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Scuba Diving Europe

europeScuba Diving in Europe

Although diving in Europe has some exciting and fascinating dives you’re going to need some sort of protection; a wet suit of some description will be essential and preferential to rubbing lard all over your body. The air temperature is warm in some places {not in the UK or Scandinavia obviously} but your very likely going to get Goosebumps when you first immerse yourself into that chilly European water.

 

Right lets gets started! Anybody have any suggestions as where to go first…let’s try Blighty!

 

The UK has more wrecks per mile than anywhere in the world it’s certainly not the Caribbean but there is excitement to be found – ‘Scapa Flow’ in the Orkney isles {top of Scotland} is home to a complete German fleet of one hundred and twenty ships which are scattered across the sea bed; it’s an all year round dive but the hot toddy’s will be a must when you get out of the water – not heard of a hot toddy – lemonade a drop of honey and a touch of whiskey all warmed up together and then sipped to warm the cockles of your heart and for the return of normal blood flow blood in your veins; visibility Is best between December and March. Sometimes the water temp can reach 18* and although quite a few ships have been salvaged there are seven large warships and four Destroyers still waiting for you to inspect.

Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel holds strong currents and a limited season from April until September but because of the Gulf Stream flowing through basking sharks, red band fish and other marine life can be seen amongst the one hundred and thirty seven ship wrecks.

Skomer island is a protected wildlife reserve above and below the H20 Skomer can be found in Pembrokeshire {Wales}. A 52 metre long, four hundred and fifty tonne wreck named Lucy can be found at 40 metres and if you’re lucky you might catch some dolphins and grey seals swimming by

Now the Isle of Man offers some exceptional underwater landscapes and on the southwest area of the island, the ‘Calf of Man’ is well known to divers and to the south is a dive site named ‘Burroo’ is not to be missed because of the assortment of aquatic life.

Staying close to blighty – ‘Kilkee’ in Ireland is a well-known dive location found in a coastal town of County Clare and offers some incredible flora and fauna plus some wrecks to explore.

Let’s skip across the English Channel to Normandy where D-Day happened {anybody who does not know about D-Day ,Tut Tut – you need to Google it} Here on the sea bed are reminders of WW2 including destroyers, tanks, troop ships, a Norwegian naval destroyer named the HMNS Svenner and several other causalities of war which are waiting to be explored.

Killer whales can be seen in the Lofoten islands in Norway during October and January the fresh H20 contains rich plant life due to the warm waters flowing in from the Atlantic which can make sea waters reach 15* and boasts visibility of around 20 meters.

France offers some varied dives cave – wreck dives Nice, Antibes, Saint Raphael, La Londe are the best diving destinations in the South of France. These destinations stand out for good visibility and warm weather.

 

grouper

It might be time to get the sun tan cream to the ready just in case; I’m sure you don’t want that ‘mask look’ on your face all the time …. Surrounding by the Atlantic Ocean, Cantabrian sea and the Mediterranean, Spain allows you to dive in a mix of cold and warm water which in turn attracts a varied marine life the protected areas such as ‘Islas Medas’ where you can embrace your self in a fun and relaxing diving experience. Here there is an untouched and diverse aquatic life; booking in advance is sometimes advisable as the tourists can some times take over. ‘Cabo de Gato’ and ‘Cabo de Palos’ are in areas that are going to see increased protection orders in place.

‘Gibraltar’ – the mini England that the Spanish keep on trying to get back which amazes a lot of people, as the folks over the border still insist on wearing shell suits belonging in the eighties…. No further comment required! The Straits of Gibraltar offer strong currents and numerous wrecks to explore and the only shell suit you will see there is on the sea bed where it should stay !

Whales are also in the area….

 

Striking colours of an eel

“Benvenuti in Italia!” ‘Tortuga’ holds some of the most exquisite archaeological dive sites and assorted marine life can be found in the sea of Tortuga – ‘Ustica – Secca Della Colombara’ is a must – it features underwater rock formations. Usually wrecks dive means “old “but a recently casualty of the seas is a 74 metre ship that sank in 2005. There are also some “old” wrecks to see where you will see Amberjacks, Barracuda and Groupers skimming past. Visibility is clear and the currents are moderate.

As with all diving in the Mediterranean, Malta has only two seasons a hot dry summer and a short cool winter summer season from April to October with an average of 21 * and drops to 9* Jan and Feb Malta is known as one of the best known diving spots in Europe. ‘Anchor Bay’ is home to magnificent underwater caves and abundant marine life.The name comes from a huge anchor with large chains on the sea bed and the local folk named their little side of the Med ‘Anchor Bay’

‘Blue Lagoon’ or ‘Crystal Lagoon’ – both the same just different names – has a privileged geography which gives you a good variety of aquatic life; all you budding photographers – cameras to the ready – practice time is here so make sure you have the right setting and get snapping !! So from tunnels, caves, wrecks, reefs, boat dives, shore dives and the warmer waters and good visibility it’s time to get your suits ready and get planning

The Adriatic beckon’s for the warm-blooded divers out there. Croatia is well-preserved and remains relatively tourist free. ‘Korcula’ keeps safe a two thousand year old merchant shipwreck with corals both hard and soft and lots of fish to look at.

Stories of ancients gods and myths. Where did the Olympic games originate from?…Yes Greece ………until 2006 secrets of the seas were considerably regulated however this has since been relaxed and now lots of dive sites are available to explore – because everything has been under wraps on most dives you will no doubt find undiscovered artefacts but strict rules apply. You are allowed to observe – not touch and then report your finds, but under no circumstances is anything to be removed from the sea bed.

Diving is suitable for novices all the way through to technical divers who can experience the deeper dives; also not to be missed are some great night dives. Here in Greece with its 244 inhabited islands, its white washed walls and blue roofs you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. Visibility is between 6metres and 50 metres with water temps starting from 16*. Diving is an all year round experience. July to September are the hottest time of the year cooling right down in the winter months

‘Chinos Island’ holds large reefs caves, rock formations, shipwrecks and vertical walls. This dive site is good for beginners especially as the waters are crystal blue which enhances the vibrant colours of the fish.

colourful yellow swaying plant

The Ionian Sea has more coastlines to explore than quite a lot of countries worldwide. Crete has exceptional water clarity which makes this a whole new ball game for seeing things in true beauty and getting the camera out is a must.

If you are traveling to Cyprus, a ferry the ‘MS Zenobla’ lies on her portside at 42 metres; its cargo included trucks and other things beginners and advanced alike will enjoy this dive. The waters are clear and temp reaches 28*.

Coral, Grouper and sting rays can be found in ‘Kyrenia’ there is still the Turkish Cypriot divide but the calm waters and the world’s oldest trading vessel which nestled on the sea bed is worth the effect of crossing the border

white in colour anemone

We are going to finish off with the Balearics – Menorca,      Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera with its pristine white beaches, blue azure waters and warm temps are ideal for diving and chilling although the islands are renowned for clubbing; but in doing a bit of research before setting off you can be rewarded in finding peaceful spots. Wrecks, caverns, barracuda, grouper and the possibility of seeing dolphins – the ‘Cala d’hort’ marine reserve. Ibiza has deep-sea kelp forests and gorgonian gardens. An underwater pinnacle and as you can imagine these attract varied amounts of fish. Another marine reserve is on the western tip of Majorca is called ‘Sa Dragonera’.

 

Now we haven’t listed all the different European dive sites this was just a little taste of what’s on offer and there is a lot!!!

 

We hope you find what you’re looking for and find treasures beyond your belief and don’t forget to log them in your dive book, so in a few years’ time memories will coming flooding back and hopefully when you flick through the camera shots they won’t be too blurry.