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Divers on a rope underwater

The Top Five Shipwreck Diving Places in Greece and action cameras for active families

    Snorkeling and diving are the most well-known underwater activities, and Greece is one of the best places in the world to explore this magic world. With approximately 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas and the fantastic seabed, Greece has everything you may ask for on your vacation.

    Unlike other scuba diving destinations, Greece offers an opportunity to divers not only to experience the marine culture but also its ancient and modern history. In fact, many Greek islands have their own shipwrecks’ stories to tell. Greece is one of the most well-known destinations for professional shipwreck divers, according to an interview with Kostas Thoktaridis for Greece-Is, a diver and explorer of naval history. Specifically, according to him, there are approximately 1,500 contemporary-era wrecks in Greece, of which 500 can be explored by beginners to advanced divers.

    In addition, ancient Greek history and archaeology buffs who are keen divers have always been attracted to Greece due to underwater scuba diving sites. Those individuals were particularly excited when in 2020, when the Greek Government decided to ease the once-stringent scuba diving regulations for Greek waters, eliminating diving depth limits and allowing diving at archaeological sites and sunken ships. Prior to that bill, divers could only enter archaeological sites when accompanied by underwater guides, however, under the new bill, divers must still be accompanied by members of certified dive clubs.

    In March 2021, it was announced that 91 wrecks of ships and planes will open up to recreation divers, under certain conditions. For a comprehensive list of all wrecks by region: Discover the “underwater ark” of Greek history: 91 wrecks accessible to divers

    Snorkeling and diving in Greece

    Which are the best places for shipwrecks diving in Greece?

    Greece is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to shipwreck diving. More than 50 remains of ships with their treasures are accessible for you to explore across the country. Most of them date back to ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and 20th-century eras.

    Which one you will choose to investigate has to do with your personal preference and expertise. In any case, the Greek sea has every kind of remains you can think of. From the Saronic Gulf to the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea, Greece’s seabed is an endless museum of ancient and modern wrecks.

    No matter if you are a beginner or professional diver, there are numerous options for you to choose from; World War II submarines, aircrafts, and destroyers to cargo ships and paddle steamers, let alone underwater ancient sites. Some of the most famous shipwrecks are located on the island of Cephalonia (Perseus Submarine), Kea (Patris paddle steamer), Leros (Queen Olga), and Naxos (WWII aircraft).

    1. Lakki Port in Leros – Queen Olga

    Queen Olga is a legendary World War II destroyer, who was considered the Greek fleet’s most sophisticated warship in World War II. Queen Olga was bombarded by Nazi German fighter planes on September 26, 1943. Over 70 crew members on board died. Divers are able to see the holes in the funnels caused by the attack. The shipwreck is located in the port. There is a monument and a museum (Belenis Tower Museum) which costs some of the items found in the shipwreck.

    2. Kea Island – Patris Shipwreck

    Patris was a paddle steamer was sunken off on February 28, 1868, on the southwestern part of Kea, an island around 1 hour from Athens by ferry. The boat slammed onto a reef and luckily all 500 or so passengers on board were rescued. Patris shipwreck is considered one of the most impressive shipwrecks as the steamer is cut into two. The first part can be found in shallow water (18 meters) and is accessible, whereas, the other part is in deeper water (35 meters).

    3. Naxos Island – WW II Aircraft

    Half a mile off Cape Kouroupas in Naxos in approximately 30 metres lies this WW II Beaufighter aircraft. The good news is that all crew on board was saved. This specific Beaufighter remains in a very good condition, despite the fact that, in general, planes are less durable underwater than ships.

    4. Cephalonia – Perseus Submarine

    Perseus Submarine was found in 1997 by Thoktaridis and is one of the most impressive diving sites in Greece due to the fact that it remains in a great condition and almost undamaged. The submarine Perseus sank on December 6, 1941, after hitting an Italian mine. There was only one survivor, all 60 crew members died. The submarine depth varies from 38 meters (periscope base) to 52 meters (bow and torpedoes).

    5. Near Athens (Patroklos Island) – Freighter Kyra Eleni

    The freighter Kyra Eleni can be found on a sandy seabed on the island of Patroklos in the Saronic Gulf, opposite Sounio (outside Athens). The shipwreck sank on 06-1-1978 due to bad weather and draws divers of all levels due to the fact that it is in relative shallow waters.

    The best time to go scuba diving in Greece

    Something that is not very well-known is that Greece can be an all-year-round vacation destination. That said, you have to keep in mind that the sea is not always warm throughout the year. However, the days when the weather is milder, the waters are clear, and the water temperature is pleasant, especially for divers who are equipped with full body diving suits.

    If you are keen on visiting Greece when the weather is warmer (and with no surprises), we recommend that you visit anytime between May to October, when the sea temperature is ideal (i.e. 73-82F/23-28C). Also bear in mind that, the Ionian and Northern Aegean seas are always a bit cooler than the south seas of Greece (i.e. near Crete).

    Snorkeling and diving in Greece

    How to keep your underwater family memories: Best action cameras for diving (and not only)

    Finally, we will suggest the best action cameras to carry with you, not only for your underwater excursions but also for activities like winter skiing, hiking, biking, etc. Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into it. If you wonder how to keep your memories from underwater excursions and then share them with friends, action cameras are the best way to go. We have included blow our suggestions which cater to different budgets and levels of expertise.

    1) GoPro HERO 9: The best action camera for diving and snorkeling.

    During our review, the Latest GoPro HERO 9 proved to be the best when it comes to water activities. No matter if you are a beginner and you want a camera to capture your family’s snorkeling excursion or a professional diver, this 5K action camera will not disappoint you (depth limit of 196ft/60m).

    At a reasonable price, Hero 9 captures stunning videos and crisp-clear photos (20MP). In a few words, this camera provides fantastic underwater performance, and for this reason, it is our list’s all-rounder.

    2) Olympus Tough TG 6: The best diving and snorkeling camera for beginners.

    If you are not familiar with action cameras, the Olympus Tough TG6 is the best option for you. It has incredible image and video quality and one of the most straightforward user interfaces on the market. With the ability to shoot 4K videos and capture clear photos, this camera has everything a beginner could ask for and more.

    This is the perfect choice for those of you who need an easy-to-use, robust action camera for your underwater activities (up to 50 ft/15 m). 

    3) Nikon W300: The reliable one for Nikon fans

    Nikon is the most well-known brand for DSLR professional cameras. Even though GoPro is the king when it comes to action cameras, the latest Nikon W300 is a great contestant. It has the brand’s reliability, strong features and comes at a better price than GoPro’s Hero.

    Nikon has created a beautiful action camera that shoots stunning underwater videos (up to 100ft/30m), Time-lapses, and amazing photos. For this reason, this is a great action camera for people who trust Nikon cameras and need a more affordable alternative to Hero 9.

    4) Paralenz Vaquita: The best action camera for professional divers.

    The Paralenz Vaquita is simply the best choice for extreme divers. The camera’s aluminum housing allows you to use it to over 800feet. If you are a professional diver and don’t want to compromise quality or features, this 4k/60fps camera has everything you could ask for.

    Its advanced software helps a lot by tracking your dive profile and the current depth and temperature. Thus, if you need the ultimate diving tool, the latest Paralenz camera is precisely that.

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