Getting scuba-suited up, strapping on your canisters, and diving down to the briny deep is one of the most rewarding activities you can do while on holiday. It’s good exercise, it’s adventurous, and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful sights, from colorful corals to rare breeds of fish and other marine animals — even ruins and wrecks.
Greece is one of the best spots in Europe for deep-sea diving, so don the goggles and read on to discover the country’s best scuba hot-spots.
Located on Crete’s southern coast, the scarcely-visited Shinaria beach is one of the best diving spots in the country for spotting sea-life. Dozens of different species of fish, rays, and even octopus can be spotted here, and the water clarity is rated as one of the best in the Mediterranean, making visibility near-perfect. This tucked-away little beach is truly one of the ‘hidden gems’ of Greek diving, and is a must for all sea-life enthusiasts.
Located on the northwest coast of the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, Paleokastritsa is celebrated for its plethora of popular beaches, as the town is set on six enclosed bays with turquoise water of a very high standard of visibility. The rocks and reefs which form these fenced-in coves provide excellent underwater playgrounds for divers. The diving around the Kolovri beach is particularly beloved, with reefs up to 40m deep, sheer walls, and an underwater archway.
The wreck of the Britannic
If it’s ancient wrecks and sunken booty you’re after, then look no further; Greece boasts one of the most well-known wrecks in the world, in the form of the HMHS Britannic, the World War I hospital ship that was the sister-ship of the famous Titanic. The Britannic sank off the coast of Kea, an island near Athens, in 1916, and has been a hallowed ground for divers ever since. This is one for the true diving experts and veterans, as its depth and complexity make it a dive that beginners shouldn’t attempt. However, if you’re feeling brave enough, know this: the ship’s size and luxury were such that, during construction, it was originally going to be called the Gigantic. If that doesn’t whet your appetite for a shipwreck dive, I don’t know what will.
The island of Santorini, in particular, is celebrated around Greece and even the Mediterranean for its diving possibilities. The island’s waters are surrounded by coves, reefs, rocks and caves for exploring, and these features often harbour even more beautiful secrets below the surface than they do on land. The majority of diving centres and tour operators on the island can be found in Kamari, Santorini’s largest town.
Zante and the wreck of the Perseus
Zante (also known as Zakinthos) in the Ionian Sea attracts hundreds of divers for one very good reason: the wreck of the Perseus. The HMS Perseus was a British submarine built in 1929, which sank in December 1941 after having struck an Italian mine 7 miles north of Zante. The wreck, which lies some 52m below the surface, was discovered by a Greek dive team in the late 1990s, and has been a firm favourite with ambitious divers and history-lovers ever since.
Greece lays claim to one of the best scuba diving scenes in the whole of Europe, and if you’re up to the task, its crystal-clear waters and sunken treasures are ready to welcome divers of all experience levels.