Here's your starter for ten: what activity has been clinically proven (by the highly renowned Original Diving Science Department) to cure the January Blues? Answer: planning your holidays for the year ahead (cue rapturous applause). Oh yes, our in-house team of uber-geeks has unearthed a startling correlation between booking a holiday and a sudden resistance to the dark mornings, rainy days and general despair associated with January. Which means it's time to get the diary out and start planning. And when it comes to choosing the perfect destination, we've got plenty of ideas up our sleeves. Here's just a few of our favourites…
The key stats about Indonesia could boggle the best of brains: the country comprises 17,000 islands spread across over 735,000 square miles, and nearly 20,000 square miles of coral reef - a whopping 20% of the planet's total. And stats like that can mean only one thing for divers: diversity. Whether you're muck diving in the Lembeh Strait, in search of Giant Mola off Bali or looking for a little bit of everything in Raja Ampat, Indonesia has it all.
Given the volume of luxury resorts in theMaldives, you'd be forgiven for thinking that's all there is to it but in actual fact, only 200 of the 1,193 coral islands in the Maldives are inhabited, meaning there are still plenty of secret corners to be discovered, particularly for divers. While many of our favourite hotels have spectacular house reefs teeming with marine life, we can also arrange for you to get off the beaten track and dive some of the lesser known sites.
Tanzania is the ultimate combination for a safari and diving holiday; the likes of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater are home to some of the world's most majestic creatures, while the diving off islands like Pemba is undoubtedly some of the best in East Africa, not least because of the quality of the coral, which is both pristine and varied. On the accommodation front, Fundu Lagoon (on Pemba) is the epitome of a rustic (but luxurious) African beach lodge.
The Philippines is all about quiet, laidback luxury above ground and exhilarating diving beneath the waves. On the west coast of Cebu is Moalboal, where you'll have the opportunity to dive with a huge school of sardines that congregates just off the coast. In the centre of the archipelago is one of the best places in the world for diving with thresher sharks, Malapascua, while lovers of the small stuff will find some of the best muck diving in the world in Dauin and Dumaguete where frogfish, ghostpipe fish and other rare creatures abound.
While Oman gets hotter than Hades from May to October, it is perfect during the months that old Blighty isn't necessarily at her finest, and is particularly great for those who want some sun over Easter without having to travel half way across the globe. Shangri-La Barr al Jissah, located perfectly for diving in the Daymaniyat Islands, is ideal for families while couples will love Six Senses Zighy Bay where there is a good chance of seeing whale sharks and tuna.