Guide for Snorkelers in Greece - What to look out for
Snorkelling is popular in Greece and in fact there are many dive schools located on the mainland and most of the surrounding islands if you want to get serious. If you want to do your research before your holiday, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for snorkelers in Greece.
We will cover:
- How to pick the best spots
- What to look out for in Greece
- How to snorkel – the right way
- And our top safety tips
With the warm, clear waters – it is no surprise that Greece is a snorkelling hot spot. But how do you make sure you find the best spots?
We have some top tips when it comes to snorkelling in Greece. Obviously there are numerous beaches on the mainland and the islands. Rhodes has Anthony Quinn Bay, for example which is hugely popular. The Cyclades islands are also renowned for excellent snorkelling spots, especially Paros where you have Kolymbithres Beach and the smaller Antiparos island a regular excursion trip from Paros which is another beautiful spot for exploring underwater rock formations and wildlife.
In general, if in doubt, the friendly locals, guides and taverna owners are always willing to recommend you a good spot, but on the whole, we recommend heading to warmer and clearer the waters.
What to look out for
There is plenty to explore in the deep blue Mediterranean Sea that surrounds Greece, from the exotic wildlife to shipwrecks and unusual rock formations. What should you expect to see and what should you look out for?
There will be plenty of fish to spot, from wrasse to goby and flounders to moray eels, all in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. There are some more ‘impressive’ sea critters too, although you will be lucky to spot one and most of these will be a little further out than the shallow bays! These include:
- Mediterranean monk seals
- Bottlenose dolphins
- Loggerhead sea turtles
- Sperm whales
- False killer whales
Top tip 1: The most beautiful crystal waters tend to be where the surrounding land is rocky, not sandy – so don’t be deterred by a rocky terrain. The sheltered bays and shallow waters are also less disturbed so you’re more likely to see wildlife that has set up a safe haven there.
Top tip 2: In Greece in particular, snorkelling isn’t just about the crabs, fish and starfish. It’s about the formations and shipwrecks that make up home for the sealife, too. Sometimes these dives are for more experienced divers, rather than snorkelling, but ask your guide and they can advise!
If you’re visiting a Dodecanese island, you won’t be far from Panormitis in Kalymnos which sunk in 1966. As for the Cyclades, you will be close to Patris which has been preserved underwater since 1868! With part of this boat in relatively shallow waters (18m) this is a more accessible wreckage.
Top tip 3: Always respect the ocean – from the wildlife, to the turn of the tides and the boats that also occupy the waters, you must always make sure you respect the deep blue!
Luckily, Greece is surrounded by much calmer waters than some of the other hot tourist destinations, which is why snorkelling has become so popular there – it’s because it’s safe. We do recommend however you never go snorkelling without being totally prepared. So here is our list of things to help you be safer snorkelling in Greece:
- Firstly, never snorkel if you can’t swim and always swim with a buddy. If you aren’t confident in your swimming abilities, head to a beach that has a lifeguard or snorkel in a larger group.
- Watch out for boats, from larger cruises to small speedboats, boats can cause a lot of issues for snorkelers. Make sure you do everything to ensure you are seen by those at the boat’s helm and always be prepared if a boat is passing you that it could cause waves momentarily that will unsettle you.
- Will you get eaten? A shark attack hasn’t happened for nearly half a century in Greece. But you could get stung. If you spot a jellyfish we recommend you leave that location and snorkel somewhere else. Other critters like urchins have some sharp spines to watch out for.
- Don’t drink and dive. When it comes to swimming, you should be sensible. If you’ve had a lot to drink, or even eat, this could impair your ability to keep safe if something untoward happened while you were at sea.
Most importantly, have a wonderful time, stay safe and enjoy the snorkelling. If you find a great spot we haven’t mentioned, let us know!