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29 Jul 2020, Phil North

diving on a budget, diving holiday

We offer a huge range of dive holidays to suit all budgets and here we have selected the top 10 destinations that stand out for those looking for great diving at affordable prices. There are a multitude of fantastic dive escapes that provide quality diving opportunities without breaking the bank!

Malta & Gozo

On the list of approved ‘travel corridor’ destinations from the UK, you could be enjoying the delights of Malta and Gozo this summer! Just three hours away, Malta is famous for its superb wreck diving, while neighbouring Gozo has around 50 fantastic dive sites with iconic topography, caves, caverns and more to explore. Grab a short break to one of these islands or combine both for a longer diving jaunt.

Tug 2 Wreck in Sliema, Malta

Red Sea

No round-up of great value but high-quality dive destinations would be complete without mention of the Red Sea. Head to Sharm el Sheikh to dive the mesmerising dive sites of the Ras Mohamed National Marine Park, or head south to Safaga or Marsa Alam for exceptional value and superb shore diving – with some exciting boat dives to enjoy too. Travel in the quieter winter months or early spring for even better value.

Coral reef in the Red Sea

Bonaire

With a unique 'dive and drive' style of diving, Bonaire may lay claim to the world's most socially distant diving opportunities. Grab a tank, throw it in the back of your Ute, and go explore the island's dive sites at your leisure! This sun-drenched island in the southern Caribbean has over 90 dive sites on offer making it a favourite amongst divers of all abilities.

Coral reef in Bonaire

Azores

This archipelago of characterful Portuguese islands far out in the Atlantic Ocean may not be home to bustling coral reefs, but they offer plenty for the eager diver, especially those with a little experience. Dramatic dive sites such as Princess Alice Banks or those in the Formigas and Dollabarat marine reserve attract exciting pelagic marine life and schools of mobula rays, while local dive sites are more suitable for less experienced divers. Whale watching and topside scenery compliment the underwater excitement for a highly enjoyable diving break offering bang for your buck.

Mobula ray in the Azores

Oman

Facing the Indian Ocean and with 1700km of coastline to explore, Oman is blessed with nutrient-rich waters, great marine life and varied dive sites. Numerous species of moray eel, turtles, eagle rays and leopard sharks all call these waters home, with healthy coral reefs too. Topside, there are fascinating landscapes, history and culture to enjoy. Direct flights from the UK add to the appeal.

Hawksbill turtle in Oman

Tobago

Quirky little Tobago in the southern Caribbean has long been a popular option for divers on a budget with regular direct flights from the UK. The island's position means it has dive sites on both the sheltered Caribbean coast and the more exposed Atlantic coast, ensuring plenty of variety and options for all levels of diver. Great value resorts and a laid-back charm ensure this small island is sure to get under your skin.

Coral reef in Tobago

Lanzarote

Just a short flight from the UK, Lanzarote offers not only year-round sunshine and great value, but also some underrated diving opportunities. The dramatic volcanic landscape of Lanzarote, the most easterly of the Canary Islands, continues underwater, with dramatic drop-offs and rocky outcrops adorned with anemones. Divers may spot octopus, morays, rays, barracuda and more, with occasional dolphin sightings for an added bonus.

Ringneck blenny in Lanzarote

St Kitts & Nevis 

Little St Kitts & Nevis in the north-eastern Caribbean is as diverse above the waves as below.  A blend of European and native cultures creates a charming ambience, while below the sparkling Caribbean Sea lies splendid dive sites. There are shallow pinnacles, walls, gullies and interesting wrecks to explore – all just a short boat ride away. A great option for divers with non-diving partners.

Scuba diver in St. Kitts & Nevis

Thailand

Thailand's Andaman Coast may be most famous for its incredible beaches, magical islands and wonderful people, but the diving is not too bad either. The dive sites off this coast offer excellent diversity, with everything from tiny critters to possible manta ray sightings. Mini liveaboard adventures are also available to be able to explore farther afield. A great option for families, or those looking to combine diving with topside adventure.

Manta ray in Thailand

Maldives

The Maldives may be synonymous with luxury, but there are some great value options to be had for divers as well, especially in the less popular months for regular tourists. These months may bring the occasional dark cloud, but the marine life is as fabulous as ever, with arguably more big fish sightings in certain areas. We recommend a liveaboard, staying in one of the more traditional Maldivian dive resorts, or on a local island to save crucial pennies.

Aerial shot of island in the Maldives

Contact our friendly team to quote your next diving holiday, or search our current hotel and liveaboard offers.

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