Best Scuba Diving in October

Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are here to help give you the inside track.

There’s a lot to love about scuba diving in October. This month sees the return of regions like the Middle East and North Africa, which are cooler compared to the sweltering summer season. The Red Sea remains a favourite for world-class diving, and Oman is an interesting alternative away from the crowds, while over in Moorea, in French Polynesia, you can swim alongside humungous humpback whales in turquoise lagoons – heaven. For a truly epic adventure, head to the remote wonderland of Papua New Guinea for divine diving in wild and wonderful waters. The Seychelles is another glistening archipelago emerging into its sunny season and in the southernly Aldabra Group you can experience some truly remote diving. So, in no particular order, read on for our roundup of the best scuba diving in October…

Split view water level photo of divers descending into clear blue waters with sand stone aurrounding them above the surface.


Let's begin close to home (if your home is Europe) with Gozo, an idyllic island off of Malta. October is the last month of sunny skies and warm weather, and is perfect for shoulder season travel, with few crowds at the spectacular diving sites. The water temperatures are slightly cooler, hoovering between 22-25°C and the water visibility extends up to 30m.

Gozo's iconic Blue Hole (formed by wind and waves) tempts you into cerulean waters where moray eels poke their heads out of cracks and octopuses crawl by. Explore the extensive seagrass meadows to spy resting rays before diving into deeper depths to wander the old corridors of scuttled vessels - the MV Karwela is one of our favourites. Resting on the sandy bottom at 41m, this wreck is safe to penetrate due to the various openings made before scuttling. Drift along her corridors and snap a photo as you ascend her iconic staircase This wreck is most suitable for those who are deep and Nitrox certified, but if you're not, no fear; there's plenty more. Make the most of your October diving holiday with a day trip to Malta to dive the famous Rozi and P29. And during your interval time, grab yourself a tasty pastizzi - the traditional savoury pastry - from the local food truck.

Recommended by Rachel Gaw

Moray eel in the cave of the coral reef with red tropical fish swimming by


A little further afield, the Red Sea awaits with slightly cooler waters and more manageable surface temperatures. With arguably the best diving close to the UK, the Red Sea has it all, from pelagic to macro species, corals to wrecks. And October brings another marvel: the cooler water temperatures welcome back thresher and hammerhead sharks to the southern reefs, while the resident dolphins continue to dance. It's no wonder the Red Sea remains one of the best places to dive in October.

Besides the joy of diving with sharks, the Red Sea promises corals in every hue, especially if you head to the Ras Mohammed National Park near Sharm El Sheikh, where you'll find a colourful array of hard and soft corals. And for those who love the lazing, grazing animals, keep an eye out for hawksbill and green turtles snacking on the seagrass.

Of course, we can't talk about the Red Sea without mentioning the expectational wrecks that dot the seafloor. One of the world's best wrecks, the SS Thistlegorm, can be found in the waters of Sharm El Sheikh. Head towards Hurghada for some treasure hunting among the SS Carnatic wrecks - a steam-and-sail powered clipper, that was carrying a precious cargo of gold when she sank.

Recommended by Rachel Gaw

Underwater photo of a blue sea star resting on coral wth sun light coming through


If you want to give the crowds a miss while also enjoying guaranteed sunshine, head to Oman. Egypt's quieter neighbour has some excellent, unspoilt dive sites along the stretches of its coastline. Whether you're embarking on a liveaboard in southerly Salalah, or diving in a fish soup of marine life around the Daymaniyat islands, diving the fjords of the Musandam Peninsula or all of the above, Oman is action-packed with adventure. And if you go diving in October, you may be lucky enough to spot whale sharks.

For those based in Muscat for their trip, the Daymaniyat Islands are a must-visit, offering the best diving just west of the capital. The waters here are wonderfully clear with visibility extending up to 30m - perfect for spotting dolphins and turtles.

In the north, cut off from the mainland, is the Musandam Peninsula. Known as the 'Norway of Arabia', the emerald waters here are surrounded by pink-skin cliffs and home to marine life ranging from macro critters to large whale sharks. Due to some stronger currents, there are slightly more technical dives here, but for those eager to learn, there are plenty of sites for beginners.

Recommended by Charlotte Dunn

A frogfish floats just under the surface in a raft of algae

Papua New Guinea:

While we're on the topic of off-the-well-finned-path destinations, let's shine a light on Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea as a fin-tastic option for an October diving holiday. Tucked away in the southeast, Milne Bay has it all. Get your camera ready for muck dives at Observation Point and Dinah's Beach, or marvel at the stunning coral formations of Deacon's Reef. The waters in Milne Bay are truly world-class and drift diving daredevils will delight in the rough and tumble of an 8-knot drift dive known as 'The Washing Machine' in China Strait.

For wreck lovers, head to the Black Jack site, west of Cape Vogel, for one of the best-persevered WWII plane wrecks. Resting upright at 30m, in crystal-clear waters, this wreck can be viewed in its entirety with loaded gun turrets still in place while the metal walls are now encrusted in colourful corals.

And if you're a fan of encounters with larger marine life, head south for Giants at Home - a shallow protected bay frequented by manta rays. On the flip side, if you're into muck diving, Observation Point in the north is the place to be. You'll be forgiven for not being impressed straight away; rubble and roots aren't the typical picture-perfect postcard, but get your camera ready to spot Spanish dancers, mimic octopus and lively anemones filled with clownfish.

Recommended by Emily Chappell

Manta rays feeding in the ocean

Baa Atoll, The Maldives

Another part of the world that should be on manta ray lovers' list is Baa Atoll in the Maldives. October lands towards the end of the southwest monsoon season, and at this time the waters of Hanifaru Bay - located in the northern Baa Atoll - are the perfect plankton soup, attracting hundreds of manta rays. If you're lucky, you may even see a whale shark. The area enjoys warm waters hovering between 28°C to 30°C, so you can easily slip below the surface in a rash guard or a shortie.

And if you venture to the southern atolls? You'll be able to explore remote waters which are teeming with corals, virtually untouched by humans.

Recommended by Eleanor Seagle

close up image of a small reef fish with an orange pattern hiding among orange coral

The Seychelles:

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is verdant, pristine and isolated. Buzzing with marine life and delightfully crowd-free, this archipelago is the perfect remedy to the post-summer blues. Explore the remote Aldabra Group (part of the Outer Islands) a hotspot for all manner of life - we're talking everything from manta rays and sailfish to sharks and critters. Trust us, you'll fill your logbook in no time.

Diving in October means calm seas and a blizzard of marine life - it's not nicknamed 'the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean' for nothing. Dogtooth tuna swim alongside barracuda while sailfish dart in the deep. Turtles rest on colourful corals while oceanic whitetips and nurse sharks hunt nearby. With some luck, you may spot a hammerhead. The waters are balmy (27-29°C) with visibility extending 30m.

Recommended by Emily Chappell

Three humpback whales dive from the water surface into dark blue waters

French Polynesia:

Last but certainly not least, head to Moorea in French Polynesia to sing with the ocean's best serenaders - the humpback whales. In the South Pacific Ocean, Moorea is one of French Polynesia's main islands, resembling an emerald gem emerging from the azure waters. While it welcomes divers year-round, from July to November humpback whales can be found close to the outer reefs searching for a mate or nursing their young.

Divers love Moorea for obvious reasons: warm, coral-filled lagoons feature crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life beckoning every diver, while its stunning white and black sand beaches, rugged mountains and over-the-water bungalows are the cherry on top of this picture-perfect cake. If you plan to dive in October, you'll find the waters are pleasantly warm (around 26-28°C), and the visibility exceeds 30m so you can spot all those gliding rays, circling sharks and restful turtles.

Since you're here, you may as well pop over to Rangiroa, the second-largest atoll in the world, for some drift dive delights. Along the Tiputa pass (considered one of the best sites in the world) you'll find an abundance of fish life, particularly sharks. Allow the currents to draw you along and get ready to spot (deep breath) grey reef sharks, manta rays, leopard rays, whitetip, blacktip, lemon and even a few hammerhead sharks. Phew. We haven't even mentioned the pods of dolphins, barracuda, tuna and napoleon groupers. But you get the idea - there's lots to see so it's time to get booking your diving holiday to French Polynesia.

Recommended by Rachel Gaw

Have we tempted you to book a scuba diving holiday in October? Reach out today and one of our diving experts will plan your perfect tailor-made holiday.

Original Highlight
Image of Jacqui Brooks

October is the last month you can swim with humpback whales in French Polynesia – one of the few places in the world you are allowed to get in the water with these graceful giants.

Jacqui, Original Diver

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Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our 'Best Scuba Diving in October ' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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