AVERAGE COSTSBeer: 17EGP
Restaurant Meal: 115EGP
Accommodation: 530EGP p.p.p.n
Flanked by the mountainous peaks of the South Sinai desert, Dahab has grown from an old backpacker town to become a hotspot for wind sports due to its world class, reliable, safe learning conditions in the lagoons.
Flat water in the lagoons / PHOTO: GP Kite
There are several kite spots, most working best at high tide. The famous national park lagoon just north of Dahab is kiteable in all tide states, though, and on a high tide it opens up to riding the sea.
The main lagoon is split between windsurf and kitesurf zones. Windsurfers at Baby Bay and Speedy Lagoon (strictly windsurfers only between 0900 and 1600 in summer). Downwind are fantastic flat water areas. Dahab Kite Lagoon features shallow, knee deep water at high-tide, making it fantastic for learning. It can be gusty due to the wind blowing over Dahab itself in the morning, but smoothes out in the afternoon. Remember, Dahab is only reachable if you head upwind from the lagoon and you can’t launch or land on the beach, so if you’re doing a downwinder back to town you’ll need to land at the lagoon and walk up rather than try and land on the town’s beach.
Head upwind to Asshahla at a high tide and you’ll find clean and steady cross-on wind with waves that have been known to produce four metre face on exceptional days. Dahab Canyon (normally a dive site) has clean cross-on, flatter conditons at high tide.
PHOTO: Harry Nass
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER
Reliable northerlies are funnelled through the mountains just beyond the national park lagoon 300 days a year. Eight and nine metre kites most popular in average 22 knot winds. Tens and 12s in spring / winter. Summer winds are strongest in morning and drop by up to ten knots in the afternoon. Morning winter winds are gusty, getting smoother and steadier in the afternoon.
Just rash vest and boardies in the summer. Bring a shorty in spring and autumn and full 3/2mm suit in winter. Worth bringing wetsuit boots for the sharp stones in the lagoons. Summer daytimes are really hot, but bring warm layers for the evening.
PHOTO : GP-Kite
Good choice from hotels/resorts, self-catering apartments and more basic but pleasant guest houses.
Ibis Styles Hotel Dahab
GP KITE teach all levels all year, offering priviate tuition up to 4:1 ratio. Core, Carved, Deluxe and Xenon gear is available on lessons and to rent and GP Kite also organise downwinders, kite camps, kite boat safaris and hotel pick-up and drop-off services.
Instructors accredited by: IKO, VDWS and BKSA
Languages spoken: English, German Russian
HARRY NASS operate two centres: at the Ibis Styles hotel in the sheltered lagoon and another downwind of the windsurfing area at the Iberotel Dahabeya. They teach all levels all year and have a walkie talkie system with rescue boats on stand-by. Choose from a full range of demo gear from Cabrinha, JP and Neil Pryde.
How it all begins / PHOTO: Harry Nass
CLUB MISTRAL Eldorado offers unique conditions for advanced kiters on a private beach in front of the centre, just 20 metres from the Eldorado Lodge that's 500 metres upwind of the Club Mistral centre on the same lagoon that's safer for beginners.
Languages spoken by instructors: English and Italian
+49 (0) 881 92 54 960
+44 (0) 844 811 8489
+44 (0) 1273 844919
World class free/scuba diving and snorkelling, horse riding, quad and motorbike desert tours, starlit mountain valley dinners. Guided tours of Mount Moses, the incredible pyramids of Cairo and Petra in Jordan are all just a day trip away.
Boat trips available on no-wind and windy days / PHOTO: GP-Kite
Negotiate taxi prices before getting in them. Motorbike / car / 4x4 rental at the airport or in Dahab, however don't go off exploring the desert without a guide and the proper equipment. If you’re booked with Harry Nass then a boat shuttle service will ferry you between their two centres while GP Kite offer a free hotel pick-up and drop-off service.
Egyptian pound (EGP) - £1 = EGP12 / €1 = EGP9 / US$1 = EGP7. ATM and banks for withdrawing cash and exchanging currencies. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and some restaurants (but not all).
FOOD AND DRINK
Markets, shops, restaurants and bars are dotted along the shoreline. The seafood is superb. Some people avoid salads and advise not drinking local water to swerve the stomach bugs. There are a few bars in town and the hotels serve alcohol. Be respectful though - as a Muslim country public drunkenness is heavily frowned upon.
Sharm el Sheikh (SSH) is about 80 kilometres away. Transfer takes an hour. Private transfer can be arranged or you can pick up a taxi from the airport (but be sure to agree on the rate before you get in).
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