The picturesque island of Santorini, Greece, not only boasts spectacular views on land, but the breathtaking, volcanic topography continues underwater as well. The famous caldera, ancient wrecks, and impressive caves are just some of the unique sights that scuba diving in Santorini offers.
Diving in Santorini
Scuba diving in Santorini offers divers of all levels a unique, thrilling experience. Since the Cyclades archipelago just started allowing recreational scuba diving within the last decade, dive sites are in pristine condition. These seemingly untouched underwater landscapes combined with year-round crystal clear waters make Santorini divings some of the best in the Mediterranean.
There are several different Santorini dive centers to choose from; most are located in the more touristy towns of Perissa, Kamari, and Perivolos. Popular dive courses in Santorini include Open Water Diver, Wreck Diver, Deep Diver, and Underwater Photographer.
The underwater topography of Santorini's most popular dive sites highlights this area's volcanic past. Diving off the south coast offers spectacular caves, while diving in the central caldera offers exciting wreck and thrilling wall dives.
Santorini dive centers offer both shore diving and boat diving excursions every day of the year.
Best time to dive
Santorini’s warm temperatures and year-round sunshine make this Greek island a popular holiday destination all year long. With the Aegean Sea’s crystal-clear waters, scuba diving in Santorini is available throughout the year; however, you will want to wear a thicker wetsuit during the winter months.
Santorini’s weather is warm and dry from April to October. During the colder, wetter months of November to March, many restaurants and shops close, but Santorini dive centers stay open.
The peak Santorini diving season is during spring and early summer, from April to June. The months of September and October are less crowded and the best time to catch a glimpse of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal while scuba diving in Santorini.
Types of diving
Every dive site in and around the island of Santorini reflects the volcanic origins of this unique island. The product of possibly the largest volcanic eruption in human history, Santorini is now famous for its 360-meter-deep caldera partially enclosed by the surrounding Santorini islands. Most scuba diving in Santorini occurs within the caldera, which offers spectacular caves, walls, and pinnacles to explore.
Santorini dive centers offer a mix of shore and boat diving. There are a wide variety of both shallow reef dives and deeper wall dives.
You can also find exciting wreck dives while scuba diving in Santorini like the Santa Marina wreck, an old army WWII Tugboat, and Taxiarchis Wreck.
What to see
Scuba diving in Santorini will allow you to see a wide variety of amazing Mediterranean marine life. The most fish-populated areas are the coral covered reefs. Santorini is home to beautiful red, vibrant yellow, and black colored corals.
In and around the coral reefs, you will find many different fish species like red snapper, grouper, barracuda, octopus, scorpionfish, tritons, cuttlefish, and more! Among the reefs, you can also find anemones, clams, mussels, and sea stars.
The wreck dives in Santorini are home to a diverse array of marine life. Most ships are encrusted with sea sponges, tube worms, and hydroids. You can also find many damselfish, barracuda, and tuna hanging around the wrecks.
Lucky divers may encounter the endangered monk seal, and those with a good eye can spot a seahorse or colorful nudibranch.
Best places to dive
The Caldera - A Santorini diving holiday is never complete without diving in the famous Santorini caldera. The 360-meter-deep caldera offers divers a unique dive experience with spectacular caves, volcanic tubes, wall drop-offs, and pinnacles to explore.
Nea Kameni - This site is home to the Hopper wreck, which sits inside the Santorini caldera. This wreck dive is a photographer's dream, and you can frequently see a colony of seals that live in the area.
Groupers Reef - Sitting right off Caldera Beach, Groupers Reef is an excellent shore dive. Rent gear from one of the local Santorini dive centers and enjoy the beauty of the caldera right from the shore!
White Island - White Island is a great area to dive amongst the incredible lava formations and has a fantastic wall dive.
Perissa and Kamari Rock - his pair of dive sites is sure to impress the most seasoned diver with its crystal clear water, astonishing black sand, and enormous volcanic rock formations.