Scuba diving in Santa Pola is one of the most popular water activities available. Santa Pola is the closest point on mainland Spain to Tabarca Island. Being a protected marine reserve, the waters around the island are pristine and home to a wonderful array of marine flora & fauna. What better way to experience this underwater beauty than getting among it on a scuba diving trip. Due to this, the town is a popular destination for those wishing to scuba dive. Santa Pola is home to two dive operators, Dive Academy being one of the most highly rated on the Costa blanca.
Dive Academy Santa Pola
Based right in the harbour, Dive Academy boast over 12 years experience diving the warm waters of the Mediterranean. During this time they have achieved much and are the only PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre in the area. Their team of highly qualified instructors can offer practically every PADI course available. They also offer fun Discover Scuba Diving for persons as young as 10 years. The fun continues for 8 and 9 year old's with Bubblemaker and Seal Team. If you are already qualified as an Open Water Diver or the equivalent it's possible to hook up with the guys at Dive Academy for recreational dives to a variety of wonderful dive sites.
Recreational Boat Dive Sites
Tabarca Island – Once a haven for raiding Barbary pirates in days of old, Tabarca is the only inhabited island off the coast of Costa Blanca. With it being a protected marine reserve, no fishing is allowed. This makes it an ideal destination for scuba diving. Dive Academy have been issued a permit to dive around the island and will get you there in no time with their Zodiac RIB.
Cemetery – This stretch of water runs out from Tabarca's old cemetery and reaches a depth of 13 metres. While diving the rock formations, corridors and overhangs you may get to see fire worms and large groups of barracuda among the meadows of sea grass.
La Nao – Also included on a boat dive to Tabarca, La Nao offers exciting diving conditions. Some features of the dive include two large tunnels, bridge like swim through's and a small cave. During your dive which reaches around 12 metres, keep an eye out for giant groupers.
La Llosa – Being the deepest Tabarca dive at 28 metres, La Llosa is only available to advanced divers. It's main feature is a gigantic rock with its tip at around 19 metres. While traversing the rock face divers can get to see large scorpion fish and groupers as well as lobster and cuttlefish.
Little Conga – This is a 20 metre wreck dive named after the resident ‘little conga' that has made the wreck its home for many years. This is the oldest shipwreck in the area. It is now no more than a skeleton due to it being made of wood, but a great dive all the same.
Recreational Shore Dive Sites
Cabo De Palos – This offers several dive options around the impressive lighthouse at La Manga. Each dive is unique with the chance to see a wonderful variety of marine flora & fauna. For the more experienced and qualified diver, one of the dives reaches a chilling 50 metres. Here you will discover the Naranjito Shipwreck. This gets it's name from its cargo of oranges (naranjas) that ended up in a watery grave. One of the best scuba diving experiences during this trip is the Marine Reserves, recently voted the best diving in Europe. These consist of several underwater mountains. Some peaks lie at just 5 metres below the surface and then drop off to great depths.
Cala Cortina – Based in Cartagena's military harbour, this scuba diving site offers several dive options. The site is both ideal for beginners and offers dives for the more advanced diver. For beginners, entry into the water is very easy. Once in the water there is a 6 metre wall to explore, perfect for your first dive. For the more advanced diver there is a lengthy dive where you will require good conservative air consumption. During your dive you can explore the sea horse paddock and may also get to see flying gurnard, flounders and octopus.
The Caverns – One of the most thrilling scuba diving experiences is cave diving. For this you will head to Moraira, north of Santa Pola. An Open Water Diver qualification is needed and some experience is recommended for this dive. Entry to the site is on foot through a dry cave. Then it's through an opening in the floor to a huge underwater cave. A second open air cave gives divers a unique experience. This is a fascinating haze effect in the water caused by a fresh water river meeting the sea referred to as a halocline. From here the scuba diving heads to the open sand bed in search of torpedo and butterfly rays. The final dive area visits the sunken chassis of a jeep.