Scuba diving’s more popular than ever, especially as professional PADI instructors are accessible at different holiday resorts. Whether you’re a keen diver or a complete novice and what to give it a go, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best diving spots in Europe for you to consider for your next holiday. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to take the plunge…
1) The Maltese Islands
Considered by some to be the very best diving spot in Europe, Malta and the rest of the Maltese Islands offer high-quality diving schools and excellent underwater sites to explore. There’s the Madonna statue 30 metres deep at Marfa Point, the HMS Maori shipwreck at Valetta Harbour and the spectacular Blue Hole and Azure Window at Gozo.
Croatia’s beautiful and rugged coastline, numerous islands and clear waters make for exceptional diving opportunities. What also makes it great is that it’s still relatively undiscovered as a diving location, so a real unique experience. The island of Korcula has a BSAC-certified diving school and you can discover shipwrecks, all different types of coral and exotic creatures beneath its surface.
3) The Balearic Islands
There are upwards of 80 different dive sites across the Balearic Islands, all with dramatic caves, age old shipwrecks and varying marine life to seek out. Many of the caves off Majorca and Menorca feature air pockets to surface in so you can see the fascinating rock formations. And, dive locations such as Cala d’Hort in Ibiza are great for spotting barracuda, moray eels and even dolphins.
If you’re heading to Cyprus on holiday, make sure you head to Larnaca for a diving experience like no other. Not far off land from the resort’s harbour is the famous Zenobia shipwreck. This ferry sank on its maiden voyage in 1980 and has become a popular dive site ever since. With depths ranging from 16 metres to 42 metres, divers can explore the exterior or head inside to the engine room and more.
Madeira’s year-round mild climate provides perfect diving conditions and its underwater natural beauty is making it increasingly popular too. There are a number of dive schools around the island, catering for all abilities, especially beginners. There are reefs close to shore or the best dive spots can be reached by boat such as Garajau National Park and Desertas Islands. There’s even the option to try night diving.
There are countless great places to try diving all over Greece, but one of the best areas to head has to be the Cyclades Islands. These incredibly beautiful islands consist of places such as Mykonos and Santorini and boast spectacular wrecks, vast underwater caverns and, for the more experienced divers, excellent reefs along the coasts that provide a bit more of a fun challenge.
7) The Canary Islands
The volcanic landscape that the Canary Islands are so famous for above the surface means that there are some fascinating rock formations, arches and caves to explore under the water too. The marine life around this area is exceptionally good as well and you can expect to see rays, eels, cuttlefish, grouper fish, different shark species and even dolphins and turtles in the islands’ turquoise waters.
Have you been scuba diving on any of your holidays? Where has been your favourite place? Let me know in the comments below.