Scuba Diving Crete

Scuba Diving Crete: The Complete Guide

From a towering white mountain range to fine-sand beaches, Crete is a Greek island full of history and culture waiting to be explored. Visitors from all over the world descend upon this popular tourist destination every year to immerse themselves in history and soak up the enviable weather.

Greece’s largest island is the 5th largest island behind Sicily situated in the crystal clear turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea. The land is scattered with brilliant architecture to marvel at, and bordered by picturesque beaches with brilliant blue water full of marine life.

This Greek island is also a haven for scuba divers, with its great location in the Mediterranean Sea! Scuba diving Crete promises warm, clear waters featuring a vibrant, colorful world of underwater life and environments.

Scuba Diving Crete

What’s Good About Crete Diving?

Surrounded by the inviting warm water of the Mediterranean, Crete is a European hub for everything vacations. This certainly holds true for scuba diving too, here’s some of our favorite things about scuba diving in Crete.

Exquisite Conditions

There’s a reason that Crete is a popular tourist island. The water of the Mediterranean is a brilliant blue with incredible visibility and warm, calm conditions that attract a range of tropical underwater life.

This is an ideal location to have your first diving experience. With ideal conditions suitable for beginners and an abundance of life waiting to be discovered.

Location

With its prime European location, Crete makes for a great gateway into the warm, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. There’s plenty of dive sites that are convenient and easy to access, with many just a short boat ride away.

Great Marine Biodiversity

The warm waters of the Mediterranean play host to a captivating world of colorful and exotic life. You’ll swim amongst hundreds of species of colorful exotic fish and see a number of types of vibrant corals. You’ll also find diversity in terrain with options of various caves and reefs!

Crete is a great place to experience the many underwater gems beneath the surface of the Mediterranean Sea!

Crete Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

There’s no requirement to be a certified diver in order to dive in Crete. In fact, there are many tour operators that cater to those of all levels of ability. No problem for first-time divers. Thanks to the ease of access to many sites due to their proximity to the Crete coastline, there are plenty of beginner-friendly and easily accessible dive sites to get your flippers wet for the first time.

Having said that, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving Crete as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on without the extra confidence and diving experience. This includes the more challenging caves and deeper dives.

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

Crete Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

Since 2005, new laws have been introduced allowing recreational scuba divers to dive all over Greece. However, there are still some restrictions, namely around archeological sites.

As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive with a tour operator.

With that said, it’s highly recommended to have a dive buddy while out scuba diving in the waters of Crete. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Dive Sites in Crete

So, you can well understand why it’s a veritable paradise for deep-sea divers. However, there was a time when scuba diving was restricted here due to a number of local regulations.

Thankfully, these have been relaxed recently, allowing easier access to their great diving. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best diving spots in Crete.

Chania

Cave Diving

For an entirely unusual diving experience, I suggest you head over to the Elephant’s cave in Chania, located in northern Crete. This underwater cave is full of fossilized wonders that I’m sure will more than captivate you.

The cave is located near Cape Akrotiri, and is a storehouse of ancient animal remains. It’s assumed to be millions of years old and has magnificent red-and-white stalactites and stalagmites that make for a picturesque view.

You’ll also be enchanted by the fossilized remains of mammoths and get a glimpse of the times gone by. The remains in the cave are a testament to the fact that it was once at surface level but was slowly engulfed by the raging waters.

If this sounds ideal to you, be sure to check out our recommended diving package experience below!

Messerschmitt Wreck

Shipwreck

Another wreck harking back to the times of World War II, the remains of this German aircraft can be found, upside-down, at a depth of about 24m below the surface. The plane has broken up into several parts, and the wreck can often be seen from the surface when the sea is calm.

Located at Analipsi, close to Hersonisos and 10km to the east of Heraklion, you’ll have to take a boat to reach the dive location. However, since this is a weather-dependent dive site, do be sure to keep your eye on the sky before taking the dive.

For a unique experience you won’t see anywhere else, check out our recommended diving package below!

Heraklion

Underwater Rocks

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz among scuba divers about Heraklion. Especially the northern coasts, ranging from Stalida to Hersonissos and right up to Agia Pelagia, are popular among beginners and experts alike.

Some attractive locations in Heraklion for diving are the St. George Cave in Hersonissos, Skaros Reef located in Fodele, and Trypiti, off Lygaria beach. Heraklion also has several diving centers that offer training courses.

Best Time to go Diving in Crete

Crete is home to the warm, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea and makes for pleasant diving for much of the and Summer and Autumn months from May up until November. Water temperatures at this time are around 68-75°F.

Due to being such a popular holiday resort amongst travelers of all kinds, it might be a good idea to avoid the peak season. Instead, consider visiting during the shoulder months of April or December. You’ll avoid a good amount of the crowds and still enjoy the brilliant conditions! You’ll even have a better chance of spotting turtles in April!

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Crete?

If you’re looking at booking a dive package experience through a tour company in Crete, you’ll find prices between $100-$150. The prices generally include gear rental and levy’s so there are no extra fees.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $600, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in Crete

Scuba Gear

There are plenty of dive shops located in the holiday resort of Crete. This means gear rental is always an option.

It’s worth noting, you’re left with one less thing to think about when going with a diving package from a guided tour operator as all equipment and gear are included.

However, buying your own gear might be ideal for you if you’re a more keen and experienced diver!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear.

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