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Blog Guide to diving in Greece. Written for us by Hollie Mantle

Stories of ancient Greek civilizations have attracted tourists ever since low cost carriers brought nicely priced flights to our doorsteps.

Whilst palaces and architecture still reel in tourists above ground, what about what's going on below?

New and experienced divers from across the globe flock to this diving hotspot where underwater cities aren't just part of mythical legends.

The Aegean Sea, surrounding Greece and her islands, is a hot bed of shipwrecks, corals and caves littering the sea floor.

For those already in possession of an Open Water diving certificate, this is the spot to head to for your next diving holiday in Europe.

Mykonos

Mykonos is part of the Cyclades, a group of islands which form a circle surrounding the island of Delos, and have won the hearts of European tourists heading over for a taste of Greek sunshine.

There's an airport on the island, which is reachable via a quick 35 minute flight from Athens. It also has an abundance of things to do if you're bringing family and friends who want to stay dry above ground.

There are two main wreck-spots for divers to explore here, one of which is the Peloponisos Wreck, a 64m long ship which sunk in 1926.

The boat is now split into two pieces strewn out along the sea bed, with the pieces acting as a man-made reef now home to an abundance of sea life.

In order to see this wreck you'll need to be an experienced diver capable of reaching depths up to 55m.

The other shipwreck of note near this island is the ANNA II, which fell here in 1995. At between 18-36 metres deep this one is more accessible if you don't have the experience or comfort levels for the Peloponisos.

Be warned; if you come in the autumn you might be disappointed, as storms hit, shops close down and waters will be unsteady.

Spring is the best time of year as the waters are warm enough for swimming and the island isn't crowded with peak season tourists.

Crete

Crete is the largest of all of Greece's islands and could be mistaken for another country, such is the diversity of culture, food and customs here.

For divers, it's a fantastic spot for discovering the out-of-the-ordinary under water. The Messerschmitt wreck, for example, is a WW2 German fighter plane now resting off the coast of Crete after falling here in 1945.

The remains are still perfectly visible, and are now inhabited by grouper eels, cuttlefish, crayfish and perch. You'll need to be able to reach depths of 30m to see this one.

It takes about ten minutes by boat from Malia to see this wreck, so staying in this town is the best option for divers. It's a 25 minute car journey from the airport, and also has a lot of things to do above ground, such as King Minos' Palace.

Be careful though as this is quite a popular area in summer and you'd do best to book in advance; this site has 114 reviews of Malia based hotels.

Malia Diving Centre inside Sirens Beach Hotel is widely recommended by divers in the area, and offers a full range of PADI courses for those needing to get certified before heading out to the more exciting wreck spots!

Thassos

If you haven't got an Open Water certificate and don't have the time to get qualified, you can find some great shallow snorkelling spots in Thassos.

Seagull Island is one particularly great spot for snorkelers who want a glimpse of Greece's underwater safari life. Volcano's Tears is another area filled with solidified lava formations which divers might want to take a look at.

Diver to Diver was the first certified diving school on Thassos. You can rent equipment from the helpful staff and book yourself on boat rides there.

You can also charter a private yacht from Iliomare Seaside hotel if you prefer to go it alone. As the island is only 4km from the mainland, it's easy to reach by ferry, and isn't as built up as some of the other places with only 16,000 inhabitants.

You won't be short of accommodation options however, as the island boasts over 400 hotels. Summer season is the best time to go but be warned- the European tourists are going to be overflowing during those months!

Naxos

34m below sea level you can find the sunken Bristol Beaufighter plane, with machine guns still visible inside. The nose has been separated from the rest of the plane, and the propeller is missing, possibly having fallen off at the time it was hit.

To visit this wreck you'll need to head half a mile out to see from Cape Kouroupas, which is on the west coast of Naxos.

You can get there via Santorini via ferry, which takes around 2 hours, or by plane from Athens.

There's not a huge amount to see or do on the island, so tourists mainly flock here in the summer months to enjoy the beaches and picturesque scenery of the Castro- an old, walled section of the city.

Make sure you try the local liquor 'Kitron' (although not before a diving day!)

Been to any other amazing diving spots in Greece? Let us know!

Hollie Mantle

  • Greece Diving 1
  • Greece Diving 2
  • Greece Diving 3