Ten Best Dive Sites in Europe 2019

17 April 2019
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. Agree? Then cast your vote.

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  1. 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.
    The Tabarka was built in Rotterdam in 1909 and seized by the British Admiralty in 1940. When she sank she tipped over and is now completely upside down. Divers can explore inside the ship on several levels as all the wooden decking has disappeared.
    Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Scotland
    Photo credit: Joe Ryan
     
  2. 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. 104 lorries lie besides it. She sank on her first trip in 1979. Groupers have made the wreck their home and you will also see barracuda and nudibranch.
    Diving the Zenobia, by Malcom Browne CC BY-NC 2.0
    Photo credit: Malcom Browne (CC BY-NC 2.0)
     

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  3. 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.
    Wreck of the Rozi
    Photo credit: Richard Kingfelt
     
  4. 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. With temperatures of just 2-4 oC you need a dry suit. The Silfra crack 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.
    Diving Silfra
    Photo credit: David Ramsey
     
  5. 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.
    Leaving Inland Sea on way to Blue Hole, Gozo
    Photo credit: Runeng
     
  6. Chios island, Greece
    Small undersea caves and paths between impressive rocks, colourful reefs and vertical walls. Shoals of salpas, tunnies and colourful wrasses, sarguses, curious combers and perches.
    Undwater cave roof with loads of life
    Photo credit: Andrew Reay-Robinson
     
  7. Eddystone Reef, England
    12 miles off Plymouth, England. The reef is from 8 to over 40 m. Encrusted with jewel anemones, dead mens' fingers, sponges plus with the remains of ancient wrecks, including a large 17th century anchor. Visibility is usually very clear. A stunning dive.
     
    Jewel anemones
    Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
     
  8. Fortunal, Vis Island, Croatia
    The island of Vis is one of the furthest away from the Croatian mainland. The Fortunal is a wreck of a fishing boat which sunk in 1991. She lies at the bottom of a vertical wall. The wreck sits between 45 and 55 m. Besides the wreck itself the wall is full of life and extremely interesting. The visibility is excellent. The bottom is covered with pale sand which reflects the light. The dive site also features a cave at 40 m.
     
    Fortunal
    Photo credit: Divebooker
     
  9. 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.
    Crab with anemones
    Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
     
  10. Fanore, Ireland
    Shore dive in crystal clear Atlantic water with abundant fish. You might even see Dusty the Dolphin.
    Wrasse
    Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
     

You may also be interested in our top ten dives in the world list.

Comments | Vote for a Dive Site | Books of the World's Best Dive Sites | Newsletter

Compiled from divers' votes by


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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.


Books of the World's Best Dive Sites

Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites
ed Jack Jackson, The Lyons Press, 300 pages, Hardback
Diving the World
Beth and Shaun Tierney, 224 pages, Hardback

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