Underrated as an international dive destination, Spain is nonetheless popular among the local scuba divers as well as other European divers. Diving is possible both along the mainland coasts as well as around its many islands. And there are places in Spain where you can enjoy year-round diving.
You don’t have to leave the European continent to see soft corals, gorgonians, sponges, and anemones. Spain has plenty of interesting coral reefs, along with the seagrass-covered rock formations which you can typically see in the Mediterranean area.
Lobsters, sea slugs, shrimps, nudibranchs, squid, moray eels, and octopuses are commonly seen around Spain’s coastline. Barracudas, jacks, tuna, groupers, and mackerels are also frequently seen here. If you are lucky, you might come across an occasional sunfish (Mola Mola) or moonfish (opah).
Spain has a warm Mediterranean climate, but it varies across the country. Most of the diving happens from late spring to early autumn, but it is possible to dive here year-round; just bring/rent a thicker wetsuit. There is little rain during the summer, but starting October, it gets wet and both surface and water temperatures start to drop significantly towards winter. But there are also destinations, such as the Canary Islands, where the water remains relatively warm throughout the year.
The water temperature varies by region. On the Mediterranean coast, the temperature ranges from 15° C/59° F in winter to 27 ° C/81° F in summer. On the Atlantic coast, the ranges from 12° C/54° F in winter to 23° C/74° F in summer.
On the other hand, for year-round diving, things are looking better in the Canary Islands, with water temperatures between 17°-18° C/63°-64°F in winter and around 24° C/75° F in summer.
There’s little or no current in the Mediterranean, along the coast or around the Balearic Islands. There may be some mild to strong current in the Canary Islands.
The visibility in the Mediterranean Sea is typically very good (about 30 meters/100 feet), but the same cannot be said about the dive sites located in the Atlantic Ocean, where visibility tends to drop.
The Canary Islands is a popular destination amongst divers. The seven islands in the North Atlantic Ocean that make up the archipelago have been formed by volcanic eruption, and as a result, the underwater topography offers something you can’t experience anywhere else in Spain. There are numerous underwaters tunnels and caves worth exploring, but these are reserved for advanced divers. Beginners can enjoy an array of easy dives with stunning visibility. Don’t miss the renowned Museo Atlantico off Lanzarote, an underwater museum filled with statues.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea, the four Balearic Islands boast more than 80 dive sites of all sorts – from cave and cavern dives to stunning wrecks. Just off Majorca and Menorca Islands, you can visit spectacular caves. In the Balearic Islands, you’ll also find the largest shipwreck (142 meters/465 feet in length) in all Mediterranean Sea, Don Pedro, located off Ibiza Island.
Catalonia is one of the most popular diving destinations in Spain. You will find beautiful coral and sea fans, a range of wrecks (such as El Dragonera and the renowned El Cavour), seamounts, and even a marine nature reserve. Many of the dive sites are located just a short boat ride from the shore.
On the mainland, one of the best regions to dive is Costa Blanca. There are several shipwrecks and caves for you to explore, so the place is always busy with divers during the summer. Around Calpe and Moraira, you’ll also see some beautiful rock formations. Marine life is also impressive, with sightings of dolphins and whales reported frequently.
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