The Cyclades, an archipelago of islands nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea, is among Greece's most iconic destinations. Renowned for their white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches, and sun-kissed beaches, these islands are also a diver's paradise. With a unique underwater landscape shaped by volcanic activity and ancient ruins, the Cyclades offer a scuba diving experience unlike any other.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
Santorini – Caldera Wall: The island's volcanic origins are evident in the underwater caldera wall, which drops dramatically into the deep blue. Divers can explore caves, overhangs, and the marine life that has adapted to this unique environment.
Amorgos – The Wreck of Olympia: This shipwreck from the 1980s has become a major attraction for divers visiting the island. Resting at 25 meters, the wreck is covered in marine growth and surrounded by schools of fish.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Paros – Kolimbithres: The calm and clear waters of Kolimbithres in Paros offer the perfect environment for beginner divers. With sandy bottoms and rock formations, divers can spot octopuses, sea breams, and an array of Mediterranean fish.
Naxos – Agios Prokopios: This site provides shallow dives with a rich seabed full of posidonia sea grass, ideal for novice divers to familiarize themselves with the underwater world.
The Cyclades boast a rich marine biodiversity, including species like parrotfish, damselfish, and wrasse. The seabed's rocky nature and the presence of underwater caves provide perfect habitats for lobsters, moray eels, and Mediterranean monk seals, although the latter is rare.
Diving in the Cyclades is best between April and October. Water temperatures during this time range from 64°F to 77°F (18°C to 25°C). Visibility is typically excellent, especially during the summer months, with ranges of 20 to 40 meters. The Aegean Sea can be choppy, so it's essential to check the local conditions before diving.
Scuba diving in the Cyclades varies in price based on the island and dive center. On average, a single dive might cost anywhere between $55 and $90. Package deals for multiple dives or certification courses might offer better value. As always, check if equipment rental is included in the price.
In summary, the Cyclades provide a stunning backdrop both above and below the water. From exploring ancient shipwrecks to gliding alongside the marine inhabitants of the Aegean, diving in this archipelago is sure to be an unforgettable experience.