With endless golden beaches, towering cliffs and fascinating rock formations, the Algarve's coastline provides a sublime backdrop to a diving holiday. It was recently nominated as Europe?s Top Dive Destination in the world travel awards. Underwater you will find good reef diving and lots of interesting caves and wrecks to explore. There are opportunities for diving along the whole length of the coast with many dive centres based around Sagres, Lagos, Praia da Luz, Praia da Rocha and Tavira. If you are staying for a week or so, why not plan a diving safari and visit them all?
Top sites for diving in the Algarve include Armação de Pera, the Ancão artificial reef near Faro, Pedra da Torre near Lagoa, Porto de Mós near Lagos, Pedra de Âncora, named after a huge anchor wedged in the rocky seabed, the wreck of Vapor das 19 a world war I steam ship near Sagres, the Navio do Ipimar a ship sunk by the Instituto Português de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar as an artificial reef and a 17th Century wreck near Faro. You can even dive in the wreck of a plane: an American B-24 Liberator World War II bomber that crashed into the sea near Faro in 1943.
Don't forget an underwater camera as you may see dolphins in the summer, rays, conger eel, whiting-pout, sea bream, sea bass, scorpion fish, toadfish, groupers, snappers, blenny, hogfish, squirrelfish, octopus, lobsters, crabs, starfish, cuttlefish, colourful nudibranchs (sea slugs), razor clams and bryozoans.
Already explored the Algarve? The neighbouring Alentejo coast also offers interesting, secluded diving with trips leaving regularly from Vila Nova de Milfontes, Zambujeira do Mar, Sines and Porto Covo.
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Diving in Portugal
Other fun things to do in the Algarve
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Algarve diving photos copyright: Carlo Winkelmann, Rudolfo Clix