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Sharm named best for dive holidays

[August 18th 2008]

The Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh has been named as the best spot for diving holidays, beating the Great Barrier Reef in Australia into second place.

In the report by flight comparison website,, Sharm comes out tops not only for its protected coral reefs but also for the total holiday experience it offers including superb white sand beaches and lively nightlife.

“Not only does it have remarkable coral reefs and marine life, but it also boasts some of the best shipwrecks in the world. For example, diving the Thistlegorm, which was a military supply ship, is truly astounding and offers the diver the surreal experience of swimming past motorbikes, jeeps and even wellington boots which are still lined up perfectly as though they were still on their way to their next port of call,” says’s travel expert, Nadine Hallak.

It is no surprise that the Great Barrier Reef, probably the most famous diving site in the world, also makes the top 10. This ecological marvel is visible from outer space and is home to more than 400 types of coral and 1,500 species of fish including dolphins, whales and sea turtles. “But keep in mind that the sheer volume of this site means diving in it takes planning, so consult a professional diving centre when planning your journey,” Cheapflights advises.

More of a surprise is that Cuba is named as the third best place for diving holidays. Best spots to ‘scuba in Cuba’ are said to be Maria la Gorda in the Pinar Del Rio province west of Havana and the Jardines de la Reina Islands in the south. Maria la Gorda has 50 diving spots with crystal clear water making it ideal for underwater photography.

There are no ‘bad dives’ in the Maldives, at fourth place in the top 10 dive spots in the world. This Indian ocean paradise has 10 different dive sites, ranging from the flat reef experience of Kuda Haa Girifushi Thila to the deep water of Rasfari. “Those seeking more thrill than calm can try a wall drift among the strong currents at Banana Reef,” suggests Cheapflights.

The other top 10 dive sites are named as Belize, Cozumel in Mexico, the Turks and Caicos, Maui in Hawaii, Malaysian Borneo, and St Croix in the US Virgin Islands.