The images that come to mind when thinking about scuba diving are tropical reefs in exotic locations. But there's more to diving than just sunny beaches and warm waters. Some divers prefer to explore places a little chillier for their dive holiday. Lets take a trip away from the equator and delve into the 5 Coldest Places to Dive.
The UK is not one of the warmest places to dive as you would expect, but if you're looking for the chilliest spot, Scapa Flow offers the coldest waters in the UK. But if you're willing to take the plunge into the freezing cold Scottish waters, you'll be rewarded with a wealth of wrecks. This dive site is one of the best places to take a trip back in time and discover wartime marine wrecks such as the scuttled German fleet and other world war wrecks.
If you love wall dives, this area is for you as it's home to some of the best in the world, all of which are carpeted in bright and colourful life. There's also an abundance of unique marine creatures like the giant pacific octopus, wolf eels and playful sea lions. And it's not just about the marine life, it's a treasure trove for wreck divers with both artificial and natural wrecks. You can even explore a Boeing 737 airplane wreck here.
This is the only sea in Europe that freezes over every year. Under the frigid waters the wildlife is untouched and you will see incredible ice formations, and it's here that you can even get up close to playful Beluga Whales. It's -20 degrees on the surface and is so cold that you have to place your regulator in your mouth underwater otherwise the moisture from your breath will turn to ice in the mouthpiece.
This is the largest freshwater lake in the world, as well as the deepest, oldest and clearest. With its crystal clear visibility you can see well over a thousand different species of marine creatures and plants. When the surface freezes over, the sheet ice is so clear you can see straight through it. The sub-zero temperature is normally -22 °F (-30 °C) but it's well worth the cold to dive this record breaking lake.
After you chisel through the ice in Antarctica you enter a whole new strange world, and the icescapes are forever changing which continually opens up new sights. The site is so challenging that you need to have an advanced open water certification and to have completed at least 20 dives while wearing a dry suit before you can attempt to dive here. And despite the barren landscape above the water, the Antarctic waters are rich with marine life.
Would you dare any of these freezing locations? Where are the coldest places you have dive? Let us know in the comments below.