I'm researching where to complete my PADI Open Water Diver course in Spain or Europe or as far as Red Sea, Egypt. I'd also spend time to do 6-12 additional dives over a week's time.

How or on which websites should I do my research? Are there particular forums or review sites which provide detailed information and diver reviews of dive centers in these areas?

I started my research on Padi.com and see reviews on Google Maps for dive shops. Are there resources you can recommend?

  • One thing to bear in mind is that some of the dive centres with large numbers of excellent ratings may be focused on advanced divers, and not all that suitable for the open water course
    – Gagravarr
    Jan 2, 2015 at 1:25
  • Good point. Thanks Gagravarr. Will keep that in mind. I'm checking whether they have beginner level (shallow) diving in their area as well.
    – Baker
    Jan 2, 2015 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


We did the same a couple of years ago. We decided on the destination first, and then looked at dive centres. We used Wikivoyage and PADI to get a list of local dive shops, and then Tripadvisor to read reviews on the dive shops.

In the end we had it narrowed down to three shops, and wrote them an email asking about their prices and services. We then chose one depending on gut feel and location.

Keep in mind, that PADI is not the only player on the block. There are other organizations, that also do scuba certifications, and are worth checking out. Here's a list of the most common.

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