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The Best Places in the World to Scuba Dive With Basking Sharks


Basking shark - Stuart Philpott

Basking sharks are large and despite the scary press coverage they get from the tabloids are in our opinion completely harmless sharks. So, if swimming with basking sharks is something you’d like to check off your bucket list, then we have a few suggestions for your next club trip.

Even though basking sharks aren’t the least bit bloodthirsty, you never want to get too close. We suggest you always stay beside them and try not to position yourself in front. But, you’re probably here because you know all of this. So, let’s slip into our fins, don our masks, and explore some of the best places to put a pin on the map and hope for a sighting. 

1. Scotland

If basking sharks could talk, they’d probably have a Scottish accent. They appear more frequently along the coasts of Scotland than any other place on earth. It’s best to head to the west coast anytime in the spring, summer, or fall. 

Also, you’ll want the weather conditions to be prime, with calmer waters and areas with large schools of plankton. These sharks aren’t going to pop out of the water and wave hello, but one place we hear fellow divers have a lot of luck is, along the shorelines of Oban, Scotland

2. The United Kingdom

Cornwall, specifically. If you stash away enough of a travel fund and stay at the Land’s End Hotel in Cornwall, you’re going to be well-positioned to get in on the basking action. 

People have sited schools of up to 100 basking sharks at this location. You’ll want to head here anytime in May, June, or July.

While there, you’ll feel completely in your element. Surfers also flock to these shores, as well as general water enthusiasts who like to hang by the shoreline and watch all the action. 

3. The United States

After England, all you have to do is sail across the pond to Boston. Here, the basking sharks are great pals with the wales. So, you might get a two-for-one in this destination. 

Boats leave from downtown Boston frequently. You can consider a ride along with a commercial vessel or an organized diving company.

Plan to Visit Basking Sharks Today!

Start your plans today! With these three destinations, you might even be able to get in multiple sightings of basking sharks. 

Although these are our top three picks, you’d also do well in Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka; Ranong, Thailand; or Rhodes Island, Greece. 

If you happen to choose Greece as your destination, then you’d be close enough to dip into the Red Sea, too. Here are ten reasons to dive the Egyptian Red Sea! But, no matter where you land, we hope you’ll take us along for the dive.

Here at Scuba Diver, we’ve got all the latest on your top destinations, diving gear, holiday deals, and more. We hope to, someday, meet you beneath the waves!

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Scuba Diver Magazine is a global publication serving all the major English speaking markets in print and digital format.
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