The Top Ten Snorkelling Resorts

From private islands ringed by coral to swimming alongside whale sharks and humpback whales, from sublime house reefs to dedicated snorkelling trips led by marine biologists, and from the world’s best beaches for swimming and snorkelling to heading out into the blue to race the ocean’s Usain Bolt (otherwise known as sailfish), don your mask and fins and discover the top ten snorkelling resorts across the world.
1. Wakatobi Dive Resort: Sulawesi, Indonesia

This is one of the most relaxing snorkelling experiences out there - guests of Wakatobi Dive Resort get dropped off on the house reef and then allow the current to gently carry them back to shore while marvelling at huge clouds of tropical fish dancing over coral reefs.

2. Walindi Plantation Resort: New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Nestled on the shores of Kimbe Bay in northern New Britain, Walindi Plantation Resort is on the doorstep of some of Papua New Guinea's most diverse marine environments, and snorkellers can explore everything from beautiful coral gardens to seamounts and mangrove forests.

3. Azura Quilalea Private Island: Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

Azura Quilalea Private Island's house reef is located a leisurely wade off the main beach, meaning divers can explore the underwater world whenever the urge strikes. The reef itself features beautiful hard and soft coral formations harbouring every colour of reef fish, including parrot fish and sweetlips. Visit between June and July and you'll also likely see baby turtles making their great escape into the open ocean.

4. Six Senses Laamu: Laamu Atoll, Maldives

Six Senses Laamu is all about snorkelling with a conscience, be it heading out with a marine biologist to spot the local critters or helping plant coral at the coral nursery. The resort also champions local communities, taking school children out to snorkel on the local reefs, many of whom have never been before.

5. Alphonse Island: The Outer Islands, Seychelles

From snorkelling with sailfish, aka the fastest fish in the world, to mingling with manta rays, Alphonse Island plays host to some of the coolest snorkelling experiences in the world. Not to forget the lobsters, hawksbill turtles and groupers hiding on the house reef, and a wealth of excellent shallow sites nearby.

6. The Brando: Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

The Brando is the only resort in the Tetiaroa Atoll and is surrounded by beautiful coral gardens in a calm, bath-warm lagoon, providing perfect conditions for donning your mask to spot turtles, reef sharks, rays and festivals of tropical fish, and more than likely in glorious solitude.

7. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort: Vanua Levu, Fiji

When a resort is backed by the Cousteau name, you know the marine environment is going to be spectacular. Guests of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort can take daily trips out to the nearby Namena Marine Reserve which, aside from housing some of the most colourful reefs in Fiji, also features dramatic drop-offs and spectacular marine life in HD visibility.

8. The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh: Southern Red Sea, Egypt

Skirting the Red Sea and all its marine wonders, the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh's house reef has an incredible array of fish life a few fin kicks from the beach. Look out for eagle rays, turtles, octopus and moray eels, as well as divers learning to breathe bubbles in the beautifully calm shallows.

9. Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef: Exmouth, Australia

Located on the shores of Ningaloo Reef in Cape Range National Park, beachfront safari camp Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is the perfect base for mingling with some of the ocean's larger inhabitants. Visit between March and September to snorkel with whale sharks, while between July and October you can swim with humpback whales.

10. Atmosphere Resort & Spa: Dauin, Philippines

Atmosphere Resort & Spa has the whole package for snorkellers, with a superb house reef harbouring some of the ocean's rarest macro critters (think: velvet ghost pipefish, blue-ringed octopus, orangutan crabs) as well as day trips to nearby Apo Island, which boasts beautiful coral reefs, banded sea snakes, huge schools of big eyed trevallies, bumphead parrotfish, turtles… the list goes on.

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Jacqui is our 'The Top Ten Snorkelling Resorts ' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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