Chances are, if you and your future husband or wife dive, then you’ll be thinking of a destination where you can make the most of this skill; and boy, are you spoilt for choice. If you don’t dive but have always fancied it, you could always consider doing a diving course while you’re away, but it’s also worth remembering that many, if not all, places where the diving’s great are also great for snorkellers. It’s hard to narrow down the list of places to go for diving, but here’s five that are pretty special:
The Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly one of the world’s best-known and most celebrated diving sites – which is hardly surprising when you experience the beautiful coral and amazing fish for yourself. But there is so much more to diving in Australia than just this reef – if you’ve already checked out the Great Barrier Reef, or are looking for something a bit different, then I’d really recommend heading across country to stunning Western Australia. Discover dolphins and whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, explore the coral atolls of Rowley Shoals near Broome, or explore the shipwreck of HMAS Perth off the coast at Albany.
Hawaii can be a great choice for new or beginner divers, with dives possible from close to the shore. But experienced divers will also enjoy the warm waters and fantastic sea life on offer around these beautiful islands. One of the best reasons to dive here is to experience a night dive at Kona – as each diver holds a torch, manta rays swoop in and eat the plankton that are illuminated by the torch light; it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.
Southeast Asia is crammed full of amazing dive sites, but if you fancy somewhere that’s relatively off the beaten track and really does have superlative diving opportunities, then look no further then the beautiful islands of the Philippines. The trouble, once you’ve decided on the Philippines, is then deciding where to go; consider perhaps Boracay if you fancy beautiful beaches and a choice of shallow reef dives for beginners or steep drop-off dives for more advanced divers; or Malapascua for diving among thresher sharks and manta rays (and yet more glorious beaches).
A little closer to home (for UK readers, at least), Egypt’s Red Sea offers great diving opportunities; it’s no surprising when you consider that the water is landlocked by desert, making it quite a unique experience. If you’re fairly new to diving and want good nightlife and a decent choice of resorts, consider heading to Sharm el Sheikh, though more experienced divers may want to head further south. Alternatively, if you’re set on doing little more than diving, or you want a few days of doing something a bit different, consider a live-aboard tour, which will allow you to access off-shore reefs and atmospheric wrecks. If you fancy coupling time underwater with something a bit more cultural, it would be easy enough to kick off your honeymoon with a few days exploring the Pyramids before heading down here.
It’s hard to go wrong with diving in the South Pacific, and Fiji is definitely a great option, especially if you want to balance out the diving with some serious beachside rest and relaxation. Highlights include the Great White Wall in the Somosomo Straits where you’ll get to see the beautiful, but rare, white soft coral and schools of the rather quirky-looking batfish; Shark Fin Point, which is the place to go to spot the biggies, like hammerhead and grey reef sharks; and Robinson Crusoe Island for manta rays, sharks, scorpian-fish and turtles.