Europe, humbled with countries home to the world’s greatest civilizations and early discoveries, holds a special place in everyone’s hearts, and vacation lists. Apart from this popular opinion, Europe boasts music and art from the ancient to modern times that would make every enthusiast tear in wonder. Its beauty does not end there as the makeup of the continent is blessed with pastures, waters, and overall geographic features fit for outdoor activities as basic as country walks, down to more extreme ones as white water rafting and destination for best scuba diving in Europe.
A trending activity in the waters of Europe is scuba diving. With surrounding waters as the Mediterranean, Arctic, Atlantic, and the Black Sea, the continent is a treasure chest to those looking for the best diving experience. You can scour the continent to find the best places to do drift, night, cave, wreck, open water, ice, and drift diving. To help you decide for your next scuba diving adventure, here are the destinations for best scuba diving in Europe.
1.Silfra Fissure, Iceland
If you are in for “A Walk to Remember” moment – being two places at once – the Silfra Fissure in Iceland is a must-visit. The diving spot is popular for two reasons: 1) it is a fissure between the Eurasian and North American plate, and is the only place in the world to dive between continental plates; and, 2) it boasts the clearest waters in the world with water visibility up to 100 meters down.
The Silfra Fissure has four different sections to visit: the Silfra Cathedral, Silfra Big Crack, Silfra Hall, and Silfra Lagoon. Although the Thingvellir Lake typically homes variations of marine life, fishes rarely wander into the Silfra Fissure.
2. Blue Hole, Gozo
The Blue Hole is among the most popular sites to scuba dive in the Maltese Archipelago. It is situated in Gozo, the second largest among the three islands of Malta. What makes this site a popular destination for best scuba diving in Europe is its diverse ocean life, acclaimed natural formations, and pristine waters.
The Blue Hole, present through natural rock formation is complete with a sheltered entryway for divers. It features a natural rock archway covered with parazoanthus axinellae, a zoanthid coral occurring in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. From the Blue Hole, you can see the Azure Window, another majestic rock formation near the former dive site. Rich in marine life, The Blue Hole is home to lobsters, octopuses, parrotfishes, moray eels, and many more sea creatures.
Known diving centers in Gozo are complete with diving courses, accommodations, and special packages for you and your family.
3.The Booroo, Isle of Man
If you want to experience diving under strong tidal currents and strong over falls, the Booroo (also Burroo) is the perfect place for you. This dive site is situated on the Isle of Man, a self-governing dependency found in the Irish Sea in between Ireland and England. The linguistic roots of the Booroo came from the Vikings, and the Scandinavian word “borg” referring to a hill usually for fortification.
The Booroo is blessed with intricate underwater topography, boasting marine life, and extreme eddies (underwater currents) thrill divers will surely love. On the southern part of the Booroo, its main cliff continues into a short vertical drop, ending with a bedrock slope. At 15 meters, there you will find a sheltered entryway.
Also present in the Booroo are velvet swimming and edible crabs, sea slugs, grey seals, and variations of fishes. There are also suspension-feeding animals living in the depths of the site. Along with the beautiful natural geography and marine population are boulders found in the depths of the Booroo.
Ice diving is one of the many types of scuba diving, and one you can experience in Lake Sassolo (also Lago di Sassolo). The lake is located in Ticino, Switzerland, close to the southern part of Italy, and is about 2000 meters above sea level. The lake was formed from the runoffs of the Alps in its immediate environment.
Although an amazing experience, ice diving is a very technical type of dive and needs meticulous learning courses. In addition, careful mapping and planning should be done on the diving routes to visit.
5.Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is found along the Southern part of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Italy. This 50 km coastline features 20 dive spots ranging from easy to difficult routes. A must-dive for tourists, especially those with one diving opportunities on their busy vacation itinerary, is the Secchetella dei Galli. This spot for best scuba diving in Europe is an underwater mountain located at the Marine National Park of Punta Campanella. It features ocean wildlife like the gold coral, gorgonia, fishes, Mediterranean black corals, lobsters, and many more.
6.Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Lake Geneva is another popular best scuba diving in Europe, rising at about 347 meters above sea level. The average depth of the water is estimated to about 155 meters deep, with its maximum at 310 meters. Diving, however, is limited to about 20 meters, and 40 meters for tech divers, depending on the diving locations.
There are 20 known dive spots in Lake Geneva; one of its best locations in the Hirondelle Wreck. In 1855, the Hirondelle was built as a passenger cruiser. Its operations came to a halt in 10th of June 1862 when the ship crashed among rock bodies, finally sinking into the depths of more than 300 meters. Although scarce with marine life, the wreck is a must-dive for wreck diving enthusiasts as its features remain completely intact, and ready for exploration.
Truly, Lake Geneva is one of nature’s’ finest; its surrounding mountains continue to depths, providing tourists and locals a chance for wall dives. It also homes yet another dive spot rich in history for its adjacent structure – the Chateau de Chillon (Chillon Castle) – a medieval fortress occupied by the Bronze Age. There you will be diving in waters surrounding four ancient castle walls, and catering to all diving certification levels.