Europe – Destinations

WWII Wreck of USS LST 349 at Ponza, Italy

The LST (also known as “landing ship, tank” or “tank landing ship”) was integral to the fighting forces during World War II, transporting tanks, cargo and troops directly to the battlefield. They were unique in that their flat keels allowed the ships to remain upright after beaching, without the need for docks or piers. Their twin propellers and rudders were specially protected from grounding.

The sinking of USS LST 349, which was heading to Naples from Anzio, Italy, occurred in February 1944. It happened during a severe storm, in which turbulent seas pushed the ship against the cliffs at Punta Papa on Ponza Island. Even though the people of Ponza made a great effort in the rescue operations, the death toll was heavy.

Scotland's Islands of Forth

The entrance to the Firth of Forth, an estuary in southeast Scotland, is guarded by a number of islands, the two largest and most popular for diving being the Isle of May or May Isle, 7km (4.5 miles) from Crail in Fife and the Bass Rock, or The Bass, located 2km (1.2 miles) offshore and 5km (3.1 miles) northeast of North Berwick in East Lothian.

Invasion of the King Crabs

In many science fiction movies today—those with alien spaceships—the aliens look very similar to some of the underwater inhabitants of our own planet. Indeed, there is no need to invent some mythical creature to stir up the imagination of the viewer; it is enough just to show an image of a jellyfish, an octopus or a giant crab. And this story is all about the king crabs.

Austrian Lakes: Grübl See & Grüner See

We were lucky to be some of the last few divers to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Grüner See before diving was banned in 2017. Photo by Marco Daturi.

Austria offers divine diving at high altitudes in freshwater lakes. Marco Daturi takes us to two beautiful lakes found in the mountains of Styria­­—one that continues to enthrall and one which has recently been closed for conservation and protection.

Diving Lofoten in Norway

Lofoten in northern Norway is renowned for spectacular scenery and stunning natural beauty—and it doesn’t stop at the surface! Clear water, huge kelp forests with lots of marine life, great wreck diving and anemone-covered walls which rival any tropical coral reef…

What more could you ask for?

Forgotten Wrecks of Laredo

Diver on wreck of the España, Laredo, Spain. Photo by Sabine Kerkau.

Croatia, Italy, France—these European destinations have long been coveted insider knowledge for technical and wreck divers. But what about Spain? Technical diving is still in its infancy in Spain. Nevertheless, there are some dive centers in the Mediterranean, as well as on the Atlantic coast of Europe, which offer trimix. There are countless worthwhile destinations in Spain.

My Two Big Fat Greek Diving Days

Ancient amphoras lay on the sea bed outside Rafti Bay, Greece. Photo by Peter Symes.

As my plane touched down in Athens on a warm and sunny October afternoon, it did not seem that long ago since the country experienced deep economic woes, during which a prolonged spat between the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras and then Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the EU bailout dominated the news for weeks on end, painting at times a bleak picture of a nation on the very brink of collapse and si