If you think that diving is only significant in the Caribbean islands or some exotic Pacific spots, think again! There are plenty of blissful diving destinations in the Mediterranean. Prepare your gear and charter a yacht to these 7 locations with fascinating underwater treasures.
There is a vast choice of destinations that divers of all skill levels can enjoy in the Mediterranean. Are you looking for shipwrecks or colorful reef scapes? You’ll discover diverse ecosystems straight from your rental boat.
Here are 7 of the most exciting diving spots in the Mediterranean.
France: Riou Archipelago
France is the birthplace of modern scuba diving since Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born in Bordeaux. The Atlantic coast is fantastic, with lots of shipwrecks and historical artifacts. If you prefer clear and warm waters, sail to the Mediterranean Sea. Most people dive in the Gulf of Porto in Corsica, the French jewel island.
But you should explore the Riou archipelago near Marseille. It is the only cluster of uninhabited islands on the French continental coast. As a part of Parc National des Calanques, this area is well protected and offers impressive underwater spectacle.
The “Imperials” features a succession of drop-off covered with red gorgonians (Paramuricea clavata). White gorgonians wait for you in “the Pharillons” beneath a majestic decline of 45 meters.
If you prefer wrecks, you can explore Le Chaouen, a 300-foot Moroccan cargo boat. It sank in February 1970, but 15 years later, portions were still above water. Now it is completely submerged with the propellers on the sandy bottom at 90 feet. It is 100 feet away from a Messerschmitt Bf 109, a German World War II fighter aircraft.
Mallorca: Cala Monjo
Diving off the coast of Spain is a treat. Still, there are also plenty of great opportunities further out around the Spanish islands. Surrounded by warm water and natural beauties, Mallorca has 70 dive sites to try from your chartered catamaran!
El Toro is an underwater nature reserve. It is well known as the most fish-rich dive side of this Mediterranean island. Near Palma there are wrecks and caves for more advanced divers.
One area of particular interest to many divers is Cala Monjo or Caló d’es Monjo. From above, it is a quiet and small pebble beach between the municipalities Calvià and Andratx. Very suitable for beginners, this Mediterranean diving location is set in a natural inlet of the coast. The depth reaches up to 18 meters. But it also features a small cave of about 20m length for advanced divers.
You’ll find octopuses, shrimps, scorpionfish, and barracudas. The seagrass meadows offer unobstructed views of magical seahorses in the summer months. It is difficult to find better sites to spotting these captivating animals.
Italy is another obvious choice for a Mediterranean holiday, but diving isn’t always the number one consideration. Nestled in the Italian Riviera 18 miles east of Genoa, Portofino is the Italian diving birthplace.
This famous seaside village is also a trendy resort destination for the jet-set. The Universal Orlando Resort in Florida (USA) reproduces part of this charming tiny town and picturesque harbor.
You may have seen the Christ of the Abyss while diving in St. George’s in Grenada or Key Largo in Florida. But you have to pay homage to the original one in Portofino, which lays 53 feet underwater among schools of damselfish, perch, and wrasse. The sculpture commemorates diver Dario Gonzatti who died while diving.
One of the top dive sites inside the marine reserve, Isuela is considered one of the best dives in the Mediterranean. It reaches up from 200 feet to within 40 feet of the surface. Its walls are very vertical and colored by abundant red gorgonians. The vibrant marine life offers the passage of lots of pelagic life, such as snappers, amberjacks, tunas, and barracudas.
Charter a yacht in Liguria to dodge the crowds, slip silently beneath the surface, and enjoy one of the many fantastic dive sites dotted along the Italian coast. Swim with marine life during the day and indulge with Italian cuisine and fabulous wine during the night.
Malta is a cluster of islands at a crossroads between the three continents in the center of the Mediterranean. Its location makes it perfect for spotting sundry marine life as eels, octopus, and turtles. Multiple caves, reefs, and wrecks can be reached from either the shore or your charter boat. There’s something here for divers of all levels.
Visitors can explore the wreck of a German patrol boat and a British Blenheim Bomber to revisit history. There is also a 377-foot long shipwreck to explore. Um El Faroud is a 10,000-ton tanker sunk in Valletta’s harbor in 1998. It serves as an artificial reef and diving attraction. In 2006, the ferry MV Karwela was also dropped to create a touristic artificial reef.
Ċirkewwa is excellent for night dive. The reefs on shallow plateaus at 40 feet are perfect for beginners, and more experienced divers can go further to 100 feet. There is a Madonna statue at 60 feet.
But Malta’s best diving spot is the Blue Hole in Dwejra on the west coast of Gozo. This natural formation starts in a natural inland sea pool. A fringe of rock protects it, and divers can safely enter and exit the sea.
The reservoir at 40 feet leads through a crevice that gives access to the sea. Octopus and lobster live there among colorful coral tubeworms and sponges. You’ll arrive in the Azure Window (or Azure Reef), a vertical wall that goes 197 feet down far from the surface.
Croatia has become quite the tourist hotspot in recent years. Dive sites are slowly gaining more of a reputation. Therefore, you should enjoy the dives now before it gets crowded.
With around 1000 Croatian islands in the Adriatic, you’ll have plenty of choices: multiple wrecks, vibrant reefs, underwater caverns, pillars, and canyons.
Vis is the largest of the Adriatic islands. There are many relics from WWI and WWII: lots of shipwrecks and even a B-17 bomber.
Nearby, you can sail to the Bisevo Blue Cave (Modra špilja). It is one of Croatia best-known natural sights and marine attractions. This waterlogged sea cave has a unique color perfect for diving. The morning sun rays filter into the caves reflecting from the sandy and rocky sea bottom, creating amazing blue and silver color reflections.
To the north, Kvarner is one of the most beautiful walls dives in Eastern Europe. Head to Bisevo to explore the Blue Cave, which can only be entered by a small boat. Once well within the cave, you can set out in your scuba gear to explore. Light enters the cave and permeates through the water, filling it with a calming blue glow.
Experienced divers have to explore the Katedrala (Cathedral) caves of Premuda not far from Zadar. It is a stunning display of light and water like nowhere else. The dive site offers a series of interconnected caves where you’ll encounter octopus and spider crabs.
Comprised of thousands of islands, Greece offers plenty of underwater adventures. Among the best scuba diving sites, there are Dragonisi Island Caverns off the southeast coast of Mykonos. Discovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1975, the HMHS Britannic Wreck is a jaw-dropping spectacle recommended for the experts.
But the best spot for scuba dive is Chios Island. It is the fifth-largest of the Greek islands in the northern Aegean Sea, not far from Turkey. There are numerous exciting diving sites around Chios and the neighboring islands that your charter boat can approach.
The advance diver will find vertical walls, breathtaking caverns, and numerous shipwrecks that have become homes to the local marine wildlife. Head to the Great Wall, an impressive 98-foot underwater cliff covered in colorful corals.
Turkey is lower on the list of Mediterranean diving hotspots. Still, the country features fascinating sea life and ancient underworld treasures. There is more than an abundance of good wreck dives with scattered ancient pottery.
Located in the south of Turkey, the small fishing village of Kas is a popular destination for divers that are looking for unspoiled and quiet sites. You can explore around 50 dive spots fueled with caves and wrecks for plenty of new diving adventures in crystal-clear waters.
Marine life offers a lot of sea turtles, octopuses, and barracudas. There are sometimes underwater art exhibitions held there to keep you entertained. And there are great photo options at the canyon.
The waters are warm all year round, and the peak tourist season is from April to November.
There is no better way to visit an array of spectacular dive sites than on a yacht charter. Let us help you plan your best diving vacation!