El Quseir is a small town with approx. 25,000 inhabitants and a 5,000 year history. Located on the shores of the Red Sea, El Quseir is a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from either Hurghada Airport or Marsa Alam.
In 2009 I embarked on my first journey alone, with El Quseir as my destination. It was a place I had never heard of before.
My friends either didn’t have time for a holiday, zero interest in scuba diving or already had different plans with their significant others; the typical dilemma of a modern-day single like myself. And because I was between jobs I simply had to recharge my batteries. So after deciding to travel on my own, I mustered all of my courage and before I knew it I had handed the travel agent my credit card and booked my trip.
My choice of accommodation fell on the Flamenco Beach & Resort. The hotel complex consists of two buildings separated by a main road. My room was located in the front part with a lateral sea view.
Both hotel areas have a large pool, each with a pool bar, a restaurant and ample outdoor seating. In a nutshell, it ticks all the boxes.
The hotel is rated as mid-class, four star accommodation (national category). Although it has a few less-than-perfect online visitor ratings, I don’t really understand why; I’ve stayed here five times, more often than anywhere else in the world, and had no complaints.
I’ve always spent wonderful holidays here and each time leave Egypt satisfied, happy and well rested.
I personally consider half-board at the Flamenco Hotel & Resort to be absolutely sufficient, since I’m usually on a daytrip organised by my dive centre during the middle of the day and these outings normally include lunch.
At the Flamenco Beach & Resort, breakfast and dinner are served as a self-service buffet. Both are plentiful, varied and just
what you need after strenuous dives.
I learned to dive in the Red Sea. A diving licence doesn’t automatically make you a (good) diver. You need practice, something I was able to gather plenty of here.
It’s the perfect place to start out diving. Flights from Europe don’t take that long, in some places visibility underwater is up to 40m and it’s home to a diversity of plant and animal wildlife usually restricted to far-away tropical destinations. I have never seen anything like its spectacular coral gardens with all of their colours and shapes:
As a diving novice, having a clear view underwater made things much easier. And diving in a 3mm short-sleeve wetsuit was also very pleasant at a water temperature of 28º C. I was able to move more freely and learn how to feel comfortable underwater with all of the gear.
Little by little I learned how to navigate reefs, practiced buoyancy control and even tried diving through a cave. The more time I spent in the water the fewer weights I required, “easing my load” from one dive to the next.
I carefully tested currents, attempted cave diving, something that gets your adrenaline pumping, and dived my first shipwreck. Close-up encounters with large marine species such as turtles or grazing manatees – with a bit of luck you can experience anything here.
Family is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Diving.de’s dive centre in the Flamenco hotel.
Everyone I met there was warm, friendly and helped me with my first diving fin strokes.
I’ve completed over 90 dives with diving.de and still not seen all of the reefs they visit.
Whether excursions to Shaab Marsa Alam, Elphinstone or Salem Express, daytrips to diving spots in the closer vicinity such as Abu Dabab (where they have meanwhile even opened dive centre that I plan to visit soon): Every day is a new adventure.
The Flamenco sees a lot of regulars, and I’ve made quite a few friends over the years (including among the locals).
There’s always time for a deco-beer before the dive base closes up shop for the night. And where the mood and chemistry was right, I’ve even witnessed the occasional impromptu BBQ or house party in the desert with the entire Diving.de crew and the guests.
I’m really taken by El Quseir. Not just because of my own connection with the place. It simply helps me ground myself and relax. It’s easy to reach, and lets me dive and escape the stress of daily life. The reefs are healthy and colourful and it’s almost impossible to beat in terms of underwater diversity.
I’ll be back to visit and dive, and nothing can keep me away, neither terrorism nor political instability, such as the national crisis in 2013. The one and only thing that can is my own bucket list. There are simply so many wonders in this world, and I want to experience as many of them as possible.
Maybe the next time I’m in El Quseir I’ll finally capture dolphins on film, they’ve unfortunately managed to elude me so far ;-)
See you soon my beloved El Q♥seir
diving el FLAMENCO
Flamenco Beach Resort 7 km north of el Quseir
Tel.: 0020 122 11 65 152