Scuba Diving Sicily

Scuba Diving Sicily: All You Need To Know

Just off the “toe” of Italy’s well-known “boot” shape, Sicily is rich in history and culture which is well reflected in ancient archeology such as ruins and temples. There’s far more to Sicily though, boasting landscapes packed with breathtaking active volcanoes, snow-tipped mountains, and a vibrant, inviting sea.

The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, much larger than the likes of Crete, Sicily is brimming with things to see and do. From its 5 regional parks and 77 nature reserves to its beautiful warm crystal-clear water, there’s something to cater to all types of adventurers.

Thanks to its location in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily also has some excellent opportunities for scuba divers! Scuba diving Sicily promises unique experiences of diving amongst surreal underwater landscapes of volcanic rock and shipwrecks.

Scuba Diving Sicily

Situated off the south coast of Italy, Sicily grants easy access to the best of the Mediterranean diving experience. With serene transparent warm blue water, diving here will feel like nothing short of a treat.

The amazing crystal clear waters here are littered with captivating shipwrecks and dramatic underwater landscapes of caves and caverns! You’ll also explore interesting volcanic rock formations and crevices to further the experience.

These waters also make for comfortable conditions, with warm blue water and great visibility. This makes it a great option for divers of all abilities!

Sicily Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

There is no requirement to be certified to scuba dive in Sicily. While there are some dives catered to the more confident and experienced, there are plenty of options for newbies too.

There are many tour operators that cater to those of all levels of ability, no problem for beginner divers. Thanks to the vastly different conditions and diverse range of dive sites available, there are plenty of beginner-friendly and easily accessible dive sites to get your flippers wet for the first time.

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 Sicily as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on without the extra confidence and diving experience, such as the more challenging wrecks.

If you’re looking to get scuba certified during your trip to Sicily, check out our recommended Open Water Diving course below!

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.

Sicily Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

There are no specific laws that scuba divers in Sicily need to be aware of.

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. You may be required to complete a medical form to confirm your eligibility to dive.

With that said, it’s always highly recommended to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in Sicily, as it is anywhere else. 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 Sicily

Situated in the Mediterranean and the largest of the Mediterranean Islands, Sicily has a pleasant climate with warm sunny summers and mild winters. It’s not only the conditions that make diving in Sicily great though, here are some of our favorite dive sites.

Isola Bella Marine Park

Mallorca Dive

This marine park at Taormina is one of the best-loved diving sites in the whole of Sicily. It is one of the few locations you can dive 24/7 all year round.

With no current to speak of and a gentle sand slope to the seabed, Isola Bella is as diverse and rich with sea life as you would hope. The site is a hotspot for a plethora of marine life. This includes barracuda and octopus to stingrays, groupers, and much more.

As the bay’s sandy bottom has Posidonia seagrass, the drop-offs are heaving with sea creatures. You will see several species of nudibranchs, shrimp, stonefish, and seahorses.

Thanks to the bay’s gentle waters and its topography, Isola Bella is an excellent spot for night dives to see the nocturnal creatures of the sea. There is no shortage of flora and fauna round the clock in this marine reserve.

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

Capo Taormina

Shipwreck

The waters off Capo Taormina have been judged to be one of the world’s top dive sites. And not without good reason. There are several notable dive sites in the area, including the Grotta Azzurra and the wreck of a Roman cargo vessel.

Do check out the Capo Sant’andrea reef as it’s easy for all levels of divers and consists of a series of bays that barely reach eight metres. Outside the reef, there are buttresses and sandy-bottomed gullies that drop to a depth of around 20 metres.

This variety of water depths comes with a diversity of marine life, particularly in the shallower areas that attract moray eels and octopus. Looking northward on the surface, you will get a great view of the island’s world-famous volcano, Mount Etna.

But consider a night dive as the reef bursts into life and color when you can see fluorescent plankton, Spanish dancers, and squid.

If you’re heading to Sicily and looking to get your first taste of scuba diving, this unique dive will definitely make lasting memories. Check out our recommended diving package below!

Zingaro Nature Reserve

Sicily Reef

Located on the rugged and mostly untouched coast between Palermo and Trapani was recovering from a devastating fire at the time of writing. The inland reserve is likely to be closed until the spring of 2021. It’s advisable to check ahead of time before traveling there.

Access to the beaches is closed, but dive centers around Scopello and Trapani are your best options for getting to the reserve’s premier diving spots. This is excellent news as the waters surrounding the nature reserve are littered with wrecks and offer unparalleled visibility.

Zingaro was Sicily’s first protected area and today is an underwater oasis for marine life. The clear blue waters are delineated by a series of coves and high rock walls that slope gently to the seabed. Red corals are common.

Of all the diving spots, it’s challenging to choose the best. However, for a lot of people, Cala Capreria is the place to go.

Best Time to go Diving in Sicily

Like much the Mediterranean around central Europe, it’s warm, sunny summers and mostly mild winters mean that Sicily is a reliable summer diving destination. You can dive year-round if you really want to but be prepared for water temperatures below 60°F during the winter months between December-April.

Depending on the site and conditions, expect impeccable visibility often exceeding 100 feet. You can also expect water temperatures around 73-78°F in the summer months between June-October.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Sicily?

If you’re looking at booking a dive package experience through a tour company in Sicily, 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 $450, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in Sicily

Scuba Gear

There are plenty of dive shops located in Sicily. 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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