No doubt one of the most fun things to do whilst away on a luxury yacht charter, diving allows you to get the very most out of your chosen cruising grounds. There are, however, few destinations which deliver an underwater experience quite as unique and endlessly fascinating as Greece.
Whether it’s the coral in Australia or the marine life in Thailand, there’s plenty to see under the water when vacationing at sea. A fantastic activity for amateurs and professionals alike, the luxury of heading out to the world’s best dive sites at your own leisure is simply unbeatable.
Whilst it may be famed for its countless beautiful islands, Greece is also home to a range of awe-inspiring wreckages which can be explored by those suited up in diving gear. Indeed, over five hundred of the wrecks can be accessed by divers of varying abilities.
In this feature, we take a look at some of the best dive sites in Greece which will allow you to trace out the fantastic history on offer.
From downed fighter jets to submerged submarines and once majestic navy vessels, the wreckages which abound around Greece’s seabed provide an intimate glimpse into the compelling history of the islands.
Perhaps the best place to start is over at Lakonia in the Peloponnese. Home to a sunken Turkish merchant ship- the Kaptan Ismail Hakki- this spot is ideal for less experienced divers as well as those with full PADI certification.
Having found its way to the bottom of the ocean as recently as 1978, the vessel is a relatively modern piece of history and enjoys generous visibility throughout the year. Naturally, such visibility makes it a particularly popular spot for underwater photography enthusiasts and younger divers.
Moving on from Lakonia, the next spot worth considering is Patroklos Island in the Saronic Gulf. With a freighter sat at the bottom of its waters, and an abundance of marine life gathering around it, the site is quite unlike any other. Located in fairly shallow waters, the wreck is a great opportunity for divers of all abilities to take a look around a piece of twentieth century history.
For those with a taste for aircraft, the wreckage of the Piper aircraft can be visited off the north of Makronissos island. Found eighteen metres beneath the water, the spot is excellent for divers of an intermediate ability. In a comic twist of fate, an advertisement running down the side of the plane still reads ‘Visit Greece’.
Just a little further down, the motorship Cassandra can be accessed from depths of twenty minutes. Having spent the better part of forty years underwater, the vessel can be accessed through a number of openings and certainly feels adventurous.
With so many wrecks lining the seabed, Greece is unquestionably a fantastic destination for divers
Another ship worth visiting for more casual divers is the Liberty in Pserimos. With its bow protruding from the water’s surface, younger and less experienced divers will be able to get in on the fun by simply equipping some snorkelling gear.
Likewise, the Queen Olga which is to be found close to Lakki port is easily accessible and full of relics to photograph in good visibility. To learn even more about the fascinating story surrounding the wreck, head over the to the Belenis Tower Museum a short distance away.
For parties with experienced divers on board, the wreckage of a large passenger ship close to Kalymnos in the Dodecanese is wholly unmissable. Named the Panormitis, the remains are to be found thirty two metres beneath the water and promise to engage even the most seasoned of underwater explorers.
With plenty to see, the wreck has great accessibility and promises to keep divers fully occupied along the seabed, darting in and out of the fascinating structure. Doubling up as an artificial reef, the wreck of Panormitis provides a unique view of Greece’s marine life as well as its nautical history.
Another spot great for the more seasoned divers of a charter party is the Perseus submarine which lies close to Cephalonia in the Ionian Islands. A relic of Britain’s military force, the sub is located 52 meters beneath the waterline and has been effectively preserved since the second world war.
The Beaufighter is a similarly intriguing piece of WW2 memorabilia, located thirty meters down close to Naxos Island in the Cyclades. With the firing apparatus still loaded with ammunition, the aircraft offers a uniquely fascinating glimpse into the past.