Best Snorkeling & Diving Spots in the Mediterranean. Europe is a real hotspot when it comes to tourists. Over 1 billion people visit the Old Continent every year to explore its mighty cities, snap photos or the architecture and learn about history. However, not many people think of Europe when talking about snorkeling and diving—they are usually reserved for exotic islands. Well, surprise! Europe is blessed with the Mediterranean Sea, a playground for many species of sea animals and plants. So, if you’re not familiar with Europe’s underwater destinations, here’s a little guide that will help you choose your perfect spot for an adventure of a lifetime. You can also find a nice hobby to make this experience a lifetime memory.
Medes Islands, Spain
Pronounced a National Protected Natural Park in 2010, Medes Islands are one of the best and most popular sites for divers in the Mediterranean. Since it’s protected by law, the area is peaceful, beautiful and full of gorgeous underwater things to see. Medes Islands aren’t huge—they cover just 21 hectares, but they are a great vacationing spot for people with families with experienced swimmers (the coast is rocky). Once you manage to get over the stones, expect to have the waters almost all to yourself since swimmers, boaters and fishermen are scarce. Keep your eyes open for giant groupers and barracudas who rule these waters.
Ghar Lapsi, Malta
This small fishing port is blessed by a unique natural pool that allows you to venture far away from the shore and still be in the shallows. These pools are perfect for families and kids, but playful marine life also loves the area. Like most great snorkeling spots, Ghar Lapsi on Malta is also rocky, but waters are clear and of pleasant temperature.
Port-Cros near the city of Hyeres is a small island protected by law since it’s one of the best snorkeling spots in the world. The island will blow every snorkeler’s mind with its dream setup. A pleasant walk from the village will get you to Palud Beach where you can see barracudas and octopus. You can also hit The Rascal, an underwater trail marked with buoys with information on the seabed, flora and fauna. This spot is great for beginners looking to learn plenty of things about the underwater world.
Maddalena Archipelago, Italy
If you happen to be in Sardinia, you must take your boat out to Maddalena Archipelago National Park, especially if you love snorkeling. Just a little away from the northern coast of Sardinia, this archipelago is a collection of small islands and islets that rise from the blue waters. While all islands have great snorkeling, the coves of Punta Tegge, Spalmatore and Cala Francese stand out from the competition. The water is perfect, the beaches are breathtaking and you’re guaranteed to have a blast exploring the area.
Croatia’s coast is very popular for lux vacationing, but not very popular for snorkelers and divers. However, since it has a rocky coast that provides great visibility and an abundance of underwater flora and fauna, Croatia should be on everyone’s radar. Makarska Beach is a gorgeous spot with an interesting seascape with fresh water springing from the ground. This phenomenon creates a unique environment with distinct species of coral and plants. And if you want to keep your luxury impression of the Croatian coast, you can visit many spots perfect for snorkeling with a private yacht. Even if this is your first time doing something so exclusive, if you find the right Mediterranean yacht charter, you’ll get just what you need for your exploration adventure. There’s no better way to get familiar with a coastline and get to all the best diving spots than with a yacht!
If you ask local divers and snorkelers, most will tell you that Foki Beach in Kefalonia is the best spot to explore marine wildlife in the Mediterranean. The beach is gorgeous in itself surrounded by forests and dramatic cliffs, but the real fun starts when you take a look under the surface of the water. The water is calm and the area is sheltered, so many species of marine life choose to call this spot home. Those lucky snorkelers can even catch a glimpse of extremely rare Mediterranean Monk Seal!
The town of Paphos is an interesting spot known for its cultural immersion and diverse landscape where the sea mixes with the mountains. However, it also offers great snorkeling, especially if you hit Paphos lighthouse and its rocky surrounding area. Sure, the waters are rough and not suitable for beginners, but if you have your way with a snorkeler and flippers, you’ll have no issues getting the best out of your outing. Up for something more relaxing? There are many sandy beaches around the shore where you can enjoy looking at smaller fish and crabs.
No matter if you’re snorkeling from the shore or taking out your yacht, you’ll find plenty of spots in the Mediterranean that will satisfy your underwater curiosity and show you just how wonderful life can be when you take a look under the surface.