Farasan Banks Saudi Arabia

Farasan Banks - Red Sea

  • Water temp 25 - 34 C
  • Air Temp 30 - 39 C
  • Visibility 20 - 25+ M
  • Good for... Uncrowded dive sites
  • Suitable for beginners No
  • Highlights

About Farasan Banks

Dive the Farasan Banks, an area of incredible reefs and wild islands. Big fish, wall and blue dives await you on this winter Saudi scuba diving itinerary. This is the place that Jacques Cousteau during his first expedition to the Red Sea in 1963 aboard the Calypso described as one of the most fascinating and unspoiled areas on the planet.

Please be aware: Saudi Explorer is under management of an Italian dive operator, Mar Rosso.
This destination is only suited to experienced divers, with experience of wall and blue diving.
The cruise directors on board will give a full briefing and dive plan on each site, but divers may be expected to dive unguided in buddy pairs.

The daily dive schedule calls for the cruise director to dedicate the first part of first and second dive of the day to searching for pelagic fish in the blue, while the third dive is made along the reef walls at shallow depths.

Farasan Banks is a vast archipelago of small islands and coral reefs, many of which are semi-surfacing. This whole area was of volcanic origin. The madreporic columns growing on the edge of the old craters formed vertical walls from over 300 meters deep. The small islands, mainly circular or elongated, are often characterized by a sort of external coral belt that testifies to their volcanic origin. At first glance the islands look alike, however each of them holds its own secrets, starting from the different composition of the fossil coral layer that determines its formation. The fine coral sand is the ideal habitat for turtles who lay their eggs there all year round. Colonies of birds that nest in the low vegetation make this archipelago a naturalistic oasis of rare beauty. We will be aware of being in a place where nature still has the upper hand over man, with the hope that this priceless privilege will remain intact for as long as possible.

The starting point of the cruise is the port of Al Lith located 210 km south of Jeddah. In the spring, a few miles outside the port, it is easy to come across families of whale sharks intent on feeding on the rich plankton found under the coast in these waters.

A stop on the island of Abu Latt, the only rocky and elevated island, will offer breathtaking natural scenery. Extraordinary for its colors, inhabited by colonies of birds, it welcomes us majestically inside one of the many emerald green lagoons. A primordial place dominated by winds and the sea, characterized by rocks shaped by the wind in the shape of huge panettone. Abu Latt embodies all the wild magic of the mysterious Farasan Banks.

Saudi Explorer

Saudi Explorer (registered in Egypt as Typhoon) is a stylish modern liveaboard operating in the up and coming destination - Saudi Arabia. Hammerheads, reef sharks, rays and turtles are all commonly seen on these wall and blue dive... Learn more about Saudi Explorer

The daily dive schedule calls for the cruise director to dedicate the first part of first and second dive of the day to searching for pelagic fish in the blue, while the third dive is made along the reef walls at shallow depths.


Recommended period from November to May
Port of departure Al Ahlam Marina of Al Lith
Notes The itinerary may be subject to variations due to weather conditions

After a navigation of about 3 hours we will reach the first dive sites. Primordial places that will immediately give the sensation of being in an unexplored world. In addition to being a stunning dive, the Mar Mar island is an excellent night berth. Not far away are the islands of Dohra, Jadir and Malathu and the splendid outcropping reefs of Gorgonia, Bandu and Long reef.

Sailing for 25 miles south you come across a second reef area which includes sha'ab Ammar, a large horseshoe-shaped reef also used as a night mooring. Continuing south we meet the islands of Danak, Jabbara, Eagle and the coral atolls of Mudarr, Fantasy and Choppy, stages of spectacular diving. A common feature of all these dive sites is the incredible variety of hard and soft coral that is found on the plains in addition to the massive presence of coral and pitch fish.

Diving on the falls of the plains, generally oriented north and south, you can watch the passage of the large pelagic fish including the shoals of hammerhead sharks and the tiger shark admired several times in different diving points.

The last dive at Canyon reef will close this wonderful itinerary on the edge of reality. Recommended period from November to May. Permission required for international diving license, Port of departure Al Ahlam Marina in Al Lith. Please note the itinerary may undergo variations determined by weather conditions.