The Ionian Islands, an idyllic cluster on Greece's western coast, are renowned for their lush landscapes, historical landmarks, and crystal-clear waters. They are an ideal destination for those wishing to explore the depths of the Mediterranean, with underwater caves, ancient shipwrecks, and a vibrant marine ecosystem awaiting discovery.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
The Wreck of the HMS Perseus, Zakynthos: Resting on the seabed near Keri Beach, the British submarine HMS Perseus is a haunting sight. Sunk during World War II, it's one of the best-preserved submarine wrecks in the world and is a must-visit for experienced divers.
The Caves of Paleokastritsa, Corfu: A series of underwater caves and tunnels, Paleokastritsa offers divers the thrill of exploration. The play of light through the water and the caves' diverse inhabitants make this dive a visual delight.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Voutoumi Beach, Antipaxos: A relatively shallow and serene site, Voutoumi Beach is great for novices. The crystal-clear waters, filled with playful fish and colorful plant life, ensure a memorable diving experience for beginners.
Scorpios Island, Lefkada: Once the private haven of billionaire Aristotle Onassis, this island has dive spots that are perfect for beginners. The calm waters and rich biodiversity provide an easy yet fulfilling diving experience.
The Ionian Sea is teeming with Mediterranean marine species. Divers can expect encounters with grouper, barracuda, sea bream, octopuses, and occasionally sea turtles. Vibrant coral formations and meadows of seagrass complete the picturesque underwater scenery.
The best time for diving in the Ionian Islands is from May to October. During this period, the water temperature hovers between 70°F to 79°F (21°C to 26°C). Visibility is often exceptional, reaching up to 40 meters in certain locations. However, diving conditions can be influenced by local winds, so always consult local forecasts.
A single dive in the Ionian Islands typically costs between $45 to $85, depending on the dive shop and the specific site. Packages for multiple dives may offer discounts. Equipment rental, if not included, might incur additional charges, so always inquire beforehand.
In summary, the Ionian Islands provide an enchanting backdrop both above and below the water's surface. From the historical relics to the rich marine life, diving here promises both adventure and serenity.