Found in the Atlantic Ocean, the southern latitude and stable conditions make scuba diving holidays in the Canary Islands a great short haul option. Due to the Gulf Stream, the waters are relatively warm, with summer temperatures of around 24˚C.
A combination of Atlantic, Mediterranean and endemic marine life means the underwater world in the Canaries is unique. There is good water clarity to view wildlife and the dramatic volcanic sea bed formations. With sharks, rays, turtles, wrecks and colourful fish, there’s plenty to get excited about on scuba diving holidays in the Canary Islands.
The warm yet not too hot surface conditions all year round (as opposed to the scorching Red Sea destinations and fluctuating winter/summer seasons elsewhere) are combined with a wealth of facilities and flourishing tourism infrastructure. In short, it’s got everything to be a world-class scuba diving destination. Here are some of the top spots to check out.
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a tourist hotspot but also a top dive location. Visibility is good at about 20 to 30 metres and the best time of year to go is between June and October, although it has to be said that diving here is good all year round. Abades Beach is a top dive site, with no strong current and a wide range of marine life available to divers of all levels. Check out Tenerife Scuba for more information.
The word-famous El Cabron or Aringa Marine Reserve is well worth exploring, and the combination of warm sub-tropical waters, amazing underwater scenery and varied marine life are the reasons why. Dive past red parrotfish, shoals of shimmering roncadors, colourful nudibrachs and even turtles. Davy Jones Diving is a top school on the island.
One of the best-kept diving secrets in the world (until now that is), Lanzarote offers a stunning combination of underwater topography, caves and lava flows to explore. There’s available shore diving at Puerto del Carmen or Mala. And you can expect to see angel sharks, Atlantic rays, eagle rays and plenty more besides. The reefs drop off very quickly so you will need to be careful but there are also some wreck dives in the harbour. Active Adventures offer some great diving packages on the island.
More associated as a Mecca for windsurfing holidays, there’s still some great fun to be had here under the surface. Good visibility, submarine lava rivers and comfortable water temperatures are key attractions. The Isla de Lobos is surrounded by a natural park, with more than 20 dive sites to explore, it’s one of the Canary’s most spectacular diving destinations. Punta Amanay is a small family run diving school that offers tours here.
With 92 km of virtually unexplored coastline to dive, there are drift dives, caves and deep reefs to explore here. Temperatures range between 18 and 24˚C and the beautiful clear blue water means conditions are good. This is un-crowded diving making for some of the most peaceful scuba diving holidays in the Canary Islands. It’s especially good for underwater photographers. Splash Gomera run diving tours and offer PADI classes across 20 sites.
There are many other islands to explore in the chain but these are most set up for tourism with the best scuba diving facilities in the Canary Islands.