A Sunny Scuba Getaway
More and more divers are choosing to dive Tenerife. The island has long been a favorite among British divers. Its relative accessibly has made Tenerife scuba diving holidays popular among divers from all over Western Europe. The island has a great diving community and well-established resorts. Tenerife scuba diving offers a variety of diving environments for divers of all levels.
Part of Spain, Tenerife is the largest in a group of seven volcanic islands known as the Canaries. Located approximately 1126.6 km (700.05 miles) from the northwestern coast of Africa, the island is known for its rugged and dramatic features. Like most islands that were formed by volcanic activity, the underwater terrain of Tenerife consist of large rock formations, deep canyons, swims thoughts and drop offs.
Scuba Diving in Tenerife
Tenerife offers an exciting experience for the dive tourist. With its long coast line, the island offers a number of dive sites. You can find sites scattered along the coast from the northeast corner down the eastern shore to the southern tip of Tenerife. There are some dive sites on the northern side of the island, but because of the rough waters of the Atlantic, these sites are for the more experienced and adventurous diver.
Because of a sub-tropical climate, scuba diving in Tenerife takes place year round. When the snow adorns the top of El Tiede, people come to enjoy winter diving in Tenerife. The best place to get in the water in the winter months is off the southern tip of the islands at resorts like Los Christianos, Playa de la Americas, Las Galletas, El Abrigos and Los Gigantes. Here divers can find water warm enough to dive in with out their exposed parts turning blue. The islands permanent spring-like temperatures makes it easy to dive Tenerife.
Tenerife Sea Life
When you come to dive Tenerife, expect to see a large variety of marine life. Divers can spot arrow crabs, starfish, shrimp, grunts, barracuda, and puffer fish, parrot fish, and trumpet fish on almost any dive. There will also be eels, octopi, sea anemones and urchins hiding among the rocks. On a good day, and if you have a little luck, you may spot some larger sea life like big groupers, angle sharks or maybe even a dolphin.
These clear waters are also home to a variety of rays. For those diving Tenerife it is not unusual to spot southern sting rays, butterfly rays and eagle rays. You may find them buried in the sand or gliding across the reef. Some dive shops will conduct dives where they hand feed the rays.
One popular visitor to the waters around Tenerife is the green turtle. You can find them on many of the dive sites. Some can get quite friendly because they are used to being hand fed by divers (be careful of your fingers).
Tenerife's Fantastic Underwater Terrain
Because of its volcanic birth, the island has a unique underwater landscape. When you dive Tenerife, you will be treated to a dramatic and almost magical underwater world. Divers can see fantastic lava flows that have created caves, tunnels, over hangs and massive rock pinnacles. This is a great play ground for the adventurous diver.
While exploring some of the volcanic canyons, divers can see Tenerife's "black coral". When you dive Tenerife, black coral can be found on some dive sites from 45 feet (14 meters) to 130 feet (40meters). In some areas it is very abundant and can remind you of a miniature forest.
Another part of the underwater terrain you can see when diving Tenerife are numerous wrecks. One of the most popular wrecks is the El Condesito. This is not a wreck that was sunk on purpose to create a dive site. The El Condesito ran aground and sunk around 1970 on a remote part of the southern coast. The wreck is scattered over a fairly large area and offers a great chance for exploration.
Tenerife Dive Sites
Most dive shops will have a preferred list of dive sites they visit. We found a great list of Tenerife dive sites at Wannadive. They offer a great description and pictures of many of the best sites.
Tenerife Dive Centers
When you come to dive Tenerife, you will find most of the dive shops are PADI, BSAC, or CMAS (or all of the above). They are staffed by diving professionals that have a great safety record and a high level of diver education. They will offer daily guided tours to all of the best dive sites and certification courses from basic open water to divemaster. For those of you who are thinking about trying scuba, these shops also offer try dives.
Here is a list of some of the main dive shops on the island.
Diving insurance is required those wanting to dive Tenerife. One trip to the hyperbaric chamber can cost you more than 3000 Euros. This is not a trip that divers want to make, but should be covered for. If you do not have personal dive insurance, many dive shops can arrange coverage for one day, a week or a month through their local insurance carrier.
Useful Information about Tenerife
The Canary Islands are a great sunny getaway for divers and non-divers all year long. The air temperature will average between 20-30 degrees C (70-86 degrees F) and the water temperature averages around 18-24 degrees C (66-78 degrees F) through out the year.
In the unlikely event of a diving emergency, there is a state of the art hyperbaric chamber located at the University hospital.
Stuff for Non-divers
If you are not coming to dive Tenerife, there are a lot of cool things to do on the island for those who do not dive. Down at the beach there are the normal things for non-divers like jet skis, day sailing and deep sea fishing. But there are a few things that are unique just to Tenerife.
A visit to the island is not complete without a trip to El Teide. This is the highest point in all of Spain (this includes the main land) rising 3,718 meters (11154 feet) above sea level. The crater is 48 km (31 miles) in circumference. As you drive up to the base of this dormant volcano, you will be treated to a dramatic landscape of ancient lava flows. At the base you can ride a tram that will take you close to the main crater of the volcano. In the winter time, snow covers the top of El Teida. This brings out the skiers and snoboarders. In the snow at this altitude, make sure the proper winter sports clothing. (Note: This is where they filmed part of the original "Planet of the Apes")
If you want to enjoy the underwater world without getting wet, check out Submarine Safaris. In air-condition comfort non-divers can enjoy a world that normally only their friends that dive were privileged to see. This is one of the best non-diving activities on the island.
For those not wanting to dive Tenerife, there is always something to do.
Getting to Tenerife
Diving holidays in Tenerife are most popular among divers living in Western Europe. The Canary Islands provide a chance for a warm and sunny getaway. Many of the people coming to dive Tenerife are British and German. But there are also divers from Holland, Belgium and France who have discovered the beauty of diving Tenerife.
Direct flights to Tenerife originate in most major European cities like London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.
Most flights will take about three and a half to four hours. Normally these flights will land in Tenerife's southern airport, Reina Sofia (TFS). This will put you close to many of the main dive resorts. A good place to find some great deals on flights to Tenerife is at CheapOair.
For more information on vacationing in the Canary Islands, visit the official web site of Tenerife Tourism.
Anyone who comes to dive Tenerife will be treated to a beautiful and exciting adventure. The variety of diving activities will provide a fantastic experience for the novice or seasoned diver. Tenerife is the perfect place for a sunny scuba getaway.
If you would like to check out some more Tenerife scuba diving videos, check out our page, Tenerife Photos and Scuba Diving Videos and Tenerife Pictures