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Beautiful diving destinations in winter

Winter is the travel time for divers. But which destinations are really worth it? Where are the most beautiful diving areas in the world? Which waters are particularly rich in fish in winter and where can you also watch whales or sea turtles? Below you will find all the important information.

The diving areas of the Sinai

Diving Egypt, Sinai
Diving in Egypt, Image: yeshaya dinerstei / shutterstock

Egypt is home to the most beautiful diving areas in Africa. But by far the most popular diving destinations are in Sinai. The areas around the resort of Sharm El Sheikh can be easily reached by dive boat. Off the coast lies a shipwreck from the 2nd World War. Particularly interesting is the Ras Mohammed National Park at the southern tip of the Sinai. Colorful soft coral reefs stretch here. Off the coast of North Sinai near Dahab lies the Blue Hole, Egypt’s most famous diving area. The hole is known for its murky water and its saddle has a direct transition to the open sea. If you want to dive here, you need experience. The Blue Hole is one of the most dangerous diving areas in the world. Nevertheless, up to a thousand divers a day cavort here at peak times.

Sharks and wrecks in the Gulf of Aqaba

Diving Aqaba
Image: Shahar Shabtai / shutterstock

The Gulf of Aqaba is also one of the most beautiful diving areas in the world. Divers primarily appreciate the calm waters and minimal tides. The dangers for divers are very low here and many diving areas can be reached directly from the beach. The visibility for divers is always well over 20 meters and in winter there are pleasant outdoor and water temperatures here. Also, the reefs are still healthy compared to other diving areas on the Red Sea. More than 1000 species of fish and seafood cavort here. In addition, you can marvel at well over 200 coral species and there are also some shipwrecks off the coast. The reefs and drop-offs are also great for beginner divers. But professionals will also find the best conditions around the seaside resort of Aqaba.

Diving off Phu Quoc

Diving Vietnam, Phu Quoc
A beach on Phu Quoc, Image: Tran Qui Thinh / shutterstock

Vietnam has a large number of first-class diving areas. But the most beautiful in the country are located off the island of Phu Quoc directly on the Mekong Delta. During the winter time (dry season) from October to April, divers from all over the world come to the small island. Overall, the areas are very flat and do not exceed 12 meters. There are also deeper areas in the south of the island. However, these are accompanied by dangerous currents. The reefs off Phu Quoc are in a healthy and excellent condition. Rare bamboo sharks and lots of scorpion fish cavort here. In addition, the dives are accompanied by octopus, countless crabs and night snails. Larger fish and marine species are not to be found off the coast of Phu Quoc. That’s why the area is also known as one of the most beautiful macro diving areas in the world. In the waters around the island, there is always a visibility of just under ten meters. From October to May, water temperatures range from 28 to 31 degrees.

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The Maldives is a diver’s paradise

Diving Maldives
Image: Andrea Izzotti / shutterstock

The Maldives is a paradise for divers. There are good reasons for this. Here, beginners can make their first dives in shallow water and professionals enjoy the dive sites along the walls and atoll channels. In general, divers find a lot of variety in their dives off the atolls. For example, there are shallow coral gardens and bizarre steep walls. So-called drift dives are also possible in the Maldives . If you want, you can also dive into various shipwrecks. But most divers come to the islands in the Indian Ocean because of the biodiversity. Catsharks and reef sharks cavort everywhere. They even stay just offshore and in shallow water. In addition, you will find swarms of rays and manta rays. Sea turtles can also be observed during the dive. Most of the islands have their own house reef or shark point. Most of these central points can be reached by swimming from the beach. Drift diving with a submersible is also very popular. The boats do not drop anchor. They always stay in close proximity to the divers and follow them with the current. The Maldives is a year-round diving area. Water temperatures here are always between 27 and 30 degrees. However, most divers come in winter, when there are cheap charter flights.

Diving in Malaysia

Diving Malaysia
Image: Richard Whitcombe / shutterstock

Malaysia is home to the most beautiful diving areas in the world. The whole country is an Eldorado for divers along the coast. In winter, divers from all over the world flock to the island of Pulau Sipidan. Among diving experts, the small coral island is the most impressive and unique diving area in the world. The island is surrounded by a circular coral reef. There are countless soft corals and a unique underwater world. Divers can spot giant rays and various species of sharks. Pulau Langkawi is known for its yellow and orange corals. Its steep walls are full of countless reef fish that shine in different colors. In addition, there are shoals of barracudas and pike. Divers will also encounter reef sharks and whale sharks. Tropical fishermen of all kinds cavort in the waters off Pulau Pangkor. Diving through the coral gardens is popular here. The coast of Perhentian beckons with crystal clear waters. Here are still undeveloped and untouched diving areas. At diving depths of up to 30 meters, you will meet countless barracuda and even turtles and sharks. Redang is known for its fascinating coral reefs. The current is very low and up to a diving depth of 40 meters you can meet many colorful coral fish.

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A fascinating underwater world in Kenya

Diving Destinations Winter Kenya
Diving in Kenya, Image: kyslynskahal / shutterstock

Divers are drawn to the coasts of Kenya from January to March. Then the water is particularly calm here. This makes it clear and divers have visibility of up to 30 meters. In addition, there are pleasant water temperatures between 24 and 30 degrees. Thus, Kenya offers optimal conditions for diving in winter. The most beautiful diving areas are north and south of the tourist resort of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean. The coral reefs and marine parks off the coast here have different possibilities. Here, beginners can start their first dives and professionals can dive into the reefs. The areas around Mombasa are ideal for dolphin watching. The main attractions of the underwater world also include giant tortoises and whale sharks. These can grow up to 18 meters tall. In addition, you will find whole shoals of reef fish and manta rays. Beginners like to dive on the border with Tanzania. Here, the diving depth is only eight meters and the waters are known for their dolphin populations.

Diving in the Bahamas

Diving Destinations Winter Bahamas
Diving in the Bahamas, Image: Michael Bogner / shutterstock

The Bahamas is a popular winter destination for divers. This is where the third largest barrier reef in the world is located. But most divers come because of the varied possibilities. Professionals and diving beginners get their money’s worth here. There are a variety of blue holes and if you like it challenging, you can go steep wall diving or deep diving. The species-rich coral gardens with a growth of fan corals and sponges are particularly beautiful. The coral gardens are located in shallow waters and thus score with a clear and wide view. Despite its northern location off the south coast of Florida, the Bahamas offers a biodiversity similar to that of the Caribbean. Dive cruises are available all over the islands. Local operators also offer liveaboards throughout the islands. This allows holidaymakers to try out a large number of diving areas in a short time. Some areas can also be reached by swimming from the beach. In winter, the water temperatures in the Bahamas are between a pleasant 23 and 26 degrees, which is significantly lower than the summer water temperatures. Most diving vacationers come to the islands between October and February. But diving in the Bahamas is also possible in summer.