Costa Del Sol Diving

The Sun Coast or ‘Costa del Sol’ offers a wealth of incredible diving along its sun-drenched coastline. Dive wrecks from the time of Napoleon or observe statues and sculptures built during the Roman Empire. Observe the oceanic sunfish at current-swept sites or learn to dive in the areas many protected bays.

 

Diving in Costa Del Sol

The Costa del Sol is a region in the south of Spain in the community of Andalusia. Translating to the ‘Sun Coast’, the area is known for miles of sandy beaches and a warm climate year-round. Beneath the ocean’s surface, the Costa del Sol offers some impressive dive experiences, from deep current-swept reefs at Marbella to the quiet sheltered bays and cave-systems of Marina del Este. The incredible ocean sunfish can be observed basking at the point where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean converge in Tarifa while dolphins and pilot whales can be witnessed riding the waves offshore.

Costa del Sol is possible via several dive centres which often serve several areas including; Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Mijas Costa, and Estepona. The dive centres offer dive courses from Discover Scuba Diving to Instructor Development. Few liveaboards explore the Costa del Sol where diving is more popular via dive centres. 

Best time to dive

The Costa del Sol or the ‘Sun Coast’ boasts sunshine for over 300 days of the year, with warm summers and mild winters. The best diving conditions in the region are from March to October while the rainiest period is from November to March. The water temperature ranges from 16℃ to 24℃ with dive centres in the Costa del Sol operating throughout the whole year. 

If you plan to witness dolphins and whales in the Strait of Gibraltar, the best time to visit is between April and October, when the whale watching tours operate.

Types of diving

Scuba diving in Costa Sol invites divers to explore 240km of coastline, from Gibraltar and Tarifa to the National Marine Reserve of Marina del Este and La Herradura. Close to the Gibraltar Straits, Marbella offers current-swept offshore reefs, plunging drop-offs, and easily accessible wrecks such as ‘The Galleon’. Venture to Gibraltar to dive wrecks dating back to Napoleonic times and WWII, while La Costa Tropical features protected bays, caverns and seamounts. At Benalmadena and La Herradura, gentle shore based dives allow novice divers to find their fins while the natural park of Isla de la Palomas in Tarifa finds divers in strong currents among pelagic fish.

What to see

The Costa del Sol is located at the mouth of the Mediterranean, just beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The location has led to the formation of a unique array of marine life in great abundance, providing divers with the opportunity to observe both pelagic and macro creatures.

Common to the Mediterranean, eels, octopus, spider crabs, wrasse, and bream take refuge at many reef and wreck dive sites. Cuttlefish are often witnessed exhibiting their intricately-patterned bodies while at deep sites with rushing currents, the awe-striking ocean sunfish has been observed. Also in strong currents, barracuda, yellow-tail tuna, and schools of amberjack are present. 

Dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales are among the larger creatures you can spot while scuba diving in the Costa del Sol, with whale and dolphin watching tours operating at certain times of the year.

Best places to dive

In Benalmadena, the Marble Wreck lies accessible to divers of all levels. The 19th-century sailing brig was loaded with marble statues and sculptures dating back to the Roman Empire. These can now be seen on the seafloor as well as cuttlefish, octopus and conger eel which all call the wreck home. Accessible to more experienced divers, the SS Menapier is located four miles from Fuengirola. Descend down a mooring line to a depth of 37-metres where divers can begin to explore the wreck and its wealth of groupers, congers and giant spider crabs.

Along La Costa Tropical, dive Tres Picos’ three pinnacles. The dive starts over a 6-metre deep reef before plunging down a wall encrusted in bright orange star coral. The walls of the pinnacles have many crevices full of life as well as an array of fun swim-throughs. At Tarifa, dive the Wreck of San Andres, where ocean sunfish and sea turtles can be observed.