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1 May 2024, Katie Hale

diving holidays, Diving

Looking for a stress-free diving holiday within easy reach of the UK? These amazing diving destinations offer unforgettable experiences with fascinating marine life and awe-inspiring underwater landscapes.


Emerald Coast in Sardinia

The shortest journey on our list; divers from the UK can reach the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia in just over 2 hours. The north-eastern shores offer exceptional scuba diving, but La Maddalena archipelago is the jewel in Sardinia’s crown with 60 islands and islets to discover. Explore stunning underwater scenery with rugged caves, overhangs, swim-throughs and abundant marine life. Sardinia is also a favourite with wreck divers who are attracted by the 102-metre cargo ship Angelika and the sunken remains of a World War II bomber plane.

Diving here is suitable for all abilities, with around 40 diverse dive sites to choose from. We recommend you stay on the Emerald Coast at the Hotel Piccada or La Vecchia Fonte.

Malta & Gozo

Cave diving in Malta & Gozo

A 3-hour nonstop flight will transport you to the spectacular Maltese archipelago. Malta is one of the best diving destinations in Europe with a wide variety of diving experiences - from wrecks, reefs and caves to the famous Blue Hole. 

Malta is the perfect place to develop your diving skills, as the dive sites range from beginner-friendly shallow shore dives to challenging technical wreck dives. You can also take a taxi and a ferry from Malta International Airport to Gozo, where intriguing caves, arches and tunnels are just waiting to be explored. We offer two types of accommodation in Malta & Gozo - choose between comfortable self-catering apartments and beautiful beachfront hotels.


Blue shark in the Azores

Divers are drawn to this remote archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean by the dramatic volcanic topography and potential for encounters with the world’s largest marine species. You can fly from the UK to Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island in approximately 4 hours. Flights often touch down in Lisbon, making it possible to explore the Portuguese capital as part of your trip. 

Diving highlights in the Azores include the Dollabarat Banks, the steep slopes of Pico and the chance to explore canyons, tunnels and underwater arches for octopus, subtropical fish and other marine species. Even more thrilling, you can sometimes hear dolphins and whales while diving! 


Shipwreck in Lanzarote

Take a 4-hour direct flight to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. It’s an ideal destination for diving, beautiful beaches and winter sun! Lanzarote delivers delightful diving experiences thanks to year-round warm water temperatures, great visibility and breathtaking underwater landscapes. The volcanic formations include fascinating lava tubes and caves, while the sponges, anemones and corals are thriving with octopuses, rays, seahorses and various fish. 

Stay in bright apartment complexes or bungalows just a stone’s throw from the popular Safari dive centre at Playa Chica.


Beach in Madeira

Enjoy lush landscapes and beautiful diving on the subtropical island of Madeira, off the north coast of Africa. Garajau Marine Park is very popular with divers who enjoy the park’s volcanic topography, impressive drop-offs and bountiful marine life. Barracuda, dolphin, moray eel, shrimp, octopus, damsel fish, wrasse and friendly dusky groupers are frequently seen here, but lucky divers may also encounter butterfly rays, manta rays or endangered monk seals. 

A flight from the UK to Funchal (Madeira’s capital) is around 4 hours. Madeira offers something for everyone, with wrecks to explore, excellent snorkelling opportunities and plenty of topside adventures. We recommend the 4-star Dom Pedro Madeira, a tranquil beachfront hotel with magnificent sea views.

Egypt (Red Sea)

Fury shoals in the Red Sea

Regular direct flights from the UK to the popular diving hubs Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh take less than 5 hours, while seasonal direct flights to Marsa Alam (November to April) open up the lesser-visited delights of the Southern Red Sea. A wide range of budget-friendly and luxury resorts are available, or you could join a liveaboard to access the more remote sites.

The Red Sea has it all: beautiful coral reefs, historic wrecks, perfect diving conditions, breathtaking wall dives, big fish action and a dazzling variety of fish. Explore world-famous dive sites while experiencing crystal-clear visibility for up to 50 metres - ideal for underwater photography. Ras Mohamed, the Brothers, Dolphin House and Elphinstone Reef are must-sees that regularly top best dive site lists. 


Whale shark in Oman

Direct flights from the UK to Oman’s capital Muscat take approximately 7 hours. From there, you can access an Arabian wonderland featuring dramatic underwater caves, rocky outcrops and drop-offs, the fascinating Al Munassir wreck and the famed Daymaniyat Islands (a 45-minute boat ride away). 

The Daymaniyat Islands are renowned for having the best diving opportunities in the Middle East, with clear turquoise waters, virtually untouched coral reefs and exciting marine life that includes tropical fish, eagle rays, sea turtles, reef sharks, various cetaceans and migratory whale sharks (July to September). Choose from luxurious hotels or embark on a liveaboard adventure on the spacious Oman Explorer.

Just over 10 hours …

The Caribbean 

Piton in St Lucia

The Caribbean is perfect for a laid-back holiday with spectacular diving. The flight times are a little longer (around 9 to 11 hours) but it's well worth it. St Kitts, Saba or Statia are excellent choices with wrecks, thriving marine parks and deep sea mounts to explore. As flights often touchdown in Antigua or St Lucia, you could also opt to combine Caribbean islands for a longer holiday. 


Manta ray in Socorro

Take a 10-hour direct flight to Cancún on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Mexico offers unique diving experiences, particularly the chance to explore freshwater underwater limestone caverns, known as Cenotes, and the Planacar Reef protected marine park. Experience exciting drift dives and turtle encounters, or explore a range of awe-inspiring dive sites around Cozumel, the Socorro Islands and Riviera Maya. A Mexico diving holiday also pairs well with stays in the Caribbean. View a range of accommodation and liveaboard options. 

These destinations are ideal for a convenient diving break. Speak to our dive team for more information, or read our blog on the top 10 diving destinations with direct flights from the UK.