SCUBA Travel

SCUBA Diving Destinations: Europe

29 September 2015
Europe has very varied diving from the clear fresh-water springs in Iceland to the marine-rich Mediterranean of the South of Italy. The continent has almost 90,000 km of coastline

Diving Europe: Diver in the Irish Sea
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson

For wreck diving Scotland takes some beating, from the scuttled German Fleet and "blocking" ships of Scapa Flow to the Hispania and other wrecks of the Sound of Mull. Further south, the Zenobia of Cyprus has been voted the best wreck dive in Europe.

Diving the Zenobia in Cyprus
Photo credit: Malcom Browne, (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Highlights apart from wrecks? The caves of Ustica and Sardinia; the clear waters of Malta and Gozo; the sharks and pelagics of the Portuguese Azores which are around 1500 km west of mainland Europe or, for something completely different, the extreme diving of Norway. See other suggestions at the Top Ten Dives in Europe list.

We've been asked where in Europe is the best place to learn to dive. Training around Britain, or Northern Europe, prepares you best - if you can dive here you can dive anywhere - but for a warmer learn-to-dive holiday try Greece, Malta or Turkey. Don't forget some specialist diving travel insurance.

Any questions? Get in touch.

European Diving Locations

Europe and Mediterranean Diving

Canary Islands

Isle of Man


Wreck on the Secca della Columbara, Ustica, Italy
Wreck on the Secca della Columbara, Ustica. Photo credit: Andrew Reay-Robinson.

We regularly add new areas and dive sites to the SCUBA Travel site. If you want to read about new dives, along with other SCUBA diving news and discussion, please subscribe to our newsletter: SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011).

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Diving Turkey

Dive Sites in Turkey

Butterfly Valley, Fethiye
Reviews: 4 stars

"This is a new diving site just opened last year. Before diving here was forbidden because of environmental concerns. It is mostly shore diving, also it is very nice place for snorkelling. There are 5 main spots mostly walls. There are not too many fish but water is so clear and visibility about 50 feet. I stayed at a camp site and I'd stay there again and again...Scuba cost 20 and 35 Euros (2004). accommodation is about 15 Euros included breakfast and dinner (mostly vegetarian).

Aladins Cavern, Fethiye
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Nice big cavern with corals and very good visibility. "
Mike Morris

Dalyan Reef, Fethiye
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Drop off to turquoise blue and lots of barracuda "
Mike Morris

Three Tunnels, Fethiye
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Swim-throughs covered with soft corals. "
Mike Morris

Elsewhere around Fethiye
The Fethiye area has some attractive diving: caverns, amphora, rocky reefs. The sea is often quite choppy but the visibility is generally good (around 20 m).

Gurmenli Ada, Kas
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Wall dive with large grouper at depth. The wall bottoms at 85 m. Stunning vis."
Gareth Davies

Canyon, Kas
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Canyon entrance at 5 m dropping to 38 m. The wreck is split in two. Canyon wall has stunning flora recovering from wreck damage. Small chimney at 30 m climbing to 20 m. Deco at 5m wall brimming with life "
Gareth Davies
"Starting from at depth of 2m you slowly descend into the narrow mouth of the canyon through several shades of blue until at a depth of about 25 m you encounter yellow, brown and orange soft coral. The final surprise, the wreck of a steel hulled cargo vessel at 35 m. "
Johnny Hogue, Turkey, 2012
"Perfect place to make an very exciting dive in a deep blue next to sheer reef. Eagle ray, grouper, barracuda. "
Angela, Italy, 2011

Flying Fish Reef, Kas
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

" 5-40m dive with Moray eels, Amberjacks, Trigger fish and large grouper. Relaxing multilevel dive, Stunning. "
Gareth Davies

Sun Diving House Reef, Kas
Reviews: 4 stars

" Shallow area close to the dive centre, placed on a nice reef where so many fish live. It is very usual dive with turtles, octopus, muren. Perfect place to take pictures specially in the night. "
Angela, Italy, 2011

Dakota C47, Kas
Reviews: 4 stars

"At this site is a sunken WWII C-47 Dakota aircraft which lies in less than 20 metres of water. And, in season jack-fish, mackerel, barracuda and loggerhead sea turtles all along a small and quiet cove. "
Johnny Hogue, Turkey, 2012
"American aeroplane sunk during the second world war. Suggestive place and full of big grouper."
Angela, Italy, 2011

Besmi Adasi, Kas
Reviews: 4 stars

"Another site best approached by experienced divers due to strong current. The feeling of being enveloped in a swirl of every variety of local fish makes this one of the more exhilarating dive sites around. Many large ancient amphora are seen here deep at 40 m. "
Johnny Hogue, Turkey, 2012
"Sometimes strong currents make it a difficult side but then current bring lots of plankton from open sea which makes the dive side so lively. Lots of huge groupers, jackfish, barracudas are the ones to underline. Different coloured and shaped nudibranchs are also so common to sea together with 1000 s of small fish. "
Emre, Bougainville Diving, Turkey, 2012

Duchess of York, Kalkan
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Wreck dive for all levels "
Sandra Bedford, 2006

Middle Reef, Kalkan
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Very good fish"
Sandra Bedford, 2006
Dive Operators in Turkey

Mavi Diving, Kas, Antalya, Turkey. E-mail: [email protected] Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended
Operator Burak Gultekin Mavi. 5 Dives with equipment 320 Euro (2005). I have dived with this company for many years and will always return due to the fantastic dive sites and Burak Gultekin's professionalism. The fully equipped boat will cater for 32 divers. Deep water entry with finladder recovery. Exceptional fun filled crew Has emergency oxygen, comms. Has Nitrox. Day trips a must, with excellent lunch on board. The boat is 5 years old and fully prepared by the operator and crew, sun deck a must soft drink bar on lower deck with beer after the final dive.
I would highly recommend the company the facilities, this part of Turkey. The sub-aqua architecture is a wonder as is the amphora which is plentiful as Kas was one of the most important trading harbour in Anatolya. The town of Kas is unspoilt, eating drinking and shopping is great pleasure.

Gareth Davies

Dolphin Scuba Team, P.O. Box 31 Kalkan, Antalya, Turkey. Tel/Fax: +90 242-8442242. Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended
I have been diving with them for years and it is always a great pleasure. The boat is excellent, the crowd and the food too.
Sandra Bedford, 2006

Anemone Diving Center, Yacht Marina, Kas, Antalya, Turkey. Tel: +90 555 4730986, Fax: +90 242 8364008. E-mail: [email protected]

Barakuda Queen, Ugur Eroglu, PK 44, Kas, 07580 Antalya, Turkey. Tel: +90 532 613 6584, Fax: +90 242 836 2997.
The team are very professional and friendly. I asked the price at lots of school and Barakuda Queen gave me the best. At the same time, their boat is very big and comfortable.
dilek2410, 2006

Sun Diving, Hastane Cad. 3, Kas, Antalya, Turkey.
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended
They have two boats. One is a RIP designed for 7 divers, the other one is a "V" custom made dive boat for up 12 divers or suitable for groups. Only certified divers get on the two boats. Accommodation in Chalet or Bungalow next to the sea. Private beach, restaurant, café, beach club and house reef are offered.
Angela, 2011

Bougainville Diving, Kas, Antalya, Turkey. Tel: +90 242 836 37 37, Fax: +90 242 836 16 05, Skype: bt.adventure.sales, E-mail: [email protected]
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended
I recommend Emre Cevikel and Fevzi Dikici the dive instructors and operators of Bougainville Diving without reservation. I was a frequent customer of Bougainville Diving before I retired because of the fantastic dive sites and Emre's emphasis on safety with fun. Bougainville Diving can arrange accommodation for both the budget minded as well as those with more luxurious tastes. The fully equipped boat will cater for 40 divers. The cost of 6 Dives with full equipment is 125 Euros and 20 dives are only 340 Euros (2012). I was a diver for several years in the Florida Keys. I liked visiting there and diving a lot. I now live near Kas which is located on the south coast of Turkey. It has the Best Scuba Diving in the Mediterranean.
Johnny Hogue, Turkey, 2012
Bougainville travel is a big tour operator and have two hotels, transfer and many different other activities. If you buy diving packages with transfer and accommodation you can have great deals.

Emre, Bougainville Diving, Turkey, 2012

European Diving Center, Fethiye, [email protected] Reviews: 4 stars
Efficient but tend to have a lot of people on their boats.
I did my courses up to Padi rescue diver and my son did his instructor course with them. We also keep diving with them every year. Excellent service, safety and nice dives from EDC Fethiye, Thanks to these guys. Daily diving on hard boats. They help you to find nice accommodation. We and our friends will be going there again and again.
Mike Morris, 2008

Lykiaworld, Oludeniz, Turkey. [email protected]
I have just returned from diving in Oludeniz, Turkey and I must commend Lykiaworld diving centre. The staff were just brilliant. I have been fortunate enough to dive all over the world, but you seldom come across a centre whose staff ooze enthusiasm and passion for what they do and pass this on to their customers. The down side of diving in Turkey, but I think it's the Med all over, is the rarity of fish life.
Simon Chuckles, 2007

Okenos Scuba Center, Bay of Mandalia, Altinkum, south-east coast of Turkey. [email protected]
Their staff all speak English and their dive sites are great. They also have ribs and a 17 metre steel dive boat.
Sean Walker, 2008

Elite Diving Centre,
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended
Cumhuriyet Mah
Aygun Is Merkezi Ugur Mumcu Parki Yani
Fethiye / Mugla
Tel: +0090 252 614 96 14
Mobile: +0090 536 261 51 29 (English)
Mobile: +0090 533 550 05 91 (Turkish)
"We are going back next year 2012, we enjoyed the adventure that much. Overall value for money is the best for the time they spend with you. New to diving, but I feel that the Personal touch is far greater than the other boats we saw around. My personal opinion of this dive centre is that they compromise on nothing, Safety and the personal touch. I cannot applaud them anymore, they are patient and understand people’s fears and can to dispel them, the spend time with you if you are struggling but yet still support the people that have been diving for years."
Darren Harrison, 2011

Mephisto Diving, Yeni Erenköy, Yeni I.skele Mersin 10 Turkey / Karpaz / Northern Cyprus. Tel: 0090 533 867 37 74, E-mail: [email protected]

Amphora, Kyrenia, North Cyprus. E-mail: [email protected]. Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended
"Erkan and Azim and the rest of the staff are fabulous. Some good deep dives - thermoclines after 18 metres - big fish too - great dive centre - and will dive again there for sure "
Alyson, Belgium, 2006

Hotels in Northern Cyprus
Cheap holiday deals to Kyrenia; book hotels, flights or whole packages.

Diving Greece

Greece diving has its own page. Please go there for the up-to-date information.

Diving Cyprus

Cyprus diving now has its own page. Click here for more on the great wreck of the Zenobia and other dive sites and dive centres.

Diving Italy

Diving Italy - Sardinia, Ustica...

See our Italy Diving section for loads of information on diving Sardinia, Ustica and elsewhere in Italy.

Diving Spain

Dive Sites in Spain

For up-to-date information see our Spain diving page, which includes Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Costa del Sol and elsewhere.

Diving Portugal

For loads of information on the diving in Madeira, Azores, Algarve and elsewhere in Portugal, see the Portugal diving section.

Diving Croatia

Diving Croatia now has its own page: please go there for the latest updates.

Croatia has 66 inhabited islands and much of the best diving is off these.

Dive Operators in Croatia

Diving Greenland

Greenland Dive Sites

Disco Bay
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Western Greenland, iceberg diving "
Petteri Nyström, Finland, 2012

Diving Iceland

See our dedicated diving in Iceland page for the latest on Iceland's dive sites and dive centres.

Iceland Dive Sites

Silfra, Thingvellir
Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Silfra (The name is a variation on the word Silver) is a deep crack in the lava in the National park Thingvellir in Iceland. It is about 5 to 10 meters wide and 200 meters long. Average depth is about 20 meters but there is a dropoff down to 40 meters. Silfra is a large fresh water spring where water from the nearby glacier Langjokull surfaces and runs into the lake Thingvallavatn. Silfra's main attraction is the total clarity of the water. The clarity of the water gives the diver the feeling of flying above the bottom and on sunny days when there are slight small waves on the surface the light breaks into its rainbow of colours creating a beautiful display of colour. The water is very cold, only about 2 degrees Celsius, so frost protected equipment and dry suits are necessary. The lake Thingvallavatn is also interesting with some canyons in the bottom but less visibility. No boat is needed for Silfra the diver simply dresses on shore and jumps of the vertical bank. "
Georg Birgisson, 2006


"Unique dive spot in the world. You dive in cold freshwater in a crack between the American and the European continental shelves. The water comes from the Glacier and forms a small river and lake. Over 100 metre (300 feet)visibility. Incredible under water caves. Make sure you have an experienced guide that can guide you through the dives. I have dived Yongala in Australia, Zenobia on Cyprus and also the Red Sea. Anyway Thingvellur on Iceland is a unique dive spot beyond comparison that must be on every top 10 diving list! "
Torbjörn Ekenstam, Sweden, 2010
" Fantastic dive site. Endless visibility in a canyon between the American and European continents. Diving in Iceland is definitely expensive, but so is Iceland. For me personally it was absolutely worth it. The best dives I had so far. I stayed in the guesthouse which belongs to Hotel Keflavik. Nice rooms and good service for budget price. "
Rainer Bergmann, Germany, 2007
" Diving in +3 C cold water with visibility over 150 m. Silfra is the place where American and European tectonic plates meet, and you can go diving between them! "
Larisa Pelle, Germany, 2007
"Diving between European and American tectonic plates. "
Petteri Nyström, Finland, 2012
Dive Operators in Iceland

DIVE.IS, Grofinni 2, 230 Keflavik, Iceland, email: [email protected].

" Diving Silfra with DIVE.IS was great experience."
Rainer Bergmann, Germany, 2007

Diving Norway

Norway is now in its own section: Diving in Norway...

Norway Dive Operators

Polardykk, Notveien 17, 8013 Bodø, Norway. Tel: +47 75525293, E-mail: [email protected]
Havsport Dykkersenter AS, Kjøpmannsgata 41, 7011 Trondheim, Norway. Tel: 73 50 44 88, e-mail: [email protected]
Strømsholmen Sjøsportsenter A/S, Atlanterhavsveien, N-6494 Vevang, Norway. Tel: (+47) 71 29 81 74, e-mail: [email protected]

Diving Britain

See our new UK diving section for details of diving Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UK Dive Sites | UK Dive Operators | UK Accommodation | UK Diving books | British underwater photo gallery.

Diving Ireland

See also: Britain and Ireland underwater photo gallery.

Dive Sites in Ireland
There are hundreds of dive sites off the west coast of Ireland. Here are descriptions of a few.

Big Skellig, Co. Kerry

5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Sheer drop off. Plenty of life and excellent vis. "
Elden Keegan, 4 December 2012

Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry

5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Everything a diver wants, sheer drop off, wrecks, loads of life "
Elden Keegan, 4 December 2012

Clare Island, Co. Mayo

5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Cold blue water diving par excellance. Do not miss the Bills Rock some 10 miles west of Clare Island. Include Inis Turk and Inis Bofin. "
Donald, Ireland, 20 April 2013

Rutland Sound, Burtonport, Co. Donegal

"This is a Drift dive located in the channel on the way out to Aranmore Island. How fast a drift you want depends on at what stage the tide is. I last dived this channel in early September last year on a Spring Tide. We timed it to be three hours after the tide-change as we wanted a fast drift. Our Club, Omagh SAC, know this area well as we do this dive every year. In mid-channel there is a maximum of 23 m though much shallower at the edges of the channel and with a lesser speed of the tide-run. Good boat cover is essential as you can travel maybe 1 km underwater in only 20 or so minutes. Another minor point is to find out the times of sailing of the Aranmore Ferry. The ferry travels up and down the channel, which accounts for the variety of old and recent, but interesting, object found on the bottom. So if you happen to be underwater do not panic as it has a very shallow draught. Just stay on the bottom, or head to the western side of the channel. A good safe dive and one for trainees as well as experienced Divers. "
Andy Miller

Tory Island, Co Donegal

"Located approximately 14 km off the north coast of Co. Donegal. A ferry runs from Magherority (??) out to the island. There were 23 of us and other passengers also, plus all our gear and bags, which the skipper of the ferry and two crew all helped to load. We stayed in the only hotel on the island and made good use of the Dive Centre behind it. They supplied all our air filling needs and also took us to the various dive-sites around the island. All the dives we did gave us approximately 30 m viz, even at 30 m depth. Granted, you have to have luck with the weather, which we did, and so we were treated to fabulous views of the marine wild-life. This area is frequently visited by Whales, Dolphins and also the odd Basking Shark. Very much worth a visit but should be booked well in advance as the demand is great. "
Andy Miller

Diamond Rocks, Kilkee

"I have dived the Yongala - Stupendous! But this is on a par. It is a cold water dive off Ireland's west coast. The bay is north west facing and the prevailings are south west - so it is a fairly sheltered area. The place is teaming with life, loads of stuff mating and reproducing cos of the sheltered location. The terrain is full of rocks and gullies and the water is really pure. "


"Beautiful reefs and fish life. "
Tom Moore


"Crystal clear Atlantic water with abundant fish. "
Tom Moore

Further reading: Shipwreck Index of Ireland by Richard and Bridget Larn, Lloyd's Register - Fairplay

Car Hire: Discount & Luxury car rentals in Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Galway & Belfast.

Dive Operators in Ireland

Scubadive West, Co. Galway, Ireland,[email protected]

Inishfree Charters, The Pier, Burtonport, Co. Donegal, Ireland. Tel: 00 353 (0) 749551533, Mobile : 00 353 (0) 862209508, E-mail: [email protected]
Provide promotion, development and support for recreational diving. Training and diving experience are offered as are equipment sales and service.

The Netherlands

Dive Sites in the Netherlands

Gorishoek De Punt, Oosterchelde

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended 5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Breakwater, the water will enter on the tip of the breakwater. The breakwater is completely overgrown with oysters and anemones and completely covered with starfish. Between the oysters you will find a variety of life such as lobster, crab various types like harvestman crab, shrimp, sculpins, different types of gobies, different types of nudibranch and in the season sepia and lumpfish. And many other life that I forgot to mention."
Maarten Van Camp, Belgium, 20 September 2012

Goese Sas, Putties Place, Oosterchelde

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended 5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Site with old lost to the sea dikes. The remains of the dikes are fully covered with oysters and anemones and completely covered with starfish. Between the oysters you will find a variety of life such as lobster, crab various types like harvestman crab, shrimp, Sculpins, different types of gobies, different types of nudibranch, and in the season sepia and lumpfish. And many other life that I forgot to mention."
Maarten Van Camp, Belgium, 20 September 2012

Diving Malta and Gozo

For up to date info see our dedicated Dive in Malta and Gozo page

Your Comments

We endeavour to keep this site as informative and current as possible. If you would like to recommend, or warn about, a particular dive or diving location we'd love to hear from you. And we're here to answer your questions.

We're also compiling a Top Ten Dives in Europe list: tell us about your favourite dives.


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5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

Books of the World's Best SCUBA Diving

Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites
ed Jack Jackson, New Holland Publishers 300 pages, Hardback
Ultimate Diving Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences Under Water
by Len Deeley and Karen Gargani, John Wiley & Sons, 218 pages, Paperback
Details some of the best dive sites around the world, with some lovely photographs. The authors have included many of the dives listed in our top 10 list.