FARASAN BANKS DIVE SITE
The Farasan archipelago is made up of a vast coral bank comprising a multitude of reefs and islands extending from south Jeddah up to the coast of Yemen. The Saudi part of the Farasan is divided into two areas called Farasan Banks and the Farasan Archipelago. The Banks are made up of small islands and a multitude of reefs most of which rise above the surface. The port of Al Lith, located 230 km south of Jeddah, is the departure point, and after a journey of approximately 3 hours the first dive sites are reached; small white sand islands alternate with semi-submerged reefs. Real volcanic cones rise up with vertical walls and depths of around 500 metres, upon which are formed islands such as Mar Mar, which apart from offering splendid dives is also the stopover point for the night. The islands of Dohra, al Jadir, Malothu and the Gorgonia, Bandu and Long reefs are nearby. 25 miles south is sha’ab Ammar, a horseshoe shaped reef, also used as a night stopover point. A few miles to the south are the Jabbara and Mudar reefs, setting the scene for spectacular dives. Common characteristics of these sites are the incredible variety of hard coral found on the peaks and the large quantity of fish found in the currents. On descending, one can observe the passage of large pelagic fish, including the much admired tiger shark. Colourful Canyon reef closes this tour of the twilight zone. Before returning to port there is a stop on the mountainous Abu Latt island, to view the breathtaking natural scenery.