1.The Red Sea, Egypt.
Sharm-el-Sheikh, and the Blue Hole, Dahab.
The Red Sea offers almost all year around perfect freediving conditions and it’s easy to get to with a large selection of cheap flights from Europe. It is a beautiful desert landscape with calm waters full of corals and tropical fish and annual water temperatures from between 19c – 30c. Some of the first freediving schools were established here because of the ease of access to deep water close to shore and for the same reason it is one of the most popular world class freedive training sites, although recently politically unstable.
2. Greece, Kalamata and Crete
Greece is a stunningly beautiful and popular summertime tourist destination for Europeans with easy cheap access from most major European airports.
Although the Mediterranean sea is notorious for its poor marine life, due to its crystal clear waters it is a great place to freedive during the summer months, although be prepared for its colder sharp thermoclines at any time of the year!
For several years it has been a world class freedive training site for all level of freedivers with several well established AIDA freediving schools on the mainland and in Crete.
3. Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
Located in the Caribbean Sea, the Honduran island of Roatan is surrounded by crystal clear waters that are calm and warm for most of the year. It’s part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest reef system in the world, where you can find walls that drop off to hundreds of meters with their bountiful colorful tropical marine life only a few swim strokes away from white sandy beaches.
Roatan has recently become a popular freediving location and world class freedive training site.
The island has direct international flights from Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston as well as domestic connections for international flights arriving into the mainland Honduran cities, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula from San Salvador and Canada.
4. Espiritu Santo Island, Bay of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Baja California Sur is one of the wildest, most varied marine life habitats in the world for freediving with its sea lions, dolphins, large pelagics; marlin and sailfish, its hammer heads and whale sharks, and most of the large whale species; humpbacks, sperm, gray and blue whales.
It offers cheap, easy access from the West coast of the USA, and Canada, i.e. from San Diego to San Jose del Cabo, a short flight costs between $80 and $150 one way.
During the summer and fall, from June till November you’ll find the best freediving conditions for beginners to advanced, with an average of about 25m visibility, warm water temperatures up to 29 degrees and calm seas. February through April, are the months of the great whale migrations and the southern Baja is one of the best places in the world for whale watching.
5. Deans Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas.
This is a well known world class freedive training site made famous by one of the present freedive champions, William Trubridge. It is a beautiful location and with calm protected deep water and its easy shore access it’s perfect for freediving especially during the early summer and fall.
Although it is easy to get to Long Island via Nassau airport from the east coast of the USA as a result of its relative lack of infrastructure for the occasional tourist it is expensive and therefore probably most suited to the advanced level freediver heading there for serious training.
6. Gili Islands, Bali, Indonesia
This is fairly new as a freediving location but southeast Asia is a well travelled backpacking destination as well as easy and cheap to fly to, especially from Europe and is a perfect winter destination.
The Gili islands are a paradise of beautiful isolated islands near to Bali and although they don’t offer the deepest waters in the world, with an average of 40m it is adequate for most of the AIDA freedive courses and perfect for beginners willing to make that little extra effort to get there.
7. Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, France
Villefranche sur Mer, has had a freediving history since before the conception of AIDA and perhaps this is where the idea of AIDA as a freedive education body really began. The bay is an ideal location for freediving all year round and barring the cold winter conditions is an easy cheap hop to deep clear training waters from most European cities.
It has been the site for many international freediving competitions and with the French team based there with regular training programs, it is a professional set up designed to enable you to explore and enjoy a safe and wonderful free diving experience in a magnificent landscape.
8. Zanzibar East Africa
The Western Indian Ocean borders Africa’s east coast. These tropical seas provide the most important breeding spot for humpback whales in the Eastern hemisphere, along with habitat for 13 species of sharks. The coral reefs form one of the planet’s largest fringing reefs and support large tropical fish populations, dugongs, and sea turtles. Around the Zanzibar archipelago, the trade winds affect the ocean conditions – strong northerly winds blow from December until April, and from May until November southerly winds prevail. The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. The warmth of the Indian Ocean keeps phytoplankton production low, except along the northern fringe and in a few scattered spots elsewhere, which means that divers can generally enjoy great visibility!
A visit to Zanzibar would be one of the most incredible adventure freediving experiences in the world of freediving!