Scuba Diving in Crete
Scuba diving in Crete: For either experienced or inexperienced divers, the whole island is literally a huge diving site
Scuba diving in Crete is an activity that gets more popular year after year. In all over the island there are numerous diving centres offering PADI courses with experienced instructors.
When scuba diving in Crete, you have the opportunity to admire the rich underwater flora and fauna of the island, which includes spectacular species like red and green octopuses, cuttlefishes, groupers up to 1.5m long (!), moray eels, stinger fishes, congers, and many sea breams.
The advantages of scuba diving in Crete
A great advantage for scuba divers in Crete is the water temperature. Due to the warm and mild climate in the island, diving is easy in all seasons – and very comfortable during the summer.
Another excellent feature of the Cretan seas regarding Scuba diving is the excellent visibility in deep waters. As many divers in Crete know, visibility is usually very good in depths of more than 30 metres – in some cases even in 50 metres.
The rocky underwater terrain is another reason for the richness of marine life in the seas around Crete. Scuba diving in the rocky shores of Crete is fascinating, giving you the chance to discover most of the underwater species of the area.
Another advantage is the myriads of protected coves in every corner of the island. There are large parts of the rocky shores in Crete that abound in fish, especially the ones in small, hidden coves, which are ideal for scuba diving.
Additionally, in the fierce Battle of Crete during World War II, many planes and ships sank around the island, which have now become colonies of different species of underwater animals. Many of the scuba diving tours in Crete are in spectacular underwater wrecks.
Finally, another great advantage of the Cretan seas is the absence of dangerous animals. Although there are some small sharks in the Aegean, they practically never get close to the shore and they are fearful of human presence – in fact, the only case in Greece where a shark attacked a diver happened in central Greece decades ago. Some extra attention when scuba diving in Crete, however, should be given to moray eels – thus it is wise to avoid putting your hands into dark crevices, as the moray eels might get offensive if they happen to be inside and feel provoked. In practice, the marine animals you should be more careful of in Cretan shores are the sea urchins: there are many of them on the rocks, and they are by far the main reason for divers’ discomfort.
Ideal places for scuba diving in Crete
An excellent location for scuba divers in Crete is Platanias beach, only 10 kilometres west of Chania city. About 800 metres across the bay from this very popular, well organized beach, is the small island of Agioi Theodoroi, or Thodorou. Thodorou is environmentally protected and its rocky shores are abounding in different kinds of fishes, making it an excellent site for scuba diving.
Another very good location for scuba diving is Stavros in Akrotiri Peninsula, about 15 kilometres northeast from Chania city. The main beach of Stavros is sandy and well organized, but the beach ideal for diving is the second one, on the north side of Stavros, which is known as Pachia Ammos. Pachia Ammos is a wide sandy beach which is fronted by rocks in some places, leading to smooth limestone underwater.
Although scuba diving in Crete is not one of the activities that are regularly promoted by travel agencies, the island of Crete, for the many reasons mentioned above, is a diver’s paradise. If you like the magic of the underwater world, scuba diving in Crete can be the experience of a lifetime!