At the beginning of May, Greece is not one of the warmest places to dive but if you are willing to brave the cold and take the plunge like us, you will be rewarded with some clear waters and nifty sights.
My sister Nadine had never been diving before. I have been bugging her for a long time to get her certification but the timing has just never been right. For her birthday Joey and I decided to show her exactly what she was missing out on by taking her on a Discover Scuba experience with a local Greek PADI certified dive shop.
It was probably one of the best things we could have done.
The Discover Scuba Diving course is for any non-divers who would like a small sneak peek at what scuba diving is all about. If you have ever wondered what it’s like to breathe underwater or are wondering if you are ready to commit to an open water course, Discover Scuba is the perfect way to start.
The PADI rated program teaches you the basics about breathing beneath the water under the direct supervision of a certified professional. During your course, you will get a brief overview of the equipment, learn how your body and the ocean interact and find out what it feels like to don a scuba tank, weights, fins and a mask.
For any rookies unsure if they want to take the plunge, I would highly recommend starting here.
Joey, Nadine and I arrived at the dive shop nice and early. Right way Nadine got introduced to Maximo, her Discover Scuba instructor. She was given a small booklet to read and a mini test to complete.
While Nadine was studying away, Joey and I assembled and organized our gear.
It didn’t take Nadine long to read through the booklet. Most of the material was pretty familiar to someone who has been around a couple of dive bums for a long time.
She and Maximo went over the quizzes and discussed some of the most critical topics before moving on to the equipment. Together they assembled their tank, BCD, and regulator doing the BWARF buddy check on each others equipment. Finally, it was time to hit the water!
The shore dive site sloped into a beautiful promenade under the sea. With some luck we observed wrasse and damselfish filling the water like confetti. They darted this way and that way in a scatterbrain kind of motion fleeing from our exhaled bubbles. Nadine was paired up with the dive instructor and Joey, and I trailed behind.
The dive was a nice shallow one, always staying within 20 feet of water with no safety stops required. It was a perfect dive for me to practice and get used to diving with my new underwater camera.
Cool looking fish here and click, click with the camera shutter over there. I was in such a picture taking frenzy that I missed the cuttlefish that was hanging out beside us. Nadine’s eagle eyes didn’t though. Even from the two-meter radius of Maximo’s side she pointed frantically and signaled to us.
Too late, it was gone!
Forty-five minutes later the 3 of us came out of the water cold like popsicles, but all smiles.
I’m not even squidding when I say this was one of the best dives ever, seriously. To have my sister there with me enjoying and immersing herself in something that I love so much, was without comparison.
Here’s to having my fingers and toes crossed that maybe now she will get her open water scuba certification.
The scuba diving shops in the southern part of Greece are all very well equipped to fulfill your diving needs. Prices range on the service you require. Equipment rental and a shore dive cost approximately €40.00. Equipment rental and a boat dive go for €60.00 (please note that boat dives typically only happen during the summer months). Most dive shops have discounted package deals for divers who are looking to do more than one dive so make sure to ask for details.
A discover scuba diving program will cost the non-certified divers €75.00 (for 2 or 3-4 people the cost goes down €65.00 and €48.00 respectively). And a scuba diving course ranging from beginner to more advanced courses can cost from €270.00 to €500.00 (check with your local scuba diving shop to see if the course is offered in English).
The Greeks have had a long-standing relationship with the sea, and it continues today. For diehards it is possible to dive all year round but be aware, the regular scuba diving season runs from May to September when the weather is expected to be hot and dry with an average temperature of 27°C/80°F. During the summer months, the water temperature comes in at around 16-23°C/60-74°F depending upon the site, sea, and island. In the winter months, the air temperatures drop to an average of 6°C/43°F and can make dives unpleasantly cold for those who aren’t trained to dive in full thermal protection (a dry suit).
At first glance Greece may seem like a sunny south scuba diving destination. Don’t be fooled, the water can still be relatively cold especially outside of high season. Make sure to have with you proper cold water gear (a 7mm wetsuit with gloves and a hood), or make sure you are familiar with diving in bulky gear. Beyond the gear make sure you bring your open water certification card (yes they check). Having your advanced is certainly not a bad idea as there can be some neat dive sites to visit at depth.
There is scuba diving all around the Greek coast that will be more than happy to take you out diving and show you some of the best of the Mediterranean sea. We did a shore dive with my sister who enrolled in the Discover Scuba Diving course through “Athens Diver Club” Diving Center. They were such a nice shop that even went as far as lending us some old wetsuits so we could try some snorkeling during our three-week stay in the Palaia Fokaia area. Here are some mainland shops towards the southern Athens tip of the country:
Want to step into to cold and clear Mediterranean sea? The Greek island of Zakynthos is the perfect place to take the plunge and spot some rare animals.
The tip of Cape Sounion, Greece was the picture perfect spot for our half day adventure and swim with Poseidon, the mighty god of the sea.
Let history and archaeology collide as you plunge into Lake Ohrids Bay of Bones and scuba dive beneath a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When in Italy make sure to stop at the world's deepest pool, Y-40 the Deep Joy and try your hand at scuba or freediving for a bucket list experience.
Thinking about sprouting gills and making the plunge into the underwater world? Find out if you're cut out to become an Open Water scuba diver.
While traveling Greece, don't miss out on Athen's Panathenaic Stadium, a world renown sports complex that hosted the first modern day Olympic games.
For some scuba diving is more than just a hobby - it’s a lifestyle. Here is everything you should know about getting your divemaster certification.
Becoming a PADI Rescue Diver is a great way to further your knowledge and give yourself the tools to stay safe on a dive.
Beneath the waters of the Gulf of Naples are the remains of an ancient Roman civilization lost to the seas of time and guess what? You can dive into it!
Italy is a cultural hub for art, history, dining and scuba diving. Dive the Amalfi coast and see some of the best-kept secrets of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Fireproof Lipo Charging Safe Bag is a medium size flame retardant bag that safeguards your batteries during charging, transit, and storage.
Size: 20cm X 15cm X 15cm
Black scuba diving turtle fins
A one-piece dive hanger construction for strength and durability with non-corroding plastic resin. The hanger can support up to 20 pounds.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Dive hands-free with a diving flashlight glove. This torch holder has a universal adjustable wrist strap scuba and is made of superior nylon material, which means it’s durable and comfortable to wear.
With marine biologist Dr. Alexander Mustard as your guide, you can learn all you need to know to explore the amazing creatures and landscapes that exist underwater.
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Reef Safe SPF 30 sunscreen for protection against broad-spectrum UVA and UVB.Water-resistant for 80 minutes of swimming or activity. It contains our potent antioxidant blend of Green Tea, Tulsi, Wakame and Olive Leaf.
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
The waterproof scuba diving egg helps keep valuables dry while in the water. The egg is suitable for storing sunglasses, car keys, money and etc.
The inside diameter is 2.07″ and the inside length is 5.04″.
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Reusable scuba diver tea infuser for use on loose teas. Easy to fill, empty clean and dishwasher safe. Tea infuser comes with a silicone raft drip tray.
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
The dive guide Bonaire is a comprehensive dive guide for use by divers and snorkelers at all skill levels. It describes more than 100 dive sites along with underwater maps and stunning photographs. This all-inclusive dive guide is your handbook for endless diving and snorkeling enjoyment.
An elegant lead-free wine glass with a shark figurine anchored inside. The perfect gift for wine and shark lovers everywhere.
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Aveeno zinc oxide mineral sunscreen with SPF 50. An environmentally-friendly sunscreen that is oil-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and water-resistant.
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
This new second edition of The Great Lakes Diving Guide is the most comprehensive guide ever written about exploring Great Lakes shipwrecks.
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
A 16″ x 16″ sequins blue mermaid decorative throw pillow cover. Perfect for the sofa, chair or bed. The cover does NOT come with a pillow insert.
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Filled with more than 350 images from National Geographic, 100 Dives of a Lifetime provides the ultimate bucket list for ardent scuba divers and aspirational travelers alike.
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders