Ten Best Dive Sites in Europe
2 February 2016
Europe boasts some world class dive sites, with great visibility and masses of underwater life. According to our readers, these are the ten best dive sites in Europe. Disagree? Then cast your vote.
- Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Scotland
This shallow 18 m dive is a real beauty. One of the block ships scuttled to prevent submarine attack during WW2. Covered in life, worth the trip and the one of surprises of Scapa.
Photo credit: Joe Ryan
- The Zenobia, Cyprus
The wreck of a huge ferry. Lying on its port side, the wreck starts at about 15 m and descends to 42 m. Needs several dives to see anything like all of it.
Photo credit: Malcom Browne (CC BY-NC 2.0)
- Cirkewwa, Malta
Features the wreck of the Rozi MV as well as stunning underwater topography. Visibility is very good and there is a mass of sea life: barracuda, morays, octopus, cuttlefish and even dolphins.
Photo credit: Richard Kingfelt
- Silfra, Thingvellir, Iceland
An extraordinary dive in a narrow crack between the American and the European continental shelves, in astonishingly clear water. The clarity of the water gives the diver the feeling of flying above the bottom and on sunny days, when there are slight waves on the surface, the light breaks into a rainbow of colours.
Photo credit: David Ramsey
- Blue Hole, Gozo
A beautiful sharp drop off into the blue hole with what seems like limitless visibility and feels like you are on the very edge of the world.
- Chios island, Greece
Small undersea caves and paths between impressive rocks, colourful reefs and vertical walls.
- Diamond Rocks, Kilkee, Ireland
Claimed to be on a par with the famous Yongala. It is a cold water dive off Ireland's west coast. The bay is fairly sheltered and is teaming with life. The terrain is full of rocks and gullies and the water is really clear.
- Fanore, Ireland
Shore dive in crystal clear Atlantic water with abundant fish.
- Eddystone Reef, England
12 miles off Plymouth, England. The reef is from 8 to 60 m. Encrusted with jewel anemones and with the remains of ancient wrecks, including a large 17th century anchor. Stunning.
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
- Fortunal, Vis Island, Croatia
Wreck of a fishing boat which sunk in 1991. Lies at 45 - 55 m
You may also be interested in our top ten dives in the world list.
Compiled from divers' votes by Jill Studholme
How are the votes counted?
The first criteria is number of votes (weighted to favour the first choice dive site above the second). Where two dives tie for a position, priority is given to those with the most enticing descriptions and those whose area has several votes for different dives.
- Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites
- ed Jack Jackson, The Lyons Press, 2010, 300 pages, Hardback
- Fifty Places to Dive Before You Die
- Chris Santella, 2008, 224 pages, Hardback
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