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Seabream at El Toro, Mallorca dive site

Octopus at El Toro, Mallorca dive site - courtesy of Anna Bohach

Octopus at El Toro, Mallorca dive site - courtesy of Anna Bohach

Moray eel at El Toro, Mallorca dive site - courtesy of Anna Bohach

Grunts at El Toro, Mallorca dive site

Sponge at El Toro, Mallorca dive site

Rainbow wrasse at El Toro, Mallorca dive site - courtesy of Daniel King

Scuba Diving in Mallorca

Dive Site: El Toro

Location: Near Santa Ponsa, Mallorca

Description: Reef / wall

Depth: 6 - 32 metres (20 - 105 feet)

Visibility: 15 - 30 metres (50 - 100 feet)

Rating: ****

El Toro is the name of the second island you come across when heading south out of Santa Ponsa Marina. It takes about twenty minutes to reach and is slightly further round than Malgrats. Fairly recently it has been given the status of a marine reserve, and it shows - the amount of marine life here is prolific. El Toro makes a nice introduction to diving in Mallorca; a sheltered entry and exit point in the lee of the island sees you hit a depth of between 6 and 8 metres. The ledge is covered in dense shoals of seabream, grunts and wrasse, their scales catching the sunlight whilst they feast on sea urchins. As you approach the edge of the ledge there is a steep and sudden drop off and the rocks become smothered with seagrass. With the good visibility that is normal at this dive site, the bottom of the wall doesn't appear very far away and you soon find you have hit 30 metres. At this depth it flattens out for some distance before another drop off that goes to 60 metres and beyond.

It is possible to dive both the east and west sides of this island, although the eastern side is more commonly dived and generally better as there tends to be more life. The wall and seabed are littered with large angular boulders that are covered in red soft corals and sponges. They also create sheltered coves that are home to many different kinds of fish, such as goatfish and tiny iridescent blue fish only a few millimetres long. Also keep an eye out into the blue as barracuda may pass overhead. A good dive plan is to explore the deeper platform, either keeping the wall on your right or on the left. Once you hit 100 bar, head back in the direction you come from, but higher up the wall until you see the boat. Look for moray eels in the cracks in the rocks. At 50 bar you can make a safety stop for a number of minutes on the 6 metre ledge whilst looking for starfish and no doubt being investigated by rainbow wrasse, before surfacing.

Reader Reviews:

I dived El Toro last week! It was fab and Daniel and the rest of the MAD Divers crew were superb. I dived Malta lst summer and thought Majorca would be the same, but there was loads of life and it was the best diving I've done.

Paul, Advanced Open Water, Peterborough

My husband and I read the reviews on this site before we went on holiday in October. We were impressed enough with what we saw to book up with the same company as Paul (MAD Divers by name - but very professional. Apparently the MAD stands for Mallorca Adventure Diving).

Anyway... the diving was great. We had planned just the two days diving but we ended up doing a nitrox course so we did an extra days diving.

Out of the six dives we did, we did two at El Toro and one at the other reserve (Malgrats) and three other sites I can't remember the name of! If you're planning on visiting Mallorca I STRONGLY recommend that you visit this area. We dived mainly with Steve, one of the MAD instructors and thoroughly enjoyed it. We'll definitely be back!

Nancy (and Bill) Craig

The Med has poor reputation for underwater marine life. However, El Toro in the southwest of Mallorca and the surrounding area was designated a marine reserve in 2004. Since then life has improved exponentially. Plans to sink a 136 metre former Spanish Navy destroyer are well underway. There are regular sightings of barracuda, nudibranchs, octopus, wrasse, damselfish, moray eels, conger eels, eagle rays and occasional visits from sunfish and dolphins.

Daniel King

Had 3 great dives at El Toro. Plenty to see including octopus, barracuda and scorpionfish. There are always shoals of fish swimming around as well. A must place to dive if your in Mallorca. Thanks to Daniel of FinaticalDivers.

Keith, Advanced Open Water

I had two great dives at El Toro on July 20th with Giosue and Adam of Big Blue Divers, Palmanova. On the second dive we saw three octopuses fighting. They ran away when they spotted us but we found two of them hiding in the crevices. At the end of the dive we spotted one on a shallow platform when we were hovering during our safety stop. I was suprised how many of them was there. They are georgeous creatures.

Thanks guys for the great diving.

Anna, AOW, London

I was there last week with my son (13) being led by Daniel King (above). A real experience and only our fourth dive. Not only the sea life but the strata. I've never done anything like it with the towering cliff face to one side. Apparently I was staring at a Moray Eel but just couldn't see it! Now here I am checking out websites relating to diving... yet another new hobby!!

John Goodwin

Just back from Majorca and two days diving at El Toro and Malgrats. El Toro was spectacular, huge shoals of fish and plenty of grouper, barracuda, conger etc to see. A 'must dive' if you visit Majorca.

Many thanks to Dan King of FinaticalDivers who was my dive master for both days.

Martin, OW

I was diving there on the west side yesterday early arvo between 5m and 32 m. It was beautiful. Visibility was good and a lot of fish present! I recommend this spot to everyone. I was there with Marc from Westcoast Diver (Illetas) doing my course - a great experience!

Miia, AOWD

I booked up to do this site 3 different times with Big Blue Diving and every time we ended up being taken elsewhere. I eventually found out that it was to save petrol money! Needless to say, I will not book with these cowboys again!!!

Kerstin Mule | 29/11/2009

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