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One Day in…Dahab, Egypt

One Day in…Dahab, Egypt

Traveler Profile: Katie, UK

Location: Dahab, Egypt

Time of Year: Late spring

Travel Goals: Magic, adventure, diving, slow food

Having lived on the Sinai Peninsula for many years, I’m happy to introduce you to some of my favourite places! Dahab, a small town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of adventurous activities and serene relaxation. Known for its golden beaches and the stunning coral reefs of the Red Sea, Dahab is a paradise for divers and travelers seeking a laid-back atmosphere.

My ‘One Day in…’ guide will take you through a perfect day in Dahab, from a tranquil morning starting with breakfast through an exhilarating diving experience, a relaxing afternoon, and culminating in a memorable sunset and dinner at Castle Zaman.

Breakfast at Ralph’s German Bakery

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anna_Pustynnikova

Begin your day in Dahab at Ralph’s German Bakery, a quaint establishment renowned for its authentic European baked goods. This cozy bakery offers a delightful array of options, from freshly baked bread and pastries to coffees and teas. The ambiance here is relaxed and inviting, making it a favorite among locals and tourists. As you savor a delicious breakfast, the friendly staff and the warm, homely atmosphere set the perfect tone for your day ahead. Don’t miss trying their signature items like the German-style whole grain bread or the sweet pastries, which are a testament to the bakery’s commitment to quality and authenticity.

My Insider’s Tip

Try their freshly baked croissants or the wholesome muesli for a healthy start. 

Morning – Diving in the Red Sea

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dudarev Mikhail

Diving in the Red Sea is an experience that encapsulates the essence of Dahab. The town’s diving spots, including the world-renowned Blue Hole, offer some of the best diving experiences globally. The underwater world here is teeming with vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, the clear waters of the Red Sea provide perfect conditions for an unforgettable dive. Dahab centers cater to all levels, offering guided dives and courses. The Blue Hole, a submarine sinkhole, is a must-visit for experienced divers, known for its challenging conditions and stunning underwater scenery.

My Insider’s Tip

If you’re an experienced diver, don’t miss the chance to dive at the Blue Hole, but be mindful of its challenges. You can also try your hand at free diving. 

Lunch at Shark Restaurant

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic

Shark Restaurant, situated along Dahab’s picturesque waterfront, is ideal for a leisurely lunch. This restaurant is celebrated for its fresh seafood and traditional Egyptian dishes, offering authentic and delightful flavors. The outdoor seating area provides a splendid view of the Red Sea, adding to the dining experience. The menu at Shark Restaurant is diverse, catering to various tastes and preferences. The grilled fish and seafood tagine are particularly noteworthy, showcasing the local culinary traditions. The restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere, with the gentle sea breeze and waves, makes for a truly enjoyable meal.

My Insider’s Tip

Try the grilled fish or seafood tagine for a taste of local flavors. 

Afternoon – Stroll and Shop in Dahab

Image Credit: Shutterstock / leshiy985

Spend your afternoon strolling through the charming streets of Dahab, exploring its unique blend of shops and markets. The town offers a diverse shopping experience, from traditional Bedouin handicrafts and jewelry to contemporary art and souvenirs. As you wander through the markets, you’ll find a variety of items that reflect the local culture and craftsmanship. Shopping in Dahab is an opportunity to interact with local artisans and learn about their crafts. The vibrant market scene in Dahab reflects its eclectic and multicultural spirit, making it a delightful experience for those who seek to explore beyond the typical tourist paths.

My Insider’s Tip

Bargaining is expected in the markets, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices. 

Sunset and Dinner at Castle Zaman

Image credit: Castle Zaman

Conclude your day with a visit to Castle Zaman, a unique and enchanting destination near Dahab. This castle-like structure, perched on a hill, offers breathtaking views of the Sinai mountains and the Red Sea, with Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the distance. The venue is known for its slow-cooked, organic meals, a culinary delight. Dining at Castle Zaman is an experience that combines the finest, very-slow-cooked cuisine with stunning natural scenery. As the sun sets, the sky transforms into a vibrant picture-postcard of color, providing a mesmerizing backdrop for your dinner. The castle’s tranquil and romantic atmosphere makes it the perfect setting to reflect on your day’s adventures and soak in the beauty of the Sinai Peninsula.

Castle Zaman, constructed in the early 2000s, is a modern establishment that resembles traditional Sinai Peninsula architecture. Its design, featuring stone walls and arches, aims to mimic historical forts and castles. Built with sustainability in mind, it uses natural materials and eco-friendly methods. Today, Castle Zaman is known for offering a unique experience that merges contemporary comforts with the region’s traditional aesthetic.

My Insider’s Tip

You must pre-order your food 24 hours in advance – the slow-cooked lamb is otherworldly. Head into the cellar for some handcrafted local souvenirs. 

How to Get to Dahab, Egypt

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sun_Shine

Dahab is situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The nearest major airport is Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, located about 85 kilometers south of Dahab. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to Dahab, with the journey taking approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Alternatively, if you’re coming from Cairo, you can take a bus directly to Dahab, which is a longer but scenic route through the Sinai desert.

Best Time to Visit

Image Credit: Shutterstock / – Yuri A

Dahab is a year-round destination, thanks to its warm climate. However, the most pleasant times to visit are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the temperatures are more moderate, making outdoor activities and exploration more comfortable. The summer months (June to August) can be quite hot, especially for those not accustomed to desert climates, while the winter months (December to February) are cooler but still sunny.

Brief History of Dahab

Image Credit: Pexels / Talha Can

Dahab was originally a Bedouin fishing village and has a rich history tied to the various nomadic tribes of the Sinai Peninsula. The name ‘Dahab’ translates to ‘gold’ in Arabic, possibly referring to the area’s golden sands. Historically, Dahab was somewhat isolated, accessible mainly by sea or rough desert tracks. Its transformation into a tourist destination began in the 1980s and 1990s when it became popular as a laid-back alternative to the more developed Sharm El Sheikh. Dahab has since evolved into a renowned spot for diving, windsurfing, and as a haven for travelers seeking a relaxed atmosphere. Despite its growth in tourism, Dahab has retained much of its original charm and Bedouin heritage, making it a unique destination on the Sinai Peninsula.

The Bottom Line

A day in Dahab is a journey through the delights of the Red Sea, from indulging in fresh pastries to diving into the vibrant underwater world and from exploring the local culture to dining in a castle with panoramic views. Dahab offers a blend of adventure, relaxation, and unique experiences, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring Egypt. As you immerse yourself in the laid-back rhythm of this seaside town, you’ll find that Dahab is a place to unwind and reconnect with nature’s wonders.

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The post One Day in…Dahab, Egypt first appeared on The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Oleg_P.

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