The ocean does give off a certain magnetic pull. Whether it's the imagined mermaids, going about their lives under the sea, or just the many skittering critters and majestic mammals floating just beneath the surface, no one can really resist sticking their nose around in the big watery blue.

The closest thing to feeling like a fish yourself? Diving. You'll forget the clunky equipment and mask once you're down there - swimming past turtles and flippering around coral reefs will make you feel as though you were made to live underwater.

First thing's first, are you qualified? PADI licences can be a tad pricey, but if you opt to do them abroad, you can save a load of dosh. Places like Thailand and Bali are a lot cheaper, and you have the added bonus of the pound going far in these Asian countries.

You don't necessarily need a licence to go diving, however. You can go down about 18 metres with a licensed teacher and see plenty of stunning sights, sans the effort of getting PADI-certified.

Probably one of the most famous reefs, and rightly so, is the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, Australia, but there are plenty of other places nearer. Delve into a flutter of fish in the lukewarm waters of the Red Sea, hop off a quintessential long-tail boat in Thailand and discover the resident sealife that live there, or venture into the world-renowned Blue Hole in Belize.

Research reliable, vouched-for diving centres before you travel and head off on your scuba diving holidays. You're never going to want to come up for air.

Cheap Diving Holidays

Some of the cheapest options for scuba holidays are right here on this continent. Malta's Gozo is a little known treasure in the diving world. The Blue Hole draws in many people on the hunt for cheap scuba diving holidays. You have the choice of a technicolour reef, a cave and even a wreck to dive through. And the best bit? You can experience the Blue Hole, the Inland Sea and the Coral Garden all in one dive. It's a cheap, convenient, but mind-blowing experience. Sardinia and Cyprus are also good European diving spots that promise to keep the prices down!

The Red Sea still remains a favourite amongst divers. The SS Thistelgorm shipwreck, in fact, brings in more foreign income than the pyramids. At just five hours away by plane, places like Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada serve as a place to swim near majestic sharks and an array of sea life.

Asia is another destination that allows you to save the pennies. Not only are Thailand and Bali areas where diving is cheap, they're one of the most cost effective places to actually learn. So, if you're looking to do your PADI, head to these Asian island paradises, from Koh Tao to Seminyak.

Best Diving Destinations

There are some scuba holidays that really do prove the fact sometimes it is better down where it's wetter.

Belize is one of those places. The Great Blue Hole is just as big, and as great, as it sounds. This slightly unnerving hole is surrounded by a ring of coral reef and is home to sharks, enormous tuna and dramatic stalactites and stalagmites of ancient caverns. It's for advanced divers - but your PADI licences will take you to a whole new watery world that's more than worth the number of metres you need to dive.

Another daring example of scuba holidays is Iceland. It's not just the temperature of the water that makes the notion of diving adventurous. In Iceland, the Silfra fissure allows you to dive or snorkel between two tectonic plates - you'll be in two continents at once! If you were ever looking for a dive with the greatest clarity, this is it. Thanks to the cold temperatures and the fact it's filtered through porous underground lava before it reaches the north end of Thingvellir Lake, it may be the cleanest and clearest dive you'll ever do.

The Great Barrier Reef is a must-do bucket list item. Fly to Cairns and experience the world's largest coral reef - and all its many inhabitants that call it home. It stretches over 3,000 kilometres and is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. You can get a live-aboard deal to make the most of your time on water.

Hawaii is known for its caverns, shipwrecks and its many majestic resident manta rays. The wrecks of Oahu are numerous and attract the likes of eagle rays, puffer fish and green sea turtles. Kona is where you'll find those giant manta rays. Don't forget that these islands are also well-known for their underwater lava formations.

The Maldives, the Caribbean and Bahamas are the kind of scuba holidays where you don't necessarily have to dive deep. Sharks, turtles and just about every other fish imaginable are right under you in shallow waters with snorkelling - no descending required.

Red Sea Diving Holidays

When people think of the Red Sea, they think of sunshine-filled days in Egypt. Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada, Makadi Bay and El Gouna are all popular in their own right for scuba holidays - and there are plenty of liveaboard options. From barracudas and sharks to rays and dolphins, you'll go home happy wherever you choose.

Sharm is known for its world-famous marine parks and wrecks. Then there's Dahab and Nuweiba, which gives you access to the renowned Blue Hole.

Hurghada is a good area to set yourself up in if you want to dive through breathtaking marine parks and see Egypt's many famous historical inland sights once you've had your fill of diving.

Hamata is the place to be if you want to go off the tourist trail - it's an area that's been relatively undived and it boasts jaw-dropping reef systems.