What a great opportunity to go overseas and uncover the underwater beauty this festive season! SUBEA by Decathlon gives you some ideas for your next trip.
Near or far, popular or adventurous, there are plenty of options for you to choose from depending on your expectation and budget! Here is a guide for you to find the right place to practice your favourite sport during your free time this holiday!
Malaysia, Langkawi - Pulau Payar Marine Park
(pic credit: kasbah.my)
The best period to enjoy Langkawi Island is during the dry season that stretches from November to April.
Pulau Payar Marine Park is a famous spot which is easily accessible from Langkawi Island. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you can enjoy diving here. This is also a great diving location for family trips where you can experience snorkelling as well.
Other than an enjoyable dive, you can also bring a good memory back home with the numerous colourful fishes and corals. If you are lucky, cod and snappers are generally cruising in shallow water. And if you dive deeper into the deep blue sea, you might see schools of barracudas.
(pic credit: boldtravel.com)
Another of my personal favourite! Right in the middle of the Visayas, the splendid Bohol island offers a great variety of dives. Even though you can dive around Bohol during the whole year, the best period is from December to April.
If you are an underwater macro photography lover, Panglao Island is the place where you can spot beautiful frogfish and ghost pipefish. Soft and hard corals are also quite impressive around Panglao! You will find many sea stars and sea snakes amongst the school of fish. Some tips if you are a fish lover - surgeonfish, snappers, groupers and some rare white-tip sharks gather near the drop-offs. And the shallow coral gardens are very suitable for snorkelers.
The Marine Sanctuary of Balicasag island is 45min away from Bohol by boat. You can opt for a 1-day trip there. The dives around Balicasag are usually for more experienced divers as it is composed of wall dives and strong currents. This is a pelagic creature paradise. Schools of mackerels, barracudas and jackfish are commonly found there. Corals, sponges et gorgonians are numerous on the shallow part.
The 2-hour boat trip that separates Bohol from Calibao island really worth it! From December to June, schools of hammerhead sharks are cruising around the area. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your equipment and head there this holiday!
(pic credit: malapascua.net)
Not sure if you have heard about this popular diving location, but Malapascua is well known worldwide. It is said to be the place to observe the fantastic thresher sharks. To do so, you have to be brave and wake up at 4 am to dive at 5 am. This deep dive (30m) will leave you unforgettable memories. Gato island will give you the opportunity to meet white tip sharks, nurse sharks and if you’re lucky enough, bamboo sharks.
Malapascua is also the place where the big meets the small. The sharpest eyes will be able to spot some frogfish, blue ring octopus, ghost pipefish, seahorses and flamboyant cuttlefish. So be sure to look out for all these beautiful underwater creatures! The best time to visit Malapascua is from December to April.
Thailand, Similan Islands
(pic credit: dive-the-world.com)
The best way to discover the beauty of the Similan islands is to embark on a liveaboard. Fret not if you worry about the pricing, there are many options available depending on your budget.
From November to April, when the visibility is at its best, this trip will satisfy any kings of divers. Large creatures enthusiast will be delighted by blacktip and whitetip sharks, leopard sharks. The more fortunate divers would encounter some manta ray and whale sharks. Nudibranchs will one of the best models for underwater photographers. The abundant fauna and the plentiful corals provide a beautiful habitat for smallest species.
(pic credit: subea.fr)
Did I just say Maldives?! Yes, the peak season is starting and will spread until march. This archipelago of the Indian Ocean welcomes you in the water at over 28 °C, it is a gathering place for manta rays and whale sharks. You can meet them as much in diving as in snorkelling, chills guaranteed!
The species as well as the underwater reliefs are varied and will delight all the ocean lovers. The islands offer magnificent beaches, on which you can disembark. Long reserved only for experienced divers, nowadays many cruises offer various options to better suit different levels of divers and also more family-friendly diving/snorkelling trips.
In addition to underwater discoveries, cruise operators will not fail to make you live an evening under the stars, with a typical meal near a campfire on a deserted beach.
Indonesia, Raja Ampat
(pic credit: subea.fr)
Discovering Raja-Ampat islands on a liveaboard is one of the "must-do" between November and March. Beyond the dream landscapes, you will be amazed by the diversity of terrestrial and marine scenery and wonderful colour contrasts.
Raja-Ampat has one of the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Among hundreds of corals, molluscs and juvenile fish you can also observe: - Wobbegong & Epaulette sharks, - Pygmy Seahorses, - Nudibranchs, - Bumphead Parrotfish…
What are you waiting for? Book your tickets, get your equipment ready and go diving!