Spain is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. Europeans gather on the coast and islands to escape the colder winters of northern Europe.
Also, Spain includes some of the most beautiful scuba diving sites in Europe. Still, diving sometimes gets lost on the list of things to do since the country is known for many other activities!
One of the main advantages of diving in Spain is that the destinations are easily accessible. The diving season is open all year round in some places.
This article is a detailed guide to scuba diving and snorkeling in Spain.
Best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Spain
The best scuba diving sites in Spain
Spain offers hot and cold water dives. Divers will find many dive sites of each type. Besides, many marine reserves are located along the coast. Each of them is a destination of choice for diving.
Writing a list of a few dive sites would not do justice to the choices available in Spain. So, without seeing it as an exhaustive list, here are some of the best diving destinations in Spain:
Barcelona is more famous for its football team than for scuba diving. It’s well known! But, it would be unfortunate not to discover the underwater world that hides there. Regarding scuba diving, Barcelona is overshadowed by its neighbor: the Costa Brava.
The Costa Brava stretches over 160 kilometers of the Mediterranean coastline and offers excellent dive sites. But to reach the Costa Brava, there is nothing better than going through Barcelona!
The Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is located between the northwest coast of Spain and France. Diving is done in cold water, and conditions can be difficult. So, diving there in July and August is preferable since winter’s requirements can be stormy.
But, for experienced divers accustomed to this kind of condition, diving is fascinating all year round! Besides, there is a very original dive site to discover: an underwater wine cellar! It is Crusoe Treasure’s wine cellar. It ages its wine on the golf course and allows 20 divers to visit its underwater cellar a year.
The Balearic Island
The Balearic Islands are offshore in the Mediterranean Sea and offer exceptional diving. Its four main islands have a reputation for being excellent travel destinations. There, divers can expect warm, calm waters with abundant marine life.
The Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol is located on the southeast coast of Spain. The city of Malaga is located in the heart of this region. The Costa del Sol stretches for 200 km along the warm water of the Mediterranean. It allows it to offer diving all year round.
The Canary Island
The Canary Islands are located off the coast of Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean. They offer a remarkable underwater landscape due to their volcanic nature. Divers discover great dive sites with huge rocks, caverns, underwater passages, caves, and marine life. Many consider the Canary Islands the best diving destination in the Atlantic Ocean.
Reviews about scuba diving in Spain
Diving in Spain is mainly done with dive centers based in coastal cities. Indeed, there are no dive cruises, or large dive boats, because the dive sites are mainly near the shores.
Prices of dives in Spain
Rates for diving in Spain vary depending on the region, especially the type of dive. Here is an overview of the average price of dives for Spain:
2 dives with equipment: +/- 100€
Price Course level 1 / Open Water: +/- 350€
Price Course Level 2 / Padi Open Water Advanced: +/- 320€
Price Course Level 3 / Rescue Diver: +/- 400€
Emergency First Response at +/- 150€
Divemaster: on request from the various dive centers but about 700/800 €
We advise you not to look only for the lowest rate but choose your dive center according to where you feel best. Sometimes it makes sense to pay a little more and be in better conditions!
Best time to dive in Spain
There is no good time to dive in Spain, as the conditions are unique to each destination. Let’s see what the best months to dive in Spain, depending on the location, are:
- The optimal period for diving on the Costa Brava is from the end of May to the beginning of September. Many dive centers close outside of this period. But diving is still available with thick wetsuits or dry suits.
- The Costa del Sol is a year-round diving destination without needing a dry suit. The best times to dive in are from April to October.
- Diving in the Bay of Biscay is particularly excellent in July and August. Outside this period, divers will likely need dry suits and experience to venture there.
- The Canary Islands offer an extraordinary scuba diving experience throughout the year. It would be better to discover these waters between September and February. It is said that the islands are excellent destinations in the spring as well. Most divers mention that a 5 mm wetsuit is enough in summer and that ideally, in winter, you opt for a 7 mm.
The Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands are great places to learn to dive. Also the Canary Islands also have many perfect sites to pass your Open Water Diver patent.
Since the most beautiful dive sites in Spain offer incredible visibility and a temperate water diving experience, underwater photography courses are top-rated!
Scuba diving conditions
As mentioned before, diving conditions vary depending on the destination and the time of year.
First, the Barcelona/Costa Brava area, the Costa del Sol, and the Balearic Islands are renowned for their good visibility and hot water diving.
In these areas, the average visibility is 30 meters, and water temperatures can reach up to 24°C / 75°F in summer.
The water temperature on the Costa del Sol is around 15°C in February. In addition, the sea currents in these areas are weak… when there are.
The Canary Islands are slightly cooler in summer, around 23°C / 73°F and 17-18°C / 63-64°F in winter.
Snorkeling in Spain
Most diving destinations in Spain have sites suitable for snorkeling, snorkeling, and snorkeling. The goals of choice for this type of diving are the Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands.
Underwater fauna: Fish and Coral
There are eight species of whales and dolphins that inhabit the Mediterranean Sea. These include bottlenose, common dolphin, sperm whale, and orca.
Also, according to their migratory cycles, twelve other species are present seasonally. Besides, several species of sharks and hundreds of fish live there. Several of which are intruders from the Red Sea.
If you are planning to go on a trip to Spain, I advise you to invest in good travel insurance that also covers scuba diving. You never know what can happen, and good insurance can get you out of difficult situations.
Spain is often forgotten in terms of diving destination. But, according to European divers, it deserves more attention.
Traveling and diving in Spain costs less than on the Red Sea for many Europeans. Depending on the country of origin of the divers, long weekends are perfect for a diving getaway in Spain.
We hope the content “Best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Spain” was helpful to you?