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The top 5 scuba-diving sites in Europe & Turkey

The top 5 dive sites in Europe will allow you to explore exhilarating wrecks and amazing underwater ravines, while getting up close and personal with some of the most varied marine life in the world.

Europe scuba diving is one of the most popular leisure activities for holidaymakers.

Cornwall

With an exposed Atlantic position and a sea warmed by the Gulf Stream, Cornwall offers a choice of dive sites for everyone to enjoy, from novices to professionals, all within easy reach of CLC Trenython Manor.

Pendennis Steps is famous for its wreckage, scattered along the seabed from five WWII German U-boats that were scuttled in the bay and its wealth of marine life. The reef shelves slowly down to the sand and the largest remains from UB-86 can be found in a gully just a 100m straight out from the second set of steps.

A little further north east there is another gully with sheer sides, which winds its way along until it reaches a small cave at the end. Remains of an old motorbike can be seen inside the cave; the sand covers and uncovers it at different times. It is near the stone wall which can easily be spotted from the surface.

Lobsters sit in the cracks of the rocks, while dogfish, starfish and pollack can also be spotted close to the bottom of the gullies. Wreckage can be found everywhere, and if you venture out beyond the course sandy bottom you may find a few scallops!

Tenerife

The Canary Islands are a real paradise for diving and Tenerife is one of the best. Scuba diving in Europe has increased in popularity with hundreds of divers flocking to the most popular sites each year.

Crystal-clear Canarian waters are known internationally for their quality and provide a habitat for all kinds of marine life.

The sea bed is full of caves, niches and reefs – some of which lie 1,000 metres down, within driving distance of CLC Monterey, CLC Paradise and CLC Sunningdale Village.

The 30m boat, El Condesito, ran aground off the coast of the southernmost tip of Tenerife in 1971, just 3.7 nautical miles from the large tourist resort of Los Cristianos. The wreck split up into several parts and now lies at the bottom of a 20m-deep underwater canyon, flanked by steep walls and abundant marine life including octopus, cuttlefish and parrotfish.

The accident left two important legacies, the Rasca Lighthouse, which was built to prevent a repeat of the misfortune and the wreck of the El Condesito which is one of the most unique diving spots in Tenerife.

The unfortunate accident left two important legacies: The Rasca lighthouse, which was built to prevent a repeat of the misfortune and the wreck of the ‘El Condesito’, one of the most unique diving spots in Tenerife.

Gibraltar from the Costa del Sol

Not strictly the Costa del Sol, but within a 90-minute drive of CLC Club La Costa World, Gibraltar is home to some of the best dive sites in Europe.

This historical British archipelago is steeped in history. Rosia Bay is sheltered and accessible, with incredible artefacts in the depths, including admiralty anchors, cannons and moorings dating back to Roman times.

Rosia Bay was also the Victualling Yard, where naval personnel were supplied with enough food, drink and supplies to keep them fighting fit. Lord Admiral Nelson’s body was brought ashore in the HMS Victory after his triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The only natural harbour in Gibraltar, Rosia Bay is also home to gun batteries, including Parson’s Lodge Battery and the south end of the bay and Napier Magdala Battery at the north end.

The area is also the location of gun batteries, including Parson’s Lodge Battery at the south end of the bay and Napier of Magdala Battery at the north end.

The incoming current of the Atlantic mixes with the denser Mediterranean Sea to create a unique combination of flora and fauna and a diverse range of marine species, including octopus and cuttlefish.

Choose from wrecks dating back to Napoleonic times or World War II, or dive the Camp Bay Artificial Reef Project, boasting vast schools of boxfish, damselfish and pipefish.

If you are planning a trip to Gibraltar, don’t forget your passports!

Scotland

Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced diver, a plunge into the depths of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, could be one of the best things you have ever done!

Accessible to all levels of divers, Scapa Flow is home to the German High Seas Fleet that was scuttled here on 21st June 1919 and is one of the best dive sites in the world. Following the German defeat at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, 74 ships of the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet were interned in Gutter Sound at Scapa Flow, pending a decision on their future in the Treaty of Versailles.

After seven months of waiting for a decision, German Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter made the decision to scuttle the fleet so that it would not end up in British hands. The Royal Navy made desperate efforts to board the ships, but the German crews welded bulkhead doors open and laid charges in vulnerable parts of the ships. Fifty-three of the ships were sunk and at least seven can still be visited by divers.

In 1922, the Admiralty invited tenders from interested parties for the salvage of sunken ships. Many believed it would not be possible to raise the deeper wrecks, but the contract went to a wealthy engineer, Ernest Cox, who began what is still referred to as the greatest maritime salvage operation of all time.

Turkey

Divers are spoilt for choice in Kusadasi, with a choice of stunning dives and wrecks, situated just a 20-minute drive from CLC Kusadasi Golf & Spa Resort.

The Neopolis A300 is the largest aeroplane wreck in the world and is 55m-long with a 45m wingspan. Freed from all substances that could harm the sea and scuttled in 2016 to create a reef, the airbus provides an excellent dive site with a strong emphasis on the conservation of marine life.

With dives from 6m to 40m, the local waters are inhabited by yellow-tailed seahorses, moray eels, octopus and occasionally, Barracuda fish. During the summer season, the waters of Kusadasi reach a comfortable 25-28ºC.

Two mesmerising cave dives of 15m deep and 20m long are available to experienced divers, very close to the submerged plane and reef areas. You may even get to see the much-admired Mediterranean monk seal which grows to an average of 2.4 metres in length and weighs in at 300kg.

Wherever you decide to go diving, dive sites in Europe offer everything from dramatic and historic world war wrecks to scuttled aeroplanes and stunning marine life.

CLC holiday resorts and luxury resorts Tenerife provide perfect bases for a scuba diving holiday!

By CLC World | August 2nd, 2019 | Blog
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