One of the most popular sports of our time is diving, with many people traveling further to experience the best reefs and 1000s of species of sea life we have all around the world. Here's a list of some of the best diving sites from near to far to help you plan your next trip:
SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT is a great place to learn to dive, even snorkelling's great start off as a beginner. You can see Parrot Fish and Masked Butterfly Fish swimming carefree in the clear waters just a few feet off the main beach at Naama Bay. To explore the fabulous Yolanda Reef, home to tuna, turtles and sharks, a trip to Ras Mohammed National Park is worth doing. Sharm el Sheikh is an ideal choice for those with families who can enjoy the life of a developed beach resort where you can take part in your favorite sport.
HURGHADA, EGYPT offers many diving schools for those looking to improve their diving skills or even to learn to dive in this Red Sea beach resort. With over 30 dive sites off the coast there's no end to how much you can do here. If you are lucky you may spot the famous Moray Eels said to be semi-tame or even a Barracuda, Careless reef is one of the most popular reefs offering many caves to explore.
MARSA ALAM, EGYPT With hundreds of species of tropical and marine fish, holidays to Marsa Alam offer spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities. Less crowded than its rivals, Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada, it's great for exploring the best of what the Red Sea has to offer. Home to many species of shark, Elphinstone reef is one of the most popular dive sites in Marsa Alam, this reef is over 20m wide and 180m long. It's excellent for exploring the pink and purple corals, home to Lion fish and if you're lucky you could even spot dolphins in those warm waters.
COSTA DEL SOL, SPAIN has many dive sites accessible from Benalmadena and Fuengirola, in fact along the entire coastline stretching 160km down to Gibraltar has great diving opportunities. La Costa Tropical is one of the most popular dive sites in Spain to beautiful Moonfish, Scorpion fish and even dolphins. Knowing you to see this fascinating underwater world close, the protected bays make it great for the advanced diver or beginners, and even for snorkelling.
MALDIVES Where better to immerse yourself in warm, transparent waters than in the Indian Ocean. Reethi Beach is one of the best and the House Reef is teaming with Bat Fish and Eagle Rays, the Maldives is home to many scenic dive sites. The diving here is for the more experienced though great snorkelling is available too from most islands; turtles love to swim along next to you.
THAILAND is home to Phuket which offers spectacular diving in the Andaman Sea. Take to Shark Point to spot the stunning Leopard Sharks and swim with Manta Rays at Racha Noi South Point. Shark Point is also the place to try and spot the camouflaged scorpion fish hiding amongst the coral. The monsoon winds can reduce visibility at other times of the year, the best time to dive here is mid November to April.
MEXICO is home to Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel, two world class diving and beach resorts. One of the "must-sees" here is the whale shark, Playa Del Carmen has dives qualified for all levels of diver. There are dive companies offering excursions to take you to Holbox for a chance to snorkel with these famous creatures. The waters come alive at night, Cozumel is popular for night dives; Paradise Reef is the place to do this where you can see Octopus and spotted Moray Eels.
PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC offers the chance to experience warm Caribbean waters home to shipwrecks and stunning corals and sponges as well as lots of caves to explore. As you dive among the rock formations which these beautiful creatures call home, Eagle Rays and Nurse Sharks will meander past. Diving conditions can be difficult in the winter months due to the currents from the Atlantic often sweeping past this area, so April to September is the optimum time to visit.
COSTA RICA in Central America has many great dive sites just a short boat ride away from the coast. Unusual species of fish such as spade fish, cow-nose rays and the beautiful seahorse are found in these waters. Many diving companies can take you out to experience these sights on day trips and at night. With the sea hares and tube worms emerging from the coral, the waters come to life at night.
SRI LANKA has fantastic diving opportunities with many shipwrecks to explore; Cargo Wreck is the most popular teaming with hundreds of fish and cleaner shrimps. The wreck is mostly intact and the size of the propeller makes you realize the authenticity of this wreck. Schools of Snappers and Lion Fish rush past you on their daily mission hardly notice you, amazing!
Just a short flight from the UK combined with some of the world's best diving and top class hotels, holidays to Marsa Alam are a must! My favorite of all has to be Marsa Alam.