Sicily is a popular spot for diving and it isn’t hard to see why. With plenty of dive sites close to the main island and others close to the surrounding islands, diving in Sicily takes place all year round. Water temperatures can get a little chilly in the winter (around 15°C) but reach around 25°C in the summer months, with visibility of up to 40ft. May to October is most definitely the most popular time for diving here, with many sites open to beginner divers, although some do get strong currents.
Most dive centres in Sicily cater for all abilities, with dive schools offering CMAS and PADI courses for those who’d like to start flapping those flippers. Sicily diving centres generally provide all the scuba gear and tanks you’ll need, with many also renting out underwater cameras to ensure you capture some great memories of your experience.
You must have a medical certificate to ensure you’re fit to dive here, as well as insurance. It’s easy to download a certificate online which your doctor can sign before your holiday, and dive centres will arrange insurance when you arrive.
How much does diving cost?
The cost of a boat dive can vary depending on which centre you choose, but expect to pay around 60 Euros for two dives and around 20 Euros a day for equipment rental, if you don’t have your own. Many dive centres offer an intro session for around 60 Euros.
The best dive spots in Sicily
There are some spots for diving in Sicily that you simply can’t afford to miss on your trip. Here are some of our favourites:
If you’re into wreck diving (and have your wreck diving licence) then head for The Column. Diving to a depth of 26m, you’ll find this 2,000-year-old Roman cargo shipwreck near Taormina. Another must-see is Junker 52, a WWII German bomber fighter wreck off the coast of Palermo at 46m depth. One of the most popular new dive sites is The Greek Temple at Naxos Bay. Diving between 10 to 25m, you’ll see columns and marble from a sunken ship dating back to the 3rd century BC, which has created a habitat for starfish and anemones.
Just five minutes by boat from Taormina, the Grotto Azzurra or ‘Blue Cave’ is renowned as Sicily’s most beautiful dive site. The shallow, sheltered waters make this an ideal dive for beginners, and you’ll spot rainbow fish, coral, shrimps and more on your dive.
Marine reserve diving
The Island of Ustica, near Palermo, is home to Italy’s first marine reserve and is one of the best spots for diving. With dive sites for all abilities, there’s a diverse ecosystem here and you’re likely to spot moray and conger eels, octopus, shrimp, lobster, groupers, barracuda and sea bream.
If you’re keen to spot larger sea creatures such as sharks, sea turtles, dolphins and the elusive manta ray when diving in Sicily, the dive sites to the south near Lampedusa are your best bet.