A Guide to Diving in Spain
- Written by Julie Suttle
Diving is unlike anything else except, perhaps, going into space, but better. With over 4000km of coastline Spain offers a wide choice of sites for beginners to the most experienced of divers. Spain is a fun place for Diving, combining both adventure and sport.
It is possible to dive all year round, however, the warm Mediterranean waters of southern Spain offer a more comfortable experience and there are many companies in this area that are more likely to speak English than in the less touristy areas of Spain. Summers are hot, Spring and Autumn mild. The best time for diving is May to September, although the Canaries offer great year-round diving.
Some highlights of diving in Spain are the abundance of Moray eels, Wrasse, soft corals, scorpion fish and octopi which can be seen along the coastline of the Costa del Sol. The Atlantic coast is less popular for overseas divers due to the less developed tourism in the area but still offers some great dive sites. The waters here are colder and English is less widely spoken however the areas of San Sebastian and La Coruna are the main dive centres on this coast. The Balearic and Canaries are good dive locations with Tenerife being the jewel of the islands where Stingrays, Sharks, Baracuda and Octopii can be seen as well as some spectacular geological formations and visibility in all dives sites is good to very good.
Spanish Law states you must be over 16 years of age to engage in scuba diving activities in Spain. Some autonomous regional governments have passed their own laws to relax this limit - but please do check with local dive centers before booking and ensure you have adequate insurance to cover you for this activity.
Spain has a huge variety of diving sites, here are the most popular:
Costa Blanca South: The area of Santa Pola / La Marina, located 30 minutes south of Alicante, offers wreck and reef diving, deep diving and a range of courses. An added plus in this area is the Island of Tabarca situation 20 minutes by boat from the main coastline, however diving within this marine reserve will require a special permit. Also, situated in the South east corner of Murcia, La Manga, Cabo de Palos offers a wide range of dives including recreation and Tech diving as well as courses and dives are offered to wrecks, reefs, caves and submerged pinnacles of volcanic rock. 8 main dives sites are offered as well as deeper dive sites for the more experienced. The added benefit for divers here is that the Mediterranean lying to the east has summer water temperatures of 26-28C
Costa Blanca North: Located in Javea, dive schools will take you to a number of the 10 sites located just off the coast. Situated just North of Barcelona, the area of Lloret de Mar is popular with British tourist. A number of dives as well as other watersports including water skiing are readily available here. Close proximity to Girona airport makes this area easily accessible even for just a short break or weekend stay. Also, situated in the South east corner of Murcia, La Manga, Cabo de Palos offers a wide range of dives including recreation and Tech diving as well as courses and dives are offered to wrecks, reefs, caves and submerged pinnacles of volcanic rock. 8 main dives sites are offered as well as deeper dive sites for the more experienced. The added benefit for divers here is that the Mediterranean lying to the east has summer water temperatures of 26-28C
Located around the area of Estartit, Medes Islands Nature reserve there are a number of dive sites to explore. Further along the coast, the area of Rosas, Cap de Creus Natural park offers a unique location between 2 different coastal types and has a number of relatively unspoilt dive sites offering dramatic underwater scenery.
COSTA DEL SOL:
Marbella and the surrounding areas of Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Benalmadena are situated in the heart of Spain's Costa del Sol. Dive centres here offer PADI courses and train all divers from entry level up to and including Dive Master. Dives sites include Torreblanca reef, Nerja and Tarifa.
In Alcudia there is a British owned dive centre with English, German and Spanish speaking instructors, offering a full range of PADI courses up to and including Instructor. There are facilities including classrooms and heated training pools based in Porto Pollensa (Club Pollentia) Playa De Muro (Esperanza Complex) and a booking centre in Alcudia Mar. Open water and guided shore dives are some are among the packages offered.
Salobreña, Motril, Almuñécar, La Herradura, Nerja or Calahonda Suitable, safe and interesting dive spots are the locations and both courses and fun dives are available. Located close to Granada and Malaga airports, this area is great for holidays where some of the party dives and others don't as there are so many other water sports and tourist attractions on land, it makes the perfect holiday for all.
Menorca offers a range of diving, from Caves and wrecks to beginners and padi courses. Along the beautiful coastline there are many different types of courses, day and course dives on offer.
Located in a beautiful location on Granada's tropical coast. There are 9 dives sites in the area in total including Punta de la Mona, Marina del Esta, Tres Picos and Cantarrijan. With shore diving, open water and a variety of courses available, this area is a great location for a dive holiday.
You will find 8 dives sites, including the island columbrettas, located around the area of Oropesa.
CABO DE GATA:
Las Negras is a beautiful fishing village located in Cabo de Gata - Nijar Natural Park. With its crystal clear waters this area is great for not only diving but snorkelling alike.