Come Diving in Portugal
... and discover a world of adventure!
You'll have the opportunity to:
As well as a vast array of colourful fish and plants, you'll also see fascinating sea life from octopus, cuttlefish and lobster to star fish and sea horses and with a bit of luck, dolphins, whales, seals or turtles.
Experienced divers in particular have the chance to get up close and personal with Portugal's long maritime history including a World War II German U-boat near Porto.
Explore curious underwater landscapes
Including real and artificial reefs that act as a home, and a nursery, for many fish species, and caves, ridges and grottoes formed by long dead volcanoes. Diving in Portugal you never know what you might find!
Take astonishing photographs and videos.
Anyone who loves art, photography or nature must have hankered after the stunning underwater images seen on TV and in galleries. Now that it's possible to buy waterproof covers for many digital cameras, disposable underwater cameras or hire cameras and camcorders from diving centres there's no excuse to go home without the ultimate holiday souvenir!
Discover a whole new meaning to the expression 'night life'.
For experienced divers, night diving in Portugal is an unforgettable adventure and offers the chance to spot elusive creatures that are never seen during the day.
All Portugal's dive sites are in the Atlantic Ocean which means that there is little pollution and many of the country's beaches have been awarded the EU's blue flag for water quality. Visibility is generally between 3 and 8 metres but can be up to 15 metres.
Scuba diving in Portugal is possible all year around with water temperatures ranging from 13 to 24ºC (55 to 75ºF) with warmer temperatures in the south of the country and the islands of Madeira and Azores. You can comfortably dive in 5 - 7 mm wet or semi dry suits, which along with the other necessary equipment are generally available for hire from diving centres. Bear in mind that the water will get colder the further west or the deeper you go.
Diving with a local guide means that you will get the most from your trip as they know the diving hot spots and will help you spot and identify wildlife. An increasing number of diving guides are also qualified marine biologists and all are passionate about preserving Portugal's underwater environment. As well as arranging trips, most scuba diving centres offer you the chance to gain new qualifications certified by PADI and other institutions. There are courses to suit everyone whether you are taking your first steps into diving, looking to improve, try a new speciality such as night diving or underwater photography or want to turn your hobby into a profession.
If you want to see Portugal's underwater world but don't fancy scuba diving or don't have the time to learn, why not try snorkelling? It's very easy to learn and any good swimmer over the age of six can take part. You can buy or hire the equipment cheaply but if it is the first time you have snorkelled in an area you should go with a guide or ask for their advice so that you can avoid dangerous rocks and waves.
Many diving centres also rent out sea scooters which make scuba diving and snorkelling fun, fast and almost effortless by propelling you through the water at up to 3mph. You'll never want to go home!
Scuba diving wet suits
If you already have a wet suit for scuba diving, make sure it meets current safety standards since scuba diving wet suits have changed quite a bit since their inception.
diving in Portugal and dive adventure photos copyright: Regiao de Turismo do Algarve, Boris Gaasbeek, João Estêvão A. de Freitas
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