The Ultimate Guide to the Best European Summer Scuba Diving Spots

The Ultimate Guide to the Best European Summer Scuba Diving Spots

Do you want to know where to Scuba Dive in Europe in Summer? We have created this post to let you know. 

Maybe you are on Summer holidays or on extended travels. Whatever the reason, this post will help you to decide where to Scuba dive in Europe, during the summer. 

Europe has some incredible summer scuba dive locations, but it is often overlooked by divers. Most go to the warmer waters of SouthEast Asia or South America. Whilst the waters may be warmer, that doesn’t mean Europe should be left out! 

If you are looking to Scuba Dive in Europe during Summer, check them out! 

1.Croatia  

Cave Diving in Croatia

Croatia has some fantastic dive sites dotted around the coast. The climate is warm during the summer months and the water gets to around 20c. The many islands that are dotted around the coast can also provide endless possibilities. If wrecks are more of your thing, you won’t be disappointed here. There are a huge populations of wrecks all down the coast. 

Situated near Vis, the wreck of an American B-17 bomber is located close to shore. Many consider this the best-preserved wreck in the Adriatic. The ‘flying fortress’ took damage during a bombing run in WW2 and landed close to the land. This dive site is for advanced deep-water dives due to the depth.

If you are looking for cave dives, this is where Croatia really shines. The blue cave located near the island of Bisevo is a world-famous site. However, you are not able to dive this spot during Summer. 

A better choice for the summer diving months is around the island of Vis. There is a huge amount of wrecks and reef walls for divers of all levels.

2.Italy

Fantastic Visibility in Italy

Italy has some excellent dive sites if you know where to look. Most divers come here during the summer months due to the climate. But it’s also a great place for a holiday or sightseeing. Many people come here on holiday without the intention of diving. But you can find a number of locations to get your fins wet. 

Liguria, located near Monaco, and the French Riveria is the home of Italian diving.  There are many dive sites around here. As well as quite a few dive centres you can contact. Be careful when exiting the dive sites, you may get a bump on the head. Those billionaires superyachts can appear from nowhere!

If that doesn’t excite you, or your Superyacht is docked on dry land. Check out Sardinia. This island off the coast of Italy is famous for crystal clear water. The temperature in summer pushes the 30c’s and the water can hit 25c. The rock formations under the water, coupled with the water clarity, makes this an amazing area to explore. 

3.Malta

Wreck Diving in Malta

Malta offers a great summer climate and some great scuba diving. There is diving here to suit all levels. From shallow dives to check out the abundant aquatic wildlife to deeper wreck diving.

You could also head to Gozo, a small island nearby. This island is home to such famous sites such as  Blue hole. Not a very imaginative name it’s true, but an interesting dive site to head to. 

The blue hole is located on the west side of the island and offers very calm diving in a deep natural rockpool. The hole is about 15m deep and opens out underwater to a channel to the sea. 

If you want to stay on Malta and find somewhere less busy. Check out Qawra Reef. This reef is located on the North-east side of the island. DIving here means you have access to the reef and some caves dotted around. There is the possibility of seeing larger species of fish here too due to the reef wall dropping. 

There are also many wrecks here, such as Um El Faroud. A 10,000 tanker that sank in 1998. This tanker is now on the south coast of Malta and can be accessed if you have a PADI Wreck Diving Qualification. Head to Malta to do some excellent scuba diving during summer!

4.Corsica 

Corsica, is it French? is it Italian? Whatever it claims to be (a French territory if anyone is interested) is home to some world-class diving. There are many protected areas around here and as a result, there is an abundance of life. The most famous is the Scandola nature reserve. This area was made a UNESCO world heritage site since 1983. 

Go to Punta Locca if you are newer to diving. The site can be accessed by everyone and is only a short trip from the beach. You can see many different species such as Red Gorgonians and possibly even Barracudas. 

If you re more advanced and that doesn’t excite you. There are numerous wrecks to explore. Ask your dive centre about Canadair Wreck. This wreck sank in 1971 when trying to extinguish a fire. The wreck is in excellent condition and located near Sagone, on the west side of the island.

5.Cyprus 

Diving in Cyprus shouldn’t be missed!

Diving in Cyprus shouldn’t be missed! The water is warm and the visibility is good. There is also a range of shallow beginner spots as well as deeper wrecks for the more experienced divers. 

The wreck of the Zenobia is the most famous and most popular. The ferry sank in 1980 near Larnaca and has since been colonised by coral. This was the first wreck we ever dived, a long time ago now! It is a large wreck with vehicles still attached to the deck. The site is ranked as one of the best wreck dives in the world and is truly impressive. It is huge! 

The wreck itself starts at 16m and drops to 42 meters so if you are a new diver, you cannot access the whole wreck. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic site for the new diver and experienced diver alike! 

6.Cornwall, UK

Wreck Diving in Cornwall

Whilst the UK might not be on the top of everyone’s diving list, we feel it should be! We have concentrated on Cornwall, located in the South West of the UK. But there are many locations worthy of a visit. Places such as Pembrokeshire in Wales or the Jurrasic Coast in Dorset offer interesting dive locations. 

Cornwall offers some world-class shallow dive spots. Focusing on shore dives and shallow reef dives, you will see anemones and even octopus. 

The best time to dive here is in the summer months. The visibility is better June-September along with the average temperature being higher. There is even the possibility to see Basking Sharks during the summer months. 

Whilst we have said the visibility and temperatures are higher in summer. This has to be taken with a pinch of salt. You will still need a wetsuit! The temperature in the water may hit 18c but will not go higher and the visibility will be around 15m. This lags behind other spots in Europe. However, considering how different the conditions are here. It should definitely be on your list of dive locations. 

7.Spain

Tired of Tapas? Head for a Dive

If you get tired of tapas and the amazing culture of Spain, why not schedule in a dive instead? Scuba diving in Spain is highly underrated. From experienced divers heading into the unforgiving waters of the Bay of Biscay, to the calm waters of the Costa del Sol. Spain has diving for all abilities. 

The Costa del sol offers everything from Spanish Galleons to deeper 40m reef walls. 

An interesting and slightly ‘different’ site to check out is close to Marbella. ‘The Tower’ is located only 250m from the beach. This shallow dive site (around 10m) are the remains of a old cable-car tower. You will see many smaller Mediterranean species as well as eels that make their home in the foundations.   

Because of the shallowness of this site, this dive site can be accessed by newly certified divers. This is an excellent place to put those newly acquired skills to the test. The conditions here are calm and relaxed and suit a new diver well. Plus, it’s a weird story to tell! Diving an old Spanish tower on holiday, why not? 

8.Canary Islands

Diving the Canaries

Whilst the Canaries are a part of Spain, they are actually closer to Africa. These islands attract divers year-round. They are drawn by the warm summer water and abundance of life around the Marine Reserves. The visibility is good and the water doesn’t drop as much as other European  areas.

You can dive off each of the islands but some are more populated than others. The smallest island is El Hierro and offers a very quiet experience. You could head to the Reserva Marina del Mar de Las Calmas for a chance to dive with Whales! The reserve was created in 1996 and is host to abundant marine life. The diving here is excellent and there are many larger pelagic species here to find.

If you want to spend time in a busier place when you are not diving. The larger islands such as Tenerife and Lanzarote offer everything from budget accommodation to 5* luxury. 

Diving on each of these islands can be done by all levels of divers. With many beginner-friendly spots to more technical deeper locations. There are numerous sites with very favourable calm conditions if you are looking to gain a PADI qualification here. 

Checkout La Catedral for an interesting dive site just north of Tenerife. It’s located 5 minutes from the north of the island by boat. 

There is an underwater cave to check out, shaped like a cathedral (hence the name).  There are many interesting species here such as lobster and moray eels. 

9.Portugal 

Finding Moray’s in Portugal

Most divers tend to skip Portugal. It is not as popular or well known for diving as the Canaries or Cyprus. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t world class diving along the coastline. 

Through the summer months (July/August/September) there is a chance to see sharks and larger Pelagic species such as whales and dolphins.  

Portugal has over 1794km of coastline and over 100 dive sites to choose from, so there is something for everyone. 

If you are heading to the North of Portugal, head to Porto. There are numerous wrecks to dive. The most famous being the U1277. This German submarine sank near Porto in 1945. The wreck is 31 metres down and can be dived by more advanced divers due to the strong conditions. There are numerous white anemones to be seen as well as larger Octopi.

The wreck is one of the more famous sites and is said to be one of the best in the North of the country. 

If you are flying into Lisbon, head up North to Peniche. This watersport haven has everything. If you surf, Peniche is one of the premier spots in Europe. 

The small town of Ericeira is excellent for families too and is a charming place to stay for a few days. 

If you plan to dive near Peniche, head to the Reserva Natural das Berlengas. This archipelago is located 15km West from the mainland. The UNESCO reserve offers around 60 dive sites for all levels. Due to it being sparsely populated, these dives are secluded and peaceful. Portugal has some excellent dive sites if you are looking to scuba dive in Europe, during the summer.

10.Azores 

Manta Ray’s can be found July-October

The autonomous region of Portugal gets the last spot on the list, due to the excellent dive sites around the islands. Because of the location and the Gulf stream that flows around the islands. This brings nutrients and larger animals hitching a ride to the waters around the Azores. 

There are numerous species of larger shoaling fish as well as Blue sharks and Manta Rays in the summer months (July to October). If you’re looking to dive with the Manta’s, head to Pico, Faial and Santa Maria. 

If shark diving is more your thing. The Azores is one of the best places to dive with Blue sharks. You can also expect to find numerous whales species here. The mighty Sperm whale is found in these waters. With many tour guides offering topdeck watching experiences. You can also find dolphin tours and ray diving here. 

The Azores is a paradise for ocean loves and ranks as one of, if not the best diving location in Europe. The visibility in summer also extends beyond the normal European conditions, although you definitely will still need your wetsuit! 

If you have not completed your PADI course yet, see our post here!

If you are looking to Scuba Dive in Europe during the summer months. We hope this has helped you narrow down your decision. If you think there is a better spot, let us know below.

Thanks, STW

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