Whether you’re strapping on a snorkel for the first time, or you’re an experienced scuba diver crossing sites off your bucket list; whether you want to swim with manta rays, or see shipwrecks up close…a diving holiday is one you won’t forget in a hurry.
Beneath the surface you’ll find beautiful marine life, magnificent reefs and coral gardens. Plus you can get up close and personal with manta rays, barracudas, sharks, whales, turtles and schools of colourful fish.
It’s time to jump in – here are 10 spots to dive in your lifetime.
1. Okinawa, Japan
The hundreds of islands in Okinawa boast some of the world’s most incredible and diverse dive sites, and a great spot to start is Ishigaki Island. Yonehara, Sukuji and Sunset beaches offer fantastic snorkelling, while numerous dive sites are close by, including ‘Manta Scramble’, which has depths of 15 metres and majestic manta rays to swim alongside.
2. The Maldives
The 26 natural atolls of the Maldives form a tropical paradise, and dive sites here are plentiful! From Club Med Kani, there are a multitude of different spots for all levels, ranging from 5 metres to 50 metres. The marine life in the Maldives is truly world-class, and divers can expect to see beautiful coral, manta rays, eagle rays, parrot fishes, and white/black tip reef sharks.
Divers should head to the Maldives in February – April for the best visibility and eagle rays, or June – November for manta ray season.
As well as incredible beaches and beautiful oceans, Mauritius is home to an amazing underwater world with reefs teeming with marine life. The dive sites are diverse, with a few must-dives: Cathedral is known for its magnificent underwater cave housing angelfish, lionfish and lobsters at depths of 20-35 metres, while Colline Bambou has an underwater cliff.
4. Cancun, Mexico
For a Mexican dive with a difference, head to the Cancun Underwater Museum. As well as hundreds of submerged statues, the artificial reef teems with barracudas, lobsters and eels. With visibility of around 30 metres and depths of 10 metres, the site sits off Isla Mujeres.
5. Punta Cana
Punta Cana has a host of coral and artificial reefs to explore. Catalina Island is a nature reserve home to two popular dive sites. The Wall drops to 30 metres and features black coral and fast-moving fish. The Aquarium offers shallow depths and scores of colourful creatures.
6. Phuket, Thailand
Long a favourite destination for Aussies, Phuket offers amazing dives. The Phi Phi Islands, known worldwide thanks to ‘The Beach’, offers spots such as Bida Nok. With dramatic walls and colourful coral, the waters are filled with eels, octopuses and leopard sharks.
The French island of Corsica offers some of Europe’s best diving. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Lavezzi Marine Reserve has 40 dive sites with depths of up to 60 metres and visibility of up to 30 metres. Barracudas and eagle rays are common in the fast-moving waters, particularly close to the many large granite boulders.
This small Central American country is home to the World Heritage-listed Blue Hole. Plunging to enormous depths of over 120 metres, there are multi-hued stalactites and stalagmites, plus turtles, reef sharks and giant groupers to see. Visibility ranges between 15 and 30 metres.
9. Yongala, Queensland, Australia
Located in the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, the eerie wreck of the SS Yongala is Australia’s most intact shipwreck. Accessible as a day trip from the city of Ayr, the Yongala plays host to manta rays, sea snakes and tiger sharks, and in winter, migrating whales. The wreck is at a depth of 30 metres with visibility of 10-15 metres.
A chain of 200 islands in the Pacific Ocean, Palau’s dive sites are renowned for underwater photography enthusiasts and lovers of marine life. Palau’s world-famous Blue Wall has reef sharks, turtles and tropical fish, and depths range to 30 metres with visibility of up to 40 metres. Palau also offers a host of shipwrecks and coral reefs, with the waters home to some 1500 different species of fish.
Discover all Club Med sports in the video below or by clicking here.