The Greek Archipelago contains more than 6,000 islands in total, with only about 230 of them being inhabited. A large number of the uninhabited islands are just uninhabitable lumps of rock. Even out of the 230 inhabited ones, only around 80 host 100 or more people. Approximately a dozen of Greek Islands are major global holiday destinations, receiving millions of holidaymakers from all over the world every year, while an additional 20 receive a significant number of tourists.
You cannot talk of scuba diving and snorkeling in the Mediterranean without mentioning Greece. In fact, it is one of the most loved and visited destinations on the planet. Filled with dazzling blue sea waters and scattered with sun-bleached Ancient Greek and Roman ruins, the Greek Archipelago will definitely fill your passion and imagination with mythical stories, satisfy your appetite with local Greek and Mediterranean flavors, as well as your soul with true ambiance and relaxation.
The Greek Islands are generally divided into six island groupings: the Ionian with holiday islands of Corfu, Kefalonia, Zante and Lefkas; the Cyclades comprising of Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and Naxos; the Dodecanese with Rhodes, Kos, Symi and Patmos; the Sporades with Skiathos, Samos, Thassos and Lesvos; and finally Crete Island, which is large enough to be classified on its own.
Scuba diving and snorkeling off the Greek Archipelago was reinvigorated and given a new lease of life with the recent lifting of diving bans. New scuba diving centers are springing up nearly all over the country to satisfy the heightened demand. In addition, even those places where diving had been restricted so as to safeguard ancient undersea treasures have been opened for underwater exploration, with spectacular shipwrecks and caves that you can dive into.
The best spots to scuba-dive in the Greek waters include Crete’s Shinaria Beach, Corfu’s Paleokastritsa, the wreck of the HMHS Britannic near Kea Island, Santorini (with fantastic coves, reefs, cave and rock formations to explore), and Zante’s wreck of the Perseus.
Greece is also an excellent spot for those looking to try new pursuits, hosting some of the top kitesurfing, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and rock-climbing sites in the world.
Distinctive archeological sites and heritage are also to be found here, with Delos Ruins, the reconstructed Palace of Knossos, the medieval city of Akrotiri, Ancient Rhodes, and numerous other Greek Ruins. Enjoy the magnificent beauty of Santorini, indulge yourself in the pulsating Mykonos nightlife or just enjoy walking the cobbled preserved footpaths of the Byzantine era. Other favorite sights in Greece include the Melissani cave lake (pictured below), Crete’s Akardi Monastery, as well as Kefalonia’s Fiskardo.
You can easily reach Greek airports on all the major islands from most European airports, and then easily navigate through the archipelago by ferry-boat. Shuttle-bus and sea-plane services are also available.
Some of the best hotels, tourist centers and beach resorts in Greece include the Porto Sani Village Luxury Resort, Athens’ Nana Beach Hotel, Crete Island’s Atlantica Kalliston Resort, Kos Island’s Palazzo del Mare, Corfu’s Kontokali Bay Resort, Rhodes Island’s Rodos Palladium and Elysium Resort & Spa, and scores of many others across the Greek Archipelago.
With all these modern and ancient fascinations on the Greek Islands, I really believe that the next time you are thinking about scuba diving and snorkeling in the Mediterranean, then you will definitely be thinking about Greece!