Tiran Island is located at the entrance to the Straits of Tiran which essentially links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba at the southern extreme of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
Tiran Island is situated within the borders of Egypt’s most famous nature reserve, the Ras Muhammad National Park. Ras Muhammad National Park is today one of the top Sinai attractions, and also one of the best SCUBA diving and snorkeling sites in the entire world.
While visitors are not allowed to actually go onto Tiran Island, SCUBA diving and snorkeling along the island’s coastline is permitted.
Boat trips to Tiran Island, and also the nearby Sanafir Island, are readily available at the Ras Muhammad National Park.
Tiran Island – A Brief History
For many years, Tiran Island was a place which most people had never heard of. It had for the most part remained off the radar until World War II when Egypt stationed some of their troops on both Tiran Island and Sanafir Island.
Later, during the Suez Crisis in 1956, Israel seized control of the Sinai Peninsula and with it, the two islands. However, Israel soon withdrew, and Tiran Island was once again under Egyptian control.
In 1967, the King of Egypt blockaded the Straits of Tiran, thereby blocking Israel’s only means of accessing the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aqaba. This in turn led to the Six Day War which resulted in Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula once again.
Tiran Island then remained under Israeli control until 1982 when it was handed back to Egypt as part of a peace agreement between the two countries, and one which guarantees Israel’s freedom to use the Straits of Tiran.
Today, Tiran Island is only inhabited by a small number of Egyptian military personnel and some personnel from the MFO (Multinational Force and Observers).
The Ras Muhammad National Park, in which Tiran Island is located, only got national park status in the 1980s. This was done in order to protect the area’s natural resources, and also to help curb the ever-increasing expansion of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt’s most popular coastal resort town.
What Can Visitors Expect To See?
As has been mentioned further up the page, visitors are not allowed onto the island itself. However, visitors are free to swim, snorkel, or SCUBA dive around the island’s coastline. There are several boats operating in the area that can take you out to Tiran Island, and also Sanafir Island.
Beside an impressive shipwreck just offshore there are many exceptionally beautiful coral reefs close the shore. In short, the underwater scenery around Tiran Island is no less impressive than it is elsewhere in the Ras Muhammad National Park.
One important bit of advice we can offer, is that it is best to visit Tiran Island on days when there is no wind, or at least, very little wind. When the wind blows, the waters close to the island’s shoreline can become very choppy.
Visiting Tiran Island with Egypt Tours Plus
Most diving and snorkel enthusiasts, who head to the Ras Muhammad National Park from Sharm El Sheikh, visit two or three dives sites in the park, and then they leave.
However, we do believe that a visit to Tiran Island can and certainly will add to the overall experience of diving in one of the world’s top diving areas.
While some of our Egypt private tours include a number of dives, they might not actually include any dives at Tiran Island.
However, if you feel that you would really like to dive in the waters around Tiran Island, you can tell us when you book your tour, and we will add it to your preferred tour itinerary.
At Egypt Tours Plus, all of our Egypt tour packages can be customized and tailored to meet the precise needs of our clients.