Greece has lifted diving restrictions eliminating depth limits and allowing diving at archaeological sites and sunken ships without an escort. The move follows a passed 2019 bill easing scuba diving laws and is part of a larger group of incentives to encourage the return of international tourists following the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Mediterranean species such as red coral, with a hard and striking red skeleton, is key for formations of encrusting corals and algae, as it gives it physical structure, increases its complexity and serves as protection for several species, which feed on the coralligenous habitat.
Greek archaeologists have discovered the remains of a massive Roman vessel believed to be the largest classical shipwreck found in the eastern Mediterranean. Believed to have sunk some 2,000 years ago, the 35-metre vessel was discovered at a depth of around 60m during a survey off Kefalonia, one of the Ionian islands off Greece’s west coast. The site is situated 1.5 miles from the entrance to the harbour of Fiscardo, the island's only village to not be destroyed during World War II.
HMS Urge—part of Britain's 10th Submarine Flotilla—left the Mediterranean island of Malta on April 27, 1942 but never made it to its destination of the Egyptian port of Alexandria. Until its discovery this summer, the reason for both the ship's disappearance and its final resting place were unknown. The discovery of HMS Urge suggests it sank in 1942 after hitting an explosive marine mine placed by an enemy German warship.
At a glance, the Medes Islands doesn’t look like much—some 50 odd acres of craggy outcrops sitting close to shore, just opposite the small fishing village and resort town of L’Estartit, along the Spanish coast of Costa Brava. Little, if anything, gives away the fact that it is a marine national park boasting some of the most renowned diving in the Mediterranean.
Coming full circle. It all started in the Med. It was here in the 1930’s and 40’s that the likes of Hans Hass, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Frederic Dumas and Phillip Tailliez pioneered scuba diving as we came to know it. Erstwhile the obvious choice for dive travelers once the Red Sea and even more exotic destinations became accessible to a wider audience, it fell somewhat out of favor.
When people from the United States go on a European vacation, diving is usually not on the agenda. But the Costa Brava area on the northeastern coast of Spain offers some interesting diving. It might not be as colorful as the Red Sea or Indonesia, but add on the cultural experience, and it is worth a visit.