A country with over 16,000 kilometres (9,942 miles) of coastline, Greece has a lot to offer to scuba diving enthusiasts. While scuba diving was limited for a long time because of strict regulations, today, it has been enjoying a surge in popularity. Here are the best scuba diving spots you can find in Greece.
With a dramatic coastline, Crete is definitely a great location when it comes to scuba diving. And if you are fascinated with marine life, then head to Schinaria (or Skinaria), located south of Rethymno. Indeed, the seabed of this little beach hosts a variety of morays, blackfish, octopus and other marine species in abundance. With its impressive water clarity, Schinaria Beach is often a compulsory scuba diving destination when exploring the sea across the island.
Kea, wreck of the HMHS Britannic
If exploring sunken wrecks sounds fun, then you are in luck because Greece is home to one of the most famous wrecks in the world. The HMHS Britannic was a WWI hospital ship that sank off the coast of the little island of Kea, also called Tzia, in 1916. A word of caution is needed as the depth and complexity of the wreck makes it a difficult dive for beginners and should only be explored by advanced divers.
On the northwest coast of Corfu, Paleokastritsa is known for its beaches bordered by crystal-clear turquoise water. As such, the rocks and reefs of the coastline nearby provide ideal underwater playgrounds for diving enthusiasts. Kolovri Beach is a masterpiece, as it hosts reefs up to 40 meters (131 feet) in depth as well as an underwater archway.
Nea Kameni, Santorini
The volcanic island of Santorini provides marvelous opportunities for scuba diving enthusiasts. One of the best spots, known as Nea Kameni, is the site of a gigantic ancient volcanic eruption. There are plenty of things to explore in this area, including diverse and fascinating marine life, as well as underwater sea caves and a ship wreck which divers can explore. The wreck of the “Santa Maria,” a steel passenger ship measuring 34 meters (111 feet) long, lies southeast of the island in Taxiarachis Bay. The ship, which sank in 1975, lies at a depth of only 18 meters (59 feet), which makes it ideal for scuba divers of all experience levels. An ancient volcanic eruption not far off has created beautiful sea caves and underwater lava formations which are another treat for divers.
Mirmigi Reef, Lesvos
On the northwest side of Lesvos (Mytilini), near the village of Petra, the Mirmigi Reef is a popular dive site, blessed with abundant marine life and beautiful topography, including volcanic formations. Perfect for beginners thanks to excellent visibility and the absence of currents, the reef starts at roughly 5m (16ft) and progresses down to 36m (118ft) deep. Located off the northwest coast of Lesvos, Mirmigi Reef is a very well-known dive site for its underwater volcanic formations and its abundant marine life, as well as its interesting topography.
Cephalonia, wreck of the HMS Perseus
The Ionian island of Cephalonia is also an attractive destination thanks to its incredible coastline, spectacular beaches, and diverse nightlife. But for divers, it is the wreck of the HMS Perseus that does the trick. This British submarine built in 1929 sank during WWII in 1941, after striking an Italian mine, 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) off the coast. The wreck lies 52m (171ft) below the surface and is definitely a favourite with divers.
Elephant’s Cave, Crete
If you are visiting Crete and find yourself near Chania, make a point of exploring the Elephant’s Cave. This partially filled underwater cave lies in the Drepano area in Akrotiri. Home to an impressive series of red and white stalagmites and stalactites, it is a fascinating dive for experienced divers. The cave, shaped throughout several millennia, is home to a unique treasure: the fossilized remains of an extinct elephant, including vertebra, teeth, and a tusk. Remains of other animals are also visible.
Off the coast of Zakynthos, the uninhabited island of Marathonisi is one of the main nesting zones for the Caretta Caretta sea turtles. As such, diving in the area will allow you to spot loggerheads turtles swimming around, but you will also get a glimpse of local species, such as flying fish, octopi, eels, and parrotfish.
Lying in the Aegean Sea just 7km (4.3mi) from Turkey, Chios boasts a series of fascinating dive spots to discover. Home to breathtaking underwater caves, colorful reef formations, vibrant marine life, vertical walls, and glorious shipwrecks, Chios is a great diving destination for beginner and advanced divers alike.
Mykonos, Anna II wreck
Mykonos may be justifiably known as the “Greek party island,” but scuba divers can also enjoy an underwater party there as well! Lovers of wreck diving can really get their fix with this one. The Anna II, at 62 meters (203 feet) long, is a cargo ship which sunk to the southeast of Mykonos. It makes a fun and fascinating playground for wreck diving experts. The ship, which lies 25 meters (82 feet) deep, is completely accessible for exploration and is still in great condition. The nearby area is as equally as captivating as the ship wreck, with its mesmerizingly lovely reef and its colonies of sea sponges.
So how about enjoying a day under the crystal-clear azure seas with some loggerhead turtles?
Greece is not only a paradise above the surface of its waters. Its rich marine life and many fascinating wrecks offer unforgettable experiences to any scuba diver who explores the depths of its azure seas.