6 places to dive in Santorini

Endroits où faire de la plongée à Santorin

Off to the Greek islands? Combine your visit to the archipelago with underwater exploration! Here’s our selection of the best diving spots in Santorini.

Known for its white and blue houses clinging to the cliffs, Santorini is an island not to be missed on a trip to Greece. The ancient remains and spectacular scenery offer plenty of opportunities for activity.

If you’re a keen scuba diver, the waters surrounding this pearl of the Aegean Sea are full of surprises. All the fauna typical of Greece is present, from tiny nudibranchs to large pelagic fish such as tuna and barracuda.

Between caves, lava flows, drop-offs and reefs, Santorini’s dive sites are suitable for divers of all levels. Visibility, which regularly exceeds 20 meters, means you can discover the spots in ideal conditions. To help you make your choice, we present here the best diving spots in Santorini.

1. Kamari

Plage de Kamari, Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – an woolcock

  • 📍 D eparture point: Kamari
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 17 to 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: beginner to intermediate
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: gorgonians, octopus, nudibranchs

Located in the south-east of the island, Kamari features prominently in this ranking of the best diving spots in Santorini. You’ll find three different sites, providing a fantastic playground for beginners and advanced divers alike. Well protected from the waves, Kamari beach rock allows you to enter the water from the beach. With a depth of 7 meters, it’s an ideal site for first dives and diving courses in Santorini.

Kamari reef is just a 5-minute boat ride away. Also popular with snorkelers, the reef sinks to a depth of 19 meters. The floor is covered with colorful coral formations, a delight for underwater photographers.

Kamari wall is a drop-off that descends vertically to a sandy plateau at 26 meters. Walking along the wall, you’ll appreciate the beauty of the gorgonians that unfurl like fragile lace. Keep your eyes peeled for delicate nudibranchs and octopus camouflaged on the rock.

2. Vlychada temple

Plage de Vlychada, Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Olga Gavrilova

  • 📍 D eparture point: Vlychada
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 17 to 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: intermediate
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: red mullet, sea bream, scorpion fish

In the south of the island, this Santorini dive site can be reached in 15 minutes by boat. It is accessible to FFESSM level 1 or PADI and SSI open water divers. The maximum depth is 26 meters, but the main points of interest lie in shallower waters.

This artificial park, created for divers, is home to statues and amphorae, providing refuge for a multitude of small fish. You’ll find yourself weightless in a mystical atmosphere, and can imagine yourself as an explorer of ancient times. Lovers of underwater archaeology are particularly fond of this place!

3. Aspronisi

Plage de Aspronisi

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Tom Jastram

  • 📍 D eparture point: Fira, Akrotiri
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 18 to 27°C
  • ☑️ Level: intermediate to advanced
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: gorgonians, nudibranchs, barracudas

Aspronisi is a diving spot on Santorini renowned for the quality of its drop-offs. This small, circular island boasts 9 different dive sites: enough to fill your days! The drop-offs start at between 7 and 9 meters and plunge vertically down to 30 meters.

You first descend to maximum depth, then slowly ascend, keeping the wall in your right or left hand, depending on the currents. Concentration is required to find the nudibranchs hiding among the soft corals. Beautiful multicolored gorgonians add to the beauty of the sites. Don’t forget to look into the blue, as solitary barracudas sometimes cruise in search of prey. Visibility is generally very good, often exceeding 20 meters.

4. Palea and Nea Kameni

Palea et sa petite chapelle

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Dimitris Panas

  • 📍 D eparture point: Fira
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 18 to 27°C
  • ☑️ Level: beginner to advanced, depending on location
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: scorpion fish, sponges

These two islands lie right in the heart of the caldera and are one of Santorini’s best diving spots. After a 30-minute sail, your diving center will suggest you dive one of the 7 sites in the area. Three wrecks nestle in the vicinity, some of them accessible to beginner divers:

  • A passenger ship, sunk in 1975, lies just 10 meters below the surface. Life hasn’t developed much here due to the volcano’s sulfur fumes, but this dive is ideal for a first wreck immersion. The boat’s 34-metre length offers penetration possibilities for divers trained in this type of diving;
  • A boat from the Second World War, resting at 13 metres;
  • The Tug Boat, which lies at a depth of 30 meters. This is the only deep-water wreck on Santorini, and is reserved for holders of an advanced open water certificate or French level 2. Visibility is generally very good, and you can see the whole boat from the bow or the stern. If you look hard enough, you’ll be able to spot scorpionfish camouflaged on the wreck, their colors blending in perfectly with the boat’s hull.

Volcano sites 1, 2 and 3 offer dives from 7 to 25 meters. You’ll discover huge rocks, multicolored sponges and a plateau full of life.

Finally, at the Twin Towers site, you conclude your Santorini dives with two massive rock formations rising to the surface.

5. Thirassia

Île de Thirassia, Santorin

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Gildas_29

  • 📍 D eparture point: Thirassia, Oia
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 17 to 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: beginner to advanced
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: groupers, swordfish, barracudas

The island of Thirasia boasts some of the most beautiful diving spots on Santorini. Don’t miss Thirasia Revera, a walk along a vertical wall full of crevices. Large groupers come to take refuge here, an encounter that is sure to delight divers.

Mansell Reef is considered one of the best dive sites not only in Santorini, but in the whole country! The drop-off starts at 6 meters and goes down to 200 meters below the surface. This site is off the island of Thirasia, on the open side. Large pelagic fish frequent the area. You may be lucky enough to encounter tuna, swordfish, dolphinfish and even sharks.

On Thirasia reef 1 and 2, you’ll see rock formations covered with multicolored sponges. In the shallower parts, the sunlight accentuates the yellows, blues and reds of the corals in an explosion of color. Not far from Thirasia, Agios Nicolaos is a small islet dominated by a beautiful Greek church. In addition to its beauty, the reef is home to an abundance of life, with a few schools of barracuda coming close to shore to hunt.

6. Remezzo

Remezzo reef

Photo credit: Facebook – Volcano Dive Center

  • 📍 D eparture point: Thirassia, Oia
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 17 to 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: beginner to advanced, depending on location
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: gorgonians, sponges, nudibranchs, sars, red mullets…

Located in the south of the island, but in the caldera, this Santorini dive site is a protected area, where fishing is prohibited. At the instigation of a group of divers, a marine park has been created here, rapidly improving the quality of the seabed. The result is an abundance of marine life, from coral to the typical Santorini fauna.

You’ll swim in clouds of fish above healthy gorgonians and sponges. Nudibranchs are also present, to the delight of underwater photographers.