18 Sensational snorkelling destinations for families & beginners

Kids swimming in tropical water with fish

Journey to these amazing destinations around the world for your beginner snorkelers to get their fins wet

There’s nothing quite like snorkeling for introducing your kids to the wonderful underwater eco-system. Incredible up-close encounters and the joy and freedom or swimming amongst fish, even turtles and rays can be an exhilarating childhood experience.

Unlike scuba diving where you are fully submerged, snorkeling keeps you close to the surface of the water, making it a great outdoor sport that even small kids and those just learning to swim can enjoy.

With beginners, its important that you start their snorkelling journey slowly so we’ve been seeking out the best worldwide destinations to don our snorkeling kits and experience the incredible underwater world with kids.

This post is part of our best family destinations series

With thanks to our community of worldwide family travel writers who’ve helped pull this incredible & detailed guide together.

It’s bumper! So do bookmark this page for future reference or save it to Pinterest

collage of bauitful snorkeling beaches around the world caption 18 incredible destiantions where families can learn to snorkel

A beginners’ guide to snorkeling

Before we dive straight in to the best destinations for families to start their snorkeling experience, a few things that beginners will want to know:

Having the right gear is essential. Consider if you will need to purchase:

  • A good kids snorkel set – if it’s only a short trip then these can be hired, but our preference for hygiene, safety and best fit is to get your kids their own snorkeling set – this includes mask, snorkel and fins (flippers). Masks should fit firmly with a good vacuum seal and fins should fit firmly with an open heel but adjustable straps – we cover more on how to pick a great kid snorkel set here.
  • Reef-safe sunscreen – absolutely essential for sun protection and to avoid damaging coral reefs. The three most potent chemicals to avoid (“The Toxic 3”) are oxybenzone and octinoxate and octocrylene, but many found in normal sunscreens can be harmful to our reefs. Look for organic products that still give UPF 50+ protection (Some islands operate complete bans on certain brands of sunscreen, check this carefully before you go!)
  • Dress for the conditions; if it’s cool, a wetsuit – a shorty or long sleeve – will assist (they can be equally good for UV protection), or in warmer climates a rashy or thinner sleeved swimsuit with UV protection.
  • Younger kids should also wear an additional flotation vest depending on their swimming skills (the wetsuit will give some buoyancy but not enough for those still learning to swim) – even relatively good swimmers will benefit from the additional buoyancy.
  • If not using flippers, do still consider beach shoes or beach socks, these soft shoes will protect their feet on the beach and can also be worn under flippers to prevent rub.
  • As well as sunscreen, a couple of other useful items for your beach bag include anti-chaffing lube (nothing worse than a wet suit rash to ruin the rest of your trip) and anti-fog drops for their masks (or even baby shampoo can work)
  • Not essential but certainly adds to the fun if your kids have their own underwater action camera. There are so many easy-to-use models now that have sensational quality.
  • Snorkel Diary – another not essential but a great fun way for kids to record their underwater adventures.

Beginners snorkeling tips

  • Try to start in shallow water where you can walk in and still touch the ocean floor if need be. Whilst boat trips to remote reefs and wrecks may sound enticing, wait until little ones have a few successful shore swims under their belt with the comfort of the ground beneath their feet before heading to deeper waters.
  • Teach kids to snorkel respectfully; do not pick up rocks and animals, watch but do not interfere with underwater life or stand on coral, do not feed the fish.
  • Location can be everything. If the water is choppy, or murky with limited visibility this can scare younger ones off. If they can immediately see the vibrant colors and life beneath them this will encourage them further from the shore (but don’t be surprised if catching sight of sea life has the complete opposite effect and they go running back to shore!) Take it at their pace.
  • Are your kids nervous about putting their head underwater still? It’s great if you can try them in their snorkeling gear in a local pool before you hit the beach or even the bathtub! Practice just floating with a mask on then introduce the snorkel for breathing. Try kicking with no arms, just have them focus on breathing. Less confident kids may prefer a full face mask but do note these come with a safety precaution for prolonged use.
  • Allow sufficient sun breaks. It can be tempting to get lost for hours once the underwater adventure has begun but don’t forget the UV rays are there regardless of whether you’re beneath the water (and even when it’s cloudy). Stay hydrated and reapply reef-safe sunscreen regularly.
  • Always listen to advice from local’s for safety and respecting the reef.

So let’s head into it now; Where can you take the kids if they’re eager to have their first snorkeling experience?

Best places to snorkel in the world for beginners

As you’d expect most of the best diving spots are located around the tropics, with the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean featuring heavily in our list! We’ve also included the best season time to visit each destination.

Where to find itBest time to visit
Koh Lipe, Thailand (Andaman Sea)November to April
Mana Island, Fiji (South Pacific Ocean)May to September
Lovina, Bali, Indonesia (Java Sea)April to October
Moorea, French Polynesia (South Pacific Ocean)May to October
Redang Island, Malaysia (South China Sea)March to October
Siargao, Philippines (Philippine Sea)March to October
Upolu, Samoa (South Pacific Ocean)May to October
Fitzroy Island, Australia (Great Barrier Reef)August & September
Poor Knights Island, NZ (South Pacific Ocean)November to April
Molokini, Hawaii (North Pacific Ocean)Mornings year-round
O’ahu, Hawaii (North Pacific Ocean)Mornings year-round
Marathon, Florida (Caribbean Sea)April & May
Aruba (Caribbean Sea)Year-round
Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos (Caribbean Sea)April & May
St Thomas, USVI (Caribbean Sea)April to June
Saint Kitts & Nevis (Caribbean Sea)March to May
Dahab, Egypt (Red Sea)September to November
Mykonos, Greece (Meditteranean Sea) July to September

We take a look at each in much more detail below with parent recommendations on the best beaches to try, organised tours to take and where you can stay to enjoy these destinations to their fullest.


Best places to snrokel – Asia- Pacific

Koh Lipe Thailand

Suggested by Martina from Places of Juma

Ko Lipe Thailand beautiful blue water island for snorkeling

Koh Lipe is a tiny paradise island in the southernmost part of Thailand, not far from the Malaysian border. Due to its colorful and intact underwater world, it is one of the absolute hotspots for snorkeling! But visitors are also thrilled by the snow-white sandy beaches, the palm trees and the warm and turquoise sea, which makes this island one of the most beautiful vacation destinations in Thailand!

Koh Lipe is located in the Tarutao Marine National Park and the famous Adang Archipelago, a nature reserve that includes about 50 islands and which offers many different places for snorkeling but also for diving. Conveniently, most of them can be reached from this island within just 25 minutes. The highlights here include devil rays, minke whales, whale sharks, coral sharks, and of course the small clown fish, seahorses and colorful nudibranchs.

Tours can be booked at every corner of the island, but also online. If you don’t feel like snorkeling, you can also snorkel directly on the beaches of Koh Lipe. Around the island, there are beautiful reefs where you can discover all kinds of interesting fish.

Koh Lipe is a great destination for a family vacation in Thailand. As an accommodation tip, we can recommend the beautiful Ten Moons in a prime beach location.

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Mana Island, Fiji

Suggested by Ariana from World of Travels with Kids

Our kids had a fantastic time learning to snorkel in Fiji – in a couple of different locations.  With shallow tidal reefs, these locations had in common ease of access, some pretty marine life and not too deep water.

The fact that it is so easy to snorkel off the beach in Fiji makes it perfect for families learning to snorkel!

On Mana Island, they have a ‘safe swimming area’ which was cordoned off for people who weren’t confident swimmers.  On both sides of the island, they had long strings of buoys floating out to good patches of coral. 

My daughter (aged 7 at the time) liked this ‘safety aspect’ because even though she could swim, she was quite hesitant once we got out into deeper water.  Also, something I’d not realised was that it’s a bit unsettling for nervous kids to see how much is actually UNDER the water! 

We’d highly recommend the Mana Island Resort for those looking for an affordable Fiji holiday.

Another place we learnt snorkelling with the kids in Fiji was the Coral Coast – we stayed at the Warrick Resort and enjoyed learning to snorkel in their defined family-friendly snorkelling area.

The dry season is best time to visit Fiji – from May through to September, and this conveniently coincides with the Australian winter. 

Lovina, Bali, Indonesia

Suggested by Mark from Wyld Family Travel

Lovina is located on the north shore of Bali, Indonesia. The reach Lovina you need to travel 90 kilometres north of Denpasar Airport (the main airport in Bali). Expect the trip to take around 3 hours.

Lovina is a great spot to snorkel with kids as the waters are calm, warm and quite shallow to the reef. There are designated areas where snorkelling in Lovina happens only a few hundred meters off the beach. You will find the waters off Bali are warm all year round for snorkelling.

If you’re staying at a hotel in the area they will be able to organize a two-hour snorkelling trip in a traditional boat for under $10USD per person, equipment included. There are day tours from the south, Kuta, Seminyak area that travels to the North and includes snorkelling and other sites.

You will see all types of tropical fish, including cardinalfish, angelfish and even Nemo. The reef off Lovina is well and truly alive with fish and waiting to be explored.

The great thing about Lovina is it is off the main Bali tourist trail so you will probably have the reef to yourself. The Lilin Lovina Beach hotel is a great option for accommodation in the area.

Moorea, French Polynesia

Suggested by Ellie from Ellie’s Travel Tips

Moorea snorkeling destination in French Polynesia

As one of the most underrated islands found in French Polynesia, Moorea offers a spectacular array of family-friendly snorkeling opportunities. The most common way to reach Moorea is through a simple 30-minute ferry from nearby Tahiti.

Once arriving, you will quickly realize why Moorea is a bucket list snorkeling destination for beginners. Moorea boasts extremely calm turquoise waters and soft white sand that welcome plenty of colorful fish and beautiful coral.

Most of the snorkeling tours offered on the island will bring families on day trips to some of French Polynesia’s best beaches as a starting point for snorkeling adventures. Once in the water, the conditions are fairly similar to a public pool, with crystal clear waters and minimal waves.

The best time for families to visit Moorea on holiday vacations or South Pacific cruises is between the months of May and October. The most family-friendly snorkeling tour operators in Moorea are the Moorea Miti Tours and Moorea Ocean Adventures—both of which offer exemplary services and are patient with kids.

A great place to stay during your time exploring Moorea with the family is the Manava Beach Resort & Spa. This fabulous resort offers plenty of amenities for both you and the kids.

Redang Island, Malaysia

Suggested by Wani from Travel Muse Family

If you’re looking for perfect white sandy beach, clear turquoise blue waters and a guaranteed sighting of turtles, Redang Island is where you want to be. Situated on the north-east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, Redang Island stood out for our family as we would see turtles every time just a short swim from the beach. 

Take the short 45-minute flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu (alternatively, there is an overnight bus ride), then a 30 minutes’ Grab (the local Uber) ride to the Merang Jetty. After a 30-45 minutes’ speedboat ride, you will find yourself at your hotel on Redang Island. 

We highly recommend Wisana Redang, a locally run resort with only ten units. Although the beaches and snorkeling in Seychelles and Maldives are equally amazing, the seclusion and exclusivity of having very few people around is what makes Wisana Redang so special. For the more adventurous, climb up the hills for an amazing view of the sunrise. If looking for something more luxurious, have a look at the Taaras Beach & Spa Resort.

Due to monsoon rains, it is important to note that Redang Island (and the nearby famous backpacker Perhentian Islands) are only open from March to October.

Siargao, Philippines

Suggested by Emma from Journey of A Nomadic Family

Siargao

The little teardrop-shaped island of Siargao is a gem for kids who love snorkelling. Located in the south-east of the Philippines archipelago, you can either fly here or catch a ferry from Surigao or Bucas Grande. We’d recommend flying as this is the quickest option. 

The majority of travellers head straight to Cloud 9 or General Luna which is where you’ll find a number of small hotels, self-catering accommodation, hostels, shops, restaurants and tour providers. We loved staying in our own private wooden house at Emerald House in Cloud 9.

In order to explore the island and get to know it like a local, we suggest that you hire a family tuk-tuk. It’s impossible to get lost and it’s such fun exploring the island alone. Siargao benefits from many small coves and beaches with shallow, warm waters & plenty of tropical fish making it perfect for kids and families to snorkel. 

Whilst you’re there, you must take a trip out to the smaller islands. Island hopping is a great way to practice more snorkelling and see the range of coral and fish in these pristine waters. The five islands we think you should see are La Janosa, Naked Island, Daku, Guyam & Mamon.

Don’t forget to make a special day drip up to Sugba Lagoon if you have water-confident kids and Magpupunko Rock to visit the rock pools. 

Upolu, Samoa

Suggested by Sinead from Map Made Memories

Our kids loved snorkeling on Upolu, the largest of the two islands of Samoa. The best child-friendly snorkeling we discovered was on the south coast of the island near Lalomanu.

This idyllic, palm tree-lined location is just a one-hour, scenic drive across the tropical island from the capital, Apia. The coastline of Lalomanu is protected by an offshore reef making the calm, sheltered waters perfect for snorkeling beginners.

Follow local advice and only snorkel in the morning; by afternoon the changing tide creates higher waves and a strong pull. There is a gradual incline into the warm, crystal clear water ideal for building confidence in the sea.

Tropical fish of all shapes and sizes swim very close to the shore so children do not have to get out of their depth in order to see the colourful, diverse aquatic life. Vivid purple sea stars are commonly seen from the beach.

You can snorkel directly from the rustic fales at Tua Fua Fales or from the oceanfront bungalows at Saletoga Sands in nearby Matatufu.

Once your children have gained confidence snorkeling, don’t miss the chance to snorkel at the otherworldly Giant Clam Sanctuary at Savaia. This offshore sanctuary will be out of children’s depth but it is a fantastic – and rare – experience for confident snorkelers. 

Fitzroy Island, Queensland, Australia

Suggested by Leah from Kid Bucket List

For families wishing to experience Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s natural wonders, but worried about going out onto the open ocean, Fitzroy Island is your best bet.

A mere 45 minutes boat ride from Cairns will take you directly to this oasis which boasts a magnitude of activities for everyone in the family and one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, Nudey Beach

Fitzroy Island is the perfect gateway destination for families wanting to try their hand at snorkelling, with gentle waters surrounding most of the island providing an opportunity to experience the reef from almost any point. We see wild turtles EVERY time we visit! 

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Visitors have the option of choosing a day trip to the island or staying on site at the island’s resort. The island has great amenities including a dive shop, a bar, cafe and restaurant. It also has a turtle rehabilitation centre which you won’t want to miss. Just make sure you book in advance as it books out quickly. All snorkelling gear is also available to hire on the island. 

Tropical North Queensland is beautiful all year round. Visitors should be aware of stinger season which is usually between October to May and wear stinger suits to avoid being stung. This period, the wet season, is also particularly humid and often wet, with the highest risk of tropical cyclones. My recommendation is for families to visit in August/September if they can as this offers the best weather and conditions. 

If you want to visit, you can stay on Fitzroy Island or you may choose to base yourself in Cairns which has a plethora of hotels and units. Our family stayed at the Riley’s Crystalbrook Collection Resort which has one of the best pools in Cairns. 

You can find more things to do near Cairns with kids here

Poor Knights Island, New Zealand

Suggested by Kylie from Visiting Dordogne

Poor Knights Island New Zealand snorkelling boat trip

The Poor Knights Islands is an ancient volcano that’s located in an incredible spot off the north coast of New Zealand and a wonderful place for beginner snorkellers. You can access the surrounding marine reserve by taking a day trip with one of the operators at Tutukaka marina – Dive Tutukaka are highly recommended.

It’s a great spot for beginner snorkellers because the operators will take you to one of the sheltered spots in the marine reserve where you’re guaranteed to see a plethora of fish – some that you can’t find anywhere else in the world – stingrays, beautiful seaweed and coral and even sea turtles if you are lucky.

The highly experienced crew will help younger snorkellers kit up with suitable gear (including wetsuits) and give them tips on what to do. If kids get bored with snorkelling, they can also have a go at kayaking, SUP, or dive-bombing off the boat. The snorkelling season runs over the summer months from November until April.

Tutukaka is the closest town to the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve and a good place to base yourself for a trip.


Best places to snorkel in the US & Caribbean

Molokini, Hawaii, USA

Suggested by Kevin from Wandering Wagars

One of the most legendary snorkeling destinations in Hawaii is the crescent-shaped island off the coast of Maui known as Molokini. Not only is the marine life here abundant, but the waters are protected by the unique shape of the land, making this an amazing snorkeling destination for families.

The island’s shape comes from the remnants of an ancient volcanic crater on the site that has mostly collapsed into the surrounding ocean. And the unique geology has created a fascinating environment for underwater adventures.

There are several companies that run snorkel tours out to the Molokini Crater, for families I recommend booking with the Pacific Whale Foundation, which is an environmental non-profit that runs out of the central Maui town of Maalaea. This tour offers the perfect combination of excellent food, educational programming that is specifically geared towards families, and a big, comfortable boat that makes the journey there and back safe and comfortable.

Most Molokini snorkeling excursions include two separate snorkeling experiences. One at the Molokini Crater, and one at the famed Turtle Arches. Turtle Arches is a popular spot for spotting sea turtles. Both of these destinations colorful reef systems, abundant marine variety, and warm waters with few waves. This makes for nearly perfect conditions for any snorkeling adventure.

O’ahu, Hawaii, USA

Suggested by Melissa from The Family Voyage

Oahu, Hawaii is an ideal place to start young kids on their snorkeling adventure! There are numerous easy spots to explore, but perhaps the best is Hanauma Bay on the island’s southeastern tip.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is just 25 minutes east of Honolulu and can be easily accessed by your rental car, a lengthy-but-cheap bus ride or a pre-arranged group tour.

You should allow plenty of time for your visit, as everyone is required to attend an educational session on how to respect Hanauma Bay’s fragile marine life before heading down to the bay and hopping in the water. Be sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen as it’s absolutely required (and as of this writing the on-site store is closed).

Hanauma Bay is ideal for families with young snorkelers because it offers a shallow land entry and plenty of clear areas to stand without worrying about hurting little feet or coral polyps. The moment you step into Hanauma Bay, you can just dunk your head in and see fish of all types swimming around you – there’s no advanced swimming skill required, and no invisible bottom to scare young children.

Hanauma Bay is great at any time of year. Just be aware that there are capacity constraints and it’s first-come, first served. Be sure to check the website for details as there have been many procedural and pricing changes lately.

Oahu offers an abundance of places to stay for all styles and budgets. It’s important to read up on the pros and cons of where to stay on Oahu before you decide, as that choice can have a big impact on how your trip feels.

Marathon, Florida, USA

Suggested by Tanya from Rad Family Travel

Marathon, Florida is a fantastic snorkeling destination with kids. This 10-mile-long family-friendly town sits right in the middle of the Florida Keys island chain. Marathon is 93 miles south of Miami and 43 miles north of popular Key West

The waters around Marathon, Florida are the perfect place for families learning how to snorkel because the water is clear, warm, and shallow. In many places, you can stand in the clear water hunting for crabs, sea dollars, and starfish. With younger kids, this is especially fun!

The best part is taking a boat out to the magnificent Sombrero Reef, where you’ll spy all kinds of healthy coral, sponges, and colorful fish like Parrotfish, Yellowtail Snappers, Barracuda, Blue Tang, Yellowtail Damselfish. You may even see a sea turtle, stingrays, or Nurse Shark. 

The water depth around Sombrero Reef ranges from 5′ to 35′, so you’ll see many divers out here too. After Sombrero Reef, consider snorkeling around Coffin’s Patch. Practice using your snorkel gear at Bahia Honda State Park, off Sombrero Beach or in a swimming pool.

Honestly you can’t beat the year-round weather in Marathon, Florida compared to the rest of the USA, but April and May seem to be some of the best months to head to Marathon due to the best weather with the least amount of people.

As far as getting out to Sombrero Reef, even if you’re an amateur boat driver like us, you can rent and captain your own passenger boat from Coco Plum Boat Rentals. Jason and Wendy will point out great spots to explore and how to plan around weather and waves. Not comfortable renting a boat? Go snorkeling with Captain Jack.

Aim for a vacation home like a sweet three-bedroom home found in the Coral Lagoon Resort in Marathon. The house was nestled with 25 others on a canal with a boat slip and we had access to a resort-style pool just a few steps away from the back porch.

Aruba

Suggested by Cathy from Mummy Travels

One of the most southerly islands in the Caribbean, near the coast of Venezuela, Aruba is the perfect spot for kids learning to snorkel – as my daughter discovered during our own trip to Aruba with kids.

The turquoise waters are warm and clear and you don’t have to go far from shore to see the marine life either. With most tourists staying around Palm and Eagle Beach, it’s easy to hire a car to reach them or join a tour, like popular De Palm Tours

Baby Beach, so named because the shallow calm water are safe enough for babies, has a great small reef with colourful fish at one end, while you can spot blue parrotfish off the private De Palm Island, or explore the coves around quieter Mangel Halto

There are boat tours galore too, and with life vests included, snorkeling is still very achievable for younger kids – on a Pelican Adventures tour, my seven-year-old ventured to the roped-off area of Boca Catalina, as well as the wreck of the Antilla freighter, although that is best for stronger swimmers. 

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There’s no bad time of year to choose either: the rainiest month is November, so visibility isn’t quite so good then, but as Aruba sits outside the hurricane belt, the island is a good snorkeling destination year-round. 

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

Suggested by Keri from Bon Voyage with Kids

One of the best snorkeling destinations for beginners is also one of our favorite destinations to visit year after year, Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos.  What makes this exceptional gem ideal for families – especially for first-time snorkelers – is the glorious teal-colored waters with the clarity of a swimming pool.  Grace Bay is also typically pretty calm, and often home to beautiful sea life, tropical fish, coral, and even sea turtles. 

A great place to start your family snorkeling adventure is right at our favorite family destination, Beaches Turks and Caicos.  In addition to being able to use (included in the cost) their snorkel gear and life vests if you stay at this super family-friendly all-inclusive resort, you are only a five-minute walk from a protected coral garden, called Bight Reef

The protected area is encircled by rope, where you can snorkel around the outside perimeter and observe amazing sea life. Our family loves to do this when we visit every January, and we have seen turtles, eels, stingrays, squid, tropical fish, and on one occasion, the resident barracuda named Elvis.  You can start to observe sea life almost as soon as you walk in from shore. 

The deepest part of the reef (on the backside of the circle) is around 16 feet, so beginners may want to stay closer to the front (shore side) of the circle which is about three feet.  The waters can be a bit choppy on windier days but even in January, on a calm day, you can find smooth seas and clear waters. 

But whether you snorkel around the garden or just in front of the Beaches resorts, or book a snorkeling excursion with Island Route Tours, Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos is definitely one of the best snorkeling destinations for beginners. 

St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Suggested by Kristin from Snorkel & Hike

Surrounded by multiple calm and shallow bays, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands is one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean and is especially great for families.  The shallow sandy entries make it easy for beginners getting used to using their snorkel gear.

Sapphire Bay is one of the best locations for families to stay and snorkel.  With condos located right on the beach and amazing snorkeling at your doorstep, everyone can go at their own pace.  The big bonus for families is the proximity to the condo, allowing parents to take turns snorkeling while children sleep or take breaks from the sun inside. 

Secret Harbour also has condos right on the water and is a close second.  But, the snorkeling is a bit further from the shore than at Sapphire Bay, which can get intimidating for beginners.  

Another top spot on the island is Brewer’s Bay.  You’ll nearly be guaranteed to snorkel with sea turtles, and the location adjacent to the airport landing strip is a kid favorite!  Although lacking in coral, the shallow sandy beach and huge possibility of spotting turtles makes it a must for any St. Thomas snorkel trip.

Coki Beach is probably the most popular snorkeling spot on the island, and one of the best places to see a lot of colorful fish.  It’s a good spot for adult beginners, but the gentle lapping waves along the rocks make it less than ideal for young children learning. 

St Kitts, Leeward Islands

Suggested by Steph & Lewis from Book It Let’s Go!

St Kitts in the Caribbean is the perfect spot to learn to snorkel. There are plenty of great snorkelling spots in St Kitts for all abilities and on the south side of the island you can snorkel in the calm warm Caribbean Sea which is ideal for new snorkellers.

There are some great reefs just off the beaches on the Caribbean side of the island and one of the best spots for beginners is South Friars beach just down the south-east peninsula. Visit the family-friendly Shipwreck beach bar and restaurant and rent snorkelling gear, then head into the calm shallow waters where the reef sits just in front of the bar. Spot the shoals of coloured fish and keep an eye out for the elusive spotted eagle rays and turtles that live in the area.

The best time to visit is from December to May as this is outside of hurricane season but December to February the sea can be cooler than later in the year. Stay at one of the many family-friendly hotels in nearby Frigate Bay and rent a car for the easiest way to get around the island.


Best places to snorkel – rest of the world

Dahab, Egypt

Suggested by Lisa from Flip Flop Globetrotters

Dahab on Egypt’s South Sinai’s coast is a wonderful place for a family holiday  Located about an hour north of Sharm el Sheikh airport, Dahab is a lot less busy than Egypt’s typical tourist destinations. With over 30 shore diving sites, both novice and advanced scuba divers and snorkelers can have their fill. There’s a fantastic underwater world waiting to be discovered!

In Dahab’s central Lighthouse area you’ll find a great number of lovely little restaurants along the boulevard. There’s a large coral covered area right near the shore, teaming with lovely colors and marine life. And when you get out of the water you can order a tasty lunch, relax and then jump back in.

We’ve been snorkeling there with our son since he was 4 years old. He loved it from the second he stuck his hear underwater and saw his first colorful fish. Because of its location in a bay, Lighthouse is always accessible, even when other sites are too windy.

Alternatively, you can also spend a lovely day at Wadi Gnai in the south of Dahab. Here you can relax at one of the traditional Bedouin restaurants, with amazing snorkeling the minute you enter the water.

Dahab is a great family destination year-round, but in the wintertime, it can get chilly. The best time to visit for snorkeling is September – November when the weather is a little less hot and the water nice and warm. 

Mykonos, Greece

Suggested by Dymphe from Dymabroad

A great snorkeling destination for beginners is Mykonos. Mykonos is one of the most beautiful places in Greece. You can easily reach it by airplane. Alternatively, you can go by ferry to reach the island from the mainland of Greece or from other islands, such as Paros and Naxos.

The island of Mykonos has many great spots, such as Mykonos Town. Furthermore, there are many beaches where you can snorkel. Each beach has something different to offer and there are great snorkeling places for every level of experience.

A great place to go snorkeling for families or beginners is Kalafati Beach. It is easy to snorkel here.

The best time of the year to go to Mykonos for snorkeling is in the months of July, August, and September. During these months, the temperature of the water is the highest of the year, which is more comfortable. Also, during these months more shops and restaurants are open.

Because the island is not very large and there are good connections to get everywhere, it doesn’t matter that much where on the island you are staying. A great hotel near Kalafati Beach is Aphrodite Beach Hotel. However, you can also stay in Mykonos Town, which is only about 30 minutes by bus from that beach.


More worldwide outdoor adventures with kids

We hope this guide has inspired you to think of some great new destinations to plan your worldwide travels around. You may also be interested to check out:

  • 25 Family-friendly winery routes – who says we can’t indulge in some of our favourite experiences with kids in tow? These worldwide famous wine routes work great for family groups.

You can find all our outdoor adventures guides from hiking with tots through to the best gear you need for camping with kids over here


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3 thoughts on “18 Sensational snorkelling destinations for families & beginners

  1. Krista says:

    These all sound like fantastic destinations to take the family snorkelling! I’ve just been snorkelling in southern Spain along the coastline and loved it.

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