The best destinations to dive in Europe
This time it is decided, it is not at the end of the world that you will go to dip your fins but in the waters of the Old Continent. Because apart from waters a little cooler than in most of the diving destinations where we like to go, you will find in Europe great places to dive. Incredible seabeds, a rich and varied fauna, sites that will make you dive into history, or meet mythical marine species… Tribloo has selected for you the best diving destinations in Europe !
Where to dive in Europe ?
Marseille… cradle of modern diving and playground for the crew of La Calypso. Two archipelagos (Riou and Frioul), and an incredible number of dive sites, accessible to all levels. If you like caves, ultra colorful drop offs covered with beautiful red gorgonians, rocky areas where life abounds or wrecks… Then you will be fulfilled in the waters of the Phocaean city. Diving in Marseille and its Calanques National Park is a great experience for divers. And even if the waters can sometimes be quite cool because of the mistral (the north wind) even in summer, the underwater spectacle is always striking.
For wreck enthusiasts, such as Le Liban, the Saint-Dominique, or the famous Chaouen, located at the foot of the Planier lighthouse, and accessible from level 1 (or Open Water).
The Var, in the South-East of France, is one of the most attractive destinations for French divers. With its clear and relatively warm waters during a good part of the season (between June and November), an omnipresent fauna thanks to protected areas, and numerous wrecks, it is the ideal recipe to satisfy all divers, whatever their expectations and level.
The National Park of Port-Cros is obviously the most sought-after area in the region. La Gabinière, and its famous brown groupers, is a truly extraordinary site. It is possible to get very close to them, and they do not hesitate to come in contact with the divers.
On the wreck side, they are numerous, but for experienced divers, a dive on the Donator is a must!
The island of Malta is one of the destinations that attract many divers to the Mediterranean Sea. And even if the marine fauna is not the most abundant, it is with its crystal clear waters and beautiful underwater relief that Malta stands out from other destinations. Many European divers come to dip 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 the beginner divers, Malta is a privileged destination for teak divers or rebreather enthusiasts !
Not all diving trips are the same, far from it. And there are destinations that stand out even more from the others. The Azores archipelago will fulfill you and beyond your expectations! The Azores is an archipelago that belongs to Portugal. These islands are located in the North Atlantic and are a destination (relatively) close to Europe. With excellent visibility below the surface, the islands of Flores, Terceira, Faial and Sao Miguel offer breathtaking dive sites. The islanders thank every day the Gulf Stream for offering them an exceptionally mild climate !
You will be able to dive there all year round. The temperate waters are always at a pleasant temperature and rise up to 25 degrees in August and September. The Azores archipelago offers beautiful dive sites, in the heart of volcanoes like Baixa Das Castanhetas, or Ilehu de Vila Franca Do Campo. In a single dive, it is possible to realize the unique biodiversity found there, mixing oceanic, tropical and even endemic species due to the remoteness of the archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic! You will encounter sharks or manta rays (in season) alongside large marine mammals such as dolphins, killer whales or whales, which are the symbol of the Azores. If you have the opportunity to make night dives, you will be able to taste the joys of bioluminescent plankton !
Discover a protected, abundant and generous Mediterranean Sea as it was several decades ago… this is what awaits you if you go diving in Ustica. This tiny 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 paradise for divers. With no less than 30 dive sites, most of them accessible to all levels, everyone will be able to enjoy the exceptional biodiversity that the waters of Ustica have to offer. After the dives, the pleasure continues, with an outstanding local gastronomy !
The Canary Islands are a little bit the end of the European continent, this archipelago located off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean is a privileged destination for European divers because of its proximity and its change of scenery. Lanzarote has now become a fashionable destination. With its relatively warm and never really cold waters, and the extraordinary relief of the seabed, this UNESCO biosphere reserve makes it possible to make a nice diving trip on a small budget. With the opportunity to see Atlantic, Mediterranean and tropical species at the same time… In winter, between November and March in general, divers come to meet the angel sharks that gather during this period !
Summarizing the Balearic Islands in Ibiza and its wild nights is a shortcut that is quickly done … Because the Balearic Islands are more than just that, and there are still places that are largely unspoiled. For scuba diving enthusiasts, the show is first under the surface! Palma, Mallorca, Menorca, Cabrera, Formentera or Ibiza: scuba diving in the Balearic Islands is generally done in excellent conditions. The visibility is excellent, sometimes reaching almost 50! The water temperature is not too cold and, above all, there is a multitude of things to discover. Caves, cracks, reefs: the landscapes are magnificent. Diving in the Balearic Islands is flirting with an abundant underwater life. Here, the Posidonia meadows are very present and even classified by UNESCO for their ecological importance. Moray eels, conger eels, mostelles, groupers, barracudas, corbs, tunas, nudibranchs: from the smallest to the biggest, the diversity is within reach of flippers and camera! Moreover several festivals of underwater photography are regularly organized there… You will have understood it, this small Mediterranean archipelago, only a few hours away from France, is a must for your diving summers !
Located halfway between the north and south coasts of the western Mediterranean, Sardinia is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, with about 2000km of coastline, with its feet in turquoise waters that make you dream! In the North, the archipelago of the Maddalena is a National Park, where the funds are among the richest of the Big Blue. Diving sites are countless, with superb coralligenous drop offs, caves, and above all a lot of life, but also magnificent wrecks…
Our partner center Tavolara Diving will take you to one of the most beautiful protected marine parks in Italy, Tavolara e Punta Coda Cavallo.
Norway, this long country located in the west of Sweden, is not necessarily a diving destination that we easily think of. But the country is bordered by two stretches of salt water: the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea. Resolutely natural, Norway is rich in spectacular natural scenery, with mountains falling steeply into the cold but blue waters, forming the famous fjords! Despite the positive influence of the Gulfstream, the water temperature forces you to immerse yourself in a dry suit. The dives are not technical.
Norway is known first of all for the possibility to meet killer whales in snorkeling and to approach these impressive cetaceans. This is only possible in winter, when these mammals track the huge schools of herring along the Norwegian coasts. Then, for the sheet metal haulers, because very many wrecks, often preserved, lie at the bottom of the fjords. Many of them date from the Second World War, near Gulen and Narvik in particular, where the fighting was intense. Finally, one also makes original dives there, as in the crystal clear waters of the lake Lygnstøylsvatnet. In 1908, a landslide led to the progressive flooding of the valley and the village that was located there, and finally created this lake. In Norway, one sees there killer whales, but also spiny sharks, wild salmon, seals but also many nudibranchs and dogfish! If you are not afraid of cold water, and wish to discover really different dives, Norway is the diving destination for you!
Of course, there is still a multitude of very nice destinations to dive in France, the Mediterranean, or elsewhere in Europe! And we hope that wherever you are, you will make incredible underwater encounters…