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Diving in The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands has year-round sun, warm, clear water, dramatic underwater volcanic seascapes and a unique biodiversity which draws divers from all over.

Diving in The Canary Islands

Quick facts

The Fortunate (for Divers) Islands Year-round sun, warm, clear water and dramatic underwater volcanic seascapes draw divers to the Canary Islands. Sometimes called “The Fortunate Islands” due to the subtropical climate and sandy beaches, the islands of this Spanish archipelago lie at the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa. The Canaries, as they’re also known, were an important port-of-call for Spanish galleons taking advantage of the trade winds on their way to the Americas. The seven largest islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro – are premier European tourist destinations and attract more than 12 million visitors a year. Those who come can pick their spot and choose from bustling cities with great nightlife or sleepy little villages where stress just rolls away. And that’s before you even get to the diving. Visibility of more than 30 metres/100 feet is normal, and water temperatures never drop much below 17-18° C/63-64° F, making it easy to enjoy the unique biodiversity. Divers will encounter both Atlantic and Mediterranean species, and some endemic to the islands themselves.

Recommended training

Take the PADI Deep Diver and PADI Wreck Diver courses for diving on the deeper wrecks. The AWARE – Fish Identification specialty course is also a good choice to help you identify the many unique species.

When to go

Mainly mild winters and warm summers. Year-round warm, sunny weather with average temperatures varying from 17°C in the winter to 24°C in the summer. The Canary Islands are bathed by the Gulf Stream, which regulates the water temperature, keeping it between 17-18° C/63-64° F in winter and around 23°C/73°F in summer. Typically, 5mm wet suits in summer and 7mm suits in winter keep divers comfortable. Excellent visibility, often exceeds 30 metres/100 feet, depending on local conditions.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Pricing on request
La Catedral – This site in Gran Canaria is considered one of the top dives in the region due to the unusual and impressive volcanic formations. Off the coast of La Isleta, just north of Las Palmas, is a morass of lava tubes, caves, arches and crevices. You’ll need a boat and local knowledge to enjoy the best dive on this site. The Arona - For shipwreck lovers, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria has a variety of wrecks; some say these are among the best in the world. The Arona is basically in one piece, lying on its side in 40 metres/130 feet of water. It’s well known for the schools of barracuda and other pelagics that patrol her hulk. La Restinga - There is a marine reserve on El Hierro where turtles, tuna and dolphins abound; even whale sharks put in an occasional appearance. As recently as 2011, an underwater volcano erupted here, and already marine life is moving back in. El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands and is a bit remote – you have to fly to Tenerife and get a ferry – but the diving makes up for the effort. La Burrera - Just off the small island of La Graciosa to the north of Lanzarote lies this site highlighted by a dramatic underwater seascape including pinnacles, columns and large rocky ledges. Marine life is protected here and thrives. Cuevo Del Palm Mar – Located ten minutes from Los Cristianos and Las Galletas in Tenerife, is a thrill for advanced and deep divers. Crystal clear water gives incredible visibility to view large rocks, a cave, lobsters, Atlantic barracudas and several species of moray eels. Though gentle and inquisitive, some of these toothy eels are quite ferocious looking.

What to see

From octopi to timid rays, you will see an exceptional amount of marine life during your vacation on the Canary Islands. Some of the eels here are out of this world, boasting vibrant colors and patterns. Some of the most impressive marine life, however, is the best camouflaged, look closely at the rocks and reefs to spot some pretty spectacular creatures.

Sea turtles are also popular, here, so come to check them out as they feed on grasses or rest in the shallows.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

Though the Canary Islands are officially a part of Spain, they are actually closer to Africa than they are to Europe. About 62 miles (99 kilometers) from the southern coast of Morocco, the islands are volcanic, and are quite active.

Subtropical and arid, the majority of the Canary Islands have a desert climate. The trade winds blowing in from the ocean greatly influence the terrain, which is rich and forested in some regions, and sparse and barren in others.

Colonial cities dot the landscape, surrounded by an endless expanse of blue. Offshore are incredible volcanic rock formations, making the vistas that much more spectacular.

Other attractions

If you don’t go to Mount Teide, the third tallest volcano in the world, you are most certainly missing out. The Teide National Park is one of the most highly visited National Parks in the entire world, boasting a staggering 12 million visitors per year. There are three other National Parks to explore on the island, as well.

Getting there

Flying into the islands is the most direct, and admittedly the simplest way to get to paradise. The three islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Lanzarote have airports.

UTC Z

Time zone

EUR

Currency

+34

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

C, 

E, 

F

Plug type

TFS

Main airport
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