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Diving in Spain

From incredible rock formations to ancient wrecks, Spain is a diver’s paradise. Head to offshore islands or to the excellent marine parks for some of the best diving in the region.

Diving in Spain

Quick facts

With the Atlantic to the north and the Mediterranean to the south, Spain boasts a broad array of dive options. From big blue sharks prowling the Bay of Biscay off the rugged northern coast to colorful gorgonians waving gently in the warm clear waters of the much milder Mediterranean, there is something here to tempt divers of all persuasions. Near the straits of Gibraltar, at the mouth of the Mediterranean, areas such as Granada, Málaga and Cádiz, offer diving nearly all year round. In this transition zone from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean, marine mammals are common and there are tremendous opportunities for whale watching. In the north, Cantabria, Galicia, Asturias and the Basque Country have colder waters, more significant tides and a bit less visibility, but they teem with marine life. Spain is renowned for its marine reserves. There are Cabo de Palos, Cabo de Gata and the Columbretes Islands in the Mediterranean and La Palma, La Restinga and Isla Graciosa on the Canary Islands in the open Atlantic. Each area has its own unique attraction and there’s enough here to keep divers fascinated for a lifetime.

Recommended training

Take the PADI Deep Diver and PADI Underwater Naturalist courses to get the most from the dramatic seascapes and interesting marine life. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course is always a good choice to record your adventures.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • The Balearic Islands

    The Balearic Islands conjures up images of the perfect island getaway with white sand beaches, culinary delights, great nightlife, and most importantly, dramatic seascapes and shipwrecks that make ...

  • 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.

  • Catalonia

    Sunny Catalonia in Spain is home to Costa Brava, Barcelona and Tarragona. All three destinations host a variety of dive sites for all levels, including caves, wrecks, corals and underwater mountains.

  • Costa Blanca (Valencia)

    Cradling Valencia in the crook of its curve, Costa Blanca is a popular place to head beneath the waves, enjoying the spectacular sights beneath the Mediterranean.

  • Costa Del Sol (Andalucia)

    Costa del Sol is a world renowned stretch of coastline found in the south of Spain. Dotted with several seaside towns and communities, the “Sun Coast” has long been a desirable locale.

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The Medes Islands – These small islands just off the coast of L’Estartit on the Costa Brava and are among the best Mediterranean dive sites. The islands are protected as a marine reserve and this, combined with the region’s popularity with divers, has made many of the fish relatively unafraid and approachable. The visibility is normally very good. The Balearic Islands – East of the Spanish mainland, these stunning islands benefit from a lush Mediterranean climate that is conducive to year round diving. From the four main islands there are more than 80 dramatic sites that invite divers into crystal clear waters that boast beautiful caves, caverns, great boulders and limestone cliffs. There are also wrecks, like the Don Pedro off Ibiza. At 142 metres/465 feet in length, it's the Mediterranean’s largest shipwreck. Diving in the Balearics comes with visibility that averages 30 metres/98 feet and water temperatures of up to 75°F/24°C in the summer. Baix Empordà of Catalonia - Just off Far de Sant Sebastià, Ullastres I, II and III are rock pinnacles reaching to within 7 metres/23 feet of the surface. They are draped in colorful gorgonians and are home to prolific sea bass, mackerel, wrasse and nudibranchs. There are also several wrecks that passed too close, struck the rocks, and sank. Furió Fitó - Located just off of the Cape of Begur is one of the Mediterranean coast’s most amazing underwater rock formations. This enormous submerged massif begins at 14 metres/45 feet before dropping down to 55 metres/180 feet. The north wall features gigantic gorgonians and incredibly colorful coral formations. This area also hosts octopus, snapper, grouper and rays. Murcia and Islas Hormigas Marine Park - This could arguably be the best place to dive in Spain for the sheer abundance and variety of marine life. The park is home to huge groupers, shoals of barracuda, octopus, moray eels and eagle rays as well as nudibranchs and the occasional sunfish. From August to October, huge bait balls attract pelagic fish, such as tuna, common dentex and jacks, resulting in spectacular feeding frenzies. You can also dive several world-class shipwrecks within the park. Canary Islands – Due to their location and climate, it is possible to dive year round off the seven Canary Islands. There are hundreds of unforgettable dive sites with abundant and colorful marine flora and fauna and dramatic underwater landscapes. Don’t miss the Museo Atlantico on Lanzarote, an underwater museum opened in March 2016. The Canary Islands are bathed by the Gulf Stream, which keeps the water temperature between 17-18°C/63-64°F in winter and around 23°C/73°F in summer. The water is exceptionally clear, making this a great spot for underwater photographers.

What to see

There is an incredible variety of marine life in Spain’s waters, from huge sea bass to tiny nudibranchs. Shimmering mackerel come in massive schools, bringing macro predators of all types. You can see whales, dolphins, and sometimes even sharks on your dives. Huge barracuda are common, especially around the many wrecks in these waters. Farther out, you can see tremendous grouper and tuna, a spellbinding sight.

Calendar

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Country

Historically and culturally rich, Spain is an old and well established country. People have lived on these lands for around 35,000 years, and relics of ancient times can be found all over the country. The Kingdom of Spain, as it is officially named, has been a country since 1479, though the current democracy dates only from 1978.

A colonial superpower, Spain has always been a hugely influential nation. Though Spain has a checkered past, especially during the middle ages, today the gorgeous scenery and incredible cities make Spain a wonderful place to visit and to live.

Other attractions

From bullfights in Madrid to tapas in Granada, Spain is a rich and ever-moving country. Don’t miss out on the fresh and delicious food, especially the seafood. Head to Barcelona to go on a tour of ancient cathedrals, or head to one of the excellent museums within the city limits. Wherever you go in Spain you will be greeted with beautiful scenery and a wealth of history.

Getting there

Flying in to Spain is easiest, if you are venturing in from afar, but you can also arrive by train or by sea. The metro systems in major cities are extensive and easy to follow, and you can take a taxi or rent a car to get out to more far flung locales.

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Currency

+34

Calling code

230 V

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MAD

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.