Macedonia, a significant region in northern Greece, is historically renowned for its contribution to Hellenic culture, most notably as the birthplace of Alexander the Great. While it may be more recognized for its rich history and majestic mountains than for its diving spots, there are still water-based treasures waiting to be explored by avid scuba enthusiasts.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
The Wrecks of Thermaikos Gulf: The gulf adjacent to Thessaloniki, the capital of Macedonia, contains several shipwrecks that date back to both ancient times and the two World Wars. These wrecks are particularly alluring for advanced divers.
Lake Kerkini: Although not a typical diving destination, this artificial reservoir offers something different for the seasoned diver. A submerged forest and remnants of old settlements can be seen below its surface.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Potidea Canal: Situated in the Kassandra peninsula, this canal connects the Thermaikos Gulf with the Toroneos Gulf. It offers calmer waters suitable for beginners.
Ammouliani Island: Close to Mount Athos, this is Macedonia’s only inhabited island. It boasts clear waters and sandy seabeds, ideal for novice divers wanting to experience Mediterranean marine life.
Macedonia's marine habitats, especially around its coastal regions, are alive with typical Aegean marine life. Divers might encounter octopuses, moray eels, sea breams, and even dolphins on rare occasions. The waters here also feature seagrasses and smaller coral formations.
Diving in Macedonia is best between June and September when the water temperatures are warmer, ranging between 72°F to 77°F (22°C to 25°C). Visibility in open water sites can reach up to 30 meters, but it may be less in freshwater spots like Lake Kerkini.
Expect to pay between $50 to $90 for a single dive in Macedonia, depending on the dive center and the specific location. Prices might be lower in lesser-known sites. Equipment rental and guided dives could come at an additional fee, so it's always wise to ask in advance.
In conclusion, while Macedonia may not be the first destination that comes to mind for diving in Greece, it offers unique underwater experiences, especially for those looking to combine their dive with a dose of rich history and scenic landscapes.