A quick introduction to diving in the land of the Little Mermaid
Diving in Denmark is surprisingly popular given the size of the small kingdom in Scandinavia, with some 5.5 million inhabitants in its 16,000 square miles of land. More surprising still due to its northern latitude and that its waters are not exactly abundant with corals nor tiger sharks.
However, it boasts an impressive 4,500 miles of coastline, longer than the Chinese wall, and nearly 5 feet of coastline per inhabitant.
Add to that more than a thousand years of nautical history and you might see why scuba diving is quite a popular pastime here.
An estimated 20,000 people in Denmark are certified scuba divers, and most larger cities along the coast will have at least one dive center.
So what should you expect if you decide to go diving in Denmark?
Feel the Cold
Denmark is a northern country, and even if it is the southernmost country in Scandinavia, it’s temperatures are anything but tropical.
Expect temperatures in the low 20°C/70°F's in the summertime, and down to freezing or below in the coldest of winter.
Though it should be said that Denmark’s winters are relatively mild, and actual freezing temperatures (above or below the surface) is usually limited to between a few weeks and a few months.
Types of Diving
Denmark offers a wide range of diving, and will work with both beginners and experienced divers alike.
More than 20,000 wrecks inhabit Danish waters, and a fair amount of them are diveable. Along the coast around the capital of Copenhagen are a number of wrecks in often very shallow water, such as the Russian coaster Runucki, which starts only a foot or two below the surface, making it accessible to any level of diver.
Here are The World's Top 5 Wrecks.
Also in Copenhagen there's a dive park, situated on the city’s largest beach, Amager Strand. Just off the beach is a diving obstacle course that allows divers the chance to practice swim throughs, navigation, or just take in the stone structures and the life they attract. Generally, most diving in this part of the country is very beginner friendly.
If you’re looking for more adventurous diving, head for the strait between the peninsula of Jylland and the island of Fyn, called Lillebælt.
A narrow strait that sees a lot of water flow, it has good depths, up to 30meters/90 feet, and often very strong currents, allowing for great drift dives if you have a boat. That this is an advanced dive location was highlighted a few years ago, when an experienced diver died here.
The diving on the west coast is even more adventurous. You’re diving directly in the North Sea, which means more surf and a good deal of current, but also the chance to dive with seals or on a World War II Nazi submarine!
All in all, Denmark has a lot to offer divers, and with Danish divers being open and inviting to new-comers, you won’t struggle to find someone to go diving with. But no mermaid sightings guaranteed!
Have you tried diving in Denmark? What did you think of it - tell us in a comment below!