The 9 best places for diving and snorkeling in Crete

Why not combine your discovery of this beautiful Greek island with an underwater adventure? Discover our selection of the best diving spots in Crete!

Crete, located all the way to southern Greece, is definitely one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean. A fascinating destination for its natural landscapes and heritage, the island boasts some great beaches and coves. With its pleasant climate most of the year, it is also a great place for diving or snorkeling. Its water temperature ranges between 19°C in May and 22°C in October, with a peak of 25°C in August.

A beginner or an experienced diver, you will have a lot to do on this beautiful island in the eastern Mediterranean. To help you on your adventures, we have handpicked some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Crete.

Best diving spots

1. El Greco Cave

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SHIN- dB

  • starting place : Agia Pelagia in general
  • water temperature : 21 degrees Celsius on average
  • level : confirmed
  • flowers Moray eels, lobsters, groupers, tuna

Accessible only to experienced divers, this snorkeling spot in Crete is definitely one of the most impressive. Here you will discover a wonderful underwater cave about thirty meters long. You will then enjoy the amazing stalagmites and stalactites, as well as the beautiful lights that stream through the rock. The depth of the cave ranges between 20 and 40 meters. Flourishing underwater animals settled there. You will be able to observe lobsters, groupers, tuna or even moray eels.

2. Mononaftis

Mononaftis

Image credit: Shutterstock – Kyiv.Victor

  • starting place : Mononaftis
  • water temperature : 22 degrees Celsius on average
  • level : beginner to advanced
  • flowers : octopuses, barracuda, moray eels, scorpion fish, stingrays

This wonderful bay is a great place for diving in Crete. Within the reach of beginners, you can enjoy the very rich marine fauna. This spot is also home to some charming coral reefs, canyons, and beautiful underwater caves. There is something for all tastes and all levels. Rays and dolphins sometimes even cross the waters of Mononaftis! With luck, you will be able to observe some. As for its depth, the spot rises to 35 meters.

3. Shrimp Cave

Diving in Crete

Image credit: Shutterstock – Aleksandra Tokarz

  • starting place : Worker
  • water temperature : 21 degrees Celsius on average
  • level : confirmed
  • flowers : Mainly prawns, local plants and sometimes tuna

This diving spot in Crete is only accessible to experienced divers. This cave is located near the beaches of Hersonissos, and extends to a depth of 40 meters. As the name suggests, you can see hundreds, if not thousands, of shrimp here. Sometimes other marine species come to visit. You will be able to enjoy some big tuna fish that are going at the speed of a cave. If you have the level, you should not miss this dive in Crete!

4. Messerschmitt Me-109 . wreck

Diving in Crete

Image credit: Shutterstock – frantisekhojdysz

  • starting place : Ansar
  • water temperature : 21 degrees Celsius on average
  • level : confirmed
  • flowers : grouper, moray eel

The Messerschmitt wreck is certainly one of the most famous diving sites in Crete. The history of this German fighter aircraft dates back to World War II. And it crashed 800 meters from the coast of the island.

Thus, the wreckage of the German plane will be at a depth of between 23 and 29 meters. The cockpit is almost completely intact. Several fragments of the aircraft are around, including the tail, propeller and one of the wheels. These fragments, broken during the crash, are located right next to the wreck. For decades, local animals and plants have also taken refuge in the device.

5. Blue Cave

Diving in Crete

Image credit: Shutterstock – Piotr Krzeslak

  • starting place : Agia Pelagia
  • water temperature : 21 degrees Celsius on average
  • level : beginner to advanced
  • flowers : White sea bream, prawns, lobsters from April to June, assorted corals

The Blue Cave is another exceptional diving spot in Crete. Depending on the depth, it can accommodate and delight both novice and experienced divers. The cave is 20 meters wide and 60 meters long. Its maximum depth is 22 to 30 meters.

Divers will be impressed by the variety of fish and corals here. In the holes in the cave wall, you can even see shrimp and other underwater species. Remember to bring a flashlight!

Best places for diving

In addition to diving in Crete, you can also go snorkeling! This island in the eastern Mediterranean is home to gorgeous beaches and rocky coves to explore with fins, masks, and snorkeling. Here are some of the best snorkeling spots in Crete.

6. Matala Beach

Diving in Crete

Image credit: Shutterstock – Georgios Tishlis

  • starting place : Matala beach
  • water temperature : 21 degrees Celsius on average
  • flowers Various fish, starfish, anemones, rainbow fish and loggerhead turtles

Located in the south of the island, Matala Beach is a great place for snorkeling in Crete. This beach of fine sand and pebbles is 300 meters long. However, a huge boulder occupies an entire side of the beach. You will be able to observe the rich underwater fauna and flora. Sometimes you can cross the path of some loggerhead turtles. This part of the island is isolated but touristy, and it is also very pleasant to stay in any season.

7. Elafonisi Beach

Diving in Crete

Image credit: Shutterstock – mairu10

  • starting place : Elafonissi Beach
  • water temperature : 22 degrees Celsius on average
  • flowers : Various types of medium-sized fish

Located in the west of the island, Elafonisi Beach is one of the best diving sites in Crete. It extends on the shore and the adjacent island of the same name. This beach is so beautiful that it attracts more than two thousand visitors per day in high season! During the summer, expect a certain crowd.

Fortunately, you can avoid this crowd during your snorkeling session by going a little farther. You will then quickly discover why this spot is one of the best on the island: exceptional visibility, up to 30m deep, gentle streams, wide species of fish of all sizes, volcanic fissures and interesting rock formations. Natura 2000 Nature Reserve, rare loggerhead turtles sometimes use Elafonisi Island to lay their eggs. With luck, you may discover one!

8. Kedrodasos Beach

Kedrodasos Beach

Image credit: Shutterstock – SOGJP

  • starting place Kedrodasos Beach
  • water temperature : 22 degrees Celsius on average
  • flowers : different types of fish, seahorse, scorpion

A stone’s throw from Elafonisi Beach, Kedrodasos Beach is much quieter and more peaceful than its neighbour. This vast expanse of fine sand is bordered by rocks and small cliffs. These places are ideal for snorkeling in Crete.

The beach also has calm waters, sheltered from the winds. Underwater rock formations are home to large groups of fish. You will be able to observe different species, especially scorpion fish which should be avoided due to their painful seasons. With a bit of luck, you may also come across some seahorses.

9. Kotalas Beach

Diving in Crete

Image credit: Shutterstock – Xydas Yiannis

  • starting place Kotalas Beach
  • water temperature : 22 degrees Celsius on average
  • flowers : starfish, anemones, rainbow fish and seahorses

Just below the charming little village of Kokkino Chorio, this little-known beach is a great place for snorkeling in Crete. This narrow bay is surrounded by small rocky cliffs. Uncrowded, you will have plenty of room to discover the seabed and the animals and plants it harbors. To do this, go to the bay. The crystal clear water generally provides good visibility up to 20 metres. You can then watch starfish, anemones, rainbow fish, or even seahorses!

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