Most beautiful diving places in the world
Discover the most fascinating underwater worlds
1) The Stockholm archipelago: a place to get lost
Are you looking for some real adventure? Does a sea full of shipwrecks spark your imagination? Then diving in the vast ships’ cemetery that is the Stockholm archipelago is the trip for you! Just off the east coast of Sweden there is a huge labyrinth of islands. There are over 40,000 of them, from large inhabited ones to tiny little humps of rock, sometimes separated by narrow straits, sometimes by large open waters. It doesn’t take much to imagine it being a partially submerged Atlantis – a mountainous area that once, long ago, sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea, with the numerous islands being the mountain tops and the waterways as the flooded valleys. This is a place to lose yourself… and over the centuries, that’s exactly what many ships have done on their way into Stockholm or back out to the Baltic Sea. In fact, the region claims to have over ten thousand registered shipwrecks- a figure that doesn’t even take into account the many ships that just disappeared and were never heard from again.
2) Great white sharks in Gansbaai, South Africa
If you have always been fascinated by sharks, then you should take the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat. About 170 KMs from Cape Town you will find the former fishers’ village Gansbaai, from where you can take part in a guided shark tour. Booking your tour in advanceis recommended, as it is extremely popular amongst fellow tourists. A boat will take you to the best spot, where the real adventure begins, once you enter a safety cage and dive down into the clear blue waters. You will be able to see and feel the power of these animals as they are lured to the boat with bait. Make sure to wear a thick neoprene wetsuit as the water can be rather cold, with temperatures between 13 and 20 degrees. Just don’t forget to breathe when you first see the elegant, giant creature approach..
3) Rich sea life around the Similan Islands, Thailand
In 1982 the Similan Islands in Thailand were declared a protected natural park. Nine huge granite rocks are lying in the Andaman Sea, home to many different kinds of sea dwellers. Just to give you an idea: Stingrays, colourful parrotfish, more than 200 kinds of soft corals and sea turtles can be seen around those nine islands. Fishing is strictly forbidden around the Similan Islands, so you won’t have to face an empty sea when you dive. Under water you will find a mysterious world full of canyons, small tunnels, caves and astounding reefs. Magnificent diving spots are waiting to be discovered – one trip won’t be enough!
4) Fairy-tale ocean world among Yucatan, Mexico
The Mexican peninsula Yucatan is a true divers paradise. Cave divers will be especially pleased, as there is a wide range of caves, underground rivers, clear water holes, stalactite halls and corridors waiting to be discovered. Extraordinarily clear waters guarantee you will get the most from your dive, whether you are a beginner or expert. Once you enter the cave, you will want to explore further and further, but remember only as deep as you can still see daylight – even if you take torches with you. Experienced guides will show you the best places and make sure you get back safely so that nothing spoils your experience. Various diving centres offer their services around Tulum in Yucatan.
5) All-in-one: Caves, fish and wrecks in Sicily, Italy
Sicily, lying at the end of the “boot” of Italy, known for delicious food, beautiful nature with Mount Etna and hours of sunshine and blue skies. Divers however will be keen to enjoy even greater experiences, as it possible to see caves, all sorts of sea creatures and wrecks in one holiday! Ustica, an island north of Sicily is extremely highly recommended for diving and is the pick of the dive sites in the area. By Cape Taormina, at a depth of 26 metres, you will find the Wreck of Columns which sank more than 2,000 years ago. In the area you can also dive into a cave called Grotta Azura. More experienced divers will enjoy the 30 metres deep Capo Taormina, an underwater cliff where 100s of fish can be seen in their natural habitat. Capo Taormina is also where the movie “The Big Blue” was filmed.