The Top 9 Diving Places in Gran Canaria

Diving in Gran Canaria

Diving in Gran Canaria

More and more tourists discover Gran Canaria as one of Europe’s best diving paradises. And that’s not only because of plenty colorful fish in the Atlantic Ocean. All around the island, you get to see beautiful riffs, sunken ships, and of course, some legends.

Among the best-known places for diving in Gran Canaria are Sardina del Norte and El Cabron.

Now, according to several diving clubs, we have made the following list, which is not in order of importance.

1. Playa El Cabrón

Thanks to the Canarian authorities, the northern region of Arinaga is protected as a marine reserve. Flora and fauna of this reserve area consists of around 400 different species of fish from the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, and the Caribbean.

El Cabrón lies at the foot of the “Montaña de Arinaga,” an inactive volcano which is a local attraction itself. The landscape suffered in the 50ies from lemon cultivation and mirrors the lunar landscape.

The clarity of the water combined with the warm temperatures of the Gulf Stream makes it an excellent place to see the abundant and diverse species of fish.

2. Risco Verde

Risco Verde is primary spot for diving and snorkeling. Located in a small sheltered bay on the south-east of Gran Canaria, it offers easy diving without currents.

The sea bottom is a combination of platform, shallow, and sandbank. Which makes it an ideal diving place for divers who appreciate clean sea landscapes and comfortable diving routes.

During nights, you get to see herringbones and angelfishes.

The dive begins on a narrow platform covered by beautiful green, red, and brown algae. From here, you descend several steps by passing a diverse underwater life: large, red dragon heads, saw bats, lizard fish, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins.

12 meters below the water surface, the shallow water passes into a sandbank, which is populated by colorful parrots and peacocks. Here you can observe the fin fish and Atlantic angel sharks at night.

3. Sardina del Norte

One of the most popular diving spots in Gran Canaria is located near the fishing village Sardina del Norte. You find this picturesque village with its colorful houses near the villages Galdar and Agaete in the island’s northwest.

The diving spot is easily accessible via a staircase in the harbor. Its shallow waters without currents are ideal for snorkeling and diving.

Due to the excellent visibility and the excellent conditions of the seabed, Sardina del Norte is good both during the day and at night for a dive. At night the explosion of underwater life is clearly visible in the light of the lanterns or headlights.

On the bottom of the sea, there are octopuses, big bear brambles, sea cucumbers and, with some luck, seahorses. Above the sandbanks, you get to see turtle fish, butterfly skates, and Atlantic angel sharks.

4. Wreck Arona

The merchant ship ‘Arona’, 100 meters long and 15 meters wide, sank in 1972 after a fire off the northeastern coast of Gran Canaria. Since then, this wreck became one of the favorite diving spots for experienced divers looking for ambitious dives amidst rich marine life.

The wreck lies in the waters off the industrial area of Jinámar, just six nautical miles from the ports of Puerto de La Luz and Puerto de Las Palmas, the port of Gran Canaria’s capital.

The underwater life in this place of Gran Canaria has doubled since the Arona has drifted to a depth of 40 meters. During the descent, the ship broke apart and the lateral part lies about 20 meters deep. On the trunk and the towers are growing all kinds of polyps and anemones. The swarms of barracudas, breams, sweetlips and grunts round the wreck unceasingly.

Hidden in the dark corridors and under the deck you can see Red Mediterranean cardinal perches, big red dragon heads, and bigeye perches.

5. La Cathedral

Immersion of the Cathedral offers one of the most amazing underwater landscapes of Gran Canaria. Off the coast of La Isleta, the northeast peninsula of Gran Canaria lies a huge mass of volcanic rocks, almost Gothic forms, and riddled with caves, vaults, arches, passageways and vertical dikes. This submarine building with a length of over 30 meters is breathtaking.

The dive should be well planned: you must choose one of the many routes available, should carry flashlights and spotlights and be aware of strong currents and waves.

Underwater photographers will enjoy looking for the best combination of light beams and shadows between the caves. For experts who reach the bottom at 40 meters deep, the view of the volcano in front of them will be monumental.

6. Mogan wrecks

The wrecks of Mogán are two sunken ships, which are just 40 meters apart from each other near the port of Puerto de Mogán. Both ships were intentionally sunken to promote marine tourism.

The more intact and photogenic wreck of both is the ‘Cermona II’, 32 meters long and since 2002 on the sea bottom. The other wreck named ‘Pecio Viejo’ is a metal cluster surrounded by a rich marine diversity.

The seabed around the two wrecks is a beautiful sandbank at 21 meters depth. The good viewing conditions and the typically low currents allow easy entry into the spot, which is suitable for both beginners and advanced divers.

The fascination of the wrecks itself is supplemented by large banks of sweetlips and grunts, Western trumpet fish, and striped eagle riots, as well as the regular visit of a yellow submarine, which has its base in the port of Mogán.

7. Artificial reefs Arguineguin

The artificial reef of Arguineguin in Gran Canaria is located in the municipality of Mogan, close of the beachfront Montaña de Arena. It was created in 1991 by the Government of the Canary Islands and the University of Las Palmas, and it is the second oldest Canarian artificial reef.

In Arguineguín’s artificial reef, in a maximum depth of 23 meters, you discover dozens of concrete structures of different models. The sandy soil is home to an incredible number of marine species such as spider crab, octopus, cuttlefish, Eastern oyster, hedgehog headband as well as different types of sponges.

8. Blue Bird

The Blue Bird was a passenger ship that sunk in 2002 in the area between Puerto de Mogan and Taurito off the southeast coast of Gran Canaria Island.

The wreck is 30m/98ft long and lies at a depth of 45m/148 ft on a sandy bottom. Although it sunk very recently, the wreck already hosts a wide variety of marine life: Barracudas, rays, amberjacks, angel sharks, and conger eels.

9. Alfonso XII

The steamboat Alfonso XII (built in 1875) was the biggest steamship under Spanish flag that time. It left the port of Cadiz with goods, passengers, soldiers for the garrison of Cuba and ten cases of Gold with a value of 500,000 duros for payment and maintenance of military forces.

But after having anchored at Puerto de la Luz, on February 13, 1885, it ran aground in Gando. It produced amazement, as the ship was entrusted to one of the most renowned captains of the company, and the sea ground was located just a mile far from land, marked on all maps, and the area was well known.

After the ship sunk about 45 meters deep, the precious cargo of gold coins became the primary concern of the ship’s owner, the Transatlantic Company, which hired the best divers of the time to rescue the gold.

But after finishing work, one box of gold was missing. Since then, the legend of the treasure of Alfonso XII, which still attracts professionals and sports divers to come and search for the gold.

A large amount of life inside and around the wreck lends great appeal despite the deterioration of the remains. For its depth, diving difficulty is average, reserved for technical divers.

Title photo Flickr Creative Commons via New World Trips

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