There are few things more beautiful and captivating to the human eye than a tropical reef with its shimmering and colorful shoals of fish and intricate coral structures. Learning how to scuba dive allows you to become one with the reef and the amazing creatures who live there, and once they’ve given it a go, many people develop a lifelong passion for the activity.
And if you’re already in paradise, then making a luxury holiday out of the event is a no-brainer! Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most exclusive scuba diving destinations, and how you can enjoy them in style.
Nosy Be, Madagascar
Granted, the name of this magical island off the coast of Madagascar might have you scratching your head a bit, but it actually just means ‘big island’. It’s an absolute haven for nature enthusiasts, with the beautiful Lokobe Nature Special Reserve and volcanic lakes to explore, lemurs to meet and even Ylang Ylang plantations to delight the senses.
And of course, there’s plenty to marvel at underwater too. Sea turtles, triggerfish, manta rays, surgeonfish and barracuda are permanent residents, and majestic humpback whales visit during the breeding season too. For ultimate luxury, base yourself at one of L’heure Bleue’s exclusive luxury lodges (complete with Wi-Fi) or waterfront bungalows that put you right on the beachfront, all with interiors by none other than fashion designer Frederique Glainereau.
Thanda Island, Tanzania
Ever dreamed of having your very own tropical island all to yourself? Well, Thanda Island can be that just that! With room for you and nine of your closest friends and family, this tropical paradise truly offers the luxury holiday experience of a lifetime.
Experienced scuba divers can take their pick from nine different island sites in the surrounding Mafia Island Marine Park, widely regarded as the most spectacular reefs for diving in sub-Saharan Africa. Complete beginner? No problem! The dedicated staff will arrange for lessons with their 5-star dive partner on Mafia Island, and there are a multitude of shallower reefs on hand for beginners to explore at their own pace.
And with your onsite spa and fine dining opportunities, gym and tennis court waiting for you back on the island, along with miles of private beaches to wander at your leisure and shimmering turquoise ocean on every side, you’ll simply never want to leave!
Crusoe Island, Chile
Legend has it that this beautiful island was the one where Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration behind Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe character, found himself marooned – but it’s certainly come a long way since then for your modern-day explorer. It’s still home to less than 1,000 residents, but you need look no further than the private terraces, cosy fireplaces, top notch seafood served at the local restaurant, swimming pools and open-air spa tubs to know you’re going to be holidaying in real style here. And with 12 world-class dive spots boasting 422 different fish species, it’s a paradise in every sense of the word.
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Maldives
The Maldives are justly famous for the amazing variety of sea creatures that divers can encounter here, from Napoleon wrasse, butterflyfish, sweetlips, white tip reef sharks, hammerheads and eagle rays to whale sharks. The resort itself boasts villas perched on stilts right over the ocean, so you only need to step off your deck to be in the water. For utmost luxury, the Landaa Estate option even features its own 250-foot private beach just for you.
Lizard Island, Australia
You can’t mention scuba diving without including the Great Barrier Reef, and Lizard Island is the place to be if you want to combine some of the best scuba diving sites in the world with pure indulgence. With 24 private beaches and the reef literally on your doorstep, there’s no better way to enjoy this miracle of nature.
Azura Quilalea, Mozambique
The rare and beautiful ocellated lion fish is a prize discovery on the home reef here, and amazingly, it’s just 20 yards offshore from your luxury island retreat. Kayaking and dhow cruises are also a favorite pastime here, and once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s delicious Portuguese and Goan cuisine waiting back at the resort restaurant for you.
You know you’re getting the VIP treatment when you can ring the local dive center with just ten minute’s notice that you want to go for a dive – and that’s just one of the ways the staff here will make you feel like a celebrity. Widely regarded as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, this resort created by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz is the epitome of opulence. Add some superb diving and breathtaking scenery, and you’ve got a recipe for the holiday experience of a lifetime.