It may sound a little cliché but common images of places to go diving or snorkeling tend to include warm tropical water and white sand beaches.
Nonetheless, you may be surprised to learn that an abundance of sunken wrecks, encounters with large pelagics (sharks), and coral-lined wall dives make up some of the best diving in Europe.
This section contains detailed information about the best scuba diving in European countries and the most popular locations for beginners and qualified divers.
Even so, searching the Internet and researching Europe's best scuba diving locations means you can often combine the exhilaration of:
Note: There are too many great dives out there to cover in one page. But, clicking on the extensive list below will take you to other sections that overview the best places for diving and snorkeling in that particular area or at any specific dive site.
Having current and unbiased diver reviews of sunken shipwrecks, vibrant coral reef formations, and flooded fresh water caves means you can find all the important info you need, including dive site depths, average visibility, best months to visit, and other key points of interest.
The diverse environments make up some of the best scuba diving in Europe - albeit with a range of water temperatures not suited for all divers.
In general, traveling and diving around the Mediterranean means you get to experience clear water and a lot of lively marine animals at some world class locations.
Important: It seemed logical to separate the best scuba diving in the United Kingdom to another section, including the most popular dive sites in Dorset, Scotland, and Wales.
The answer may differ depending on your point of view and your past experiences. Even so, the dive spots around the Maltese Islands rank among the top destinations for divers and snorkelers.
According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI®) statistics, the total number of dive sites listed around the world is 3,392.
Recent data also shows that there are 1,897 reef dives available, 877 wall dives, and 554 wreck dives (e.g. sunken ships) worldwide.
So, after taking a scuba course to get certified, most divers will appreciate the dive sites in countries like the Bahamas, Egypt, Mexico, and Thailand.
In a nutshell, the top underwater environments for snorkelers and beginners all share five common factors, including clear visibility and the absence of strong water currents.
Almost all submerged adventurers enjoy being in clear water - they want to see fish life and marine biology right? Well, we can't find anywhere clearer than the Silfra Ravine (formed by earthquakes 1789).
You will find this Icelandic fissure in Thingvellir National Park at the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Simply put, it has underwater visibility like no other diving spot in this list of best dive sites - or anywhere else on this planet.
Note: Would you like to help us develop this section? Can you share interesting and practical details about how, when, and why you visited any particular locations for scuba diving in any of the European countries?
If so, we would like to feature personalised dive descriptions and comments. Articles written by divers who regularly dive the site, or local experts on the topography and marine life, will have preference for inclusions in this section.
Please use the contact form to send us any useful comments or information and "Scuba Steve" will reply personally by email.