The Best Scuba Diving in Turkey: Where Should I Go?

The Best Scuba Diving in Turkey: Where Should I Go?

The country of Turkey is one of the most popular tourism spots. Nestled between Europe and Asia, it’s the perfect location for a cheeky Scuba Diving holiday. If you’re travelling long term, you can also stop here as part of your trip through to Asia.

Turkey is known as the gateway between the East and West, due to the mixture of cultures here. And, it’s a fantastic place to experience Scuba Diving, fantastic food and a true mix of Eastern & Western culture. 

Turkey has some of the best scuba diving in Europe/West Asia. There are a ton of reasons why this is true. The ancient civilisations that used to inhabit Turkey have all left their mark here. You can see evidence of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, The Byzantine Empire and the Ottomans. You can even see the evidence underwater. Ancient artifacts and ruins will be found by the adventurous diver. 

Scuba Diving Locations in Turkey

Turkey fits snugly between 4 different seas. How good is that! One diving holiday and you can dive in 4 different sea’s. Sign me up! 

The Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean sea is located on the southern border. There are a huge number of potential dive sites here. Kas is very popular with divers and has a large number of dive sites, we are going to cover Kas further down in the post. The Mediterranean side of Turkey is one of the most popular tourist areas in the country. You will not be short of things to do here, both in and out of the water.

Diving in Turkey means you can dive in four different seas.

The Aegean Sea

Next up we have the Aegean Sea. Sounds mysterious and old right? The Aegean sea is located to the West of Turkey. Bodrum is located here and it’s a huge tourism region with regular flights.

The Aegean Sea (West Turkey) is known for its excellent visibility under the water and as a result, some excellent scuba diving. Since the 1970s, scientists have been looking around The Aegean sea for the lost city of Atlantis. Some scientists think it could be the Island Of Thera in Greece. I’d love to keep talking about this, but as this article is about Turkey, I’m going to bring it back to the Turkish side of the region. Having said this, if you are diving and happen upon one of the greatest archaeological studies ever, give STW a shoutout for the inspiration!

The Sea of Marmara

The next sea is the Sea of Marmara, located within Turkey. This sea connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. If you fly into Istanbul, (Turkey’s largest city), you can start scuba diving straight away. The diving in this area isn’t as popular as other regions of the country. Mainly due to the visibility being much less than the Aegean and due to high levels of pollution in some areas. Having said this, there is some wreck diving you can do.

The Black Sea

The last sea, on the Northern coast, is the Black Sea. The Black Sea is often forgotten when choosing a Scuba Diving holiday in Turkey. Most opt for the better visibility of the Aegean and Mediterranean, but there are diving locations to be found. Some wrecks can be accessed but the season is shorter due to the reduced temperatures of the reason. 

Here are just some of the areas which are renowned for the best scuba diving in Turkey. If you think we’ve missed out your favourite place. Send us a message at the bottom and we will add it. 

Kas

Kas is thought by many to be the best area for scuba diving in the whole of Turkey. The visibility can be up to 40 meters. Which sets it above a lot of European Regions. There are some excellent underwater areas to explore with wreck, reef and some sunken ruins to be explored. There are around 30 dive sites within a half-hour boat trip from the port. So you can easily spend two weeks here diving. 

Kas is located between Bodrum and Antalya, two of the most popular areas for tourism in Turkey. Antalya attracts 30% of Turkeys tourists alone. This makes for excellent tourist facilities, everything from hostels to 5* luxury. 

Try to plan your dive trip to between April to October, as this offers better conditions. However, the peak season is between June and September. This time offers the perfect mix between visibility and water temperature. The water temperature is around 28c/82F here with the air temperature similar. This is pretty toasty and is above some other regions further west in Europe. 

If you’re already in the area and looking for inspiration for a dive site. Why not head to ‘The Big Cave’. There are no points for guessing what sort of dive this is… The Big Cave is for more experienced divers and extends down 40m. However, newer divers can still hang out at the top of the cave to see various shrimp species and some coral species. 

Bodrum

The region of Bodrum is located on the Aegean side of Turkey, on the South West coast. Bodrum is a massively popular tourist region, with flights from Europe daily. Check out Skyscanner for the latest deals! 

The region has some spectacular beaches and small towns. With the main area of Bodrum attracting a huge number of tourists each year.

If history is your thing, there are also a large number of historical sites nearby too. 

In terms of diving, there are around 25 sites to choose from. Diving has been regulated since the 1980s due to the prevalence of the underwater archaeological sites here. No one wants to accidentally kick a 2000-year-old statue!

There is a range of dive sites for all levels here. With some shallower dives where you can see grouper and stingray. Up to advanced dive sites such as a 37-meter long Turkish water tanker called PINAR 1, located at a depth of 36 metres. This site can be accessed, you will find octopus and squid inside the wreck. 

If you are a newer diver, or just want a nice relaxed dive there are a few other sites you can check out. Head to a site called Lighthouse bay to dive a shallow sandy-bottomed site where you could find ancient artifacts and smaller fish species.

Wreck diving in Turkey
There are many different wrecks to choose from

Antalya

Antalya is located on the Mediterranean side of Turkey. There are a number of diving sites here. The area is also a popular region for snorkelling due to the excellent visibility and good water quality. 

There are a large number of larger hotels here so you can get inclusive packages if you shop around. Antalya possess a lot of tourism development so its very popular with holidaymakers looking to relax at the beach

If you are staying within the city, there are a number of dive centres within the town, who can offer boat trips to the surrounding sites. Antalya is a good area to begin diving as there are many bays in the area. These bays are shallow and there is little to no current. This makes it perfect for beginners who are still a little nervous about diving. 

Whilst diving here is perfect for beginners. We feel this spot will not satisfy more advanced divers or divers looking for adventure. The diving here is better for someone who wants to get a taste for diving before committing to a course. 

Marmaris

Marmaris is a popular coastal city on the Mediterranean side of the country. This seaside resort town has a long promenade and vibrant nightlife. If you’re looking to party after your dives this is the place to come. 

The underwater visibility is excellent here and the area processes quite a few diving locations. Many of the dive sites are located in very calm bays, so it’s perfect for the beginner. 

You can also explore the caves around this area. Many are filled with amphorae (a type of ancient Greek/Roman Vase). Obviously, no touching is allowed but it’s still really cool to check out! 

There are around 50 dive sites you can choose from here, offering many different degrees of difficulty. 

One of the most famous sites is called Baca/Chimney Cave. It is possible to dive up to a depth of 50 meters here. Although most don’t go this far down!  If you are into photography, the cave here is a must-visit site. There are lots of smaller species here, such as smaller invertebrates and fish.

Goat Island is also worth a look. The island overlooks Marmaris and as it is further out to sea, there is a chance to see larger fish species. The depth runs from 8-38m, so all levels will be able to dive here. The dive sites are located near to the lighthouse on the island. 

Wreck Diving in Canakkale
Diving the wrecks in Gallipoli

Canakkale

The city of canakkale makes for a good trip if you want to dive, and check out some Ancient history whilst you are in the area. 

The city of Canakkale is located on the bank of the Dardanelles Strait. This strait joins the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. As a result, the city is a busy port town and offers some excellent diving due to the mixing of the two Seas.

If you want to do something above the water. Head to the Ancient city of Troy. This is located a few hours by bus outside of the city. There are a number of tour agencies in the city that can arrange this for you. You can also find the wooden horse that was used in the film Troy located within the city centre. 

You can also find the Gallipoli War Museum in the town dedicated to honouring the Gallipoli campaign of WW1. 

Scuba Diving in Gallipoli

For diving, the Gallipoli peninsula is a fantastic diving location. You can dive a large number of wrecks, left from the numerous Allied ships lost here during WW1. 216 wrecks have been identified here and the entire area is a wreck divers dream. 

You can dive a number of British ships here, with most located a short boat trip form the harbour. 

Try diving the HMS Majestic, near Morto Cove. The British warship is located on an average depth of 18m but goes down to 29m at its deepest. This site is surrounded by lots of marine life, with many fish species within the interior of the wreck. HMS Majestic is a very photogenic wreck and very popular within the area. Check out the crow’s nest when you are down there! 

The diving in the Peninsula is really starting to open up now and if history and wreck diving is your idea of a good time, this area will not disappoint! 

Not set on Turkey? Find other locations in our article!

Did we miss out your favorite diving site? Let us know and we will include it! 

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