Happy World Ocean Day! In celebration of the breathtaking beauty and immense importance of our planet’s oceans, join us as we embark on a little underwater adventure (whilst staying fully dry, for now!)
Here at HA, we’re passionate about the value of travel. Holidays are all about connecting with people, places, and nature. They’re about getting away from the day-to-day life and being reminded of just how special our world really is.
The world is what inspires us to travel, and these travels remind us how important it is to protect what we have.
So grab your flippers and join us as we dive into the wonders of the deep blue. Below are 7 of our favourite underwater adventures you can have worldwide. Which would make the top of your list?
1. The Maldives: A tropical paradise underwater
When it comes to underwater beauty set to take your breath away, the Maldives is a tough one to beat. Picture crystal-clear, turquoise water, vibrant coral reefs and so much colourful marine life, you won’t know where to look. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced scuba diver or someone who just fancies dipping a flipper in for a snorkel – the Indian Ocean has hidden wonders for you. Swim alongside majestic manta rays, spot sea turtles gracefully gliding through the water, and marvel at the tropical kaleidoscope of fish and coral that call this paradise home.
Top tip: Our Maldives expert, Rebecca, really recommends staying at the Sun Siyam Olhuveli to experience the very best of snorkelling in the Maldives. When she visited last year, she snorkelled straight off the beach outside her room and was in the company of reef sharks! Not a memory she’ll be forgetting an a hurry.
2. The Galapagos Islands: Nature’s Eden on Earth
If there was ever a place on earth that was a true haven for wildlife enthusiasts and underwater explorers alike, it’s the Galapagos Islands. These volcanic islands have a unique and diverse ecosystem that offers you an unbeatable opportunity to watch and enjoy nature in its purest form. Playful sea lions, gliding sea turtles and the iconic enigmatic Galapagos penguins all await.
3. South Africa: Watch the whales along the coastline
There’s a pinch-yourself wildlife encounter waiting for you everywhere you go in South Africa, your holiday will be packed full of them. Between June and November, the south coast has ocean-based wonders in store. The southern right and humpback whales have made the journey from Antarctica to the warmer waters of South Africa’s shores, and they pass right by the coastline as they go. Head to the quaint town of Hermanus to watch their arrival without ever leaving dry land, or venture to Plettenberg Bay for a boat trip to get even closer to these magnificent creatures. We’ll cross our fingers and toes that you get to witness some playful breaches!
4. Vietnam: Discover the underwater secrets off Vietnam’s beaches
When you think of Vietnam, chances are your thoughts head straight to emerald rice terraces or the bikes and bustle of the cities. But, the coastline of Vietnam is fringed with beautiful stretches of beach and some real hidden gems for underwater explorers.
Some of Vietnam’s most renowned snorkelling and diving destinations include Nha Trang (don’t miss a stay at the beautiful L’Alya eco resort!), with its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine ecosystem, and the idyllic Phu Quoc Island, where you can explore colourful underwater gardens packed full of multicoloured inhabitants! You’ll swim alongside reef fish, moray eels, and perhaps even the elusive seahorse. Keep an eye out for larger visitors such as stingrays, barracudas, and even gentle whale sharks, too!
5. Mauritius: Uncover the marine marvels in paradise
Tag on a visit to Mauritius after an African safari to soak up the sunshine, admire the postcard-perfect landscapes, walk along the white sand beaches and explore the underwater world beneath the waves. Grab a snorkel and head to the Blue Bay Marine Park, a protected area that’s absolutely teeming with marine life. You might even be lucky enough to swim with a friendly dolphin or two. We love the Constance Belle Mare Plage beach hotel, perfect for a lovely slice of R&R!
6. Malaysia: Get your PADI certificate in the Perhentian Islands
Found just off the northeastern coast of Terengganu, you’ll find the Perhentian Islands. With turquoise seas lapping against the white sand beaches, it’s the perfect place to unwind under the swaying palms. There are endless local cafes and food stalls dotted along the coastline, all selling fresh-from-the-boat Malaysian specialities – just what you need after a morning exploring the underwater world off the coast. Considered one of the top dive destinations in the world, this is a brilliant place to visit if you’re looking to dive beneath the waves and explore rich marine diversity and stunning coral formations. The Perhentian Islands are one of the best (and often cheapest!) places on Earth to get your PADI certificate. So, if you’ve always liked the idea of learning to dive, chat to Erin, our Malaysia and Borneo expert, about adding a stay here to your holiday.
7. Sri Lanka: The marine treasures of Pigeon Island
Nestled off the northeastern coast of Sri Lanka, you’ll find the captivating Pigeon Island Marine National Park. This protected marine reserve is the perfect spot for a morning on the water. Base yourself in Nilaveli, just north of Trincomalee, set your alarm early and head off on a boat trip to the island. Sadly, the majority of Sri Lanka’s coral reefs were destroyed by the tsunami, but Pigeon Island still boasts an impressive living reef. You’ll swim over the thriving coral and amongst the tropical fish. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of a beautiful Blacktip Reef Shark, too.
Inspired? Get in touch on 01242 253 073 to chat about your next adventure (watery or not!) We understand how important your holidays are to you and will always take genuine care in ensuring it’s the very best it can be.