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Diving in Greece

Ancient yet modern, Greece is a country with deep roots. Dive the multitude of historic shipwrecks and check out the wonderful creatures that make their home in these blue waters.

Diving in Greece

Quick facts

The Greeks have long had an intimate relationship with the sea and it continues today. With more than 240 inhabited islands and a significant coastline, you’ll find a wide variety of diving that includes wall, wreck, cavern and reef. On just about any dive, there’s a chance you'll come across some artifacts. You get to observe (not touch) and must report your finds. There is absolutely no taking. It’s like an impromptu archeological adventure every time you slip into the water. And, like most of the countries with a lengthy seafaring history, wrecks tend to dominate the scene. There's also considerable life in the seas, particularly if you slow down and think small. The Aegean Sea has some of the most popular dives, especially around the islands of Naxos and Mykonos. The Peloponnese Wreck off Mykonos is one of the most iconic dives of the islands, so be sure to dive this 1930’s shipwreck. On Naxos, see the seaplane wreck, the Arado 196. The Ionian Sea is a particularly lovely area to visit, so be sure to do a couple dives here. The Koundouros Reef is teeming with marine life, and the visibility can be excellent. In addition, take some time to do a cave dive while on Crete. The El Greco Cave offers an expansive channel to swim through, as well as a contained air pocket where you can surface. On land, the blue roofs and whitewashed buildings that form the skyline of almost every seaside village make this part of the world unmistakably breathtaking. No matter where you go, you’ll leave with a much better understanding of local Greek mythology and the rich history that defines this unique corner of the world.

Recommended training

Take the PADI Wreck Diver course to truly appreciate the historical wrecks. The PADI Enriched Air Diver course is also a good choice to extend your bottom time at mid-range depths. To capture the images of artifacts, the PADI Digital Underwater Photography course is a natural choice.

When to go

The summer months are generally the best time to dive in Greece. In this Mediterranean climate, expect hot and dry summer weather from July to September, with average temperatures of 27°C/80°F. Winter temperatures drop to an average of 6°C/43°F. Water temperatures range from 16-23°C/60-74°F, depending upon the site, sea and island. You'll want to research your particular destination, so you come prepared with the proper thermal gear. In terms of visibility, you'll be able to see from 6 metres/20 feet to more than 50 metres/165 feet, depending on the area and time of year.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • Crete

    Relax on the sunny shores of Crete, where you are surrounded by scuba diving destinations. Spend the day exploring ancient relics, then head into the cool, clear deep.

  • The Cyclades

    Draped in mythology and deep cultural significance, the impressive islands of the Cyclades offer dive sites that are quite unlike any others on the globe.

  • The Dodecanese Islands

    Thrust out from Greece into the Aegean Sea, the twelve Dodecanese Islands are a must see for scuba divers, where clear water and prevalent marine life are the norm.

  • The Ionian Islands

    The seven Ionian Islands each offer their own wealth of antique cities with stunning architecture, relaxing landscapes, and scuba dives to accomplish.

  • The North Aegean

    Dispersed through the Aegean Sea, the islands that make up the North Aegean region of Greece are as lovely as they are ancient. Scuba dive in the clear water or hike the comfortable hillsides.

  • Peloponnese

    Steeped in antiquity, the Peloponnese Peninsula showcases some of the most memorable Mediterranean dives, with unforgettable shipwrecks and copious marine life.

* Prasonisia, Mykonos – This dive site has the best of both worlds. You can immerse yourself in a whirlwind of wrasse and other fish or connect the dots with a hoard of antiquities pointed out by your guide. * Dragonisi Island Caverns, Mykonos – With stunning rock formations and caverns that glitter with glassfish, this dive packs a punch for underwater photographers. The biggest surprise of all is the chance of encountering a rare monk seal that hangs out in the area. * Arado 196 German Seaplane, Naxos – This is a beautiful, dramatic wreck in 20 metres/66 feet of water. You’ll find the fuselage and wings mostly intact, although the plane sits upside down. * The Dome, Naxos – This large cavern dive sports a good variety of marine life, but the marquee experience is an air-filled dome that seems to be lit with an ethereal blue light. * Nea Kameni, Santorini – Roughly translated to mean New Volcano, this site has a small wreck that adds drama to the volcanic substrate. * The Caves, Santorini – This pathway of canyons, swim-throughs and caverns make this site a unique experience for your logbook. * Kelifos Island, Ionian Sea – Off the Kassandra Peninsula in the Thessaloniki region is a combination of three sites that are rich with marine life, including seahorses, octopus, conger eels, small cuttlefish, some large groupers and large shoals of fish. * HMS Perseus, Ionian Sea – The top dive off Kefalonia Island, this intact and upright submarine hit a mine and sank in 1941. Now, the artificial reef hosts a number of jacks, wrasse, sea bass and groupers. The conning tower is a great photo opportunity. * Messerschmitt Wreck, Crete – Step into history with a unique dive on a German fighter plane from World War II. It’s upside down, but the cockpit, fuselage and wings are intact. You can see the machine guns and the wreck is frequented by groupers and eels. * Daedalos, Crete – This is a great spot for new divers and is loaded with crabs, octopus, cuttlefish, show-stopping trevally, fat groupers and toothy morays.

What to see

The Aegean and Ionian Seas have a wonderful collection of nudibranchs, invertebrates, crabs, shrimp, eels, seahorses and other easily overlooked critters. If you're bent on seeing the big stuff, there's a good chance you can get your fix off Galaxidi on the deep Gulf of Corinth where dolphin and sea turtles are seen. Plus, reef sharks come here to breed and give birth, so keep an eye out for pregnant mothers. Night diving is particularly interesting because that's when cuttlefish, conger eels and octopus venture out of their daytime lairs.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

People have lived on Grecian soil for hundreds of thousands of years, as far back as 270,000 BC. Eons of progress led to epic structures like the Parthenon and heroic figures like Alexander the Great. Literary and scientific achievements came in leaps and bounds during the medieval period, and the beautiful Hagia Sophia was built. Remaining, quite often, in a time of great prosperity, Greece had its ups and downs, but one thing was certain: they were a super powerful nation with significant authority. Today, although Greece is experiencing a financial crisis, the population is hopeful for new beginnings. Despite the hardships, Greek scientists and writers continue to astound the world, coming up with new and beneficial ideas for society.

Other attractions

With so much history and culture, you’d be crazy not to spend time touring the ancient architecture and world renowned museums. Advanced civilization, democracy, the Olympic Games, western philosophy and literature and some impressive myths originated in Greece, and there are many places where you can immerse yourself in related attractions. Don’t skip out on Athens – it’s worth seeing the Parthenon and other Greek icons. Indulge in some fresh food, and do some sightseeing. This ancient country awaits you!

Getting there

Greece is accessible by land, sea, or air. Athens International Airport is the main international air hub. Alternatively, take the train for a memorable ride, or arrive via ship. Getting around Greece is just as simple. Taxis and public transportation can take you wherever you need to go.

UTC+02:00

Time zone

EUR

Currency

+30

Calling code

230 V

Electric volt

C, 

F

Plug type

ATH

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.