The following post is brought to you by Jess Signet – an avid traveler who enjoys writing about her adventures. Jess also loves to dive and hopes you enjoy reading about these great diving spots!
There are great diving spots all over the globe. From the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the Great Blue Hole in Belize, these spectacular underwater landmarks have been attracting visitors from all over to come and discover the mysteries held on the ocean floor. However, for those who dive regularly, taking the tour of all the world’s most famous dive spots can easily become repetitive.
You can soon find yourself longing for clear, lesser-known locations, away from the crowds, where it feels as if you have the entire ocean to yourself. There are many of these beautiful unknown spots, so we’ve created a list to help inspire you when planning your next trip. These five dive spots are truly incredible, majestic and unique places to visit.
Although not many would consider this tiny European island a diving mecca, the wild Atlantic coastline offers many great spots to head to under the water. Scubadive West, situated in Galway, offers many diving experiences around the country’s only fjord – The Killary in Connemara. Home of the Julia T Shipwreck, which recently placed in the 100 Essential Wreck Dives in Ultimate Dive Destinations magazine, the Wild Atlantic Way offers a plethora of exiting inshore boat dives.
Alongside this, their island safari trips are the perfect option for a weekend away. As a group, you are taken out to a nearby island and complete two dives on the Saturday. Then you stay on the island itself for the night before completing two more dives on Sunday and returning Sunday evening. Although this is the most popular school and spot in the country, there are many opportunities for diving all around the coastland, so be sure to do your research and find the best place for you!
GREAT LAKES, USA
Many people foolishly limit diving to being an ocean-based activity, but this is far from the truth. The Great Lakes in America are a fantastic example of how landlocked diving can be just as fulfilling an experience as its open water counterpart. Basing yourself in Alpena, Michigan, is a great start for exploring the area as you have access to many local lake dives, alongside the Great Lake Divers shop, which offers air-fills, rentals, repairs, and dive and snorkel charters.
From here you can explore myriad diving spots that range up to 40 feet in depth and include highlights such as an abandoned deep-water harbour, sunken fishing boats and the wreck of the famous American Union ship. Nature lovers can also enjoy good visibility for fish spotting in the 30-foot Avalon lake dive. For beginner divers or those looking for a refresher, the shop also offers several courses and its own specialty classes, including skills such as ice diving and underwater photography.
With its world-class coral reefs, caves and amazing scenery, it’s a wonder why Mexico isn’t more popular in the international diving game. Cozumel, a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, is famed with locals for its incredible diving opportunities. Brought to notoriety after Jack Cousteau’s 1961 documentary following the island’s sea life, the little gem is likely to grow in popularity rapidly over the coming years, so now, more than ever, is the time to go check it out.
The Deep Blue diving school has been a PADI certified facility since 1995 and has more than enough professional instructors with an in-depth knowledge of the island to ensure any visitor gets the most out of their experience. They offer base rates for dives around Cozumel’s protected marine park and add-ons for trips out to nearby reefs. Bookings and payments can be made online; however, if you’re booking while overseas, it’s important to remember to use a VPN to protect your credit card details and avoid falling victim to online identity theft!
Far from the stereotyped image of tropical waters and coral paradises, Iceland offers its own unique diving experiences. Dive.IS – the country’s leading dive school – was founded in 1997 by Tómas J. Knútsson and, due to his subsequent hard work, has ensured that Silfra is now considered by the diving community to be one of the top spots in the world.
The Silfra fissure is the crack between North America Eurasia and is the only place in the world where you can dive between two continental plates. The visibility can easily surpass 100 meters due to the crisp glacial waters that are filtered through porous underground lava. With a maximum dive depth of 18 meters and plenty of highlights – such as the Big Crack, Hall, Cathedral and Lagoon – there’s more than enough to make heading out to the fissure a worthwhile and fulfilling trip. Although the fish life here is minimal, the ‘troll hair’ and numerous types of algae make for one of the most incredible underwater colourscapes that can be seen anywhere.
Austria’s Green Lake has been a hidden gem for many years. The alpine meadow in Tragöss is flooded every spring with glacial waters from the melting snow off the Hochshwab Mountains, creating a uniquely beautiful dive spot for all visitors to enjoy.
Unfortunately, to much dismay, on January 1, 2016, the tourism board responsible for the lake banned any diving activities from taking place there. Luckily, many locals and fans of the spot are convinced that this ban won’t be permanent. Anybody interested in a future dive in this iconic spot can sign up to a mailing list to receive updates and be the first to find out when the lake re-opens for divers.
In the meantime, Austria still has some beautiful places to choose from. The Lungau region, while a bit chilly, offers some crisp and clear dives in wonderfully clear glacier waters, with trips running regularly from late May to mid June. There are uncountable incredible dive spots around the world, many of which haven’t even been discovered yet!
These are just a few of the many amazing places that many divers don’t even know exist. If you know of other spots that deserve to be mentioned, be sure to leave a comment below!