The best destinations for scuba-diving in Catalonia
Scuba-diving in the Vilanova y la Geltrú Marine Resort © Asociación Española de Estaciones Náuticas
Are you a scuba-diving enthusiast or have you always wanted to try? We invite you to spend a holiday in Catalonia (in north-eastern Spain) and discover which are the key places in this area for indulging in this activity. Disc are the marvels of the Mediterranean in the three coastal regions of Catalonia: Girona, Barcelona and Tarragona. Sound interesting?
1. In the province of Girona, and more specifically on the Costa Brava, we recommend the following places: Los Ullastres These are three underwater mountains to be found less than a kilometre from the coast. The one furthest out is the most impressive, and at a depth of between 25 and 35 metres you'll find the largest concentration of yellow sea fans, large conger deals and grouper. The Formigues Islands These are a group of granite islets with a long history of shipwrecks. In fact, beside the lighthouse, you'll see a plaque commemorating a battle in which over 15 French galleons sank in 1285. Its transparent waters are perfect for scuba diving and free-diving. You may even be able to find a little sea horse? You can ask for all the information you need on scuba diving requirements in these areas in the Marine Resorts of Badía de Palamós i Calonge Sant Antoni (in Palamós) and Santa Susanna. In Roses Cap de Creus visitors here will find themselves at the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula and in the first maritime terrestrial nature reserve in Catalonia. Scuba divers will find amazing slopes which drop to a depth of more than 50 metres, as well as shipwrecks, mysterious caves and attractive species such as grouper, red coral, red sea fans, lobster and crayfish. Some of the best places for diving can be found in the Mar d'Avall area. Remember that this is an area of deep immersion with the presence of currents. El Gat This name of this scuba diving site takes its name from the curious shape of a rock which recalls a reclining cat. The seabed has various platforms with a moderate depth, and the area is thus suitable for all kinds of divers. Sea fans, conger eels, Moray eels, lobsters, moonfish and schools of barracuda await your visit. Bau del Cap Trencat Scuba diving on this reef will allow you to discover without any difficulty a variety of grottoes and tunnels which conceal a rich fauna (hake, conger, lobsters, etc.) Find all the information you need on scuba-diving requirements in these areas in the Roses-Cap de Creus marine resort (Roses).
Medes Islands This archipelago was a pirate hideaway for centuries. Its seabed is protected, so you're likely to find species of considerable size which allow the divers to come extremely close. Its famous grouper are the subject of numerous underwater photographs. One of the best known sites for scuba diving is the 'Túnel de la Vaca', a corridor (ideal for novice divers) which offers some spectacular back-lighting effects. The Marine Resprt of L'Estartit has scuba-diving centres which oragnise daily visits to these seabeds. Each area has fixed anchoring zones, and you need to apply for a scuba-diving permit at the offices of the Department of the Natural Environemnt of the Generalitat, in the port of L'Estartit, and pay the corresponding fee. 2. In the province of Barcelona you should on no account miss: Costa Barcelona Can you really scuba dive near large cities? Yes. About 15 kilometres from the city of Barcelona there is the chance to enjoy simple dives, and if you're there in summer, you may find eels, and have the chance to see their 'underwater flight'. And in the southern part of the province of Barcelona you'll find the El Garraf massif, which creates cliffs with a height of over 200 metres. Also interesting are the accessinle immersions from the port of Vilanova, such as the underwater meadow of El Brut, the shipwrecks of Padruell and Domingo and the underwater mountin of El Montañazo. You'll find all the information you need at the Vilanova i la Geltrú Marine Resort (Barcelona). 3. The province of Tarragona offers: Costa Dorada If you love shipwrecks, this is the place for you, as it has numerous remains of sunken ships. One of the most famous is El Cavour, a steamboat which has lain at a depth of 52 metres since 1917, when in was sunk by a german submarine. A high level of experience is required to explore it. You'll find more information at the Marine Resprts of Costa Daurada (in Salou) and Sant Carles de la Ràpita.