5 Reasons Why Greece Needs to Be Your Next Dive Destination

Experience the Crystal Clear Underwater Scenery of Greece

While other divers are boarding flights to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or Belize’s famous reef reserve system, underwater explorers who are in the know are heading to the crystal clear waters of Greece. For decades, diving in Greece was highly restricted, allowing divers access to just 998 kilometers of the more than 16,000-kilometre-long coastline. In 2005, restrictions were lifted, and divers from around the world gained access to some of the world’s most fascinating sea life, shipwrecks and caves. The scenery beneath the surface of Grecian waters is unlike anywhere else in the world, and these are the five spots every diver should experience at least once.

Must-Visit Dive Spots

From everyday snorkeler to underwater expert -- Greece has out-of-this-world dive spots for every level of diver.

1. Chios Island

The seas lining Greece’s fifth largest Island, Chios, provide an underwater playground that’s just waiting to be explored. Resting in the Aegean Sea and seven short kilometres from Turkey, Chios Island wows divers with small underwater caves, rainbow-coloured reefs, pathways between rocks and shipwrecks.  Suitable for every diver in your group, Chios is a destination for beginner to advanced level divers, and the crystal clear waters allow for panoramic views of the reefs, vertical walls and wrecks at all times. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, as many call the waters off the coast of Chios home.

2. Shinaria, Crete

The royal blue waters of Crete are often photographed, but the underwater scenery is far more captivating than any postcard can portray.  Shinaria is among the most popular dive and snorkel destinations in all of Europe for its abundance of sea life. Even those who stay near the water’s surface with a snorkel are likely to spot sea creatures -- like morays, octopus and blackfish -- through the crystal clear waters. Lack of visibility is not an issue here. 3. Nea Kameni, Santorini Santorini is praised for itsabove water beauty. Visitors come to admire the white-washed buildings and snap photos of their contrast against the deep blue sea. However, the island of Nea Kameni, formed by a volcanic eruptions, brings an entirely new meaning to the word “photogenic.” Divers must spend time exploring the 34-metre-long sunken ship Santa Maria, which has been sitting 18 metres beneath the surface since 1975. Nearby sea caves and lava formations add even more wonder to this already bucket-list-worthy dive spot. 4. Marathonisi (Turtle Island), Zakynthos

Resembling a resting turtle from the water’s surface, Turtle Island is worthy of its name in several ways. This Laganas bay island is a nesting ground for the majestic loggerhead turtle, known as Caretta Caretta. And that’s exactly what you’ll find underwater -- an abundance of swimming Caretta caretta turtles. The island’s deep, clear waters allow for maximum visibility, which makes it easier to spot other local species, like parrotfish, eels, flying fish and octopus.  Turtle Island’s fascinating marine life attracts divers of all ages and abilities.

5. Hms Perseus, Zakynthos

Grecian waters are home to several popular shipwreck dive locations, but the wreck of the HMS Perseus is one that shouldn’t be missed. The British submarine disappeared into the depths after striking an mine 75 years ago, 11 kilometres off the coast of Zakynthos. The HMS Perseus wreck sits 52 meters below the surface, and the opportunity to explore a historic submarine and the marine life that call it home attracts divers from around the globe. The nearby beaches and iconic nightlife of Zakynthos are all the more reason to pack your bags for this world-famous resort and diving locale.

Greece isn’t your average dive destination. Visitors can explore ancient shipwrecks and reefs, swim among swarms of fish and turtles, and weave through caves and lava formations -- all in a single visit. Grab your snorkel or book an entire dive escape, whatever underwater exploration draws you to Greece, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience.

 Courtney McCaffrey, Travel Writer for Flightnetwork.com