Diving Santa Pola

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Santa Pola, Spain

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Country: Spain  Area: Spain

Water Temp: 12 - 28°C (54 - 82°F)

Visibility: 5 - 20m (16 - 66 ft)

Depth Range: 5 - 40m (16 - 131 ft)

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With year round warm temperatures and an abundance of marine life, the Costa Blanca is  not only a sensational and extremely popular tourism destination – it is a great place to learn or continue diving. The town of Santa Pola is located along the “White Coast”, and is home to a few different dive operators who explore the surrounding waters. Most dive around the smallest inhabited island in Spain: Tabarca.

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With 13 kilometers of coastline, the town of Santa Pola is one of many towns that make up the stunning Costa Blanca. In town, local attractions span from a fortress to a palm park to an aquarium. Local culture can also be experienced through a trip to the museum or a visit to the fish market. While this town is not as popular as some of the other neighbouring towns, it makes for a nice escape from the masses of European vacationers.

While Spain is not often considered to be a prime diving location, destinations like Cabo de Palos are gaining recognition in the diving community. There are a growing number of divers visiting the shore, boat, wreck and cavern dive sites annually. There are three big attractions for divers in this area. We have diving around the Island of Tabarca just outside the marine reserve. There are plenty of things to see including our resident Conger Eel in our dive site ‘Little Conger’. For the more advanced divers we have The Naranjito wreck about an hour drive from our centre but this is for advanced divers only due to the depth of 30 metres at the top to 45 metres on the sand. Also for advanced divers we have the Moraira Caverns. A great place to take your PADI Cavern Specialty.

Climate

The Costa Blanca attracts a lot of holiday makers year round due to it’s temperate climate. You can expect the summer to be very hot with water temperatures of up to 28 degrees. The winter is cooler and the water reaches a low of 12 degrees but we can still dive here year round with adequate thermal protection. It rarely rains and is sunny pretty much all year.

Marine Conservation

The waters surrounding the Island of Tabarca are protected by a national marine reserve. This area was the final breeding place for the Mediterranean monk seals in the 1960s, prior to its extinction. This was used as proof for the high quality of the waters, and prompted the region’s official protection in 1986. It was the first marine reserve in the country.

Today, the region’s unique biodiversity is protected from fishing. An artificial reef further helps to protect and preserve the marine life. A number of researchers continue to study the effectiveness of conservation efforts here, while also highlighting future needs.

Local dive shops also aid in conservation efforts. Some are sponsors of project AWARE, while others teach conservation to divers and community members. Beach and ocean clean ups are also regularly run by dive shops in conjunction with local schools. 

Other Year round Marine life

Moray Eels, Conger Eels, various varieties of bream (Most common, Cow Bream), Sardines, Damsel Fish, Wrasse, Blennies.

 

Information kindly provided by: Dive Academy Santa Pola

 
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Shore Diving

Shore diving sites cater for all levels of experience and  tend to have a maximum depth of 20 metres from the shore. Bays to check out are Cala Cortina, Cabo De Palos, El Campello and Cabo De Las Huertas to name but a few. Here, you might have the chance to dive alongside nudibranches, moray eels, banded sea bream, flying gurnards, octopus and stingray. 

Boat Diving

There are numerous boat dives to do in the area. There are 6 sites around the island of Tabarca, 2 of which are visited frequently. There are also boat diving options down in Cabo De Palos that can be arranged with advance notice.

At the nearby dive sites, it is possible to explore anything from wrecks to caves to sandy bottoms.  Interesting rock formations and swim throughs are also common. In terms of marine life on boat dives, it is often common to see octopus, groupers and wrasse. There are also occasionally sergeant fish, salema and barracuda. 

Liveaboard Diving

There are no liveaboards operating in the region.

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How to Get There

The nearest airport is Alicante Airport, and it is located roughly 20 minutes from town. There is also a train that arrives in Alicante, which connects onwards with other cities in Spain.

A number of bus companies also connect Santa Pola with the rest of the country. It takes approximately 5 hours to travel by bus from Madrid. 

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Where to Eat & Drink

There are a number of local restaurants and bars that give visitors a taste of classic cuisine. Typically dishes here revolve around rice and fish, with some accompanying stews. Tapas is also popular here and is an excellent way to sample a variety of small plates. Other restaurants serve Mediterranean cuisine.

Most of the bars in Santa Pola are located near the beaches and in the town center. In the summer, they are often very busy and filled with people from Madrid and Basque Country.

Gran Alacant is a favourite local restaurant, while Molly Mallones and Times Square are generally quite popular bars. 

 

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Other Activities

Beaches are the primary attraction in Santa Pola. The main ones include Playa del Tamarit, Playa Lisa and the Gran Playa. There are also a number of small coves along the coast as well. In the center of town, there is also an impressive 16th century castle with a museum inside.

Verano en Santa Pola, Credit

You can take a day out around Alicante to visit Santa Barbara Castle for some local history or maybe drive up the coast an hour to visit the natural waterfalls near Benidorm. There, you can bath in the fresh water pools and spend the day diving from rocks and platforms. It is also worth considering taking a day trip to Isle of Tabarca, the smallest inhabited island in Spain. 

In town, there is Rio Safari Zoo and a local aquarium, which are often well-suited to traveling families. Those with a taste for adventure may however wish to try out kite surfing, wind surfing, hang gliding, paragliding, or mountain biking. Fishing is also very popular here.  

If traveling with children, Dive Academy does offer Discover Scuba and Bubble Maker courses for children. 

We can cater for children as young as 6 as we have an extremely popular snorkel safari over on the Island of Tabarca. This is something for the whole family and a great day out for all. We can also do Bubble Makers or pool parties for children over 8 years old. For becoming qualified, local law permits us to teach 12 year olds and above.

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Tips

Dive Academy is the only dive operator that offers courses in English. With basic Spanish, other companies can also be considered.

The nearest hyperbaric chamber is located in Alicante. This is roughly 20 minutes by road from Santa Pola. There are also a number of other chambers located throughout the country. 

 

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