|Southern Spain offers some of the best scuba diving in the country and there are many diving centres and clubs that welcome new members and visitors alike. It is very easy to take a diving course whilst in Spain on holiday. Most centres offer BSAC and PADI courses, right up to instructor level and what better place to start diving.
The Mediterranean offers a varied selection of sealife and marine plants and very few are harmful and present any danger. There are also many wrecks worthy of investigation.
Where to dive:
Placer de las Bovedas
Placer de las Bovedas is one of the top 10 dive sites in Spain! Placer de las Bovedas is a huge reef, situated about 3 nautical miles (approx. 6 km) opposite the coast from San Pedro de Alcäntara. It is about 1 km long and 500 meters wide. Coming from the shore side the reef comes up from approx. 30 meters depth, has its shallowest point at about 20 meters and drops down to very deep an the other side.
Located approx. 6 km west of Estepona in direction Gibraltar. The new dive site is already a famous place for day excursions. The depth is from 15 to 25 meters. Big rocks which can be as high as 8-10 meters. Deep valleys, overhanging rocks and swim throughs dominate the dives. The rocks are covered with colorful sponges, hydroids and interesting sea squirts. Some walls are completely covered with the orange star coral.
The dive site consists of 2 towers which are about 100 m and 250 m off the shoreline in the sea. The tower closer to the shore is rarely visited by divers even though the tower`s walls are nicely covered by interesting marine life at a depth of 6metres.
The second tower is the actual cargo station where cargo ships have been loaded is standing on a hill which ranges from 6 - 11 m of depth. Under water on the tower`s walls there is a lot to see. Small conger- and moray eels, different types of crabs, nudybranchs and so on can be found in cracks and holes. On the upper side of the hill, in only 6 meters of depth, there is the home of octopus and brittle stars. On the sea bed at a depth of 11 meters around the tower you can find some broken off segments of the tower which are up to 30 meters long. Even here a lot of marine life can be found. On this dive site there is always schools of wrasses.
Very close to "Torre Marbella" there are 3 wrecks quite close to each other at a depth of only 11 meters. Here you can dive on either by boat or even doing a shore dive. 2 of the wrecks are old cargo ships with a steel body. They have a length of about 60 meters each. The third wreck is a smaller sail boat which is decomposing quite quickly. There is not so much left of one of the wrecks. Here you can find the engines and a nicely covered propeller with a diameter of about 2 meters.
Barco antiguo (antique ship)
Close to the tower site there are the remains of an ancient ship. It is only 150 meters off the shore in a depth of 5-6 meters. The natives call it the "Galeón" which means galley. Today there are remains of the wooden hull and some of the frame. Impressive is the length of the wreck of about 60 - 70 meters. The whole wreck is covered by marine plants and animals. Schools of wrasses and the Mediterranean trigger fish can be seen frequently. Furthermore all marine life which can be found on the entire Costa del Sol seems to be concentrated here.
Herradura (50 minutes east of Malaga)
This can be a beach or a boat dive. It is ideal for the beginners or the more experienced diver, who hasn’t dived for a while. The water is usually clear, with a lot of marine life, including some quite large Octopus. Depth approximately 10 metres.
This is really more than one site, and describes an area of spectacular sea facing cliffs. There are caves and chimneys and a lot of marine life. Conger and Morey eels abound along with Octopus and Cuttlefish. Depths vary from 5 to 30 metres plus.
Tres Picos lies within the confines of La Herradura Bay. It gets its name from the three submerged rocks about fifty metres from the shore. Shallow on the shore side dropping off to over 20 metres on the seaward side of the peaks. There is a lot of fish life in this area and moonfish almost a metre in diameter have been seen. The rocks are particularly colourful and it is a particularly good area for underwater photography.
La Calita o los Gigantes
Commonly called First Bay. This area is on the eastern-most point of La Herradura Bay.. For those who venture round the point there is a lot of life. Currents here can be a little difficult so seek guidance prior to diving. Depths in excess of 30 metres can be attained here.
Las Piedras Atlas
“The Wall”... This is in fact a number of dive sites and when the conditions are right, you can have a very interesting drift dive. Fish are in abundance and visibility can exceed 20 metres.
Punta de la Mona
With the westerly winds this site offers the diver some shelter and some good diving. A lot of sea life - Octopus, Moray and Conger Eels and in the sea grass seahorses have been found. Something can be found here for divers of all levels.
This boat dive site is in the centre of Marina Bay. It offers a dive with a difference - the wreck of two small boats and a car can be found down here. Eels and octopus can be found on the rock.
This site at the easterly end of Almuñecar Bay offers a wreck dive on an old wooden fishing boat at a depth of 16 to 23 metres.