The island of Madeira is a volcanic archipelago of Portugal including the island of the same name and other small islets. Lost in the Atlantic Ocean between the Azores and the Canaries, Madeira has the particularity of being very green compared to other volcanic islands which has earned it to have its humid subtropical forest classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The island of Madeira includes many nature reserves Garajau, Funchal and marine parks. The island is known and appreciated for its magnificent hiking trails, its gastronomy, its wine, its culture, its breathtaking landscapes, its fantastic Laurisylve forest, the largest in the world. Madeira, located at the top of a volcano, is lined with reefs rich in life that make this destination a must for a diving trip in Europe. Diving here reserves nice surprises. The rocky seabed of this volcanic island is home to a multitude of species such as groupers, seahorses, salps, octopus but also rays eagles and stingrays.
Madeira Dive Clubs offer diving sites with easy access from the shore or by boat. Underwater, the seafloor is like the island: Volcanic rocks, big rocks, straight cliffs, cellars and caves.
Where to go for diving in Madeira?
Diving in Madeira has become very popular in recent years.
The most beautiful diving sites are on the southeast coast of the island, especially in the marine park of Ponta de Sao Lourenço where the visibility exceeds 20 meters and where we can admire a drop-off covered with black coral. This area is accessible from the very close Marina of Quinta do Lorde. The Desertas Islands, southeast of Madeira, are a protected area for sea lions, a very rare species of monk seals. It is also possible to observe Bryde’s whales or sperm whales as well as common and spotted dolphins.
Around Porto Sano, there is the shipwreck of Madeirense, sunk in 2000 as part of a campaign to create artificial reefs. This wreck is one of the most popular sites in the East Atlantic.
Finally, around the islands “Ilheu de Climat” and “Ilheu de Baixo”, there are beautiful rocky reefs that are rich in life.
When to go diving in Madere?
One can easily boast the sweetness of life in Madeira in harmony with its warm climate all year round. Temperatures never drop below 10 ° C in winter and never exceed 30 ° C in summer. The most enjoyable seasons for a diving holiday in Madeira are during Spring, the season when there is the most flowers on the island, and Autumn with the friendly and picturesque period of harvest.
The clear, crystal-clear waters offer divers a visibility of more than 20 meters.
The island is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. The currents are however not very important in Madeira, even if there are small tides. Ask your diving center for more information.
Levels Required : Whether you are a beginner or experienced diver, there are diving sites for all levels.
The water temperature is relatively cool despite the latitude. Expect to find between 21 ° and 23 ° in the month of August.
What to see while scuba diving?
In Madeira, you must know that the flora is very, very discreet. This is due, in large part, to a very rocky seabed. The marine fauna, meanwhile, is quite similar to that of the Canaries. It is a mixture of Mediterranean fish grouper, sea bream, saupes, monkfish, bream, dentex, mullet, ballan wrasse, barracudas … and tropical trumpets, chests, parrots, damsels ….There are also moray eels, octopus, crabs and sea cicadas.
If you are very lucky, you will be able to spot mobula rays and manta rays during your dives.
Finally, its proximity to the Azores makes it one of the best destinations to see dolphins, seals, whales and sperm whales!