With an estimated 23 million people worldwide trying it out each year, scuba diving is a mainstay of beach vacations in picture-perfect places. Recreational diving is well-liked in both far-off locales with coral reefs and along the UK’s wild shoreline.
According to industry research, scuba diving is expanding quickly, with an estimated one million new aficionados joining the sport each year. Scuba diving vacations will offer a tonne of break from the daily grind as the busiest travel season draws near.
It can be the ideal destination for action-packed backpacking excursions, private romance getaways, family vacations, and everything in between. Learning to dive gives you access to a whole new world filled with stunning underwater plants and animals.
Divers can discover spectacular shipwrecks, coral reefs filled with marine life, exotic fish, and strange plant life. As every scuba diver is aware, it’s also critical to dive ethically, particularly while near coral reefs, in order to protect the underwater environment for future generations.
Read on to learn about the best scuba diving vacations in 2022, whether you’re a beginner seeking your first scuba diving experience or an experienced diver seeking new locales to explore.
Norway is a beautiful country with spectacular fjords and great places for scuba diving. Divers of all levels can find suitable dive sites in a wide variety of settings. Salstraumen is a fantastic spot for skilled and daring divers. It’s not for the timid, though; the world’s strongest currents, which can reach 26 knots, may be found there.
Every six hours, an estimated 375 million cubic litres of water flow across the narrow Sastraumen Straight. A wide range of unusual marine life, including enormous shoals of coalfish and cod, the magnificent wolf fish, and vibrant anemones in a kelp forest, are fed by the nutrient-rich water that results from this process.
Scuba divers can explore the ruins of a buried village at Lake Lygnstylvatnet, a unique freshwater experience. When the ancient town was flooded due to a rockfall about 100 years ago, the lake was created. Scuba divers can swim along the old road while taking in the spooky sight of the abandoned farmhouses because the building foundations are still present.
The Maldives are well known for their stunning beaches with soft, pristine white sand and flowing turquoise water. With 1,200 islands and a reputation for manta rays and whale sharks, the Maldives is a scuba diver’s dream.
This island nation’s coastline is dominated by thilas and kandus, pinnacles and waterways that draw marine life from the Indian Ocean. Many dive locations are excellent for drift diving because the currents can be extremely strong at times.
In the Maldives, you may go diving any time of year. When the northeast monsoon season begins in March, the oceans are at their calmest during this time. Excellent underwater conditions result from this, and the water is a comfortable 77° to 86°F. It’s pretty tough to beat as a scuba diving destination for a summer vacation.
The Museo Subacuático de Arte, also known as MUSA, is a unique underwater museum in Cancun that is open to tourists that enjoy scuba diving. By fusing art, science, and marine life, it makes an intriguing destination for scuba divers from all over the world.
One of the biggest and most creative underwater attractions on the planet, the location is home to more than 500 life-size sculptures. Its purpose is to demonstrate how art and environmental science may work together to create a reef structure where marine life can colonise.
This unusual museum is incredibly popular with scuba divers, but it also serves a crucial ecological function. Its goal is to boost the local fish population in order to diversify the marine life and gradually improve the environment of the reef.
Former Cancun Nautical Association president Roberto Dáz Abraham and the director of the National Marine Park Jaime González Cano came up with the idea for the undersea project, which was established in 2009 in the waters of Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Nizuc.
One of the best places in the world to go scuba diving is on Thailand’s Similan Islands. The water is normally calm and clear. This draws a lot of frequent plankton blooms when coupled with the nice weather. Manta rays, reef sharks with black and white tips, and whale sharks are common sights.
Divers must use a liveaboard, a boat designed specifically for scuba diving, to get to the Similan Islands for visits lasting more than one night. The typical dive boat accommodates 12 to 30 divers, and two or seven-day excursions are the most popular. One of the top scuba diving locations in the world, according to seasoned divers, is Thailand.
You can go on a scuba diving holiday to Hawaii any time of year. It is the perfect destination because of the tropical climate, mild temperatures, swaying palm trees, and sandy beaches. Divers get the chance to swim with manta rays, numerous types of bright tropical fish, and plenty of humpback whale sightings.
Hawaii is a fantastic option for scuba divers because it is accessible by land or liveaboard. Divers can see the unusual longnose hawkfish at the Kauai dive location known as Sheraton Caverns. Tiger flatworms, gold-lace and imperial nudibranchs, and fuchsia flatworms are additional common reef inhabitants.
The Blue Hole and Shark Ray Alley are only two of the well-known scuba diving locations in Belize. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest such reef in the world, is accessible to divers from this location. The area has a thriving nurse shark, stingray, and reef life population. Between April and June, whale shark sightings are also likely.
After a dive, Belize’s pleasant climate makes it possible to unwind on the beach. In general, the water has excellent visibility. Belize is an excellent location for divers looking for well-equipped diving resorts, the greatest liveaboards, and a laid-back, simple diving excursion.
ISLANDS OF GILI
With good cause, Indonesia’s Gili Islands have recently gained enormous popularity as a scuba diving destination. A vast, well-preserved reef system surrounds the islands, providing a spectacular backdrop for your dive in the waters and the surrounding reefs.
Divers are encouraged to dive ethically and to protect the environment while taking in the local marine life. Compared to, say, Indonesia’s neighbouring Bali, scuba diving in Indonesia is relatively affordable. Green and hawksbill turtles can be seen in large numbers on the Lombok-area islands of Trawangan, Meno, and Air.
Along with a vast variety of marine fish like pufferfish, lionfish, angelfish, schooling snapper, and many others, there are also reef sharks, barracuda, and trevally.
In the Seychelles, Beau Vallon offers a wide variety of diving conditions, including wall dives, colourful coral reefs, granite rock foundations, and wrecks. Visitors to the Seychelles can go scuba diving among an abundance of coral where giant gorgonian fans and barrel sponges make for an amazing underwater sight.
Divers can view every marine creature in the Indian Ocean, including uncommon macro life, manta rays, green sea turtles, and enormous whale sharks, because to the water’s exceptional clarity. Due to the lack of severe weather, Seychelles welcomes divers all year long.
Scapa Flow in Orkney is one of the most well-liked scuba diving locations off the British coast. Divers can swim amid the World War II-era remains of 52 German Naval ships in the archipelago off the northeast coast of Scotland. Divers from all over the world come here to dive.
The Blockship Tabarka, taken by the British Navy at Falmouth in 1940, is one of the most visited locations. Then it was transported to Orkney with a single screw. One of the top diving locations in Europe, according to polls. It is conveniently situated between 14 and 18 metres below the surface. The clear seas make it easier to see the variety of marine life that covers it.
Off the coast of Northumberland, near the Farne Islands, scuba divers can explore dozens of wrecks. It is one of the most dangerous shipping regions in the UK, which explains the abundance of wrecks that serve as a home for fish, anemones, and crustaceans.
Additionally, you’ll be able to view the impressive 5,000-strong grey seal colony that calls the area home. Being very curious creatures, some have been known to swim close up to underwater divers.
Read more: How To Find The Kayak That’s Right For You