Written by Danielle Schofield

Many of the world’s most beautiful travel destinations have featured in films or TV shows, and as divers, we’re able to explore their most unique corners. If you’re a fan of the big screen, why not tick these famous locations off your scuba wish list.

The Bahamas

This sweeping coral archipelago is dubbed ‘Underwater Hollywood’, with idyllic beaches having set the backdrop to Casino Royale, Pirates of the Caribbean, Into the Blue and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Nassau’s James Bond wrecks — Tears of Allah and the Vulcan Bomber — are favourites for film buffs and photographers, offering a crystal-clear glimpse into movie history and marine life paradise.

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

These dramatic islands descend below the surface with steep walls and swim-throughs adorned with corals and sea fans. The Beach’s Maya Bay made this area internationally famous, but underwater you’ll visit a peaceful home to shoals of glassfish, turtles, pipefish and seahorses. Shark Point (Hin Bida) lives up to its name; visit earlier in the year for a chance to spot the majestic whale shark.

Croatia

Dubrovnik was thrust into the limelight as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. Just off the coast lies the Taranto wreck, which sank in 1943 after hitting a mine and now presents one of the region’s best dives. Look among the wreckage to find lobsters, scorpionfish, cardinal fish and octopuses. Add Bisevo’s Blue Grotto sea cave, and Premuda’s ‘Cathedral’ for an unforgettable itinerary.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica

The rugged profile of this remote volcanic island featured in Jurassic Park’s opening scene. As the focus of Howard Hall’s Island of the Sharks, it isn’t a bejewelled reef, but a haven for pelagics, with hammerheads, mantas, dolphins and whale sharks cruising alongside gigantic schools of fish. Unpredictable weather, deep waters and strong currents make it better suited for experienced divers.

The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Animators recreated this natural wonder’s colour and characters with impressive realism for Finding Nemo. Here, 2,300km of coral reef shelters sea snakes, turtles, scorpionfish, groupers, sharks and, of course, anemone fish. Don’t miss the SS Yongala, Australia’s largest and most intact wreck, or Heron Bommie, visited in Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef and one of Jacques Cousteau’s top ten dives.

Cornwall, England

Known for its charming coves and sandy beaches, The Lizard peninsula stars regularly in TV’s Poldark, and divers recently rediscovered a real wreck at Gunwalloe’s shipwreck scene. The region offers some of the UK’s best diving, including the anemone-studded gullies of The Manacles reef and the SS Mohegan. Visit May/June for a chance to spot the elusive basking shark.

 

Inspired? Visit PADI Travel today to plan and book your next scuba trip.

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