Many individuals travel far and wide to find the perfect dive site, however the underwater world of Europe also has a lot to offer. Diving in Europe offers cave dives, wreck dives, reefs and a vast array of marine wildlife which certainly will not disappoint, even for the most experienced of divers.
Here are the Top 10 Dive Sites in Europe
- Orkney Islands, Scotland
Home to Scapa Flow, a world renowned scuba diving site which is known for its deep dives, famous wrecks as well as its reefs and wonderful selection of marine life. The waters are a little on the cold side, however contain a huge amount of nutrients, meaning that it is the perfect place to see Seals, Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. As well as the amazing underwater life, the most incredible thing about the Orkney islands are the fleet of German ships which line the sea bed, known as Scapa Flow.
- Isle of Man, UK
When divers think of the UK, they think of cold and murky waters, however the UK is one of the best diving spots in the world. The Isle of Man is one of the top diving destinations, known for its Porpoises, Dolphins, Risso Dolphins and even migrating basking Sharks. If you are looking for large marine animals, then this is the place to visit, with Orcas and whales frequently passing through these wreck ridden waters.
- Lofoten Islands, Norway
Norway is most certainly a cold spot, however the Lofoten Islands are known for its huge kelp forests as well as its large amount of perfectly preserved shipwrecks. This very popular diving destination can be reached by the shore as well as by boat. On land, there are a number of places to stay whilst planning your time in the water. This remarkable spot is also perfect for on-surface experiences such as fishing, trekking as well as meeting some amazing, like-minded individuals. Make sure that when you are planning on diving in Europe, that you seriously consider Norway.
Sitting just south of Turkey, the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Cyprus offers warmer waters to those looking to dive. The coast is quite rocky, providing the perfect nutrient rich environment for the beautiful local marine life. You will vast array of fish in these Cypriot waters including; Groupers, Moray Eels, Octopus and occasionally Loggerhead Turtles. This is the perfect spot for new scuba divers looking to build up their diving portfolio. A great location for the experienced scuba divers out there is Zenobia, a world famous wreck dive that sits 42m below the surface. A great dive for technical divers.
- Lundy Island, Bristol Channel, UK
Lundy Island is surrounded by warmer waters which provide the perfect habitat for colorful sponges, sea fans and a large amount of other beautiful corals. Unique scenery give this dive site a unique appeal to its divers. The local grey seals and basking sharks also provide some amazing photo opportunities for all you budding underwater photographers out there. The diving overall, as well as the current can be a little challenging so be aware of this and always go out with an instructor.
- Canary Islands
Explored by many marine biologists, the waters of the Canary Islands offers beautiful turquoise waters filled with rays, nudibranchs, beautiful bouquets of coral, cuttlefish, grouper and a number of species of sharks. The Canary Islands are surrounded by volcanic activity which means that sightings can include large game fish as well as reef fish. Choosing the right spot is essential for any diver, so completing some research is a good idea.
- Kilkee, Ireland
With beautiful walls and different rock formations, caverns and caves, this dive site off the coast of Ireland has a lot to offer. The exquisite shores of Kilkee, undergo a barrage of intense weather conditions, and the same can be said for below the water line. Walls that extend 30m deep, this dive site has been named one of the best in the world. Small pathways and holes in the walls offer an adrenaline rush for most divers. If however you are not feeling too adventurous, then the local reefs and marine life offer a slightly more relaxed dive. For the more advanced divers out there, Kilkee offers small caverns that extend into caves, providing the perfect hiding places for other marine life.
The warm waters of Croatia offer crystal clear waters bordering the Adriatic Sea. Full of sea fans, fish, octopus, eels and beautiful reefs, this location is definitely one to keep in mind when visiting Europe. With many different dive sites to visit for all levels of scuba diver, this incredible area has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a more advanced dive, then take a look at the majestic reefs. If you are looking for a more advanced dive, then check out the numerous caverns, wrecks, caves and coves that this location has to offer.
- Normandy, France
Normandy really is known for its underwater museum of war-caused wrecks. You can find U-boats, Sherman tanks, secret Schnellboots, this really is an incredible place for wreck diving in historical grounds. These wrecks sit on average between 20 to 30m below the surface and are considers amazing for advanced divers only. Most of the wrecks are penetrable, with swim-throughs which are beaming with marine life. These wrecks are however considered as ‘war graves’ so no treasure hunting is allowed.
- Maltese Islands
Located in the Mediterranean, the Maltese Islands have 3 different dive locations which all offer very different things for divers. If you are looking for ‘easy access’ diving, warmer waters, clear waters and calm conditions, then this is the location for you. If you are completing your open water or just looking for a relaxing dive, then this location is perfect. However, if you are a more advanced diver, these waters also have a variety of caves and wrecks available to you.
Are these the Top 10 Diving Sites In Europe? Do you have ones you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.