton south of the town.

The hotel was not good which did not help and that end of town was a bit like Cairo on Sea.

Diving was disappointing not helped by the weather which was v windy most of the week.

Little Giftun was Ok as were the Carnatic and Ghannis D. The rest were shallow dives on to sand by semi dead reefs. Not Ras Mo or Tiran standards.

We have been assured that the north end of town and El Gouna are better
 

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Never been to either Hurghada or El Gouna, so can't comment directly. I did notice a very favourable write-up of El Gouna yesterday. The diving didn't sound spectacular, but it sounded like a place you could bring a family.
 

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Hi Richard
We recently stayed at the Marriott in Hurgharda which was great.The dive centre is in the hotel and the boat is moored 50 yards away,so no long bus journeys to and fro.The diving was good,but probably not as good as Sharm( my opinion).The town centre is the usual hussle and bussle with most shops selling the same things and even more of them selling off the streets.
hth
cheers
Mark
 

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Something Completely Different - Nuweiba

So you have the inlaws all lined up and now have a bit of a dilemma - well perhaps I can suggest something completely different! NUWEIBA! The Hilton Coral Resort is a family oriented hotel with a HUGE beach, great paddling, awesome views of the mountains of Saudi across the straits and a calm sheltered bay. Easy access to St Catherines and Coloured Canyon for day trips!
And what about the diving??? The Hilton/Emperor Divers house reef of Abu Loulou is lush! It has seahorses, frogfish, seamoths as well as all the usual suspects - octopus, stonefish, boxfish and nudibranches and I saw my first stargazer and seapens on a night dive there!
For the other end of the spectrum try Sinkers - a mooring buoy that some misinformed navy boat dropped in water 8-9m too deep so it is completely submerged. Starting at the bottom at 35m - check out the pipefish - spiral slowly up the mooring chains covered in soft coral and lionfish to the buoy itself smothered in soft corals and teeming with life - huge schools of glassfish, shrimp cleaning stations, spotted hawkfish to mention but a few!
All sites great for photography and a fexible diving programme so that you do not (unless you want to) have to disappear off for a whole day! It is all shore diving too - so very little weather problems! And if you don't have a camera you can hire one there!
Very quiet resort - but enough entertainment laid on to keep you busy in the evenings - fab beach, great diving and if you fly into Taba (which you could visit to check out for next time) it is only a one hour transfer to the Hilton.
Check out the website ([Link removed]) for some photos and videos of the resort and feel free to drop me a line or pm me if you have any questions. Certainly, one of my personal favourite places for great diving and chilling out - honest!! And I'm not just saying that because I work for Emperor!!
 

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I would go for Taba for all the reasons Mal mentioned. We stayed a t the Hilton and it was lovely with decent dive centre on site (aquasport?). The shore dives are pretty and easy (Bethi did her open water there at age 11) but they also run boat trips to some great sites. From there you can also easily visit the dolphin cove in Eilat which is a lovely family day out, the kids would love it. We went there before it was bombed but found all the staff very welcoming as I was travelling alone with two kids. the benfits ofthe shore diving is that you are still in resort and the kids can walk along with you to the dive site and watch you go diving. So you dont feel too guilty.

Sharm, never again! If you like to spend your holidya hanging around and inhaling boat fumes with a zillion other people for the hour before you go on boat trip to an over crowded dive site, then feel free, but it's not my idea of a holiday.

El Gouna is ok for families if a little fake. If Disney had a dive resport it would be el gouna.
 
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