When people think of watersports holidays in Europe, they general think of learning to surf, or going kayaking. But have you ever thought that maybe these involve scuba-diving? Or maybe you’ve always loved the idea of scuba-diving and exploring below the waves? Some of our breaks offer you the chance to get you exploring underwater, and really swimming with the fishes (I really hope you read that in the gangster voice). But stop. Before you suit up and get going, some of these breaks require you to have some sort of diving qualification… Maybe you don’t fancy a break with us, but just really want to gain some sort of underwater diving qualification, but don’t know where to start. You’ve come to the right place…
There are a few diving bodies out there, including CMAS and BSAC, but the one that is perhaps the most accessible and widely recognised is the PADI Open Water Diver course. Millions have learnt how to scuba dive through this course! PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors, and to get qualified you do not require any previous knowledge, you just have to be in good physical health and a confident swimmer J
Throughtout the duration of the qualification, you will dive in confined waters to learn basic scuba skills, before diving in open waters to try out your newly found skills! ALongisde your practical classes, you will also be required to complete some theory, whether this be online or in a classroom. Sometimes this qualification can also count as college credit, so that’s handy enough if you’re still in academia!
As you learn you will be taught how to use basic scuba diving gear, including snorkel, mask, fins, tank and buoyancy control device – but this will all depend on the climate in which you are learning in! Which brings me to my next point… PADI courses are available all over the world, and prices can vary depending on where you complete them.
There are more than 6200 PADI Dive Centers and Resorts worldwode, and more than 136,000 individual PADI Professionals who have issued more than 23 million certifications to budding scuba divers, you'll find PADI diver courses and scuba diving services nearly everywhere.
In the UK and Europe, a PADI costs between £300 and £450, which isn’t bad considering you’ll be able to dive safely for many years to come! If you can afford to go to Asia, Thailand’s Ko Tao island offers a PADI open water diving certificate for only £250! If you want to make the most of your watersports holiday, without needing to hire a dive instructor every time, then a scuba qualification is definitely the path you need to go down! Just think, your next break could be diving in the Silfra in Iceland and touching two continents at once!