Holiday types

Diving holidays

Descend into a world of endless adventures

Diving holidays conjure up a colour palette of blues – from Blue Flag beaches and clear blue skies, to the cobalts, azures, and sapphires that swirl in the seas beneath. But the reality of a diving holiday is far more colourful than you could ever imagine. Swim beyond the shallows, dive beneath the surface, and you’ll soon see life under the waves of the world’s great oceans lives out in glorious technicolour.

Our diving holidays can be tailored to suit total beginners or more experienced divers. Snorkel or scuba-dive off the coast of Indonesia’s Gili Islands, and before long you’ll come face-to-face with turtles, rays, and reef sharks. Or, delve deeper into an underwater world of sunken cenotes – or sinkholes – along Mexico’s exotic Mayan Riviera.

The Maldives has become synonymous with diving holidays, and you can discover the submerged caves, canyons and corals for yourself at luxury resorts like Jumeirah Vittaveli. Plus, you can team your diving holiday with an adventure on dry land as part of a multi centre break. Dive Egypt’s Red Sea relics one week, for example, then discover ancient Egyptian treasures on a cruise along the Nile – minus the wetsuit – the next.

Visit our sister website, Austravel, to try beginner dives, PADI courses or advanced diving at the largest coral reef on earth: the Great Barrier Reef.

Top diving resorts

If you have something else in mind, speak to our Destination Specialists to find the resort that is right for you

Fundu Lagoon

Pemba Island

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£2,389 pp

Fundu Lagoon

The Beach Club and Haad Tien Beach Resort Koh Tao

Koh Tao

H&J Rating

Guide Price

£1,049 pp

The Beach Club and Haad Tien Beach Resort Koh Tao

Jumeirah Vittaveli


H&J Rating

Guide Price

£3,339 pp

Jumeirah Vittaveli

&Beyond Benguerra Island Lodge


H&J Rating
&Beyond Benguerra Island Lodge

Top 6 Tips For Diving


1. Flying and Diving: When planning your holiday, remember that you cannot dive within 24 hours of arrival or your return flights. 2. Wet suits: Even in tropical waters, wet suits are recommended to reduce the waters cooling effect on longer dives and protect the skin against coral and rock cuts and abrasions. 3. Insurance: All divers must have Scuba Diving accident and medical cover. Please call one of our Destination Specialists who can advise you. 4. Children: In most countries, the minimum age at which children are permitted to dive is 12. However in some destinations it may be older. 5. Beginners: It is often cheaper to learn to dive abroad than it is in the UK. 6. Recommended length of stay: Don't get stuck for 14 nights in a two-dive resort – or worse, spend just a day diving, when you could, and should, be diving for a week or more. If you would like to know more about what else there is to do apart from scuba diving at any of our destinations, you can find out more about the local attractions and the facilities and amenities of our resort hotels, in the Travel Guide section of our website.

Learn to Dive

Dive centres

Most diving centres offer a half or full day “resort course” which generally includes some theory followed by a swimming pool dive and one open water dive. The centre may then let you dive with them on simple dives for the rest of your stay, but you will have no internationally recognised certification to enable you to dive freely elsewhere in the future. Diving centres can offer full initial certification courses. On completion you will have an internationally recognised qualification which will allow you to participate in most diving opportunities on future holidays, with a minimum of local training. The most common course is PADI Open Water. PADI – The Professional Association of Diving Instructors – has a programme of courses beginning with Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Advanced Plus, with specialities such as Underwater Photographer, Underwater Naturalist and Wreck Diver, right through to qualifications for career dive masters and instructors.

Scuba Diving

The PADI Open Water course

The PADI Open Water course consists of the following stages: Academic sessions: Five sessions using course books and visual aids to learn theory and safety precautions and procedures. Confined water sessions: Five sessions, usually in a swimming pool, to learn practical skills in a safe environment. Open water dives: Four open water dives to convert theory and confined practice into real open water experiences under close supervision. This course can be taken in full in your resort (usually cheaper and in warmer waters, than if you took the course in the UK). All diving equipment will be provided for the course; however hire or purchase of course and log books and certification fee may not be included and must be paid locally. A full Open Water course in resort is normally run over four to six days and may occupy you for up to six hours per day. The course should normally only be booked in a holiday of two weeks or more in order to fit in with the diving school’s schedule and to allow for weather conditions and time required before flying home.

Maldives, Diving

Diving safety and medical advice

Diving is an exciting and demanding activity, which, when applying the correct techniques is safe. To scuba dive safely, you must be of good general health. If in doubt, please consult your doctor before booking a dive holiday. You must not be extremely overweight or out of condition. Your respiratory and circulatory system must be in good health. A person with heart trouble, a current cold or congestion, epilepsy, asthma, a severe medical problem, or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not dive. If taking medication, consult your doctor and the instructor before participation in the programme. You will also need to learn from the instructor the important safety rules regarding breathing and equalisation while scuba diving. Improper use of scuba equipment can result in serious injury. Anyone intending to undertake Scuba training while on holiday will be required by the diving centre in resort to complete a medical questionnaire.

Worldwide diving destinations


The Maldives

Mantas, whale sharks, turtles, reef sharks and hammerhead sharks are found in the Maldives all year round; if anything, manta rays are found in even greater numbers in the southwest monsoon. As for the other big creatures, diver encounters are dependent on non-seasonal factors: whale sharks are more frequently sighted at high tide, and hammerhead sharks ascend to shallower water at sunrise.


The reefs of Thailand’s coastlines and its many islands support a rich marine life. The beautiful and dramatic scenery on the surface is matched by the variety and colour underwater. Dive from the shores of Phuket’s beaches, or take a day’s boat trip to Phi Phi Island. Dive into the coral reefs around Khao Lak and Koh Tao for some of the best diving and snorkelling in Thailand.

The Gili Islands

From Bali or Lombok, hop on a boat to the idyllic Gili Islands, one of the top areas for scuba diving and known as the “turtle capital of the world’. Undeveloped and charming, the islands are fringed with soft sands, turquoise waters and reefs, bursting with fish and colourful corals. The Gili islands are popular for both beginners and experienced divers, with about 25 dive sites around the islands of Trawangan, Meno and Gili Air. Explore the diverse marine life among the underwater topography, with slopes, walls, ridges and canyons. Look out for black – and white tip reef sharks, hawksbill and olive ridley turtles, lionfish, scorpion fish, octopus, moray eels, sea snakes, manta rays and the occasional whale shark.

Anse Source d Argent Beach, Seychelles

The Seychelles

The alluring reefs of the Seychelles, guarantee clear turquoise waters, stunning topography with walls, pinnacles, drop offs, wrecks and canyons. Expect diverse marine life and vibrant coral for your perfect Seychelles dive holiday. All abilities will enjoy the dive sites which range in depth from 8 to 30 metres and the chance to dive year round, with calmer waters March to May and September to November. The inner reefs are home to angelfish, butterflyfish, octopus and lionfish. Further out see napoleon and humphead wrasses, parrotfish, stingrays, reef sharks and green and hawksbill turtles. Among the remoter outer islands see nurse sharks, manta rays and whale sharks, plus the occasional hammerhead shark.

Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm


Head to Cozumel, the “Island of Swallows” for some of the best diving of your life and plenty of other fun beach activities. Diverse reefs, caves, caverns and tunnels can be found here, at the world’s second largest reef system – the great Maya Barrier Reef. Beginners and more advanced divers can enjoy the underwater playground that Cozumel provides, with numerous species of fish, plus turtles, nurse sharks and eagle rays. Even non divers will still love this tropical, island paradise, which although a mecca for divers, is still a serenely beautiful and popular resort.

The beach at The Residence Zanzibar


Immerse yourself on Zanzibar’s sublime coastline, palm-clad, with shallow warm seas, this coral atoll offers some of the world’s best beaches, with crystal clear waters and over 25 different dive sites. A variety of coasts all offer something different - the east brings waves breaking over offshore coral reefs and sand bars and at low tide you can see pools of starfish, minnows and anemones. On the north coast, the tides are gentler, washing onto silken sands. Throughout, divers enjoy colourful corals and abundant marine life, and with fantastic below water visibility; you'll get lots of marine game viewing. All abilities can explore the depths for coral reefs, vertical drop offs, a vast range of tropical fauna, whale sharks, manta, dolphins, marlin and much more.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s reputation as a major eco-destination stretches below the sea too. The Pacific and Caribbean coasts abound with extraordinary beauty, with a world of marine landscapes, coral reef formations and thousands of fish. Come to Costa Rica to discover an underwater adventure, with thrilling scuba diving, with the Pacific Coast being recognised as one of the top five destinations for advanced scuba diving in the world. Whether you’re experienced, or trying your hand at diving for the first time, there’s plenty for open water divers of all abilities. Explore the home of sharks, Octopuses and ray fish and plenty of other marine fauna.



This is a destination that boasts a variety of diving experiences in some of the richest waters in the world, in terms of sea life and diversity. Cavort with turtles and surround yourself with hammerheads in the coral atolls of Borneo. Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) has world class diving, with some of the best to found among the islands of beautiful Sabah. Many divers come to Malaysia for Sipadan, a little island, just off Borneo’s east coast. Here is where living coral grows on an extinct volcano, creating a rich marine habitat. High numbers of turtles, reef sharks, parrotfish and barracuda reside here. Layang Layang is another popular place for diving, with large schools of hammerhead sharks making it a must see dive destination in Malaysia



The Red Sea is a hugely popular place for diving, in particular Sharm el Sheikh, famed as a diver’s paradise with gentle waters and amazing visibility. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Red Sea is so called, for the algal blooms that colour with sea with a reddish tint. There are over 1,000 species of fish to be found here, of which about 20 percent are endemic to the Red Sea. This is one of the main reasons that diving in Egypt is so popular and interesting. From sharks to dolphins, from shallow reefs to drift dives and walls or fascinating wreck diving – the destination has it all.

Why choose Hayes & Jarvis for… Diving holidays?

• We’ll combine your incredible diving holiday with an equally exceptional beach stay • Whether experienced or an absolute beginner we’ll team your skills with the ideal location • From coral reefs to shipwrecks to Mexico’s cenotes, the underwater possibilities are endless • With our sister company Austravel, our amazing holidays cover the world’s richest waters.