Diving in Portugal, Europe

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Portugal is a country in Southern Europe and surrounded by the nutrients rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the Iberian peninsula with over 2000 coastline in both mainland and underlying islands ensuring a breathtaking and diverse diving experience.

Most of the diving sites are concentrated on the Atlantic coast, which naturally boasts of staggering marine biodiversity. There are a myriad of diving activities for all levels of divers and the fun fact is that Portugal doesn’t have only diving in its menu but it is also one of the busiest holiday destinations in the world.

Most beginner divers would love the fact that Portugal has some of the clearest waters teeming with marine life and with water visibility that reaches 15m to 30m. All dive sites sport various schooling fishes including larger pelagic fishes such as mantas, dolphins, whales, and large groupers. One of the very popular dives is found in the Sagres.

Wreck divers specially advanced divers would love the fantastic wreck of a U1277 submarine in Oporto at the depth of 31m on a sandy seafloor. She was sunk during WW2 and although most of the parts are now colonised by hard and soft corals there are still plenty of visible parts from the original structure such as the torpedo launch tubes and the mounted anti-aircraft guns where various fishes love to hangout. Another wreck in Oporto is the Tiber passenger liner sunk in 1847 that is now home to various marine life.

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The government of Portugal is an active participant in marine conservation efforts. The establishment of eight marine reserves and parks is a testament to this cause. The species that are highlighted for serious conservation efforts are the bottlenose dolphins and whales.

Portugal has a Mediterranean climate in the South and temperate climate in the North and it also sports the warmest places in the European countries.

The water temperature averages around 16°C/59F in winter and 21°C/70F in summer.

Diving season is year round in the South but only possible between April and October in the North.

The main points of entry to Portugal are its three international airports in Lisbon/Portela, Maia, and Faro where almost all major airlines fly.

The islands of the Madeira and Azores also have international airports in Madeira/Funchal and Ponta Delgada.

There are also boats mostly cruisers coming in from different foreign countries that dock in Portugal’s numerous sea ports.

In the mainland the most common public transportation are trains in major cities, buses, taxis, and car rentals. You could also travel with your own car if you’re already in Europe since Portugal is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

The general transportation system of Portugal is exceptional.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers in Portugal

- Foreign Travel Advice for Portugal (UK Government)

- More about Portugal  (Wikipedia)

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