Whether you snorkel or scuba dive, the crystal clear visibility found here (over 30meters in some places in summer) will give you unbelievable views and photos of wrecks, caves, caverns, canyons, walls, and reefs.
Anytime you put your head underwater rich marine life awaits you including many species of fish, conger eels, nudibranchs, fire worms, cuttlefish, sea fans, sponges, anemones, sea urchins, starfish, crabs, lobsters, squid, octopuses and moray eels among others. Some lucky divers may also have a chance to see turtles, sharks, seals, dolphins, tuna, swordfish, sunfish or flying fish.
Since 2005, divers were given access to all of the 8,500 miles of the Greek coastline. This means many virgin dive sites are out there waiting to be discovered with the help of numerous eco-friendly diving clubs and schools that cater for all levels of divers and snorkelers. However, simply donning a mask and exploring from the shore can be equally rewarding. There are many islands and dive sites to enjoy. Here are a few of the top highlights:
- Halkidiki is often described as the ‘Secret Paradise of Greece’ and has been awarded more Blue Flags for the cleanliness of its seas and beaches than any other location in the world. Particularly enchanting is Kelifos Island with stunning reefs (between the Kassandra Peninsula and the Sithonia Peninsula).
- The Sporades contain the marine park at Alonissos and Peristera where the seabed is strewn with wrecks. You can also explore numerous shipwrecks, e.g. ‘Vera’, at Lefteris reef near Skiathos Island.
- Reefs and caves around Chios Island.
- The Volcanic Caldera in Santorini where there is a 200m drop off.
- The waters around Elounda and Ammoudi in Crete with their great sites. The island of Chrissi or Gaidouronissi, south of Ierapetra are especially great for snorkelling.
- Zakynthos Island where you can dive with the rare loggerhead turtles.
For many more sites click on the regional guides to diving. These are only some suggestions around the country for enjoying the ocean environment in an eco-friendly way, participating in preserving it for future generations and trying to change damaging practices such as spear fishing. You will also find some photos to ‘wet’ your appetite and further information on eco-diving in Greece.
Remember that enjoying the marine environment in an eco-friendly way means to touch nothing and take nothing with you except pictures and amazing memories. Enjoy and keep blowing bubbles!
By Philip Walker, expert diver, written exclusively for Ecotourism-Greece.com