Scuba diver at the famous Thistlegorm ship wreck.

© Kimmo Hagman/Shutterstock


Top choice in Sharm El Sheikh

One of the top five wreck dives in the world, the Thistlegorm is a 129m-long cargo ship built in Sunderland, England, which was sunk during World War II. The ship had been on its way to Alexandria carrying supplies to restock the British army there; its cargo of armaments and vehicles including Bren gun carriers, motorbikes, Bedford trucks and jeeps can all be seen on dives within the wreck. Depth: 17m to 30m. Rating: intermediate to advanced. Access: boat.

The Thistlegorm can be dived on a long day trip from Sharm El Sheikh (the journey time is three hours) or as part of a longer live-aboard trip.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sharm El Sheikh attractions

1. Kingston

11.55 MILES

In 1881 the Kingston (a British iron screw steamer) was on its way to Aden when it struck the reef at Shag Rock and sank. The wreck is now a fascinating…

2. Shag Rock

11.57 MILES

This sloping reef of hard and soft corals is home to plentiful flitting fishlife. Depth: 15m to 25m. Rating: beginner to advanced. Access: boat.

3. Ashrafi Islands

11.99 MILES

The Ashrafi Islands, north of Hurghada, are less-visited than many other dive sites in the area, but have several wrecks in relatively shallow water (8m…

4. Bluff Point

15.44 MILES

This steep wall dive with the small wreck onsite known as the Gubal Barge, is a popular add-on to Thistlegorm dive trips. Around the reef you'll easily…

5. Small Crack

18.45 MILES

Turtles, leopard sharks and reef sharks are sometimes spotted zipping about the long outer reef wall here, which is encrusted with gorgonian corals. This…

6. Dunraven

22.01 MILES

The Dunraven sank in 1876 on its way from Bombay to Newcastle. Today the wreck, found at the southeast tip of Sha’ab Mahmud, is encrusted in coral and…

7. Ras Mohammed National Park

22.04 MILES

The waters surrounding this peninsula, 20km west of Sharm El Sheikh, are home to spectacular coral reefs, including the world-famous Shark and Jolanda…

8. Alternatives

24.2 MILES

Flat-topped reefs called 'ergs' harbour plentiful fish. Rough waters or southerly currents can reduce visibility here to nada. Depth: 10m to 15m. Rating:…