Top Ten Places to Go Snorkelling

Not yet scuba certified but want to immerse yourself in the underwater world à la Blue Planet? From swimming in the deep blue with humpback whales to snorkelling on some of the world’s best coral reefs, discover the top ten places to go snorkelling…
1. Snorkelling in the Red Sea

Protected from ocean currents, snorkelling in the Red Sea is like swimming in an aquarium, with colourful corals within wading distance and shallow bays protected from ocean currents. In the southern Red Sea, The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh's house reef is one of the best we've come across - in fact, the marine life ventures so shallow you don't even need to don a mask as you watch small fish dart around your feet - but if you do, we recommend looking for sea horses under the jetty.

2. Snorkelling in Gozo

The beauty of snorkelling in Gozo is that you can literally do it anywhere. Some of the best sites in the Mediterranean can be found a few fin kicks from the shores of this tiny island; for a glimpse of some of the best spots, check out our blog on the best dive sites around Gozo.

3. Snorkelling in the Maldives

One of the most coveted snorkelling experiences in the world, mingle with manta rays and whale sharks in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives. Between June and November, hundreds of these mega marine animals arrive into Hanifaru Bay to feed on the plankton-rich waters, creating one of the largest manta feeding stations in the world. Aside from Hanifaru Bay, the private islands that scatter the Maldives have excellent house reefs meaning you can snorkel at your own leisure.

4. Snorkelling in French Polynesia

It might be a long journey to French Polynesia, but it's worth any jet lag as (spoiler alert) it has some of the best snorkelling spots in the world. Boasting glistening turquoise lagoons and shallow reefs, travellers can snorkel from practically anywhere across the archipelago, however, the real stand-out experience occurs from Moorea, one of the few places in the world where you can swim with humpback whales.

5. Snorkelling in Indonesia

Pristine reefs, colourful corals, wrecks, underwater sculptures, sharks, macro critters, turtles, blue whales… these are jut a few of the things you can see snorkelling in Indonesia. Explore the USAT Liberty wreck (one of the best in the world) in Bali, get in the water alongside blue whales in the Banda Sea and marvel at some of the best reefs in the world while snorkelling in secret spots across Komodo and Raja Ampat.

7. Snorkelling in Grenada

Home to the world's first underwater sculpture park, snorkellers can explore 68 different sculptures in the shallow waters (the deepest sculpture is located at ten metres) off Moliniere Point. Snorkellers can also spot lots of lovely macro critters in the shallow reefs surrounding Flamingo Bay, while beautiful coral formations flourish just off Morne Rouge Beach; more than enough to keep you in the water.

8. Snorkelling in Australia

While snorkelling in Australia might conjure visions of the Great Barrier Reef, venture to the west for some of the most unforgettable marine encounters in Ningaloo Reef. Visit between March and July to snorkel with whale sharks while between August and October you can snorkel with humpback whales. Manta rays, turtles and leopard sharks can be seen year-round, naturally.

8. Snorkelling in the Dominican Republic

Hop aboard the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II to trail migrating humpback whales all the way to Silver Bank. Located 100 miles south-east of Turks and Caicos in the crystal-clear blues of the open ocean, snorkellers can swim alongside humpback whales while listening to their beautiful melodies, and with only a few permits offered each year, you'll likely have them all to yourself.

9. Snorkelling in Mexico

Mexico is one big adventure playground for snorkellers. Snorkel in several of some 7,000 cenotes that scatter the Yucatan peninsula (discover the best here), seek out whale sharks off the sandy shores of Isla Holbox or decamp to the coast of Baja California, springboard for the Sea of Cortez (dubbed the world's aquarium by Jacques Cousteau), which has ample opportunity to snorkel with rays, sea lions, marlin, huge bait balls, dolphins and even orcas.

10. Snorkelling in Norway

The most adventurous snorkelling trip in the world must be watching orcas hunt under the northern lights of northern Norway. Hop aboard the rugged M/S Sula and embark on an epic voyage to one of the largest known gatherings of orcas in the world, which gather between October and February to hunt migrating herring alongside humpback whales.

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

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