Crete is the largest and the most populous of the Greek islands. With its mild climate, beautiful beaches, and rich history, millions of tourists flock to the island yearly to relax and take in a bit of history.
Due to its location, it offers plenty of watery fun, including boating, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Read on to learn everything about the top sites to go scuba diving in Crete!
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Scuba Diving in Crete: Top Diving Centers
ARE YOU PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO CRETE LAST MINUTE?
Be sure to book accommodation and tours in Crete ahead of time to ensure availability!
📍 Top tours in Crete:
– Full-day Samaria Gorge trek (#1 tour in Crete!)
– Boat cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa (another top-selling tour!)
– Boat Trip to Spinalonga with swim stop (most popular in Agios!)
– Ticket to Knossos Archaeological Site (top tour in Heraklion)
– Day trip to Elafonisi (a must in Chania!)
🛌 Top picks for places to stay in Crete:
– Lyttos Beach (top beachfront hotel in Hersonissos)
– SanSal Boutique Hotel (in Chania old town with a pool!)
– Grecotel Lux Me White Palace (the best resort in Rethymnon)
🚗 Looking for the best way to get around Crete? Check rental car rates for Crete now!
💳 Use WISE as a digital card and top-up from the app no matter where you are. Wise is one of the best cards for overseas travel!
Crete has many diving centers to choose from, so no matter where you are staying, you will find a suitable center that will fit your needs and your budget.
Scuba diving, unlike most other water sports, requires training, certification, and a license.
And it might turn out to be dangerous, even fatal, so it’s always important to book a diving experience that includes certification and instructor-led dives with a reputable dive center.
Here are just a few to check out around the island:
- Divers Club Crete offers two locations in the north of Crete, one in Agia Pelagia, and since 2016 also in Hersonissos.
- AquaDive in Agia Pelagia offers experiences both on the northern and the southern coasts and even night dives!
- There are great diving experiences for beginners in Chania too.
- Royal Blue Diving Centre-Rethymnon
- Sea-Dream Divers-Located in Plakias
- Kalypso Dive Centre-Located in the Kalypso Cretan Village Resort and Spa, in the south of Crete
These are just a few of many, many centers located throughout the island.
A lot of them offer discovery diving courses for the absolute beginner and they even offer courses for children so the whole family can get involved.
The dive centers usually offer multilingual instructors, so you will be paired with an instructor who understands you and you can understand them as well!
⛴️ Check out ferry ticket fees and schedules
But what good are the diving centers if there aren’t good spots to go diving? Luckily, Crete is in no short supply of amazing underwater diving spots either.
The Best Scuba Diving Sites around Crete
The majority of the diving sites are located in the north of Crete, with some magnificent ones also located to the South.
Chania is considered by most to be the spot to visit for diving. With stone arches, fantastic volcanic rocky reefs, and an abundance of marine life in the water surrounding Chania town, it’s a hard spot to pass up for diving.
See unique black corals and marine life that cannot be found anywhere else. However, there is no shortage of diving sites around.
Whether you wish to explore underwater caves, shipwrecks, or beautiful reefs, there are dives suitable for all abilities. These are some of the ones you can check on the island.
El Greco Cave
This is an amazing 30 m long underwater cave with astonishing stalagmites, stalactites, and plenty of light.
The depth ranges from 20 m to 40 m. The cave and area around it have become a host to lobsters, morays, groupers, and tuna fish.
You can go on a guided dive with the Diver’s Club Crete in Agia Pelagia, however, take note that this is a more advanced level dive, due to the depth.
The certification requirements for this dive are either a BSAC Sports Diver or a PADI Advanced Open Water.
Another underwater cave, located in Agia Pelagia, Blue Cave is one of Crete’s most interesting cave dives. This is a 20 m wide and 60 m long cave.
Unlike, the El Greco cave, this cave dive can be beginner-friendly as well as fun for the more advanced divers, depending on how deep you go.
The maximum depth here ranges from 22 to 30 m.
Divers will see a huge rocky wall and a variety of fish and corals, including white bream. The cave wall has holes, and when you shine torchlight into them, they reveal shrimps and other marine life.
From April through June, this area becomes a home of sorts to many lobsters. For this dive, you will need either a BSAC Ocean Diver or PADI Open Water certification.
This site is located near Agia Pelagia and it’s a beautiful reef. Divers will see a huge ancient anchor growing out of the seabed at a depth of 27 m. It’s dated at over 400 years old, and with a span of 3 meters high and 2 meters wide, it’s impressive to look at.
The reef is home to large groupers, huge sponges, and other marine life. This dive requires the following certification: either a BSAC Ocean Diver or PADI Open Water.
Islet of Dia
The waters surrounding the islet of Dia contain plenty of sights to behold. The water is crystal clear, offering great visibility.
One of the sites to explore is a wreck of a 20 m long boat that lies at a maximum depth of 18 m.
The other attractions include abundant marine life, which includes large groupers, colorful sponges, beautiful shells, and reefs. To dive, you will need a BSAC Ocean Diver or a PADI Open Water certification.
Check out this Chania Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling if you prefer a less challenging sea experience.
This shore dive is located in Kalypso Bay, Rethymon. It is great for beginners as well as for more experienced divers who can descend to a depth of 40 m.
Amazing rock formations, walls, and caverns can be seen and explored. Colorful sea life such as sponges, groupers, morays, octopus, and starfish can be observed here.
Kalypso Dive Centre is probably your best bet for certification and diving experiences for this diving site. You will need a certification, either a BSAC Ocean Diver or a PADI Open Water.
The wreck of German aircraft of WW2 lies upside down, 800 meters from shore at a depth of 24 m, broken into several parts. This dive site is one of the most famous diving sites in Crete.
Sometimes, when the sea is calm, the visibility is good enough that the wreck can be seen from the surface.
Over the years, marine plant life has started to cover the wrecked plane, making it a good host for groupers and moray eels.
Please note that this dive is weather-dependent and is recommended for experienced divers only. You will need a BSAC Sports Diver or PADI Advanced Open Water certification as well.
You might also want to read about popular water sports in Crete and other sea activities!
This is a great diving spot where divers will see up close the abundant marine life.
Groupers, octopuses, morays, scorpionfish, and breams can be observed in the waters at this location. Sometimes barracudas, dolphins, and stingrays appear as well.
Besides colorful marine life, other attractions here include reefs and rock formations. The maximum depth is 35 m but even inexperienced can enjoy diving in this beautiful area.
The certification requirements are either BSAC Ocean Diver or PADI Open Water.
This is one of the top-selling scuba tours in Heraklion, often sold out, don’t hesitate to book the experience if you find availability. The course offers an entry-level program in Mononaftis, one of the best dive sites in Crete for its crystal clear water, great visibility, rich sea life, and absolutely safe environment for beginners.
This cave dive is an excellent dive spot for experienced divers only. Located close to Hersonissos, it plunges to depths of 40 meters.
Thousands of shrimps reside in this beautiful cave, hence the name. With luck, sometimes you can even spot large tuna.
Certification requirements for this dive are either a BSAC Sports Diver or PADI Advanced Open Water.
This dive site is home to excellent rock formations, including several walls, tunnels, and a cave.
The depth of Skinaria Cave ranges from 10 to 22 m, so beginner divers are welcome to join in the fun as well as experienced divers.
The cave hosts groupers, morays, starfish, shrimps, and many colorful sponges. Advanced divers can also enjoy a large reef where they can see bigger fish.
You will need either a BSAC Ocean Diver or PADI Open Water certification to participate in this dive.
St. George Caves
The wall of St. George creates two underwater caves located at shallow depths (8–13 m).
Both caves host an abundance of marine fauna and flora, such as octopus and large sea anemones.
This dive site is suitable even for not very experienced divers. A BSAC Ocean Diver or a PADI Open Water certification is required to dive at this site.
This partially filled underwater cave lies in the Drapano area in Akrotiri. The cave boasts an impressive series of red and white stalagmites and stalactites.
This dive is for the more experienced diver. The cave, shaped throughout several millennia, is also home to a fascinating and unique treasure: the fossilized remains of an extinct elephant along with other remains.
Crete, with its amazing history and warm, mild climate is a fantastic place to visit on holiday.
If you are not one for sitting and relaxing, learning and experiencing scuba diving is a fun holiday experience, and Crete offers a plethora of interesting underwater sites to discover and explore that the whole family can enjoy.
Compare Some Crete Scuba Diving Activities
|Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba||Heraklion|
Average price: €70
|3-Hour Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling||Chania|
Average price: €65
|Nighttime Scuba Dive at Mononaftis Beach||Heraklion|
Average price: €60
|Scuba Diving for Beginners||Chania|
Average price: €90
If you’re thinking about a scuba diving trip to Crete, it’s a good idea to find a nice place to stay in an area where you’re planning to do most of the submarine experience.
Check out more scuba diving experiences
Scuba Diving PADI Courses from Myrtos Beach, Lasithi
- HIGHLIGHTS: Even if you have never tried scuba diving before, you can take an Open Water Course and become the diver you were always meant to be!
- Open Water Course (PADI): It teaches you the basic theory and skills to be able to dive down to 18 meters anywhere in the world! It takes 5 fun days to complete and you will be diving in different spots to discover different underwater habitats and creatures!
- To enroll in a PADI Open Water Diver course, you must be 10 years old or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required.
- Advanced Open Water Course (PADI): This certification has been designed for those who wish to take the next step in their scuba diving education.
- There are more than 10 different dive sites close to the diving center in Myrtos (reefs, caves, shipwrecks, wall dives, drift dives).
- The crystal clear waters allow the divers to enjoy diving with visibility even at 30m below the surface. You will be diving in Ierapetra, Agia Fotia, Makris Gialos, Arvi, Psari, or the island of Chrissi.
- Click here for more information and the latest prices.
Discover Scuba Diving in Crete (Chania Region – Beginners)
- HIGHLIGHTS: If scuba diving in Crete is what you’re looking for, this experience teaches you how to use the scuba gear for the first time with the help of the expert instructors, you will be a confident diver in no time enjoying the crystal clear waters of Falasarna.
- Afterward, you will have one 45-minute dive to complete in the sea and explore the marine life underwater. An amazing sensation for everyone who wants to know how it feels to be a scuba diver.
- Maximum depth: 6 meters, basic swimming skills necessary.
- Click here for more information and the latest prices.
Other Scuba Diving Activities in the Rest of Crete:
- Mononaftis, Heraklion region: Guided adventure dives from Mononaftis Beach near Heraklion.
- Different locations in Rethymnon region: Discover scuba diving in Rethymno (special diving programs for kids available).
- Almyrida, Chania region: PADI Discover Scuba Diving course starting from Almyrida near Chania.
- Elephants Cave, Chania region: Adventure Dive in the Elephant’s Cave from Almyrida near Chania.
- Agia Pelagia, Heraklion region: Discover Scuba Diving at Agia Pelagia near Heraklion. (special for beginners).
- Agia Pelagia, Heraklion: Scuba Diving for Certified Divers at Agia Pelagia near Heraklion.
- Agia Pelagia, Heraklion: Open water scuba diving course near Heraklion (open water).
STAY IN AGIA PELAGIA: If you want to give scuba a try in Heraklion, check Sunday Life Club with stunning views of Agia Pelagia Bay at a very affordable price, I’ve stayed there twice and I’d go back without second thoughts!
Guest writer: Lauren Groff is a writer at Academized. An avid scuba diver, she writes about her passion and love of diving, as well as other water sports.
🏖️ Please, help us protect the beaches in Crete. Respect the environment and don’t leave any trash behind.
Read more about Crete
- The Best Beaches in Heraklion, Crete
- Discover + 45 Most Gorgeous Beaches in Crete (A guide by an insider!)
- Top Nudist Beaches in Crete: Complete Insider’s Guide
- The Most Romantic Things to Do in Crete for a Perfect Escape
🛌 Suggested Accommodation in Crete:
- Budget: So Young Hostel (Heraklio), Cocoon City Hostel (Chania) Matthias Hotel (Rethymnon), or Villa Galini (Agios).
- Mid-range: Capsis Astoria (Heraklion), Porto Antico (Chania), Archipelagos Hotel (Rethymnon), and Hotel Port 7 (Agios).
- Luxury: Galaxy (Heraklion), Hotel OFF (Chania), Avli (Rethymnon), or Minos Beach Art Hotel (Agios).
- Check more: Where to stay in Crete.
🗺️ More resources to book your trip to Crete
- 🛫 Search for cheap flights with CheapOAir.
- 🛥️ Find convenient ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
- 🚕 Book airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.
- 🚘 Rent a car in Crete with Discover Cars.
- 📍 Join adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide.
- Never leave without travel insurance Safety Wing.
- 💳 Carry the best credit card for travel with Wise.
Hey! Don’t Leave Without Pinning this Where to Go Scuba Diving in Crete Guide!
You might also want to read these posts about Crete’s regions:
- 52 Things to Do in Lasithi Region
- 52 Things to Do in Heraklion Region
- 52 Things to Do in Rethymnon Region
- 52 Things to Do in Chania Region
About my blog:
I moved to Crete in 2016. During these years, I learned much about the island.
In Crete, I juggle being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours, and writing for several travel blogs.
I’ve written for Greek Reporter, published travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.
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