Divers are really astronauts; gliding weightless through the
ocean we observe alien worlds carpeted in vast fields of colourful
corals with equally bizarre, enthralling inhabitants – from the
foreign clicks of dolphins communicating to minute technicolour
slugs (nudibranch). And best yet, you don’t need years of gruelling
training or a rocket to experience these watery worlds, just four
days and a eagle-ray-eyed (sorry) ground control. That’s where we
come in, and to ensure you start your adventure starry-eyed,
discover our top five places to learn to dive where magical marine
moments are all but guaranteed.

whale shark

Marine Madness: Maldives

So much more than a pretty face, the Maldives
boasts some of the most sought after marine species, from the
gentle giant whale shark to hundreds of manta rays (between June
and November). Add to that calm, clear lagoons to learn in and some
of the most luxurious private islands to spend your surface
intervals on, and you’ll leave a certified ocean dweller (official
title). Insider tip: for an intergalactic experience paddle in the
shore after dark and see the waves shimmer as bioluminescent
plankton light up like stars in the night sky.

diving diver jellyfish

The Best in the Med: Gozo

If you hail from the UK, Gozo is an
excellent choice to dip your toe (or fin) in the water. The little
sister to Malta, this small laidback island boasts the best diving
in the Mediterranean with warm, turquoise waters more reminiscent
of the tropics than of Europe. Add to that wrecks, caves, caverns
and the Blue Hole (as mysterious and mesmerising as it sounds) to
explore in superb visibility which regularly exceeds 30 metres, and
we’re confident you’ll be hooked on diving for life

coral wall fiji

Enter the Kaleidoscope: Fiji

Diving in Fiji
is akin to reaching the end of the rainbow. As the soft coral
capital of the world (official title), its reefs are carpeted in
kaleidoscopic colours alive with a flurry of colourful reef fish,
all of which can be seen while learning to dive on
delightful house reef. Once you’re certified you’ll get
to start your log book with the likes of “Fish Patch”, “The
Playground” and “Purple Wall” – trust us, you’ll want to take your
camera for these.

grenada nurse shark

Caribbean Calling: Grenada

Warm waters, colourful coral gardens, shallow reefs and an
excellent local dive operation make this a perfect place for anyone
to learn. When you do, the first dive should be to the world’s
first underwater dive sculpture park and artificial reef. Bolstered
by friendly locals and a whole heap of above-water adventures, from
hikes through the lush rainforest-covered interior to sailing the
protected bay, the ‘Isle of
‘ has all the ingredients for an unforgettable journey
into scuba diving.

coral wall diver

It’s a Shore Thing: Egypt

Fact: if you’re from the UK the Red Sea
houses the best diving close to home. A short five-and-a-half hour
flight will see you learning to dive straight from the shores of

The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh
which, quite simply, has one of the
best house reefs we’ve come across, with beautifully preserved
corals and abundant reef life right into the sunlit shallows. Once
you’ve learnt the tricks of the trade, explore the reef for
turtles, eagle rays, barracuda and, if you keep your eyes peeled,
expertly camouflaged seahorses.

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