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Wonderful waters, abundant seabed, shipwrecks and corals make the ideal setting for diving – an activity that occupies most superyacht itineraries. Waters around the Mediterranean are perfect for underwater exploration, allowing divers to discover hidden treasures and subtropical marine life.
We’ve spoken to a number of superyacht captains who have divulged the 10 best diving locations in the Mediterranean. You’re going to want to weave these into your itinerary if you haven’t got them listed already!
Autonomous free diving in the cave system of Tragonisi is one of the most popular diving activities in Europe. Tragonisi is a small, rocky island, east of the island of Mykonos. Everyone who visits marvels at the unique marine environment between the different sections/tunnels. Yellow sea anemones appear in this area.
Tragonisi is a protected nature reserve and a resting place for the Monachus monachus seal, otherwise known as the Mediterranean monk seal. The dive in the ‘Seal of the Seal’ is offered to experienced divers and only upon request. This is a particularly exclusive dive due to the possibility of closer contact with a Monachus monachus seal.
Undoubtedly one of the best waters for diving, Portofino is the place where scuba diving was born. The place is billed as a ‘unique oasis in the Mediterranean’, characterised by the ‘unusual shape of the coastline, beautiful caves and amazing rock formations’. Christ of the Abyss, which is a statue for the scuba diver Dario Gonzatti who died there, is worth visiting while there.
Heraclea, or Iraklia as the locals call it, is a quiet island – the westernmost of the Small Eastern Cyclades – with only 150 permanent residents. It boasts beautiful natural landscapes for hiking and wonderful blue-green seas for diving to the rich seabed. For diving lovers, the bay of Alimia hides a treasure. The sunken German seaplane of World War II is at a depth of about 9 metres and on summer days it can be seen even from the sea surface.
The Libyan motor tanker, Um El Faroud, suffered a gas explosion in 1995 while docked in Malta, and was declared a write-off. She was deliberately sunk close to the shore to serve as an artificial reef in 1998. Now, she is home for an impressive variety of marine life that is well worth a visit.
At the northwest coast of Sicily sits the island of Ustica, home of the protected marine reserve of Secca della Colombara. This is unquestionably a worthy inclusion in the list of the best dive sites in the Mediterranean. Why? The sheer number and variety of fish you will encounter, including shoals of barracudas, sea bream and groupers, as well as a great range of corals, is extraordinary.
Premuda is home to one of Croatia’s most popular diving spots: the Cathedral. It is located on the northern part of the Dalmatian islands. It is full of interconnected caves and lies between 10m and 30m below the surface of the Adriatic.
Because of the World Wars, this region provides unique opportunities to explore sunken submarines. A good illustration of this is the Donator, a cargo ship sunk in 1945 close to Porquerolles island. If this is your thing, you need to make sure you dive here.
Kas is known as Turkey’s leading scuba driving destination – and with good reason as the Dakota DC3 transporter plane wreck can be found here. The plane belonged to the Turkish air force, was retired from service and sunk there deliberately in 2009 to provide an artificial reef. Needless to say it’s a popular spot for divers.
The wreck of the 172-metre Swedish cargo ferry Zenobia, which sank during her maiden voyage in 1980, is consistently rated as one of the top wreck destinations worldwide. Zenobia can be explored in levels from 12 to 42 metres.
At El Toro, divers can find a great variety of marine species such as grouper, schools of amberjacks, tuna, barracudas, the occasional ray, nudibranchs, moray eels – and many more besides. A jaunt here will not leave you disappointed.
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