The best island destinations for a dive holiday

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The best island destinations for a dive holiday

Some countries have long coastlines with multiple diving spots but little can compare with the 360-degree diving versatility of an island. With coastline in every direction, these water-ringed land masses often make superb dive destinations. Combine these geographical advantages with warm, clear water and you have some of the best dive conditions on the

Here’s a closer look at five of the very best island dive destinations.

1. Maldives

Close your eyes and imagine the perfect tropical island. White sand, lush green vegetation, and clear waters teeming with tropical marine life. Is that what’s coming to mind? Well, you’ve more or less imagined the Maldives. This group of more than 1,100 islands, cays and atolls are ringed by coral reefs, with incredible underwater life and some of the most elusive creatures on the planet, including whale sharks and manta rays. And with more than 160 resorts and liveaboards to choose from, you can explore some of the world’s best diving in your own style.


2. Mauritius

Made up of two islands – Mauritius and the smaller Rodrigues – this Indian Ocean paradise is perfect for both beginners and more experienced divers. The sheltered north-west coast offers the best diving with the possibility to dive all year round (although the best period for visibility and marine life is between October and May). There are some top wreck sites here too, including the Hassan Mian and the Stella Maru. Down in the south west of the island, you can see reef and bull sharks. And the protected marine parks give an indication of how much the local people value their pristine waters.


3. Bonaire

Making up one of the three ‘ABC’ islands of the Dutch Antilles along with Aruba and Curacao, Bonaire is the least visited by tourists. The island was the home of one of the first marine parks in the Caribbean, with an amazing variety of underwater environments to explore. There’s a good mix of boat and shore dives (with some of the best boat dives off the smaller Klein Bonaire islands). There is complete freedom to dive all around the island, with largely deserted waters and great shore diving sites allowing you to go at your own pace. Visibility of more than 30 metres and warm waters make this an excellent choice for divers of all levels.


4. Zanzibar

A stunning island with white sand and clear waters, there is a coral reef stretching the length of the south-east coast of Zanzibar. You can enjoy daily excursions to reef dive sites like Paje and Jambiani where you can see stingrays and seahorses. There are also more than 30 dive sites around the island’s north coast, including the Mnemba Atoll and Tumbato. Take a traditional dhow out to sites where you can see some of the island’s turtle life.


5. Gozo

An island of the Maltese archipelago, Gozo’s warm and clear waters attract divers from around the world. There are more than 50 dive sites offering diving for all levels. Great water clarity and stable conditions, combined with proximity to the UK, make it a great choice for beginners. But the sea caves and tunnels also keep things interesting for the more experienced divers too.