Spain has a large variety of dive sites. Diving is available all round Spain's coastal areas. Famous is the protected Medas Islands off the Costa Brava, the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Mallorca and Minorca islands and the Canary islands. Around some sites off the Atlantic islands and in the Straits of Gibraltar strong currents can be encontered! Diving in the marine reserve of Medas islands has some of the best diving in Spain. These islands are reached by boat from L'Estartit, Costa Brava.
Medas Islands (Islas Medas) have been a marine reserve since 1983 and probably offer one of the best diving experiences in the Mediterranean. You will find shoals of barracuda, jacks, bonito, groupers and eagle rays. There are five diving companies offering dives to the islands and a maximumm of 400 divers per day can visit the islands.
Heading south further down the coast, there is some good diving in Fuengirola. The marine reserve in Almuñecar with lots of marine life, variety of depths from 9m to 40m, caverns, very sheltered so great for beginners as well as the experienced divers. Visibility from 10m to 30m, and water temp from 14°C to 26°C depending on time of year.
At the southern most tip of mainland Europe you come to Tarifa. This where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. There is some good diving, but it can be subject to strong currents.
Moving round to Spain's Atlantic coast, which is the forgotten area as far as most European tourists are concerned, you arrive at Galicia. Most of the diving is around either the offshore islands of Cies and Ons or in the sheltered waters of the rias. There are over 400 known wrecks. Visibility is good to very good.
Further north and then heading east you have the provinces of Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias, all on the Atlantic coast, which offer good and unspoilt diving.
- Medas Islands (Costa Brava). The best dive sites are those of Dolphin Cave (15mtr) and Carral Bernat (20mtr).
- La Herradura (Costa del Sol) - One of the best sites in this area is La Calita (Herradura Wall), sometimes called First Bay, which can be found in Herradura Bay. This dive site comprises of a large sandy seabed with a number of fallen rocks at a depth of approximately 3-12m. A wall extends out to depths of 40m and this provides and ideal environment for many plant and animal marine species.
- The Pecio del San Andrés - a paddle steamship made of steel, which sank in 1856 during a storm. Although its official name is el Miño, it is more commonly known among divers as El San Andres. Just parts of the wreck are left, notably the stern and paddle wheels.
Spanish Law states you must be over 16 years of age to engage in scuba diving activities in Spain. Some autonomous regional governments have passed their own laws to relax this limit - but check with local dive centers before travelling.
|Climate:||Mediterranean (East Coast)|
|Temperate (North & Western coasts)|
|Diving season:||Year round on Mediterranean.|
|April - October on Atlantic coast.|
|Water temperature:||Winter - 13c (55F) Summer - 24c (75F) Mediterranean|
|Summer - 20 (68F) Atlantic|
|Air temperature:||Winter - 13c (55F)|
|Summer - 27c (81F)|