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20 Mar 2024, Katie Hale

summer diving, summer diving holiday

If you’re looking for the best summer diving holiday destinations, then look no further. We’ve chosen 10 of our favourites and each has high potential for thrilling encounters with marine life, mesmerising underwater discoveries or blissful weather and diving conditions. Let’s dive right in.

1. Bunaken, Indonesia

Coral reef in Bunaken National Marine Park, Indonesia

The crystal-clear waters and staggering marine biodiversity of Bunaken Marine Park make this a popular diving destination. In summer, the seas are calm and you can take in the full majesty of the vibrant coral walls which are teeming with colourful fish. The waters are also home to barracuda, Napoleon wrasse and green turtles.

2. Bali, Indonesia 

Mola mola in Bali, Indonesia

The chance to dive with seasonal Mola Mola, or Oceanic sunfish, is an excellent reason to visit Bali in the summer. These gigantic and unusual-looking fish are most commonly sighted in August and September around Crystal Bay (though you might get lucky in July or October). The summer months are also a great time to spot manta rays and other underwater highlights such as turtles, shipwrecks and fascinating macro species.

3. Komodo, Indonesia 

Manta ray in Komodo National Park, Indonesia

A bucket list destination for most divers, Komodo is particularly special in the dry season, April to November, when divers can enjoy lovely weather and excellent water visibility which sometimes exceeds 30 metres. There’s a dazzling array of marine species to discover around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, including manta rays, sharks and an abundance of critters. Underwater, you’ll find steep walls and coral-encrusted canyons, while topside you can search for Komodo dragons!

4. Azores 

Blue shark in the Azores

Diving in the azure waters around the breathtaking Azores archipelago is only possible by liveaboard for a few months each year. We recommend diving there between June and October when average water temperatures are in the low 20s, visibility peaks and mobula rays gather around seamounts. The rewards are endless, from exploring the volcanic islands, arches and caves to encounters with some of the world’s largest pelagics and marine mammals. Playful dolphins, blue and mako sharks and whale sharks (August) are all frequently sighted here. It’s also not unheard of to hear whales while diving. 

5. Bonaire 

Shore diving in Bonaire

Known as one of the finest Caribbean diving destinations, Bonaire is widely renowned for offering exceptional shore diving and snorkelling experiences. The shallow reefs host hundreds of species of colourful fish and critters amid amazing coral gardens. The marine life is spectacular whenever you visit, but during the summer, the weather and diving conditions are superb and there are fewer tourists. Bonaire is also located outside of the Caribbean’s hurricane zone.

6. Lanzarote 

Shipwreck in Lanzarote

If you’re travelling from the UK or Western Europe, Lanzarote is the perfect short-haul option. As the Canary Islands are less than 100 miles from the North African coastline, you’ll get plenty of sunshine and low rainfall all year round; Lanzarote is also known as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’. From June to October, air temperatures are in the mid-20s, the seas are pleasantly calm and the water temperatures are comfortable. Whilst diving, you can explore dramatic lava formations, caves, drop-offs and shipwrecks. If you’re lucky, you could encounter various cetaceans, but other marine species may include angel sharks, octopus, seahorses and rays.

7. Galapagos 

Whale shark in the Galapagos Islands

The unique ecosystems on the Galapagos Islands are nothing short of awe-inspiring and that certainly includes the marine life. Wolf and Darwin Islands regularly top ‘best diving’ lists, and in July whale shark activity is peaking. Whale sharks are just the start though, because as you explore the archipelago’s pristine waters you could encounter hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, eagle and giant oceanic manta rays, endemic Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas and playful sea lions.  

8. Cocos Island

School of hammerheads in Cocos Island, Costa Rica

The seamount ‘Bajo Alcyone’, near Cocos Island, is widely regarded as the world’s top destination for hammerhead encounters. Vast shoals are attracted to the nutrient-rich waters, creating a heart-stopping spectacle for divers. After descending to the rocks, you can look up and witness hundreds of hammerheads passing directly overhead. To reach this site, you’ll need to take a liveaboard from Costa Rica. Summer is generally best for marine life encounters, which may also include whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, whale sharks, hawksbill turtle, eagle and manta ray.

9. Sardinia 

Cala Domestica beach in Sardinia, Italy

Hailed as the Caribbean of Europe, Sardinia’s sparkling and rugged coastline is known for exceptional scuba diving. Beneath the waves, you’ll find an intriguing landscape of caves, corals, sea fans and historic wrecks. During the balmy summer days, the Mediterranean waters are warm and thriving with octopus, pipefish, eels and groupers, but you also have the chance to encounter dolphins, barracudas, Mediterranean bamboo shark and perhaps even sun fish. The best diving opportunities are found at La Maddalena archipelago - a protected national park - and Lavezzi (a marine reserve in southern Corsica which can be reached from Sardinia).

10. Grenada & Carriacou 

Wreck in Grenada

Known for exciting drift dives, wrecks, human sculptures and fabulous reefs, this Caribbean treasure offers idyllic diving experiences. Being the Caribbean, this is a fabulous destination to visit at any time of year. However, by travelling in early summer (May or June) you can avoid the peak hurricane season (July to November) and the peak tourist season (December to April). You’ll be able to enjoy gentle currents, warm water, beautiful weather and diverse marine ecosystems, and get great value for money on flights and accommodation.

To book any of our diving holidays, speak to our expert dive team, browse our special offers or search our liveaboard departures.