Known for its volcanic landscape, blue-flag beaches and sparkling turquoise waters with rich sea life, Santorini is one of the best destinations on the planet for scuba diving excursions. The underwater volcano creates a vast landscape of lava formations, cliffs, seagrass meadows and mysterious caves to explore, as well as a home for rich marine life. If you're planning a trip to Santorini and want to include diving on your itinerary of things to do, take a look at where to go diving in Santorini to get ready for the experience.
Volcano is one of the best dive sites in Santorini. Throughout history, the massive underwater Palea volcano erupted several times to lend the shape and topography to Santorini and neighbouring islands, as well as the black sand and pebbles, and red volcanic rocks of its unique beaches. The volcano is also responsible for the caldera, which covers a large portion of the island. On land, the caldera has stunning cliffs and lovely views, but the best way to experience it is below the surface. The volcano is still active, but you can explore the site through the nearby islands of black lava to touch the rocks, see the crater and feel the steam.
Located near the caldera, White Island is an uninhabited island that offers excellent wall dives to see colourful coral and sea life. The volcanic rocks near the walls of the island are covered in coral and sponges, which are home to nudibranchs, shrimp and crabs. Larger fish comb the area for food, such as barracuda and groupers. Though this dive is one of the most impressive, you're more likely to encounter octopuses and eels.
Kamari & Perissa Rock are 2 must-see dive sites. In addition to beautiful black sands, the areas feature massive volcanic rock formations that form a labyrinth for marine creatures. Vibrant corals and sponges hide in the nooks and crannies in the rock face, and crabs, shrimp, eels and octopus patrol the surrounding areas in search of food.
Adiavatos Reef is located on the rim of the caldera and is the rumoured former location of the lost city of Atlantis. Adiavatos Reef is home to a variety of large and small marine animals, such as groups, barracuda, wrasse, anthias and more, giving you plenty to see on your excursion.
Oia is one of the most popular spots for scuba divers in all of Santorini. It has crystal-clear waters for excellent underwater viewing, and the reefs are home to a rich mix of marine life, such as snappers, seahorses, cuttlefish, conger eels and pelagic fish.
The Caves are located on the south coast of Santorini and boast a network of underwater caverns and canyons to explore. During a dive in the Caves, you'll see unique underwater rock formations and an octopuses or eel hiding in the caves, as well as reef sharks in the distance.
If your goal is to see marine life, House Reef is the best spot. The area is protected from fishing, so it's home to an abundance of marine life. During your dive at House Reef, you'll see nudibranchs, hermit crabs, spirographs, barracuda, sponges and large schools of fish that travel the shallow water of the reef as it deepens into the volcanic caldera.
If you prefer shipwrecks, the Santa Marina is a top choice. The boat once offered cruises around Santorini, and it sank while moored in 1975. You begin your dive in the bay, and then dive the wall to reach the wreck at the bottom.
In 2003, a dive centre owner sank an old army World War II tug boat to create a site for visitors and sea life. The wreck is fascinating to see on its own, but it's also home to a variety of beautiful nudibranch, hydroids, damselfish and sponges.
Santorini's unique natural history and landscape combine with the fascinating and diverse marine life of the Aegean to create one of the best diving destinations in the world. If you're planning a trip to Santorini, check out these dive sites and search Expedia for Santorini holidays to get ready for your adventure!