Top 5 Family Vacation Dive Sites

Top 5 Family Vacation Dive Sites
Dmitriy Shironosov

Holiday with spouse and kids?

And looking to get some diving done?

Here’s a Top 5 of locations to make both the diver and the family happy.

Choosing the right location for your holiday is key to keeping everyone happy, divers and non-divers alike.

Make sure that the location offers both interesting diving, and also caters to the desire of non-diving family members.

Consider the time commitment required for diving.

Even if a location offers great diving and good land-based activities, in a number of locations the diving is fairly inaccessible and requires long day-trips by land or sea.

This will keep you away from early morning to late at night, and your family is likely to miss you.

So choose places where diving is convenient and it is inspiring, and make a good plan for the amount of diving versus family time, to ensure everyone is happy.

Below are 5 locations that offer this.

1. Egypt; Sharm el-Sheik or Hurghada

Divers Leaving the SS Thistlegorm in Egypt
Divers Leaving the SS Thistlegorm in Egypt
Photo by: Anna Segeren

Egypt, in spite of the recent unrest, is still a very safe country for traveling, and a perfect fit for divers traveling with non-diving family members.

A few locations in Egypt are particularly suited, Sharm el-Sheik and Hurghada, though El Gouna, a bit north of Hurghada, is an up-and-coming location as well.

The weather is good most of the year. The diving in the Red Sea is amazing. And between hotel and resort facilities and sites to be seen, there are plenty of activities to keep the rest of the family happy and entertained.

If you’re looking to dive Thistlegorm, the WWII wreck, it is best done from Hurghada, as a trip to the wreck from Sharm el-Sheik is a very long day trip, often from 5 am to 8 pm, as it takes around 3 hours to sail there. From Hurghada, it is only a 30-45 minutes trip.

The Thistlegorm is among the top 10 best dive sites in the world so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Note: when doing land-based excursion, check the authorities’ web sites to make sure the area you’re heading to is safe. Especially northern Sinai has seen some troubles lately. The British Foreign Government’s Travel Advice is quite good.

2. Thailand

The famous Maya bay (location where the movie The Beach was filmed) – Credit: 2Nix
The famous Maya bay (location where the movie The Beach was filmed) – Credit: 2Nix

One of the cheapest countries in Asia to travel to and stay in, Thailand has become of the major tourist countries of the region. Known for being a fantastic place for kids, the locals are among the friendliest people on Earth, and the local cuisine, at least the less-spicy versions, are very child-friendly.

Sites abound, from Bangkok to temples to jungle treks.

The diving, in particular around Koh Samui and Koh Tao is world-renowned for water clarity and temperature.

Read everything there is about Scuba Diving in Thailand.

3. Amalfi Coast, Italy


Italy, and Italian food, is always a hit among children, and non-diving adults will enjoy the people, climate, geography, and history of the country. Amalfi is home to Napoli and the pizza, to Pompeii and Herculaneum, and a host of other interesting sites.

The diving in this area is also very, very good, with the entire coastline dotted with a rocky coast and plenty of caves.

Check out which Italian site made the top 10 of the best Diving in Europe

4. Malta

William Attard McCarthy
William Attard McCarthy

Malta is a diver’s paradise, in particular, if you’re into caves and wrecks. On the landside of things, hotels and resorts abound, the island has a rich history, steeped in crusades and World War II, and the city of Valletta offers both medieval mystery and great shopping. The small, neighboring island of Gozo is much more rural and feels almost like a Greek island before the tourists.

In the south part of Malta, you’ll find the oldest building structures in the world, predating Stonehenge and the Pyramids.

Read the full guide to diving in Malta

5. Florida

Another wreck to see is USCG Duane – Credit: Off Axis Production;

Shopping, world-class beaches, Kennedy Space Center, and Disney World for the kids. Add to that year-round summer temperatures and good diving, and you’ve got a perfect holiday destination.

If you’re a highly advanced diver, there’s plenty of cave diving to be done, but the shoreline offers tropical waters for non-tech divers. For wreck lovers, there’s the USS Vanderbilt, a US Navy ship deliberately sunk as a diving wreck, and one of the largest in the world.

Both the largest US-based dive organizations, PADI and NAUI have their HQ’s in Florida, which speaks of the Sunshine State’s diving pedigree.

Traveling with non-divers doesn’t have to be problematic, as long as everyone has each other’s’ interests in mind, and time is allowed for both individual pursuits and family time. And the locations above offer plenty for all.

Do you travel with non-divers?

How do you travel with your family? What is your best diver tip for traveling with a non-diver? Share it in the comments below!

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