Europe’s Top Scuba Spots
Europe is not the first place you think of when you talk about diving. But actually there’s variety and fantastic biodiversity to be found in many places, and some may be totally unexpected. We’ve put together a list of top dive spots in Europe to excite, entice, and share the news that you don’t have to travel all the way to the Great Barrier Reef to see some pretty cool marine life.
Cirkewwa – Malta
Cirkewwa is Malta’s premier dive site, with two beautiful wrecks to enjoy: P29 and the Rozi, both intentionally sunk for diving and bustling with masses of sea-life. Malta is recognised as having some of the most beautiful diving spots in the Mediterranean sea; it boasts diving all year round but it’s seems to be certainly at its best during the summer months between June and September when the water temperature can reach a gorgeous 28 degrees. Enjoy stunning visibility whilst exploring the impressive reef-covered cliffs, tunnels, and caves to spot octopus, barracuda, cuttlefish, morays, and even dolphins.
Blue Hole & Azure Window – Malta
A natural rock formation, the Blue Hole is a beautiful site, taking you out under the Azure window. The Blue Hole is effectively a cave without a roof, boasting 60 metres of crystal clear blue water, and the best sea-life can be found between 10 – 30 metres. The spot offers divers a sheltered entrance and fantastic visibility and the chance to spot moray eels, groupers, and even some dentex fish if you’re lucky.
Portofino National Park – Italy
Discover Italy’s favourite dive spot. Portofino National Park is a beautiful place to find a diverse array of marine life and stunning archaeological sites.
Just south of the city Genova, the National Marine Reserve offers more than 20 dive sites, teaming with life, good visibility of up to 20 metres, and water temperatures reaching 25 degrees from July to September, although you can enjoy diving all year round. The key wrecks to visit here are ‘Christ of the Abyss’ and ‘Mohawk Deer Wreck’: both will be unforgettable, but whilst you’re there you can also keep an eye out for octopus, grouper, seahorses, barracuda, anemone, and dolphins.
Diving with blue sharks – Azores
Yes you read that right, you can dive with sharks in Europe and the spot everyone’s talking about for this enthralling experience can be found in the Azores, described by the Lonely Planet as ‘Europe’s secret islands of adventure’ and we can guess why.
If you haven’t dived with sharks before and you don’t want to travel too far, this is the answer. Diving with one of the fastest fishes, seeing the blue shark is possible from several of the islands, with the most popular island being Condor Seamount.
On a typical dive you can expect to see between 5 and 15 sharks, experience visibility between 20 to 30 metres, and not-so-terrible water temperatures of around 21 to 25 degrees.
The Silfra Fissure – Iceland
Welcome to one of the best dive spots in the world! Discover unbeatable visibility and the only place you can dive or snorkel between two continental plates. Need we say any more?
Ok, but just a little…
Not only can you swim through the crack that separates the North American and Eurasian continents, which is a reason to visit in itself, but the water is so pristine it offers visibility of up to 100 metres! The only downside is that this is a rather a chilly dive for our fair-weather diver friends, being glacial water the water temperature stays around 2°C to 4°C all year!
The wrecks of Scapa Flow – Scotland
Following on from the chilly Iceland, a bit closer to home is Scotland’s Scapa Flow. A world-class diving site known for its famous wrecks, deeper dives, and reefs; the world-renowned site is a WWII underwater world boasting a host of diverse wrecks, from vast battleships to light cruisers.
Discover unique dives spots from 12 metres to 45 metres under the surface and enjoy the fascinating stories of our history: a unique wreck diving experience as well as discovering a whole host of sea-life in the chilly, nutrient rich waters including: seals, puffins, dolphins, porpoises, and whales. Expect temperatures of around 4°C during winter and around 12°C in summer.
Lofoten Islands – Norway
Head to Norway for an unrivalled diving experience within the Arctic Circle; the Lofoten Islands reveal unique fauna and flora including kelp forests, larger fish species and fields of algae, as well as sunken wrecks for divers to explore. Arctic diving season is between May and September and visibility is around 8 to 12 metres on average.
In winter the pristine waters invite Orca Whales to gather and feed in the Norwegian sea, so if you visit between December and March it may be too chilly to jump in but you can opt for a safari boat tour and head out to spot them if you’re lucky!
Canary Islands – Spain
Now we take a giant-stride into warmer waters. Welcome to the Canary Islands; the Spanish archipelago off the coast of north-western Africa and it’s easy to see why it’s a favourite. The crystal clear waters, warm temperatures at around 20°C year round, not to mention the vast variety of marine life makes it one of the most renowned dive locations in the world. With hundreds of dive sites to choose from, there is much to see: from cuttlefish, nudibranchs, triggerfish, and grouper, to an abundance of sea life like sharks, rays, eels, octopus and sea turtles, and with visibility of more than 30 metres you won’t miss anything!
Created from volcanic activity, the islands also offer a stunning landscape of volcanic boulders, cliffs, swim-throughs, caves and arches, as well as fascinating reefs teeming with life and wrecks.
The Canary Islands have it all when it comes to fantastic diving!