The temperatures in the UK are still above 10˚C, but the question on all of our minds is for how long? Soon the era of darkness and cold will take over and before we know it we will all suffer from a major lack of vitamin D and a constant sniffle. So it is time for you to plan at keeping those vitamins at the right level. And why not combine this with a little bit, or a lot, of 'winter diving'? At Original Diving, we have selected the best destinations for long haul winter sun:
Being in the most northern part of the Caribbean, the Bahamas won't offer you warmest of temperatures if it is what you are after. Nonetheless with a minimum of 18˚C it is still comfortable. However, if you like the big stuff, then the Bahamas will definitely fit the bill as they have been a National Shark Sanctuary since 2011, making these islands one of the best spots in the world to encounter big sharks. And for an ultimate rush of adrenaline, dive with the great hammerhead sharks in the shallow waters of Bimini in February - very impressive!
Have you ever consider a liveaboard in the Similan Islands? If not, let me give you few facts. The Similan are open only from November to April allowing all the species to reproduce in peace the rest of the year so you find happy fish during the open season. If you decide to go there between February and March, you are very likely to swim with whale sharks and some of the boats are amongst the most luxurious and comfortable in the world, such as the Maha Bhetra or the Silolona - winter sun in Style! Have I mentioned the 40m visibility and 29˚C water?
In most of the country winter equals rain, rain and more rain, but there are few places for which are perfect for long haul winter sun and it turns out that one of them is the best spot for diving in Indonesia and we think the best in the world: Raja Ampat is right at the bull eyes of the coral triangle, also known as the centre of marine biodiversity one earth. Raja Ampat has more confirmed species of fish and corals than anywhere else in the world. Even if you are very experienced divers you will be surprised by the number of new fish and corals that you will see here. It is a long way to go but well worth the trip for the ultimate long haul winter diving.
If you are after sunshine and 40m+ visibility, than the Maldives is the place to go! Although December can have a little bit of rain due to the wet season ending in November, the temperatures are just perfect and here you will have your fix of long haul winter sun. All the islands of the country, approximately 1,192 in total, are just stunning with white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise water. For added excitemnet we would recommend you to visit the western atolls as this is where the mantas are between November and April.
This country is becoming more and more popular and we understand why. The country itself is beautiful and offers some of the most stunning and empty white sand beaches of Africa. You could walk for hours without seeing anyone! It is reassuring to know that places like this still exist. In terms of accommodation, Mozambique as some of the best lodges in Africa and is perfect for the traveller that loves their 'barefoot luxury'. The diving is incredible too with an abundant marine life and amazing reefs. And to make everything even more idyllic, if you are backpacking and partying in Tofo or enjoying the remoteness of the luxurious Vamizi Island, you are virtually guaranteed to see manta rays and whale sharks between December and April.
Have you been to any of the destinations above or do you have any winter and sun diving gems? Post a comment if so. And if you want to find out more, please contact us.