There are many incredible underwater worlds on our planet; 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, after all. But where are the loveliest of these sites, with the greatest biodiversity? This week, we reveal our top diving sites around the world – so ready, steady… dive!
Thailand is THE ultimate dive destination, offering pleasantly warm water temperatures combined with a level of biodiversity in a league of its own. Lots of people come to Thailand to dive, or learn to dive. Courses and diving excursions are comparatively cheap here, meaning there’s usually something to be found to suit every travel budget.
Dive Asia diving school on Phuket offers daily diving trips out to the region’s most stunning reefs on its comfortable and safe ships. The Raja Yai and Raja Noi dive sites, where you can repeatedly see manta rays and whale sharks in the surrounding area, are two of our favourite spots.
Kornati National Park, Croatia
Whenever we’re looking for great diving locations in the Mediterranean, we somehow seem to find our way back to Croatia. To Kornati National Park, to be specific. No matter what time of year you visit, the underwater world there is fantastic, simply awash with red gorgonians, brightly coloured sponges, countless small nudibranchs and a vast array of different species of fish.
Since many of the dive sites in the Kornati are relatively far out to sea, we recommend you rent an apartment on the island of Murter. The diving school Najada Diving is a good tip for daily diving trips.
→ Want to discover even more of Croatia? Here’s our Road Trip Guide to Croatia.
With its jaw-droppingly beautiful diving locations, the Red Sea just had to be on our list, of course. The coastal town of Eilat is located at Israel’s southernmost tip, and thanks to the good water conditions, the region is perfectly suited to beginners and more advanced divers alike.
The dive spots here are just off the coast, so you can spend less time on the boat and more where you should be – underwater. Eilat also offers plenty for history buffs to check out: there are countless shipwrecks you can dive, including one of an old navy ship.
Daily diving trips and training are offered at the site by Aqua Sport.
The Maldives consist of several atolls and no fewer than 1,196 islands. Given such agony of choice, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which one to visit. (It doesn’t help that they’re all so breathtakingly superb.)
The manageable island of Fulidhoo is located just 57 kilometres away from the Maldivian capital, Malé. The island is surrounded by water in every imaginable shade of blue. Alimatha, the local reef, where many small nurse sharks frolic about, is particularly popular. No reason to worry, however: most species of shark are harmless, and will keep their distance when humans are about.
To make the most of your time in the Maldives and on Fulidhoo, we recommend the diving school Fulidhoo Dive.
Simon’s Town, South Afrika
Simon’s Town is famous not just for its penguin colony, but also for its richly diverse underwater world. The water in False Bay isn’t exactly warm, admittedly, but the beauty in that water more than makes up for it: the sea floor is covered with multi-coloured coral, snails, mussels and sea urchins. The kelp forests, which you can admire at the Pyramid Rock dive site, lend the area a mystical touch.
You can connect with professional guides, with their unparalleled knowledge of South Africa’s flora and fauna, at Pisces Divers. Be sure to reserve your dive trips in advance to avoid disappointment.
→ Are you looking for insider tips for Cape Town and the surrounding area? Then read more in our blog post about Cape Town.
→ Feel like adventure and adrenalin in Cape Town? In our article Adrenalin in Cape Town you will find tips for adventurous people. Fancy more adventure and adrenaline in Cape Town? This way.
Florida Keys, USA
The words “diving” and “Florida” are as natural a fit as “the Alps” and “Austria”. Thanks to Florida’s 1,400 kilometre-long coastline, the divers amongst you will find amazing dive sites more or less wherever you go.
The underwater worlds in the Florida Keys are especially spectacular, and guides from the diving school Captain’s Corner on Key West will be more than happy to show you around. As well as countless opportunities to dive the reefs here, there are vast numbers of sunken ships just waiting to be discovered.
If you want to find out more about water sport and its origins after your dive, set some time aside to drop in at the Museum of Diving History on the island of Islamorada. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where injured and sick turtles are nursed back to health, is equally informative.
→ Want to see even more of Florida? Here are our tips for an awesome road trip through the Sunshine State.
Austria can boast as many great dive sites as some countries with direct access to the sea. Carinthia, the province boasting the largest number of lakes in Austria, will make divers’ hearts miss a beat.
And what’s more, in Carinthia you can dive all year round: in the warmer months, we recommend you try the Ossiacher See (Lake Ossiach), while in winter, you can head for the Weissensee (“White Lake”) for some refreshing ice diving!
You can book diving trips to a huge variety of different lakes in Carinthia quickly and easily through the diving school Tauchschule Pazifik.
Tips for a holiday to dive for
- • Like the idea of seeing the underwater world with your own eyes all of a sudden? The best way to live that dream is to start with an introductory dive – sometimes referred to as “DSD”, or “Discover Scuba Diving”. In one day you’ll learn the basics, then head out to a dive site accompanied by an experienced guide.
- • Important! Do not board the plane directly after diving! After a single dive the recommended waiting time is at least 12 hours, with repeated dives even 24 hours.
- • You like to travel with your own diving equipment? Don’t worry, at Austrian Airlines you can check in your scuba gear as sports baggage and travel without any problems.
If you fancy the idea of a diving trip now, then click here to find the connecting flights that are right for you: