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World | Diving Canary Islands:

Canary Islands overview

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Canary Islands dive site map

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Scuba Diving in the Canary Islands

Water temperature:

17°C (63°F) in February to 24°C (75°F) in August


A drysuit may be preferable in winter months, although a 7mm semidry should also be sufficient. 5mm wet suit all year with hood and gloves in winter


20 - 30 metres (65 - 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Caves, tunnels, sheer walls, wrecks

Marine life:

Angel sharks, rays, moray eels, garden eels, cuttlefish, octopus, lobsters, jacks, barracuda, grouper, trumpetfish, scorpionfish, parrotfish, wrasse

When to go:

All year, although June to October may be preferable if you prefer warmer water

How to get there:

From the UK - Numerous flights direct from all major airports. Flight times are about 4 hours

The Canaries are a chain of seven volcanic islands. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean about one hundred miles from the coast of Morocco. They are a Spanish Colony and the language spoken is Spanish, although English is also widely spoken. From east to west the islands are El Hierro, La Palma, Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. They cover a length of 550 kilometres and all have been volcanically active within historic time. The volcanism is a result of a ‘hot spot’ in the Earth’s crust. 95% of the islands mass is below sea level meaning only the very tips of the volcanoes emerge above the water. The most recent eruption was in 1971 at Teneguia on La Palma, the island that is at the end of the chain, and the only one considered to still be active.

The volcanic origin of the islands creates dramatic scenery, with huge lava flows, intrusions, ash and pumice dominating the landscape. On beaches the sand is generally black, unless white sand has been imported from North Africa to satisfy the tourists. There are some observatories on the island above the cloud levels exploiting the clear skies and relatively low light pollution. The climate is warm and dry with temperatures ranging from 23°C (73°F) in January to 35°C (95°F) in August. The sea can at times be rough due the islands position in the Atlantic. Most of the islands rise high above sea level, so after diving it is important to be aware of what altitude you are going up to – keep dive computers on you at all times if you own one as there is a risk of developing DCI if exploring some of the volcano peaks soon after diving. There is a hyperbaric chamber on Tenerife at Laguna should you have any problems.

The Canaries are very popular with European tourists as cheap holiday destinations. All of the islands offer diving and there are a large number of dive Centers to chose from. The wide range of marine life, potentially cheap flights and accommodation, and variety of types of dives available means that the Canary Islands can make a fantastic budget diving holiday. There is also much to do above the water, making them an ideal family destination or great for those who only wish to do a few dives. Holidays can be tailored to suit your needs or an easy option is to choose a package deal.

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