The Greeks have long had an intimate relationship with the sea and it continues today. With more than 240 inhabited islands and a significant coastline, you’ll find a wide variety of diving that includes wall, wreck, cavern and reef. Most of the PADI Dive Centers and Resorts are scattered throughout locations off the Aegean and Ionian Seas, both on the islands and on the mainland. On just about any dive, there’s a chance you'll come across some artifacts. You get to observe (not touch) and must report your finds. There is absolutely no taking. It’s like an impromptu archeological adventure every time you slip into the water. And, like most of the countries with a lengthy seafaring history, wrecks tend to dominate the scene. There's also considerable life in the seas, particularly if you slow down and think small. On land, the blue roofs and whitewashed buildings that form the skyline of almost every seaside village make this part of the world unmistakably breathtaking. No matter where you go, you’ll leave with a much better understanding of local Greek mythology and the rich history that defines this unique corner of the world.
- Prasonisia, Mykonos – This dive site has the best of both worlds. You can immerse yourself in a whirlwind of wrasse and other fish or connect the dots with a hoard of antiquities pointed out by your guide.
- Dragonisi Island Caverns, Mykonos – With stunning rock formations and caverns that glitter with glassfish, this dive packs a punch for underwater photographers. The biggest surprise of all is the chance of encountering a rare monk seal that hangs out in the area.
- Arado 196 German Seaplane, Naxos – This is a beautiful, dramatic wreck in 20 metres/66 feet of water. You’ll find the fuselage and wings mostly intact, although the plane sits upside down.
- The Dome, Naxos – This large cavern dive sports a good variety of marine life, but the marquee experience is an air-filled dome that seems to be lit with an ethereal blue light.
- Nea Kameni, Santorini – Roughly translated to mean New Volcano, this site has a small wreck that adds drama to the volcanic substrate.
- The Caves, Santorini – This pathway of canyons, swim-throughs and caverns make this site a unique experience for your logbook.
- Kelifos Island, Ionian Sea – Off the Kassandra Peninsula in the Thessaloniki region is a combination of three sites that are rich with marine life, including seahorses, octopus, conger eels, small cuttlefish, some large groupers and large shoals of fish.
- HMS Perseus, Ionian Sea – The top dive off Kefalonia Island, this intact and upright submarine hit a mine and sank in 1941. Now, the artificial reef hosts a number of jacks, wrasse, sea bass and groupers. The conning tower is a great photo opportunity.
- Messerschmitt Wreck, Crete – Step into history with a unique dive on a German fighter plane from World War II. It’s upside down, but the cockpit, fuselage and wings are intact. You can see the machine guns and the wreck is frequented by groupers and eels.
- Daedalos, Crete – This is a great spot for new divers and is loaded with crabs, octopus, cuttlefish, show-stopping trevally, fat groupers and toothy morays.
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Visibility – You'll be able to see from 6 metres/20 feet to more than 50 metres/165 feet, depending on area and time of year.
Water Temperature – From 16-23°C/60-74°F depending upon the site, sea and island. You'll want to research your particular destination so you come prepared with the proper thermal gear.
Weather – In this Mediterranean climate, expect hot and dry summer weather from July to September, with average temperatures of 27°C/80°F. Winter temperatures drop to an average of 6°C/43°F.
Featured Creatures – The Aegean and Ionian Seas have a wonderful collection of nudibranchs, invertebrates, crabs, shrimp, eels, seahorses and other easily overlookable stealth critters. If you're bent on seeing the big stuff, there's a good chance you can get your fix off Galaxidi on the deep Gulf of Corinth, with dolphin and sea turtles. Night diving is particularly interesting because that's when cuttlefish, conger eels and octopi venture out of their daytime lairs.
Recommended Training – Take the PADI Wreck Diver course to truly appreciate the historical wrecks. The PADI Enriched Air Diver course is also a good choice to extend your bottom time at mid-range depths. To capture the images of artifacts, the PADI Digital Underwater Photography course is a natural choice.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
Language – Greek with English spoken in tourist areas.
Currency – Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Major Airports – Athens International Airport is the main international air hub.
Electricity and Internet – Electricity is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Internet service is available in most of the resort areas.
Topside Attractions – Advanced civilization, democracy, the Olympic Games, western philosophy and literature and some impressive myths originated in Greece and there are many places where you can immerse yourself in related attractions. Don’t skip out on Athens – it’s worth seeing the Parthenon and other Greek icons.