The best places for getting underwater in Europe.
Whether witnessing colourful marine life or exploring incredible shipwrecks, scuba diving offers a unique experience and a whole new perspective on the world. There are many options in Europe for both beginners and experts and different countries offer different options for divers, from enjoying the unforgettable sight of shoals of exotic fish in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, to viewing World War Two shipwrecks off the coast of Scotland.
It’s important to remember that scuba diving is a sport not without its dangers, so it’s essential to ensure you have adequate health and insurance cover. When organising your scuba diving trip in Europe, remember to check you also have an up-to-date EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). Formerly called the E111 card, the EU health card gives access to state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland, and therefore ensures peace of mind when you are away. The EHIC card is free of charge and you can apply for one, or for an EHIC renewal, via the official EHIC website.
Here are some of the top scuba diving sites in Europe:
Isle of Man, England
Reefs and varied marine life, including basking sharks, porpoises and seals, make for a memorable dive off the coast of the Isle of Man, where the waters are surprisingly warm.
This picturesque spot offers an abundance of natural beauty: caves, canyons and plentiful marine life, plus a mild climate year round.
Chios Island, Greece
Scuba diving is banned in many parts of Greece but not at Chios, the fifth biggest Greek island, located in the Aegean Sea and close to Turkey. Divers can explore caves, tunnels and reefs and there are regular beginners’ lessons.
The deep waters off the coast of County Clare are home to an array of plant and fish life, making it one of the best-rated diving spots in the whole of the UK and Ireland.
Medes Islands, Spain
Diving is a popular pursuit in this part of the world, as locals and tourists flock here for the opportunity to view coral reefs and marine life such as barracudas.
The clear Mediterranean sea around Malta and its islands, including Gozo and Comino (famous for its stunning blue lagoon) mean excellent visibility for divers – down to 30 metres at some sites.
Orkney Islands, Scotland
The waters around Scapa Flow have an abundance of wrecks, including no less than seven German ships from World War One.
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