The Mediterranean Sea is a high place of the world’s marine biodiversity. It is not for nothing that it is so popular for scuba diving, as are other more tropical destinations. With relatively good water temperatures, often very good visibility, rugged rocky coasts and many islands, it is the ideal place to learn and dive all year round. Tribloo tells you about the best destinations to discover the most beautiful seabed of the Mediterranean….
The Mediterranean, Hotspot of Biodiversity
Representing only 1% of the surface area of all the seas and oceans on the planet, the Mediterranean is nevertheless a real biodiversity hub. Why? Because it contains nearly 10% of the world’s known marine species ! Add to that relatively cool waters in winter season (rarely less than 12°C), and even warm during high season (>25°C), and generally clear with visibilities that can exceed 30m… and you get the perfect recipe to attract divers from all over Europe and even more !
So if you want to discover the joys and richness of diving in the Mediterranean, we have selected the best destinations and the best diving sites for you…
Marseille is a bit like the cradle of diving. It is here that many things began and were invented for scuba diving. With its bottoms composed of limestone rocks, and covered with a fixed fauna of rare density, Marseille promises its divers colourful immersions. Drop offs covered with purple gorgonians, easily accessible caves, many wrecks for all levels, and fantastic dives in the heart of the National Park of the Calanques, where life has become much more intense since its creation in 2012 !
Port-Cros National Park is simply the oldest marine reserve in Europe! Created in 1963, it was extended to the neighbouring island of Porquerolles in 2012. Located in the Var, about an hour’s drive from Marseille, you can reach it by boat, especially from the diving clubs of Hyères. We then discover a magnificent island covered with greenery. Underwater the fairy tale operates, and there is an impressive density of fish. But what makes Port-Cros famous is the dives at La Gabinière, with its brown groupers that can be approached very closely! Near the National Park, there are some must-see wrecks to explore, such as the Donator.
Located halfway between the northern and southern coasts of the western Mediterranean, Sardinia is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, and has about 2000km of coastline, its feet in turquoise waters that make you dream ! To the north, the Maddalena Archipelago is a National Park, where the bottoms are among the richest in the Mediterranean. There are countless diving sites, with superb coralligenous drop offs, caves, and above all a lot of life, but also magnificent wrecks…
Photo © TAVOLARA DIVING
The island of Malta is undoubtedly one of the great diving destinations in the Mediterranean. With its clear waters, and beautiful underwater landscapes, many European divers come to soak their fins around the Maltese archipelago. On the program, large vertiginous drop offs, caves, tunnels, and a whole lot of wrecks! And even if there is plenty to satisfy beginner divers, Malta is a privileged destination for Tek divers or rebreather enthusiasts !
Off the east coast of Spain, the Balearic archipelago, composed of five main islands and many islets, attracts tourists from all over Europe, with its typically Mediterranean landscapes and sandy beaches bordering an exceptionally blue sea. And even if the Balearics are known for the wild nights of Ibiza, it would be a mistake to summarize this destination in this way. Because nature is superb and the dives allow you to have a magnificent panel of what the Mediterranean has to offer.
If you want to discover the Mediterranean like 30 years ago, you have to go to Ustica. This tiny little Italian island, located north of Palermo (Sicily), seems to have been cut off from time, with its small fishing village, and its tranquility. It is especially here that a marine reserve was created in 1986, transforming the place into a diver’s paradise. With about thirty diving sites, most of them accessible to all levels, everyone will be able to enjoy the exceptional biodiversity present here. After the dives, the pleasure continues, with an extraordinary local cuisine !
Bathed in warm waters for most of the year, the Greek islands have some of the most beautiful seabeds in the Mediterranean. You will discover underwater reliefs composed of many caves. With no less than 10 marine reserves, you will discover an amazing biodiversity. In Santorini, Paros or Crete, you will have the opportunity to marvel at fabulous underwater archaeological sites! Divers and snorkellers will be amazed in Greece…
PHOTO © Fiskardo divers
The Mediterranean is an exciting sea and even if you like to go far away to the tropics and enjoy the coral reefs, it has nothing to envy them because it is home to an unsuspected abundance. It’s not for nothing that divers come here… and come back here !