Searching for Destinations Great for Snorkeling in Europe? Check Out This List of Best Snorkeling Places in Europe for Diving Buffs.
Underwater enthusiasts experience one of the best snorkeling in Europe as the continent is surrounded by some of the magnificent seas of the world.
If you are also into diving and snorkeling and are looking for some top spots for snorkeling in Europe, then you have come to the right place. Here you will find a list of the ten best places to snorkel in Europe.
10 Best Places for Snorkeling in Europe
Medes Islands, Spain
Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Spain offers various diving and snorkeling spots making it one of the best countries for snorkeling. One such location is the Medes Island.
These islands were declared protected many years back making their beauty look untouched and surreal. The marine life moves about confidently and quietly, undisturbed.
The water is clear, making it a delight to watch the various aquatic fauna which includes octopus, barracuda, eels and stingrays. There are also caves and vegetation underwater. You will find more than a hundred colorful species of seaweed underwater.
Glass bottomed boats are available that make the trip even more attractive.
It is, no doubt, one of the best places for snorkeling in Europe.
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Blue Lagoon, Malta
Blue Lagoon is famous for its cool azure colored water that attracts tourists from around the world during the summers. But apart from the scenic beauty, this beautiful tourist spot is also a heaven for snorkeling enthusiasts and divers.
The nearby caves in Comino are a habitat for various aquatic animals. You will find small and large fish in abundance here. Other than that, there are eels and crabs.
In case you find the Blue Lagoon too crowded you can always head towards other snorkeling destinations like Ghar Lapsi, Gneja bay and Qawra point. Malta is home to many good snorkeling destinations in Europe.
Lake Silfra, Iceland
The one and only snorkeling spot in Iceland is Silfra. This freshwater facility provides you with clarity of nearly 100 meters underwater.
This fissure was formed by an earthquake involving the movement of two tectonic plates. Hence, it offers a unique opportunity to snorkeling enthusiasts to snorkel between two continents.
Though there is not much aquatic fauna, there is plenty of underwater vegetation in Silfra. The multicolored algae provides some breathtaking views making Silfra a must visit place for snorkeling lovers. The water is so pure that you can easily drink it without any worries.
Snorkeling in Silfra will be a little different from other places as the water is cold. You will require dry suits to keep your body warm and dry underwater.
Snorkeling gear can vary from place to place. For warmer regions like Malta all you need is a snorkel and a mask, whereas for cooler regions like Silfra you will require full body dry suit. Always pack your snorkeling gear according to the weather conditions of the place to derive maximum fun.
Sardinia boasts of a huge number of beaches in the Italian region. Its white sandy beaches with clear green and blue water are a major tourist attraction. It is also one of the best snorkeling sites in Europe.
You can either snorkel offshore by going by a boat or you can snorkel in coves accessible through the shore.
What makes it one of the best snorkeling sites in Europe is its clear water that does not turn murky even during windy days. Snorkeling enthusiasts can spot fishes and eels in the beautiful water of the Sardinia beaches.
What qualifies Cyprus as one of the top 10 snorkeling spots in Europe is that snorkeling can be done both on the east coast (Ayia Napa) as well as on the west coast (Paphos) of Cyprus.
The water on the east coast is calmer and easier for snorkeling but there is not much of a marine life to watch there.
The rough waters of Paphos, on the other hand, offer you a wide variety of aquatic fauna and flora. The choppy waters and underground rocky caves house different types of fishes and crabs.
But, this area is definitely not for beginners. The beaches are rocky and pebbly here.
Both the east and west coasts of Cyprus have many cheap places to snorkel in Europe.
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Plage de la Palud, France
Plage de la Palud is one of the best snorkeling spot in Europe. You can easily reach the snorkeling area through the sandy beach. The snorkeling spot is clearly marked by yellow buoys and is of a triangular shape.
The snorkeling area is divided into six regions according to the type of surface area underwater, like grassy or rocky. The relevant information about the area underwater is included in the buoys.
The variety of sea life that you will find here is incredible. It includes ornate wrasse and rainbow wrasse, sargo, salema porgy and gilt head bream. All the animals are quite social and are used to human presence.
Plage de la Palud is definitely one of the best places in Europe for snorkeling.
However peaceful or calm the water on the beaches might look, always check tide charts before venturing out. You never know when the tide might change and make it difficult for you to snorkel back. It is advisable to wear life vests and employ guides in such cases. It is important to remain vigilant irrespective of your experience level.
Skiathos in Greece is famous for its sparkling beaches. Sparkling because, the sand over here is so fine that it gives a glittering effect to the beaches. And, almost all the beaches in Skiathos are ideal for snorkeling making it one of the best snorkeling places in Europe.
As far as the marine life is concerned, you will find shoals of fish underwater. Some of the species that you will find here are Garfish, Grey mullet and even an elusive octopus.
What makes Skiathos one of the best places to go snorkeling in Europe are its perfectly clear water and a variety of marine life.
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Italy has earned a spot again in the list of top 10 places for snorkeling in Europe. Surrounded on three sides with water, Italy offers many attractive options for snorkelers and divers alike.
Ustica in Italy is not only a diving paradise but also, one of the Europe’s best snorkeling spot. It has crystal clear water which is clean and unpolluted. You will need a boat to reach the snorkeling and diving spot.
Underwater you will find many caves and an amazing array of marine life. The aquatic fauna that you might get to see includes swordfish, groupers and lobsters.
The clear water accompanied with a variety of flora and fauna makes Ustica one of the best snorkeling destinations in all of Europe.
Snorkeling in Europe will be incomplete without a visit to the pebbly coasts of Croatia. Though the marine life here is not very colorful, Croatia has all the features needed to make it a pretty good snorkeling destination in Europe.
The beaches in Croatia like the Makarska have very clean and clear water. All you need is a mask and snorkel and you are ready to go underwater.
You can expect to find crabs, octupusses and sea horses here. The flora includes corals and a variety of marine plants.
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Reserve Natural da Berlenga, Portugal
Berlenga group of islands consists of three islands, of which Berlenga Grande is the only one that is inhabited. They are part of the Reserve Natural da Berlenga, which means that the islands and the surrounding waters are protected.
The beach is located between cliffs and the water here is very clear, making it ideal for snorkeling trips. There are underwater caves that house a variety of marine life. You can even find some ship wrecks that you can explore. Remember, the water here can be pretty cold as the beach opens up to the Atlantic Ocean.
It is definitely one of the good places to snorkel in Europe.
Snorkeling like any other marine activity is hugely dependent upon the climatic and sea conditions. Hence, what you will actually observe at a particular snorkeling location, like the marine life, is subject to change over time due to storms or any other such weather phenomena.
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Best Places to Snorkel in Europe – Wrap Up
Snorkeling in Europe exposes you to a diverse range of experiences, from the warm waters of Spain and Malta, to the cold ones in Iceland. It also provides you with an easy way to get to know the world under water.
Snorkeling is cheaper than diving and does not require much training. Nonetheless, it is always advisable to adhere to common safety precautions.
A good snorkeling experience requires first, clear, unpolluted water and second, a diverse marine life.
The above locations fulfill both the requirements and are definitely worth a try if you are on a snorkeling holiday in Europe. They are not only best in Europe but also provide some of the best snorkeling in the world.