Diving conjures up a palette of blues, from the cerulean hues of clear blue skies, to azure archipelago waters and the swirling sapphire of the deep blue depths. But beneath the surface, a world of colour awaits: coral gardens teeming with life, and every kind of marine creature you could imagine, from burnt-orange seahorses to waving anemone. Diving holidays are the perfect way to explore the technicolour underwater worlds of our oceans.
Our scuba holidays can be tailored to suit both total beginners and more experienced divers. Many of the diving resorts we partner with offer scuba diving lessons, PADI courses and options for advanced diving.
Descend into a world of endless adventure
Our diving holidays take you all over the world, to some of the ultimate scuba spots. Snorkel or scuba dive off the coast of Indonesia’s Gili Islands, discovering stingrays, tropical fish and giant turtles in the crystal clear depths. Or why not delve deeper into the underwater world, spotting sunken cenotes and whale sharks along Mexico’s exotic Mayan Riviera? The Maldives is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world, as well as idyllic over-water villas and even some underwater gourmet restaurants. Explore submerged caves, canyons and rainbow coral gardens at luxury resorts like Jumeirah Vittaveli.
If you’re looking to take the adventure up a notch, you might want to consider one of our multi centre holidays, where you can pair your underwater diving adventures with dry land expeditions. Spend one week exploring Egypt’s world-famous diving spots and relics in the Red Sea, and the next discovering ancient Egyptian treasures on a cruise along the Nile.
Diving holiday itineraries
A sample of some of our most spectacular underwater itineraries. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family adventure, get in touch and we’ll create your dream dive holiday.
Grenada and Tobago Multi Centre
Singapore And Philippines Holiday
Our favourite diving resorts
We organise scuba holidays to some of the world’s premium diving locations. Many of the resorts offer scuba diving lessons and PADI courses. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, call one of our Destination Specialists who will be able to find the perfect resort for your needs.
The Beach Club and Haad Tien Beach Resort Koh Tao
6 Top Tips for Safe Diving
Flying & diving: When planning your holiday, remember that you cannot dive within 24 hours of arrival or departure. Wet suits: Even in warm, tropical waters, we recommend using wetsuits to protect the skin against coral and rock cuts. Insurance: All divers must have scuba diving accident and medical cover. For more information, please call one of our Destination Specialists. Children: In most countries, the minimum age for diving is 12. For some locations, this may be older. Beginners: Diving abroad is often a good option for newbies, as it is much cheaper to learn than in the UK. Recommended length of stay: Don’t get stuck in a two-dive resort for 14 days, or worse, spend only one day diving – plan to spend a week or more diving on your trip. If you’d like to find out about the other activities available at any of our destinations, get in touch with your Destination Specialist.
Learn to Dive
Most dive centres offer a half or full day “resort course” – typically including some theory, followed by a swimming pool dive and one open-water dive. You may then be able to dive with the centre on beginner dives for the rest of your stay, but you will not have an internationally recognised certification that will enable you to dive freely elsewhere. Some diving centres offer full certification courses, which once completed give you an internationally recognised qualification – meaning you can participate in diving opportunities on future holidays, with minimum local training. The most common course is the PADI Open Water (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). This has a programme of courses beginning with Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Advanced Plus – with options for speciality courses such as Underwater Photographer, Underwater Naturalist and Wreck Diver – all the way through to qualifications for career dive masters and instructors.
The PADI Open Water course
The PADI course consists of the following stages: Academic Sessions: 5 sessions using course books and visual aids to learn theory and safety procedures. Confined Water Sessions: 5 sessions, usually in a swimming pool, to learn practical diving skills in a safe environment. Open Water Dives: 4 open water dives to convert theory and practice into real open water experiences, under close supervision and guidance. This course can be taken in full at your resort (at cheaper rates and in warmer waters than if you took it in the UK). All diving equipment will be provided, but hire of course and log books and a certification fee may need to be paid locally. An Open Water course usually runs from 4-6 days, up to 6 hours per day. The course is typically only booked in a holiday of 2 weeks or more, to fit with the diving school’s schedule and to allow for weather conditions and the required wait time before flying home.
Diving safety and medical advice
Diving is an exciting but demanding activity, safe when the correct techniques are used. To scuba dive safely, it’s important that you are in good general health – if in doubt, please consult your doctor before booking a diving holiday. You must not be extremely overweight. Your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good condition. A person with heart problems, a cold or congestion, epilepsy, asthma, a severe medical condition, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not dive. If you’re taking medication, consult your doctor and the instructor about participation. The diving instructor will teach you important safety rules regarding breathing and equalisation whilst scuba diving. Improper use of scuba equipment can result in serious injury. Anyone planning to undertake scuba training whilst on holiday will be required to complete a medical questionnaire at the diving centre.
Worldwide diving destinations
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.
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.
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.
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’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?
Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced diver, we’ll pair your skills with the perfect location. Our diving holiday itineraries take you to some of the greatest diving spots around the world, with the added bonus of an exceptional beach stay. We can craft you a multi centre itinerary that combines a diving adventure with an on-land expedition – you dream it, we’ll make it happen. From technicolour reefs to shipwrecks deep in Mexico’s cenotes, the underwater possibilities are endless
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest travel inspiration and destination news.
How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.