Immersion in Ibiza

Diving in Spain


In Spain you can practise all kinds of recreational diving: ice diving, night diving, wreck diving, cave diving, snorkelling, etc. The possibilities are endless and the marine life is varied, making its coastlines perfect for any diving enthusiast. There are options for beginners and experienced divers.


Located in southern Europe, Spain is almost wholly surrounded by water: Its coasts are bathed by the Mediterranean (with warmer waters), the Cantabrian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean (colder) – and all of them are really clear.The pleasant climate lets you swim and dive all year round.Plus, it has more than ten Marine Reserves.There are many diving centres that organise diving courses for different levels and specialities, and also take care of getting permits and boat transfers to the coast.And diving clubs organise activities such as underwater archeology seminars, underwater photography, among others.You can also practice other water sports or take an excursion to see cetaceans.

Scuba divers


If you want to start diving during your trip to Spain, there are some details you should know:You must be duly certified for safe diving. In Spain there are many companies, as well as official federations, that issue these certificates, such as ACUC, CMAS, IAC, IDA, IDEA, PADI, SSI, etc, and they can also help you to plan your diving holidays.You don't need to be a member of a federation to do recreational diving, but you must have insurance. You can usually get insurance through diving centres and training organisations. In other words, it should be included in the course you take.You have to present an affidavit stating that you are in good health, through a questionnaire provided by the centre organising the activity.In any case, the diving centres on the Spanish coast will give you the information you need, take care of the paperwork and lend you equipment. You will be in the hands of qualified instructors.


If you already have an internationally recognised qualification, you can use it to go diving in Spain. We recommend that you bring your qualification, dive log book, medical certificate and diving insurance.Always bear in mind the Spanish diving regulations, which stipulate the following for example:The minimum age to dive in Spain varies by region. However, at country level, the limit is 8 years old.The maximum legal depth for diving in Spain for minors under 18 ranges from 6 to 40 metres, depending on their age.


Although it is possible to go diving throughout the year, most of the courses take place from March to November.

Diving off the Medes Islands, Girona (Catalonia)


All areas of Spain are charming for diving for one reason or another (visibility of the waters, pleasant temperatures, etc.). To help you choose, we describe its 11 state Marine Reserves, perfect for diving:Cabo de Gata-Níjar. In Almeria (Andalusia). It is home to the southernmost Posidonia Oceanica meadows, coral forms and colourful fish. There are boat routes that take you to coves like Cala Chica or San Pedro.Isla de Alborán. Also in Almeria. Did you know that its name is believed to derive from Al-Borani, a pirate from Almeria? Legend has it that he used to take refuge on the island and hide his treasures there.

Cabo de Palos – Islas Hormigas. We are still in the Mediterranean, but now in Murcia. As well as Posidonia Oceanica meadows and underwater mountains, you can find huge groupers and barracudas, and occasionally sunfish and eagle rays. And if you are really adventurous, there are sunken ships like the SS Sirio, the famous transatlantic steamer.Cabo Tiñoso. Still in Murcia, this cape has impressive almost vertical walls that descend as much as 70 metres below the surface, forming the habitat of a wide variety of Mediterranean native flora and fauna, including seagrass meadows. This marine landscape is also notable for its underwater caves and artificial reefs.Levante de Mallorca – Cala Ratjada. The eastern coast of the island of Mallorca offers underwater caves and Posidonia oceanica meadows. And you can see grouper and red lobster. Interesting places to go diving include the areas known as “Queso”, La Catedral and La Mula, to name a few.


Islas Columbretes. In Castellón, on the Mediterranean, there are four groups of volcanic islets. They are surrounded by steep submerged walls and host species such as red coral. They are connected by boat from the ports of Castellón and Valencia. Once there, some companies organise diving activities and offer you the possibility of having dinner on a boat under the stars.Isla de Tabarca. It is located in the province of Alicante. The sea bed is also home to Posidonia oceanica meadows. It can be reached by boat from Alicante, Santa Pola or Benidorm. You can see reefs with large groupers and schools of barracudas and even shipwrecks.

Isla de Tabarca, Alicante (Region of Valencia)

Masía Blanca. It is about 50 kilometres north of the city of Tarragona. The Posidonia oceanica meadows form a labyrinth rich in species: octopus, cuttlefish, grouper, sea bream, sea bass...Isla Graciosa. The north of the Canary Island of Lanzarote, La Graciosa and islets of the Chinijo Archipelago form this marine reserve. The sea bed features spectacular colours thanks to the sponges and the red and yellow gorgonians. You can find puffer, trumpet or triggerfish. Its waters in winter never drop below 18ºC.La Palma. Another island in the Canaries with depths of up to 1,000 metres. You can find tropical anemones at the bottom. And keep an eye out for the bottlenose dolphin and the loggerhead turtle. Can you imagine being able to enter a cave and search its depths by following the lava flows? This is because the Canary Islands are of volcanic origin. 

La Restinga – Mar de las Calmas. On El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands. Its waters are stops for species from the high seas such as the whale shark and the devil manta. And you can see sea turtles and dolphins. The water temperature ranges between 18 and 25 degrees. Photography fans will love the annual Open Fotosub Isla de El Hierro.More areas. In addition to the state Marine Reserves, there are other reserves and areas in Spain famous for diving.  In Catalonia you have Los Ullastres, the Islas Formigues, Cap de Creus, Ses Negres, and especially, the Medes Islands, which for many centuries were a pirate refuge. There you can swim beside shoals of groupers or through the corridor known as “Túnel de la Vaca”.In Galicia you can go diving in Islas Atlánticas National Park, where the famous Cíes Islands are situated. Would you like to see big octopus and turbot?

Scuba diving

All theCanary Islandsand Balearic Islands are perfect for scuba diving. For example, have you heard of sea turtles that come to Formentera, travelling hundreds of thousands of kilometres from the Gulf of Mexico?The list extends to practically the entire coast of Spain: why don't you try diving in the waters of the Basque Country, in Asturias, Cantabria or in the rest of Andalusia?

Seabed off La Palma, Canary Islands

Tips and recommendations


- Marine Reserves (and other areas, too) set conditions for access to underwater activities, and usually require prior authorisation. You can get more detailed information from the Spanish government Marine Reserves website and the Ibero-American Marine Reserves Network website.- Do not dive if you are going to board a plane in the next 24 hours (because of the risk of decompression sickness).- Although bringing compressed air bottles into Spain is legal, it is not advisable (because they are hard to carry) or necessary, because they can be hired from diving centres.- Remember that the diving equipment you need depends on the diving area and the time of year. Bear in mind that the water temperature can range from about 10 to 26 ºC.- If you have any questions or need advice on where to go for a course, we recommend getting in touch with the Spanish Federation of Underwater Activities (FEDAS) or the Spanish Recreational Diving Association (ABRE).- You can also check our section of practical health and safety tips to find out more about healthcare in Spain.- Since the recommendations and regulations may change, you should always check the requirements before starting the trip.

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