Diving in Greece
Everything you have to know and the best Dive Sites
Greece – the origin of modern culture. Where a multitude of fascinating relics can already be seen above the surface of water, what can possibly be discovered below water? Until the early 2000s, it was practically impossible to dive in Greece due to the many archaeological sites under water. The regulations have only been relaxed in recent years thus making Greece one of the most sought-after diving spots in Europe.
Particularly around the Greek islands, there is an incredible amount of places to be discovered. Especially lovers of wreck and archaeological diving get their money‘s worth here. But beware: You are only allowed to look at the underwater treasures, not touch them or take any with you! In addition, divers are instructed to report any findings and, as such, assist the archaeologists in their work. Regarding the fauna, fans of macro-photography are in good hands in Greece, because rather small marine creatures are at home here.
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When is the best time for a diving holiday in Greece?
It may sound like a paradox: The outdoor temperature in Greece is quite pleasant all year round, even though the water temperature can be fairly low. Therefore, the best travel time is from June to September, when it is truly warm ashore. The water temperature then attains its maximum temperature of up to 23 degrees. During the cooler months, this can go all the way down to 16 degrees. This is why you should inform yourself before beginning your trip about the current water temperatures and plan your diving gear accordingly.
The best sites for diving in the Aegean
The Aegean is a part of the Mediterranean Sea which is located between Greece and Turkey: There are three archipelagos here, namely the Cyclades, the Sporades and the Dodecanese Islands. The most famous islands in this part of the sea are probably Mykonos and Santorin, which both belong to the Cyclades.
Among others, these places are worth seeing:
- Peloponisos Wreck (Mykonos): The freighter, sunken in the 1930s, is broken into two parts and offers a new habitat for a myriad of marine creatures.
- Caves: Dragonisi Islands, “The Caves” near Santorini and “The Dome” off Naxos: At Dragonisi even seals can be observed in the cave formation and the “Dome” is captivating due to its unique cupola immersed in blue light. The “Caves” off Santorini offer fascinating swim throughs. In addition, a large number of small sea dwellers can be discovered in all the caves.
- Relics from the 2nd World War: Off Naxos there are various planes from World War II.
- Escarpment (Chios): A 30-metre deep escarpment, which is strewn with corals and small marine creatures. You don’t get to experience such a descent every day!
This is what you should have seen when diving in the Ionian Sea
The southern and western coasts of Greece border on the Ionian Sea. Especially the Peloponnese Peninsula as well as Attica and the Ionian Islands (Corfu among others) are worthy of mention for divers.
Among others, the following diving spots are worth seeing:
- The “Parking Lot” (southern point of Attica): An impressive diving site since a large number of sunken vehicles can be found here.
- Wrecks: The HMS Perseus off Kelafonia or the Kyra off Patroklos are suitable for beginners, and both artificial reefs offer habitat for many marine species. Technical divers will enjoy the Rosa Vlasi – a freighter sunken off Makronisos, which lies at a depth of about 51 metres.
- “Arch of the Temple”: A cave formation with the possibility to swim through and a lot of fish as well as other marine species.
The following awaits you when diving in Crete
Crete, the largest Greek island, is a highlight on its own: The largest fish are at home here, the visibility is particularly clear and, naturally, divers who love wrecks and archaeology also get their money’s worth.
Among others, the following diving sites are worth seeing in Crete:
- Relics from the 2nd World War: Off Crete you will find the almost intact wreck of a Messerschmitt plane, which offers protection to a lot of fish nowadays.
- El Greco cave: The 30-metre long cave is home to schools of fish and even offers an air chamber to resurface from time to time.
- Mononaftis: The giant reef is a meeting point for large and small fish. Even at night there is always something to see here!
Diving in Greece at a glance
- Peak tourist season: June to September
- Appropriate for: Weak current, therefore quite suitable for beginners and divers with little experience
- Water temperature: 16 to 23 degrees (if need be, use semi-dry suit or cooling insulation)
- Entry requirement: For Europeans, only the national ID card is required
- Particular diving experiences: Archaeology and wreck diving, cave diving
- Duration of trip: A few days up to 2 weeks, can readily be linked to a beach holiday
- Diving equipment: Can be rented on site in most cases, better to enquire beforehand
- Travelling: Plane, car, ship
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