Norway, the land of the Vikings and a country of incredible beauty, culture and most importantly, top dive sites. If you haven’t already been to Norway, this is a place not to be missed off your bucket list. Home to stunningly beautiful fjords and glacial valleys, Norway is just waiting to be explored.
Norway diving offers a wide variety of opportunities for all levels of diver out there. From adventurous kelp forests to historic World War II wrecks, diving in Norway is well worth layering up for. The water temperature tends to vary between 15°C in the summer months, to below freezing throughout the winter months. If you are planning to dive in Norway, a dry suit is certainly recommended.
When choosing a dive site in Norway, the diving doesn’t get much better or more varied than in Møre. The warmish waters of the Gulf Stream bring a rich biodiversity to the area. Dive sites include stunning underwater topography, canyons, drop offs, wall diving, drift diving and diving with Killer Whales and Seals.
The Lofoten Islands form an archipelago and are known for their distinctive scenery, dramatic mountains, open sea, beaches, untouched lands and sheltered bays. Home to some of the most beautiful sights both on land and in the water, diving the Lofoten Islands is an experience like non-other. The crystal clear waters surrounding the Islands are inhabited with abundant marine life and incredible wrecks. If you decide to visit these islands, make sure to travel to this location during the months of January and February as this is the time when the largest gathering of Killer Whales takes place, due to the vast numbers of Herring in the waters.
If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie and are looking for adventure and excitement, why not try drift diving in the world’s strongest currents in Saltstraumen?
If you’re searching for world-renowned wreck diving, then get yourself to Narvik or Sørlandet, which provide ample opportunities to dive some of the most interesting wrecks from the Second World War, including German, English, Polish and Norwegian ships and even a German fighter plane.
Top 6 Dive Sites in the Norway
Salstraumen is a top dive site for divers looking for an adrenaline rush. Home to the world’s strongest current, this is certainly not a dive site for the faint hearted. The currents are so strong that they can reach up to 26 knots. It has been calculated that approximately every 6 hours, over 375 million cubic litres of water passes through the narrow and shallow straight of Saltstraumen. Due to the fast currents, the water at this location is nutrient-rich, which feeds the uniquely rich fauna and marine life.
If you get a chance to take part in this dive, you will have the chance to see huge schools of Cod and Coalfish that swim above you, sheltering you from the natural light from the surface. This dive site also provides a chance to get up close and personal with the incredible Wolf Fish and numerous beautifully coloured Nudibranchs as well as anemones within a large kelp forest. This is by far one of the most exhilarating dive sites you will ever experience.
DS Frankenwald, Gulen
This German steamship ran aground in 1940. Some believe it was down to a simple navigational error, however even though its location is a little off the beaten track, this wreck is definitely one to go out of your way for. This steamship is almost totally intact and is sheltered by a narrow fjord, meaning that it can be dived in almost all conditions.
The visibility in this area is usually excellent, however, don’t forget to take your torch as the depth and its location means that it can get quite dark. Situated in almost 40m of cold water, this dive should be attempted over several dives and only by experienced divers.
MV Seattle, Kristiansand
The MV Seattle is a German cargo ship, which was sunk in 1945. This is Norway’s most famous wreck dive. The vessel stretches for over 140m and is in relatively good nick. However, there is some controversy associated with this dive site as in 2010, two Danish divers unfortunately died, penetrating this wreck. It was assumed that some of the wrecks superstructures caved in on them. The wreck is still open for penetration, however; it is advised that only qualified and experienced wreck divers penetrate this wreck.
Narvik is one of the most popular places for wreck diving in the north of Norway. The town with its small population of 15,000, gained notoriety during World War II as a strategic position for Hitler and Churchill as it was home to an ice-free harbour that was used for the transport of Iron from Sweden. Now, it is the final resting place for many WWII freighters, warships and even a seaplane.
The Dornier is a German seaplane that’s located 36m below the surface on the muddy seafloor. The plane sank in 1945, even though it’s nose and right wing is still in good condition, the rest of the plane looks like a murky skeleton lying on the seabed. The cockpit is still home to all of the controls and instruments, which makes this dive all the more interesting. There are strong winds at this location as well as currents. Due to its depth and quick changing conditions, new or inexperienced divers should not attempt this dive site.
If you’re a naturist, then Hottane dive site in Møre, is perfect for you. It combines kelp forests with sandy bottoms and rocky shores, providing diversity on many levels. You will find vertical drop offs, staged drop offs to a depth of around 30m.
Skarberget Wall, Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten Islands provides many amazing wall dives, however, Skarberget is one of the best. This is an extremely steep wall with overhangs and crevices that make this wall feel more like a mountain than a reef. This is a great spot to see Sea Urchins, Crustaceans as well as Starfish. Keep an eye out at the surface for the colourful Atlantic Puffin that has made these islands their homes . If you get the opportunity, you should definitely take part in a night dive at this location, as the whole wall comes alive in the spotlight of your torch.
There are so many amazing dive sites in Norway. If you know of one that hasn’t been mentioned in our list, let us know about it in the comments below.