Liveaboard Diving in Spain
The clear waters and curious marine life make diving on the islands, both in the Mediterranean and on their oceanic archipelagos, a varied and fascinating experience.
Spain has a long and rich history with diving. The islands are home to a number of natural parks, both marine and on land, bursting at the seams with wildlife above and below the waterline.
Small ship diving cruises are the most common type of liveaboard in Spain, offering a warm personalised Spanish touch to a wonderful diving experience.
Liveaboard Dive Trips to Spain
Divers will find great flexibility in diving liveaboards to Spain. In particular, those hoping to dive Ibiza and Formentera can choose between a week-long itinerary, five days, or for those with a tight schedule, just a weekend.
Liveaboards to the Canary Islands are usually around a week long, given the time to sail between Tenerife and La Gomera. This allows divers to spend several days at the very best dive sites both islands have to offer.
The diving liveaboards in Spain are mostly sailing ships, which provide a tranquil crossing between islands and small group sizes of around 8-12 passengers.
In Ibiza and Formentera divers have the option of the Sea Cucumber, a small 12 person sailing cruiser with an on-board compressor and kayaks for exploring the coastline.
The Beluga Vela also offers diving liveaboards to Ibiza and Formentera as well as the Canary Islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. This small sailing ship takes up to 8 passengers and is perfect for exploring all the small coves and inlets the Spanish coast has to offer.
Dive Areas of Spain
On the Eastern coast of mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands are a world-famous destination for holidaymakers, thanks to their natural beauty and plentiful sunshine.
These islands are also home to some of the best waters for diving, not only because of the clean, warm water but a unique underwater plant species: The Posidonia.
All around the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, the underwater Posidonia fields of this fascinating seagrass are home to a rich variety of marine life to enchant even the most experienced of divers.
Octopus, eels and cuttlefish can be spotted using seagrass as cover while hunting and you can see the occasional turtle feeding here as well.
Along the coast, away from the Posidonia fields, there are also a number of rock reefs, plus caves at Cala d'Albarca and The Cave of the Light.
In deeper waters, divers can also visit The Platform on a diving liveaboard to the Balearic Islands. This colossal structure, once a fish farm, is ironically still home to huge shoals of barracuda, sardines and groupers using the platform as a hiding place and hunting ground.
Spain also enjoys a number of oceanic dive sites thanks to its island chains in the Atlantic:
Canary Islands liveaboard diving offers a range of diving experiences from wrecks and artificial reefs to stunning marine parks.
Tenerife offers a wide variety of different sites including some of the most fascinating underwater topography on the archipelago.
The island’s volcanic history has left behind huge lunar-like rock formations of yellow ash as well as volcanic caves such as La Cueva de Los Cerebros (cave of the brains). This cave is named for the brain-like appearance of the volcanic rocks combined with living coral.
On the tiny island of Gomera divers will find rocky reefs and caves home to great numbers of rays, eels and angel sharks.
When to Go Spain Liveaboard Diving
The spring and summer months are the most popular for diving in the Mediterranean with long sunny days and warm waters, though diving is possible later in the year.
A Canary Islands liveaboard benefits from the ‘eternal spring’ that the archipelago is famous for. There is a slightly lower temperature in the winter and early spring, but it is minimal.
Visit in May to July for the chance to spot seahorses at the Canary Islands.
Tips for Travellers
- With oceanic currents in the Canary Islands and thermoclines in Ibiza and Formentera divers might find the temperature warrants a thicker suit than it seems from the surface temperature.
- Photographers should be ready for plenty of macro shots, especially in the Posidonia meadows around the Balearic Islands.
- As well as diving, liveaboards in Spain offer walking and cultural experiences so bring your walking shoes, plus a light jacket for the misty forests of La Gomera.
How to Get There and Ports of Departure
Diving liveaboards in Spain’s Balearic Islands depart from the beautiful port town of Burriana.
The port is easy to access from Castellon Airport which is only a 30-minute drive from Burriana.
Note that Castellon is a small airport which only offers flights from London, Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia.
Valencia airport is slightly further away (50 minutes from the port) but receives flights from most major European airports.
Some liveaboards to Ibiza and Formentera also depart from the more southern port of Denia. For this port of departure, Valencia and Alicante airports are both excellent options.
Most Canary Islands liveaboards depart from Tenerife because La Gomera's airport is quite small only offering inter-island flights.
Tenerife South Airport offers flights from a variety of European destinations, with connecting flights from outside Europe through Madrid or London.
For more options it is also possible to fly to one of the other Canary Islands such as Gran Canaria, Lanzarote or Fuerteventura and take a flight or ferry to Tenerife.