snorkelling

Bucket List Diving: 10 Places You Need to Dive in Your lifetime

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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

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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.

3. Mauritius

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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

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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

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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.

7. Corsica

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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.

8. Belize

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.

10. Palau

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.

Eryn Krouse's Top Tips For A Holiday In The Maldives

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In August, model and surfing enthusiast Eryn Krouse (@erynkrouse) visited Club Med Kani with Reef Girls. We asked her some questions to get the best tips for a trip in the Maldives. Note: All images below are courtesy of Eryn Krouse and Chris Delorenzo, and have been shared with permission.

What are your must-haves when travelling to an island destination like Club Med Kani?

🏄 Surfboard: The Maldives is the prefect surfing holiday destination. There are amazing spots to surf empty waves.

🐠 Snorkel mask and fins: I have never seen a water that clear. The Indian Ocean is the paradise for tropical fishes and giant sting rays.

📷 Gopro and camera: Pictures and videos are the best souvenirs you can bring from the Maldives… It is the only way to remind you that it was not a dream!

☀ Sunscreen: With such tropical temperatures and sunny weather, I make sure to protect my skin.

👙 Swimsuits: Probably the most important part of my outfit at Club Med Kani. I could dive straight from my premium suite to the ocean!

👗 Summer clothe:Reef Girls sandals, a few pairs of shorts, tshirts and tank tops.

📖 Abook: I love reading a book in the plane, time goes so fast! So, all the time I saved looking for a flight (it's included with Club Med), I spent it looking for the perfect book.

What was your typical day in Club Med Kani?

Since I was pretty jetlagged, I'd be up from 3 or 4 am which I didn't mind too much. I'd take a relaxing bath while listening to music and watch the sunrise. I'd usually dive in with my snorkel gear and explore around before showering back in my room and walking over to the breakfast buffet with my photographer, Chris Delorenzo. We would spend some time in the buffet, eating the different cuisines and talked about what we wanted to do that day.

Usually it involved some fun adventure such as going on a seaplane and chartering a boat to go surf or dive somewhere. We spent most of the day roaming the beautiful resort and swimming in the ocean, and would stop our adventuring only to go to the buffets (which we enjoyed immensely).

What were your favourite surf breaks in the Maldives?

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My favorite surf break was right outside the resort, a right breaking wave called Ninja. I didn't get to surf it as much as I wanted to because it involved a boat to get around the shallow reef, but the two times I did get to surf the spot were amazing. I had the waves to myself for about half an hour before some other surfers would join me in the line-up.

Absolutely nothing can beat surfing in the Maldives.

It's a perfect, glassy wave and the size of the wave was perfect for me... just a little over head high. It was amazing to take off a wave and see all the way to the bottom while surfing because the water was so clear. My homebreak is Malibu, CA which is probably one of the most crowded surf spots in the world, so it was such a treat to have a perfect wave to share with only a handful of friendly surfers.

What was your highlight from the trip?

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The highlight of my trip was the day we chartered a boat to go explore the various islands outside of Club Med Kani. That day we swam with hundreds of dolphins, and even spotted a lone manta ray majestically floating close to the surface. The best part of this day, however was going to a dive spot right next to a tunafish factory where I swam with a whole school of gigantic sting rays.

Your recommendation for a bucket list to tick off in the Maldives?

✔️ Stay in an overwater bungalow

✔️ Ride in a seaplane

✔️ Explore the various dive spots and swim with dolphins, manta rays, and stingrays

✔️ Explore a local Maldivian village

See you soon for my next traveling adventure...

Want to tick off the Maldives from your own bucket list?

Discover Club Med's resorts in the Maldives here and From beginners to advanced, get the best Maldives surfing experience while enjoying Club Med Kani's all-inclusive package and postcard-perfect facilities. Discover Club Med’s surfing packages here!

All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Mauritius

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The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is a tropical paradise, home to ancient volcanoes, lush green forests and a gorgeous coastline dotted with palm-fringed beaches. With a flat ocean for wakeboarders and waterskiers, and some of the most warm-hearted hosts you’ll ever come across, you’l never want to leave. Convinced? Yep, we thought so! Here's everything you need to know to plan your holiday to Mauritius.

Best time to go to Mauritius

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Diving and snorkelling is best from October to March, and from May to October, the surf is top-notch on pristine waters!

If you are really looking for the highest temperatures, you might want to go in December, January or February but keep in mind that it will be rainy season...

How to get to Mauritius

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It takes about 8 hours to fly from Perth to Mauritius. From Sydney and other Australian cities, you'll need to first catch a domestic flight through to Perth.

From Perth or Singapore, you can fly with Air Mauritius but if by any chance you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur, Air Asia can also provide you a direct flight!

Visas and Vaccinations

Australians don't require a visa for stays up to 3 months in Mauritius, as long as you have the appropriate travel documents and have an onward or return passage ticket.

Before you go, make sure to check up on your routine vaccinations. As with most island nations, your doctor will most likely also recommend Typhoid, Hepatitis, Rabies and Yellow Fever vaccinations. If in doubt, just check in with your GP before heading on holiday.

Your guide on what to do and see in Mauritius

Hit the water

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☼ Scuba divers from all over the world flock to Mauritius. On the island's south coast, Blue Bay offers ideal conditions for beginners. More experienced divers head to the north and east coasts for reefs, shipwrecks and amazing concentrations of tropical fish.

☼ The north western tip of the island (where Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers is located) plays host to waterskiing and wakeboarding, thanks to smooth coastal waters formed by a natural lagoon.

☼ Trou aux Biches is family-friendly beach with a reef teeming with marine life – in other words, it’s the perfect spot for avid snorkelers!

☼ Still not wet enough? Tick off an experience on your bucket list and swim with dolphins in Bénitier Lagoon, kitesurf and windsurf at Le Morne, or parasail off Belle Mare.

Fun on dry land

☼ Hiking the island's hilly terrain is popular with the trek to the summit of Le Morne one of the most popular hikes.

Kids and grown-ups alike will love Casela Safari, a 14-hectare nature park home to elephants, rhinos and big cats. The popular Walking with Lions one-hour guided walking tour allows you to get astonishingly close to lions, tigers and cheetahs.

☼ The island boasts some breathtaking golf courses overlooking the sea. Most courses are located within the island's resorts, including near Club Med Albion Villas.

Discover an exotic melting-pot

☼ Port-Louis, that most people know as 'Por Lowee' is Mauritius capital and the first stop you should make on your cultural tour. The diverse cultures of Mauritius can be found everywhere, especially when you gaze over churches, mosques, and Indian temples from the citadel. Most of them are also open to visitors so feel free to step inside, while respecting the local customs!

☼ The Chamarel Village is also a local gem that you must visit. In the midst of the jungle, you will find one of the finest Mauritian Rhum distillery and local coffee plantations. The cherry on the cake? Iconic natural wonders like the Seven Colored Earths or the Chamarel Falls, are also located in this small village of 700.

Must-see local festivals. The Mauritian melting-pot also allows you to enjoy several celebrations, from different religions and influences all year round. If you have the opportunity to be there in November, you will see the Muslim celebration of the Goons, the Hindu's lights for Diwali and the rythmic Festival Kreol to name a few!

What to eat in Mauritius

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With influences from Africa, France, India and China, the cuisine of Mauritius is a delicious, spice-laden journey of unique flavours. Must-try dishes include:

🍜 Fish Vindaye: fish preserved with spices and served with rice, dhal and pickles.

🍜  Octopus Curry: Mauritian curries differ from their Indian counterparts by including unusual meat and seafoods - octopus is a favourite

🍜  Dholl Puris: the island's national dish of a flatbread topped with yellow split peas.

Before you plan your Mauritius getaway...

A few more helpful tips from locals

✔️  Unlike Oz, Mauritius is pleasingly free of venomous reptiles or dangerous animals. The only things to worry about are a few feisty sea creatures like stonefish – just mind where you are stepping.

✔️  Falling asleep under a coconut tree might be the quintessential tropical paradise activity – but beware, sometimes coconuts fall, and you don't want to be underneath when that happens!

✔️  If you want to take the extended family on a holiday in Mauritius, renting a villa will allow you and your loved ones the chance to soak up the sun for that little bit longer.

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Quite simply put, Mauritius equals tropical bliss. Whether for fun and adventure on land or on water, whether you want an adrenaline rush every day, or whether you want to simply lie back and relax in paradise, Mauritius literally has it all.

Discover all our Club Med resorts in Mauritius here, or start by watching a video of Club Med La Plantation d'Albion below: