General Holiday Enquiries, Hints and Tips

General Holiday Enquiries? Got General Hints & Tips? Post Them Here.
Egypt supposed to be good as well as part of Cyprus - depends how far you wanted to travel as also Maldives is very good...
Thanks for the reply lance, I heard bad things about Egypt, armed escorts from the airport, not being able to leave the resort etc. Is that not the case, maybe my friends just had bad experiences.

I have been to Cyprus many years ago and liked the island so I'll research the best places to snorkel there thank you.

I thought about the Maldives but I honestly think we would get bored, I should have mentioned that as a family we need plenty to do, we are not 100% pool or beach dwellers and Maldives seems to be mostly a chill on the beach kind of place, happy to be corrected however.
I may be biased here but Australia has *amazing* snorkeling spots. Plus I'm pretty sure the Great Barrier Reef's days are numbered at this point so at least you'll get to see it while it's still around!
I would normally say Ras Mohammed on the Sinai, Egypt but as you pointed out Egypt isn't the safest destination at the moment. Depends on how far you want to fly, Great Barrier Reef naturally is high up on the list and hopefully will still provide some snorkelling pleasure for a few years. I've snorkelled both places and had great experiences.

I've read that snorkelling is good in Hawaii, specifically the Big Island and another good destination is the Yucatan, Mexico.

Nearer to home there's the Medes Islands and the Cabrebra Archipelago, Spain, plus Malta and Sardinia.
Well this is a bit left-field I know (and you would be wise to invest in wet suits!) but have you thought about the West Coast of Scotland? We have temperate reefs up here with also numerous wrecks that are in effect artificial reefs that provide a home for a wide variety of sealife. And the basking sharks aren't carniverous! Seriously, pick the right season and you'll see basking sharks, seals, dolphins and porpoise and even minke whales. What you won't get is palm trees and guaranteed hot sunshine even though there are plenty of beautiful white sandy beaches.
Thank you again everyone, I definitely have some great basis for more research.

SMa, I'm very intrigued as we could get flights to Inverness and just a long weekend would be awesome.

You say 'pick the right season', when are you thinking would be our best bet?
My first choice would always be June, as close to the Summer Solstice as possible, because the weather tends to be settled up here at that time of year, you'll benefit from the really long summer days where the night sky on the northern horizon will never get really dark and you'll see Grey and Harbour seals, the dolphins and porpoises will have arrived for the summer and you also stand a reasonable chance of seeing the summer visitors of basking sharks, Minke whales and even Orca if you are lucky. My second choice would be early/mid September because once again the weather is usually more settled, the seas will be at their warmest and whilst the seals might be moving on, the summer visitors, including the whales will still be around.

However, I assume that your daughter is of school age and that you live in England if you are talking about flying up to Inverness? If you wait until her school holidays start then the weather can often be unsettled on the west coast and late July and through August is the peak season for Midgies! There's a reason why the Scottish School holidays start in late June and they're all back at school by mid-August at the latest. :-) And of course you'll be wanting her home in time for the start of the new school year. So given that the late Spring Bank holiday in 2020 falls on May 25th then her Spring Half Term Holiday might be your best bet if her school takes the last week in May for it. And I was serious about the wetsuits but it is often possible to hire them from the surf and scuba schools along the west coast.
Thank you again for the reply, we are indeed in England (Derbyshire) and my daughter is in school but they have very random inset days, we are already booked to be away her July inset day otherwise 100% we would have been up there.

I always wondered why the Scots had early summer holidays, I just presumed it was to take advantage of quieter and cheaper times, but now I know that it's down to the midges haha.

We have wet suits, I must remember to pack them :-D
Technically the reason for our earlier summer holidays is that we have a 4 term/2 semester system rather than a 3 term year but it does mean that we avoid the worst of the midgie season :-) It was also more in sync with the agricultural year when labour was most needed - around me the academic year starts on the 2nd Monday in August at the latest and finishes in time for the kids to be off for the 1st 2 weeks in October (still known as the Tattie Holidays by me because potatoes are the big crop up here). Term 2 runs right up to the last Friday before Christmas followed by 2 weeks off and the Easter break is always the 1st 2 weeks in April regardless of when Easter actually is! An early Easter in March did indeed mean that you could go away in April and find everywhere much quieter and cheaper if you flew via Newscastle!

If families are prepared to fly from eg Newcastle or Manchester then they can get good cheap deals before the English holidays start but as soon as the schools break-up here then flights and holidays from eg Glasgow or Edinburgh from late June and through July into early August can be just as horrendous as August from any of the English airports! Even though I worked in HE, our term/semester pattern followed very much the same one as the schools and one of the joys of retirement is being able to go on holiday avoiding both sets of achool holidays :-)
  • Edited by SMa 2019-06-19 18:21:34
Aha that's very interesting, before children we would always go away during term time and there were always lots of Scottish :-)

FYI to all who replied, I have booked a mid week trip to Malta and am looking at getting up to Scotland before the midge season :-)

Thanks everyone, a very helpful forum :-)
Quite by chance when looking up something else, I came across this link which might be of interest if you haven't come across it already follwoing Judith's suggestion of Malta:
On 20th June 2019 at 09:38am, SMa said:
Quite by chance when looking up something else, I came across this link which might be of interest if you haven't come across it already follwoing Judith's suggestion of Malta:
That's awesome thank you
On 12th June 2019 at 10:44am, candell said:
Hi candell
If you have concerns about spending your holiday there, don't worry Egypt is entirely safe. Most of the Egyptian political instability & disorder that experienced since the revolution in January 2011 has come to an end and the number of tourists whose comes to Egypt has increased ever since. The current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful & fascinating to travel to Egypt after the government took maximum measures like restructuring the all tourist police to include all the important tourist attractions in Egypt.
So if you really want to spend an unforgettable vacation, then go to Egypt and discover it's infinite beauty for its beaches, I recommended to looking for Egypt Rea sea holidays which offer you the best some coastal activities started from swimming with dolphins, doing some diving & snorkeling with professional trainers, getting a skin tan while witnessing the sunset over the amazing beaches of Hurghada, and Sharm El-Sheikh beside to enjoy memorable trip to the monuments of Pharaohs such as famous Giza pyramids, the magical Abu Simbel temples and much more. Also, you can customize your holiday according to how many days of your trip and your favorite places to spend your vacation.
Hi Candell. We're literally just back from Egypt (yesterday), and can confirm that safety was never an issue. There are a number of beachfront hotels with good snorkelling, and I would second you taking a look at Red Sea Holidays. We went with them this time, and were overall very pleased with them and the hotel. That said, I wouldn't recommend our hotel (Siva Grand Beach) as the beach was very shallow in places, so not great for snorkelling. Any questions, fire away
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