Turkey calls you for an adrenalin-pumping diving adventure to experience underwater marvels along with its natural, historical and geographical wonders
Turkey attracts visitors year after year, not only with its magnificent landscapes, but also with its mesmerizing underwater beauty. Among the underwater treasures, there are many historical ruins and natural wonders waiting to be discovered.
With hot summer days on their way, the azure waters that surround Turkey on three sides are looking more and more inviting. Many of us love to play in the water, swim and enjoy ourselves beneath the huge, blue, watery blanket. Turkey gives you an opportunity to both enjoy and to discover at the same time with its many and varied diving spots along the Aegean, Black and Mediterranean seas.
If your definition of a holiday is living within a pocket of nature and experiencing a rush of adrenaline, you have the chance to taste an underwater adventure in Turkey. Underwater caves, mysterious shipwrecks and the ghostly remnants of numerous wars lie under Turkey's crystal clear seas, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking the thrill and excitement of diving. If you are not an advanced diver, there are also many diving courses that you can take in order to learn how to dive and enjoy the beautiful waters along the Turkish coast.
Here are some of the best diving spots you must experience on your dream holiday in Turkey.
Antalya on the warm Mediterranean coast is a haven for divers, as it features dozens of diving spots, such as Kemer and Kaş, as well as numerous caves. Accepted as one of the most untouched tourist destinations in Turkey, Kaş is one of the most suitable places for diving in the country and is included on the list of the world's top 100 diving destinations. Kaş boasts more than 25 diving sites, where you are bound to discover dozens of amazing underwater remains. There are shipwrecks, caves, landscapes, ancient amphorae, underwater canyons and drop-offs into the turquoise waters of Kaş. When you dive into the Mediterranean waters, you will witness how history lies cradled in the arms of the sea. In Antalya's Kemer district, you can also find many diving schools and different diving opportunities. Just inside the entrance of Antalya's port, a French transport vessel lies 20-32 meters under the sea. Apart from this historic submerged vessel, you can also visit the town of Tekirova for diverse diving experiences as well as dive into the deep sea in Üç Adalar (three islands) to experience cave diving and underwater photography. Also, do not be surprised if you encounter dolphins during your dive.
Antalya's other hot spot for diving, Kalkan, is suitable for advanced divers who are looking for a more serious diving experience. Underwater streams, harsh winds and rare fish species are among the features you will find. Be prepared to be amazed while watching hundreds of different kinds of fish and marine animals riding the currents. Turtles, tuna, sharks and stingrays are among the species that you can see in Kalkan.
The Uluburun Wreck, located nearly 9 kilometers from Kaş, is another ancient shipwreck waiting for you in Antalya. It is a world-famous shipwreck dating back to 1400 B.C. that was discovered in the 1980s. It lies approximately 60 meters under the sea and the historic artifacts found in the shipwreck can be viewed at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology in western Turkey. Sea cliffs in Antalya are another diving attraction in Antalya. There are more places suitable for diving between the Lara and Konyaaltı districts as well. The sea cliffs there range in height from 14 meters to 25 meters. If you want to experience diving on an island, Sıçan Island, which is only a few kilometers away from Antalya's Port Akdeniz, is a perfect destination for you. It has shallow waters, where the deepest part is only 22 meters deep, and it features a beautiful cave on the eastern side of the island. The best way to start diving off the island is by taking a daily boat tour. To feel the joy of discovery and diversity, Antalya is a perfect place for both professional and novice divers.
MuğlaLocated in western Turkey, Muğla is a popular destination with its vivid daily life in holiday centers, tranquil little villages and the city of Bodrum, which attracts more and more tourists every year. If you have a chance to visit Muğla, there are many diving spots to frequent in Datça, Bodrum and Marmaris. To experience then province's underwater beauties along with those on land and get acquainted with this mesmerizing holiday spot in all its diversity, you must dive in Muğla. As the renowned ancient Greek geographer Strabo said, "If the gods love someone, they send them to Datça for a longer life." Datça is waiting to show you the town's natural beauties as well as its deep seas. On the little islands around Datça, you can find many fascinating diving spots where you can see dolphins, sharks and Mediterranean seals. In Marmaris, there are approximately 50 diving spots, including many ancient remnants. You will definitely be amazed by the sights you will see there during your diving adventure in places like Rhodes, Cennet Island and Kargı Island. A quick tip about diving around Cennet Island, however: Be mindful of the depth of the water.
There are many museums in Bodrum and it serves as a window to the underwater world in terms of diving. On Orak Island, located to the east of Bodrum, caves, the deep sea and colorful marine sponges beckons you like heaven beneath the waves. If you prefer to dive in shallower waters, there are many diverse stone formations that may draw your attention. Muğla should be at the top of your list if you are looking to spend time in a popular holiday destination and explore underneath the sea at the same time.
The western province of Çanakkale draws the attention of divers with its proximity to Istanbul and historic remains lying beneath the Aegean Sea that serve as a gateway to history. In Saros, there are many shipwrecks that divers will be amazed to see. There is a wide-range of undersea diversity, but you should be careful about the dangerous currents. Turkey's two popular islands, Gökçeada and Bozcaada, are also attractive places for diving. You can reach the islands via boat tours and you will see shipwrecks from World War I during your dives. If you intend to take diving courses, you should bear in mind that there is no course offered on Gökçeada, but there are courses available on Bozcaada. Between the Mermer Lantern and Anatolian Shore in Gökçeada, many shipwrecks will welcome you with all their sad, mysterious beauty under the sea. On Çanakkale's Orfoz and Eşşek Islands, there are many different fish and marine species that will accompany you during your dive. Another destination where you can experience the history that lies under the water is Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula in Çanakkale. As you dive off the Peninsula, you will be taken back to the time of World War I, and you can see the watery remains of the war far into the depths of the Dardanelles. Diving in the Dardanelles serves as a good supplement to understanding the Battle of Gallipoli. There are nearly 216 shipwrecks around the peninsula and Turkey's western city of Çanakkale. This area is mostly preferred by history lovers, and should top the list of anyone interested in diving into history.Mersin
Mersin is the southernmost province on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It attracts diving enthusiasts with its islands and capes that provide wonderful spots for diving. An upside-down freighter on the western cape of Dana Island in Mersin is one of the most popular diving spots, while Sıncak Bay – where you can dive to see numerous ancient amphorae – is also an attractive option. If you would like to experience untouched nature, Mersin is the place for your diving adventure.