Europe’s top (scuba) diving destinations may not be as well known as those in the tropical warm waters of Africa, the Caribbean and Australia. However, the European continent is not short of excellent diving potential, you just have to know where you’re heading.
For something that’s crossed the minds of only few divers, why not head for the little known village of St Abbs on the east coast of Scotland, not too far from the border with England, on the shores of the North Sea. At the marine reserve/park there you’ll may get up close and personal with some of the resident seals. And when you’re out of the water, the many migrating sea birds (puffins, guillemots, razorbills, turns… to name a few) will deafen you with their cacophony. Just watch out for the magnificent diving gannets, who’ll wheeze past you in the water in pursuit of their next meal.
Almost at the other end of the continent, the Zenobia ferry wreck in Cyprus provides interesting, good diving visibility sights at between 15 and 42 metres of depth all year round. Many of the nearby Greek islands like Samos, Chios and Rhodes will offer wonderful sights, particularly of underwater formations and colourful Mediterranean fish like comber, wrass, perch, salpae, red mullet as well as cephalopoda like octopus and cuttlefish.
At Malta’s Cirkewwa, more exciting species such as moray eels, barracuda and even some sharks are common sights around the spectacular 18 metre deep Cirkewwa Arch (collapsed cave) formation.
The Blue Hole in Gozo provides a fantastic journey between depths of 7 and 30 metres, with the Azure window, the Inland sea, the Ocean and a chimney swim-through all being parts of a single, spectacular dive.
Other great European dives to bear in mind include the beautifully sea-creature colonized Booroo in the Isle of Man, Eddystone Reef in England, Blockship Tabarka in Scotland’s Scapa Flow, the Diamond Rocks off Ireland’s west coast (Kilkee) and Secca della Columbara in Italy.
Posted : Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 10:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save