Diving in Europe: 10 Best Dive Sites

Diving in Europe: 10 Best Dive Sites

European street hung with dive gear

Ready for a dive in Europe? - Credit: Efesenko

What makes Europe such a good Dive Destination?

It might be the diversity of coral from North to South!

The thousand of Ship Wrecks scattered all over!

Or the brilliant mix of big and small life!

Europe is well known for the majestic landscapes, old architecture, charming towns and small cities, along with a colorful history.

Still, what makes Europe so desirable to you is the absolutely amazing seascapes. The underwater beauty found on this continent is making Europe an absolute top diving destination.
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If you plan to dive in Europe, make sure you put these 11 amazing dive sites on your list.

Medes Islands, Spain

Diving Medas island spain

Christophe MULLER

Be sure to visit Medes Islands if you are planning on visiting Spain.

If you want to experience a fun and relaxing scuba dive this is the place to go. This island belongs to seven islets that are located in the northwest part of the Mediterranean Sea.

Visiting the Medes Islands you will find untouched and a much diverse marine environment. I would suggest, that you make reservations ahead of time if you wish to visit the islands. This place fills up with tourists, especially in the summer.

Check the prices ondiving in Spain, here.

Orkney, Scotland

Make sure to visit Orkney Islands if you plan on heading to the UK, especially the Scapa Flow. Here there is astounding wrecks to explore including seven ships used by Germans during World War I. These wrecks make this particular site really popular among recreational divers.

Scapa Flow also contains a diverse marine life, which is especially visible because of the clear waters in this area. Water temperatures are also moderate for most divers but it’s recommended that you bring thick wet suits or a dry suit if you are visiting during the cold diving seasons.

Scuba diving in northern Europe

Northeren Europe Reef - Credit: Michael Bogner

The Blue Hole & Azure Window, Gozo

This is a dive that gives you the best of diving in Europe, great swim throughs, schools of bream, Damsels, Moray eels and parrot fish passing by.

You start your dive by entering through the Blue Hole and then you follow the wall through the Azure Window. The wall terraces and rocky formations allow for great dive at your desired depth.

Are you having trouble finding a dive center? Check our guide on Choosing the right dive center!

Divers exiting after a dive at the Blue Hole in Gozo, Malta

How can shore dive make you a better diver? Click picture to see! - Credit: Liliya Krasnova

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Scuba diving in Lofoten is really incredible. It is absolutely a must for all dive enthusiasts taking a vacation in Norway. Large formations of kelps, different species of fish, old wrecks, and so much more can be discovered and explored.

And if you are lucky, you might be able to dive with the beautiful and famous killer whales visiting the clear waters of Lofoten Islands.

Check the prices on a dive trip to Lofoten, here.

Scuba divign with Orcas in Northern Europe

Group of killer whales, Norway - Credit: BMJ

MS Zenobia Wreck, Cyprus

MS Zenobia is, or was, a large RO-RO ferry that sank only one after her maiden voyage. She is currently near Larnaca, Cyprus and has been for more than thirty years.

She is resting on her port side at approximately 42 meters deep. If you love wreck diving, then this will be the most amazing wreckage you will see in Cyprus. This dive site offers challenges to both beginner divers and experienced divers.

Make sure to visit the car deck and observe all of the various objects like trucks, cargo, and all the other things that sank with the ship.

Scuba diving zenibia wreck in Cyprus

Credit: Coral Bay Divers(www.CoralbayDivers.com), Paphos, Cyprus.

Kilkee, Ireland

Kilkee is located in the little coastal town of County Clare, Ireland. Presently Kilkee is known as the best dive location in Ireland.

The underwater world contains some of the most amazing flora and fauna and schools of mackerel, wrasse, and so much more. Old shipwrecks are also here to be explored.

Diving with Dolphins in Northern Europe

Kilkee gives you an opportunity to dive or snorkel with dolphins - Credit: Joost van Uffelen

Diving in Malta

Wreck diving in malta

Much like the rest of Europe, Malta is a great spot for Wreck diving. The P29 is one of the wrecks you have to dive at, it's an old German patrol boat, that's now resting on the bottom for a great dive.

We all know that flying after diving is a not go, but seeing a plane wreck while diving is a big plus, the Blenheim Bomber is a World War II British bomber wreck, that is now resting at 42 meters.

While the marine life's great, you shouldn't expect to see too much big life on the dives, like rays and sharks, but do expect to see a lot of Moray eels, barracudas, octopus, and the occasional turtle are seen.

Read the full guide to Diving in Malta

Anchor bay in Malta

This fantastic dive site for a first tuneup dive or a training dive, it's located in Popeye’s Village in Malta. It’s near Mellieha and just north of Malta. Anchor Bay is famous for the Popeye Musical in the 1980s, which starred Hollywood actor Robin Williams.

Apart from film set, Anchor Bay is home to some cave diving, various marine life, and clear blue waters. Here you will also find a huge anchor with big chains, which led the locals to name the place Anchor Bay.

Diving one of Europes top dive sites

Interested in some creative Uw photo skills? Click the picture to learn more - Credit: Richard Salter

Island of Chios, Greece

Chios Island is the best place to scuba dive if you are looking for an amazing dive experience in Greece.

Chios contains some of the most amazing underwater caves, colorful and large reef formations, vertical walls, beautiful underwater rock formations, and glorious shipwrecks. This place is a great dive site for beginner divers since the water is very visible and the temperatures are moderate, especially during the months of April through October.

Diving in Italy, Portofino

There are lots and lots to do in Italy. And diving is one of the most enjoyable things to do here.

You will be shocked at how beautiful the archaeological dive sites are as well as the diverse marine life found in the waters all around Italy. What’s most incredible when diving in Italy is the very affordable rates, so good that even budget tourist can follow, yet the diving is fantastic.

Portofino national park offers big rocky structures, cliffs and walls that houses a perfect marine life. You'll see big groupers sitting on the rocks, while a diverse fish life will astonish you.

You'll find Portofino in the northwest of Italy, just a bit south of the city Genova.

Check the prices on diving in Italy, here at Diviac or at liveaboard.com here.

Scuba Diving in Southern Europe, at the coast of Italy.

Fish life of the Mediterrean - Credit: Pinosub

Ustica, Italy — Secca Della Colombara

One of the best dive locations in the Mediterranean, the site features amazing underwater rock formations, different species of fish like barracuda, grouper, and amberjacks, plus some old ship wrecks. One of the popular wrecks you can find here is the 74 meter ship which sank in 2005 now resting at approximately 20 meters.

Diving in at the waters of Secca Della Colombara is really amazing. The sea is very clear and current is moderate, making the site really suitable for all types of divers.

Italy is the prefect destination if you are traveling with your non diving family.

Marine life to see when diving in Europe

There is a thriving marine life all over Europe - Credit: Rich Carey

Isle of Man — Burroo

The Isle of Man is absolutely a fantastic dive site possessing a unique underwater topography. The dramatic cliff that is spread throughout the coastline is quite majestic when viewed under the water.

Besides the underwater landscape, the place also has an assortment of diverse fish species and other marine life.

On the southwest part of the island is a wonderful dive area, known as Calf of Man. And also on the southern part of the Calf is another great dive site called Burroo. Just like the topography of the island, Burroo also boasts amazing underwater landscapes and varying underwater terrain.

Diving in Europe

It's not just the dive spots above you that have great diving.

Europe is filled with good diving all around. And even thought it's a big continent, travel between countries is fairly easy and definitely safe. You can either rent a car and drive from place to place, or if you are more of a flying person, Europe has good and fair priced connections via flight, Check out how you easily fly with your dive equipment.

Diving in EU has it all, cold water corals, Orcas, Dolphins, great fish life, wrecks and great reefs. All within reach of you!

Too sum it all up! Here's a quick overview of the great diving Europe has to offer!

>>Grab this infographic for free

Scuba diving in Europe Infographic

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Where do you go diving?

Where is your favorite dive site in Europe? Where is your favorite European dive site? Tell us in a comment below!

How do you generally like diving in Europe? Rate it here:

Diving in Europe: 10 Best Dive Sites
5 (100%) 46 votes

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand – and dived most of his life in most of the world.

He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVE.in you can always catch him here [email protected]


  1. Marcus

    Nice piece Torben. Just got all I needed for my todo travel list of 2013 :)
    Euro diving for the win :) :)

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Marcus,

      Great to hear, hope you dive them all. it would be a busy (but good) year! Enjoy!

  2. Dutch Underwater Federation

    Hi Torben! Nice list, but we absolutely miss The Netherlands (especially Zeeland) in it! Just take a look at this pictures: http://bit.ly/ooBU3W What do you think of it? If you need more information about this unique dive area, please let us know!

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Anne,

      yes I can see we left out some great diving. I think this is the best thing about diving, there is always dive spots waiting to be explored. Thank you for sharing your amazing pictures!

  3. Sally bailey

    Hello, just thought I would let you know, you have the wrong picture with MS Zenobia paragraph. The picture you have is the Azure window and The Blue Hole in Gozo!! Which should definitely be on your list of “Best Dive Site’s”

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi sally,

      Thanks, I think that was a miss, wrong picture! Thanks for letting us know.

  4. Toffe

    It was just to say what photo for MS Zenobia Wreck, Cyprus is The Blue Hole and Azur Window, Gozo.
    Best regards

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Toffe,

      Thanks, I’ll change it strait away.

  5. chris

    I just went diving at the Roman underwater ruins of Baia near Naples in Italy. It was amazing, even though I didn’t get to see the best part of it (roman statues inside a villa).

    You can see a photo of what we saw on my travel photo blog:


    • Torben Lonne

      Sounds like some dive. Something missing on the list for sure. Thanks for sharing. Do you have other European dive tips?
      And really great blog you have there!

  6. Iyer Venkatesh Hariharan

    Heelo Torben,
    Can you please guide me with how much would it cost to dive in Medas islands,Spain?
    Can someone istruct new divers for free?
    Can the kit for diving be rented?
    How much are the expenses?
    is the first week of September a god time at Medas?

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Iyer,
      Thanks for all your questions, I’ll answer as good as I can. September is great for South European diving, so go for it. There are dive centers on the island so you can rent dive gear and and get instructor, although it’s something you’ll have to pay for.

    • Toffe

      Hi Chris,

      I have a few addresses for you.
      First, the hotel : it is the Panorama Hotel. It’s in L’Estartit, facing the islands Medes. Unpretentious, it is quite correct. It is not directly on the sea, but it is about two hundred meters. Meals are served buffet style. We have never been sick and it’s pretty good. (http://www.hotelpanoramaestartit.cat)

      Second, diving clubs.
      The first club is the Calypso Diving Estartit. It is possible to rent the equipment at home. The club is located behind the hotel. You should to walk on foot about 1 km down to the harbor to reach the boat. The boat is a former trawler converted.(http://www.calypsodivingestartit.com/)
      The second club is Hotel Panorama’s club : El Rei Del Mar. Never dive with them. Memory they minibuses to travel to the port, but mostly they have dive suit dryer. The dive suit are always dry and hot ;-) (http://www.rei-del-mar.com/)

      For prices , I leave you the opportunity to make contact with them.

      In September, many people leave Spain because the holidays are over. So it’s a little quieter than in July and August.

      Have nice dives

  7. Micky

    Going to europe in the fall. FRance and Italy.
    I’m really looking forward to the diving there. We are starting in Nice, France and taking the coast way down to Italy.
    Thanks for some dive tips.

  8. Jerome Smeets

    Great article, thanks !
    I agree with the comment on Zeeland (south Nederlands).

    After a few years in the Red Sea, I have been enjoying the last 8 years (diving for work and fun) South Crete in Greece and don’t get tired of it because of general great and sometimes amazing visibility (40m) that allows the sightseeing of dramatic seascape, caves and diversity in fauna : somehow getting better and better despite real fishing control. 22-28° warm waters in summer. I found North coast interesting as well if you focus on the caves (Chania area).

    Now looking forward checking out all the places described on this page !

  9. Vlad

    …and what about La Restinga, El Hierro island..? Many call it ´the best diving in Europe´.

    • Torben Lonne

      Ahh, there are so may great places – should I make an update to a top 50 dive sites in Europe?

  10. venus

    The world has not stop your feet, where there is the sea, where you can see your shadow

  11. Lin

    Hi – Amalfi coast too expensive. We are 2 advanced and experienced divers. Would like to avoid beginners & tourists. What do you think about Crete and Rhodes?

  12. Tassos

    Alonissos in Sporades Greece is left out althought is considered the largest marine park in Europe. Diving in Alonissos is absolutely fantastic and for sure the place gathering the majority of big fish as fishing is not allowed in the area. For more details I would be happy to provide material and underwater photos of the area.

  13. Luca

    Nothing about Sardinia? I suggest to go to the “Secca del Papa” in the Marine Reserve of Tavolara – Capo Codacavallo or in the caves of Capo Caccia, like Nereo cave. Or in the south, Isola dei Cavoli and WWII wrecks of Golfo di Cagliari. I think you’ll thanks me for the tip…


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