The Canary Islands, an archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa, are a part of Spain and a dream destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. The islands' volcanic origins, combined with the rich Atlantic waters, have carved out a wide array of underwater landscapes. From caverns and wrecks to sheer walls and sandy bottoms, divers are treated to some of the best diving experiences Europe has to offer.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
El Bajón, El Hierro: Often considered the pinnacle of diving in the Canary Islands, El Bajón is a volcanic pinnacle that plunges deep into the ocean. The currents here attract pelagic species, and the visibility is outstanding, making it a must-dive site for advanced divers.
Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote: Europe's first underwater museum, located off the coast of Lanzarote, is an ethereal experience. Created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, the sculptures have transformed into thriving artificial reefs, making it a top choice for experienced divers.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Tabaiba Wreck, Tenerife: This artificial wreck, intentionally sunk for divers, rests at a depth accessible to beginners. It's a controlled environment, perfect for new divers to hone their skills while exploring a real wreck.
Las Anclas, Gran Canaria: Located near the town of Arguineguin, this dive site features a series of anchors embedded in a sandy seabed. Its shallow depth, combined with minimal currents, makes it ideal for novices.
The Canary Islands boast a rich and diverse marine life. Divers can encounter rays, angel sharks, barracudas, moray eels, and even the occasional turtle or dolphin. The volcanic formations and wrecks are teeming with macro life, making it a haven for photographers. Coral gardens, sea sponges, and a rainbow of fish species add color and vibrancy to every dive.
Thanks to their location in the Atlantic Ocean, the Canary Islands offer year-round diving with water temperatures ranging from 64°F in winter to 77°F in summer. Visibility is generally excellent, often extending up to 100 feet. While many sites are characterized by calm waters, some areas, especially those attracting pelagics, may have stronger currents, making it essential to check conditions beforehand.
The Canary Islands, being a popular tourist destination, offer competitive diving prices. A standard dive, inclusive of equipment rental, can range from $50 to $100. For those looking to get certified, beginner courses usually hover around $400 to $500, which typically includes training, multiple dives, and equipment usage. Package deals and discounts for multiple dives are common, so it's a good idea to inquire at local dive centers.
With their enticing mix of natural beauty and diverse underwater landscapes, the Canary Islands are a scuba diving paradise. Whether you're a seasoned diver seeking the thrill of a deep dive or a beginner eager to explore the wonders of the ocean, this Spanish archipelago promises unmatched underwater adventures.