As a PADI Rescue Diver living in Turkey, one of the first things that I checked is if I could go Scuba diving in Turkey, and of course what is the best place to do the diving.
During our trips in Turkey we found out that, yes Turkey is a beautiful country to go Scuba Diving. It offers crystal clear turquoise warm water up until the end of October. With the unique opportunity to see historical remains, amazing reefs and interesting marine life.
Kaş the diving capital, in the south of Turkey, is the best location to see marine life. Canakkale is the place to go wreck and ruins diving, and for cavern diving Fethiye is the place to be. Enough places to discover as a Scuba Diver in Turkey.
Turkey is on 3 sides surrounded by seas. In the North you have the Black Sea, to the East the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea, and in the South there is more than 1000 km coastline along the Mediterranean Sea. Combine this with an abundance of beautiful small islands in front of the coast and you will find yourself in Divers paradise.
Another reason why Turkey is great for diving is because it is relatively cheap to go and stay in Turkey. At the moment you will get a lot of Liras for your dollars. So find the location you want to explore, or travel through Turkey, visit multiple dive sites and make your own top 10 of the most beautiful dive sites in Turkey.
Kaş the Diving Capital of Turkey
Kaş is called the diving capital of Turkey because of its rich marine life, the beautiful uninhabited islands to dive around and the historical wrecks you can find on the ocean floor. Most locations are well within the 30 m depth which is recommended for recreational diving.
Also around Kaş you can find many diving schools and diving clubs that can take you out for diving. Most diving is from boats owned by the diving organizations, but you can also easily dive from the shore. And no matter what your experience level is in Diving, in Kaş you can find the location that fits your diving skills.
Kaş is said to be in the top 10 of best diving locations around the world. The rocky underwater landscape is home of many colorful sights, including sponges and coral. It is really a pleasure to dive around the underwater reefs, walls, and canyons of the Mediterranean Sea.
When you go diving around Kaş then we would definitely recommend to take a look at the marvelous historical Ottoman shipwreck just off the coast at Kaş. The lighthouse Reef and Ottoman shipwreck is a location that starts with the reef at a depth of 3 m with the ancient wreck at a depth of 22 m. The maximum depth at this location is 25 m. The name of the reef comes from the lighthouse that is on the shore close to the dive site. At this location also a Dacota airplane from WWII was purposely sunk to make an artificial reef. At a depth of 30 m you can often find green turtles and big shrimps.
Another great dive location close to Kaş is the Flying Fish Reef & Airplane Wreck. This is a dive site between 6 and 65 m deep, the wreck that you can find here is an Italian bommer from the second world war. The plane is laying at a depth of 55-71 m, and is therefore only accessible to very experienced divers. The reef starts at a depth of 4 m and is often full of predators like the dentex, groupers, barracudas, amberjacks and bonitos.
There are many other dive sites you can visit when diving from Kaş. Also from Antalya you can plan a day trip to go diving at one of the sites around Kaş. Maybe not everyone in the family enjoys diving, then it is good to know that Kaş is a great city to explore during the day. Great restaurants with seafood and a warm and traditional atmosphere.
What Are the Best Dive Sites to Visit From Antalya?
When you look into the options for scuba diving in Turkey, you will also find a very unique spot in Antalya. The Side Underwater Museum, is a location full with historical sculptures and wrecks. This underwater museum is one of three different underwater museums that you can find underwater around Antalya.
The latest underwater museum was opened not so long ago in the Kemer’s Three Islands area. You can find 17 amazing dive sites around the Kemer’s Three Islands. With many sites that are stunningly beautiful due to the treasures and antique from over 2000 years ago. The four small islands known as Marti, Mağara, Piknik and Küçük Ada are uninhabited which preserves the stunning natural underwater beauty.
The sea around Antalya is popular among many divers for its great underwater visibility and rich marine life. Also the different difficulties that can be chosen from make it attractive to both beginner and advanced divers.
Are There Diving Locations in the Aegean Sea From Turkey?
Bodrum is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places among the Turkish Aegean Sea shore. There are a lot of diving opportunities from the Bodrum peninsula, there are over 20 diving sites that can be easily reached from here. Many locations around Bodrum are accessed by boat, but a few locations you can dive from the shore.
Bodrum is where diving in Turkey all started. Many tourists visited Bodrum and wanted to see the beauty that hides below the surface. The wide range of diving depths with an abundance of colorful sea sponges makes it a real pearl for any diver. At the diving locations you can find shipwrecks, a plane, walls, caverns and pinnacles a diversity of locations where you might be able to see stingray’s, barracudas, tuna, eels and octopus.
Actually, one of the diving locations has the remains of a C47 Dakota plane, this used to be a Turkish Air Force parachute plane. But not too far from here you can also visit a 29 m long shipwreck of a cargo ship. Bodrum is really a diving location that offers something for everyone because of the wide variety of diving locations.
If you really can’t get enough of wreck diving, we will definitely recommend visiting the Gallipoli area. This is the most northern Turkish peninsula in the Aegean sea, many battles have been fought on this peninsula and in the surrounding waters. Many wrecks date back to the failed invasion of Istanbul during the first World War.
The Dardanelle is the narrow water street that connects Istanbul to the Aegean Sea. During the first World War the British fleet tried to conquer Istanbul but had to face major losses. Many ships that went down during that invasion are now marked as dive sites, with the Lundi as the highlight of this area. The Lundi was a cargo ship that was torpedoed on April 15, 1915. Over the years this location became rich with marine life, and being at a perfect diving depth of 18-28 m, this location attracts many divers.
Warning: try to avoid dive centers that are part of an all inclusive resort. These are usually not the best option to get to the best dive sites that Turkey has to offer. Try to find a local dive center to avoid the overly touristy dive trips with resort prices.
Is My PADI Certificate Accepted in Turkey?
PADI certificates are accepted at all diving centers. Open Water will give you access to dives to a maximum depth of 18m, Advanced and up will give you the opportunity to visit diving locations up to a depth of 30m.
Is My CMAS Certificate Accepted in Turkey?
CMAS diving certificate is an internationally accepted certificate and is therefore also accepted in Turkey at most diving centers.
Is My SSI Certificate Accepted in Turkey?
Yes, your SSI diving certificate is an internationally accepted certificate most diving centers and dive schools in Turkey will accept.
Is My NAUI Certificate Accepted in Turkey?
The NAUI certification should be accepted everywhere in the world, and at Turkish diving centers this is no different. Turkish diving facilities accept all internationally recognized diving certifications.
Can I Work as a Divemaster in Turkey?
When you are certified as a divemaster you are probably able to find a job opening during the tourist season in Turkey. This is from April until November. Usually you will get accomodation, lunch and the needed insurance is taken care of. The Salary is usually negotiable, and depends on diving certificate and experience.
What Age Is Allowed to Dive in Turkey?
In Turkey the minimum age for scuba diving is 13 years. Also for divers under the age of 18 years a written parental/guardian consent will be required. Depending on the diving center the minimum age for attending a diving course could be 8, 10 or 12 years.
What Is the Best Time of the Year for Diving in Turkey?
The main diving season in Turkey starts as early as April and runs all the way through to November. Water temperature in April can be as low as 17℃ (62℉) and can run up to 28℃ (83℉) in summer.