Holidaymakers combine bathing in warm water with sunbathing on the beach, but few know about the underwater wonders of Albania, which every year attract the increasing number of local and foreign scuba divers. The rocky coast makes this country unique, in terms of diving. The coastal waters are not fully explored, so the chances of finding ancient artefacts underwater are quite high.
Diving is especially awesome in the Ionian Sea. There most popular places include the Vlorë Bay, Karaburuni Peninsula, and Sazan Island. Other places to check out are Dhërmi, and Bay of Sarandë. There are many wrecked ships in Albania waters. For example, an Italian dry cargo ship that was sunk during World War II. The ship lies on the left side, at the depth of 20 meters on the sandy bottom of the Bay of Sarandë. There's also the wreck of a WWII Italian hospital ship (Po) in Vlorë Bay. Divers may explore these wrecks in the depth from 4 to 33 meters.
The Adriatic and Ionian coasts of Albania boast magnificent underwater caves, grottos, and reefs. Some of them offer scuba diving directly from the shore, and their depth reaches 10 to 50 meters. The most popular underwater caves for diving are Viruet, Skotini, and Petranik.
The peak season for scuba diving in Balkans is early June to early September when the water is the warmest and marine life—the most active.
When is the best time to dive in Albania?
The ideal time for diving in Albania is during peak season lasting from June to September, where the water is warm and marine life blooms. Albania is a great place to experience diving all year round, with the best underwater visibility from October to May. During these months, the water temperature cools down a bit, but dive enthusiasts can still enjoy the serene conditions without worrying about currents and cold water temperatures. Show more
Where are the most popular wreck dive sites in Albania?
Albania's waters are renowned for wreck diving, and Sarandë Bay is one of the popular spots to experience such dives. Underwater wreck sites in Albania offer a unique opportunity to explore the remains of various ships. The sunken dry Italian cargo ship on the left side of the Bay of Sarandë and the wreck of the WWII Italian hospital ship 'Po' in Vlorë Bay are two of the many popular wreck dive sites worth exploring. Show more
What makes the rocky coast of Albania unique for diving?
The rocky coastal region of Albania presents an intriguing diving experience filled with diverse underwater topographies such as reefs, caves, and grottos that are yet to be entirely explored. Albania's coastline is less crowded with divers as compared to other Mediterranean diving destinations like Greece and Croatia, ensuring a more intimate experience. With its unique underwater terrain and numerous historical artifacts yet to be discovered, Albania is the perfect destination to quench the diving thirst of any dive enthusiast. Show more
Are there any unique marine species commonly found in Albania's waters?
Albania's waters are home to many aquatic animals, making it one of the most biodiverse regions in the Mediterranean Sea. Divers can experience the coastal waters' beauty by swimming with marine creatures such as crabs, octopuses, moray eels, groupers, sea bass, and squids. Although rare, dolphins, whales, and sharks have been spotted by divers, making the entire diving experience, including the anticipation of spotting these creatures, quite thrilling. Show more
Can beginner divers find suitable dive sites in Albania?
Yes, beginner divers can explore many dive sites in Albania. There are several dive centers that offer beginner-friendly scuba diving programs that range from quick crash courses to more advanced courses like Open Water or Advanced Open Water certification. Beginner-friendly dive sites typically have favorable diving conditions such as less current, shallow depth, and high underwater visibility. Saranda, Vlore, Albanian Riviera, Porto Palermo, and Karaburuni Peninsula are the most popular dive sites that cater to beginner divers. Show more