What springs to mind when you hear the name of this country? Likely your first thoughts concern luxury hotels, the "all-inclusive" system and endless numbers of tourists? Of course all of these things are to be found here, but it should be stressed that Turkey is a country dogged by many stereotypes that we should like to dispel. Is there much in the way of diving in Turkey? What is there to see? Where should one go? What kind of marine life is hidden underwater? We have compiled, just for you, all the places that are best suited for diving. Let's start in order.

Climatic conditions

The best time for diving is from April to October, but if you use cold water equipment, diving is possible all year round. Turkey is washed by four seas at once. On average, water temperatures range between 17-28 degrees Celsius. Depths reach a maximum 40 meters with visibility, in some places, being up to 35 meters. Strong currents are completely absent.

Antalya

This is perhaps the most famous tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast. In addition to excellent beaches, entertainment for every taste can be found here. For diving, it's better to go to the city of Kas - the capital of Turkey’s underwater adventures. Sharp rock formations, ancient relics and a rich variety of fish; including groupers, amberjacks, barracudas, and stingrays, attract many divers. The indescribable charm of these underwater treasures will make any diving here truly unforgettable.

The Wrecked Douglas

A Douglas twin-engine aircraft went down in 2008, not far from Kas’s marina. It lies at a depth of 20 meters, so diving is available even for beginners. Time and saltwater haven’t spared the metal hull, but the plane is in good enough condition and can even be explored from the inside, be sure to swim into the cockpit and take a look at the equipment! The Douglas sits snugly on the sandy bottom and serves as an artificial reef, with rays and sea turtles living next to it.

Alanya

Alanya is no less popular than Antalya and is considered the warmest Turkish resort. Dive centers located along the coastline will help you organize a trip to the underwater world, give advice on what equipment is better to choose and, of course, teach you to dive.

Did you know that Alanya was a great center of piracy many years ago? Its bays served as a refuge, the green forests as material for building ships, and her numerous caves served as hiding places for pirates’ stolen wealth. However,they’re not easy to enter; there’s one 12 meters down and with a distinctive name.

Pirate Cave

You can reach this dive site in just 8 minutes by boat from the pier of Alanya. The cave entrance starts 12 meters down and, within it, old millstones about 1 meter in diameter can be seen. The walls of the cave reflect the light and create an exciting and mystical atmosphere. The bottom is rocky, and the transparency of the water allows you to see the octopuses which sometimes emerge from their shelters. The maximum depth at this site is 35 meters and, the deeper you dive, the more likely you are to come upon barracudas.

If you need to refresh your diving skills, or you want to see a greater variety of marine life, then you should pay attention to the next dive site.

The Aquarium

This is the closest place for diving near Alanya, and ideal for training. The favorable conditions here attract small and big fish, and the abundance of seaweeds will make you feel as though you’re swimming through a real aquarium. It makes for calm and measured diving, during the course of which snails and mussels can be seen on the stones, moray eels can be met, alongside striped soldierfish, and spectacular lionfish.

Kemer

Kemer is the greenest resort of the Antalyan Riviera. Formerly a small village, which only reachable by sea,the construction of tunnels changed the situation and turned Kemer into a popular tourist destination.

If you can’t imagine your holiday without diving, then one of the most spectacular dive sites in Kemer is a sunken 65-meter shipwreck.

The wreck of Paris

The ship was built at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1917, she was sunk by shelling coordinated under the leadership of the Turkish commander Mustafa Ertergrul. "Paris" received about 10 direct hits, which can be seen during the dive, along with large stocks of coal and shells which indicate that Paris was in fighting condition.

 

Now she lies on the sandy bottom at a depth of 21-31 meters. Marine dwellers became her owners a long time ago, but they will never appreciate the beauty of the pattern of the preserved tiles within her rooms and the majestic inscription of “PARIS” upon her bow.

Bodrum

Bodrum is famous not just for its well-known white houses, clean sea, and colorful nightlife but also the great archaeological value found here. The beauty of Bodrum and its deep history can be learned at the castle of St. Peter, the ancient theater and the Museum of Underwater Archeology, which attract visitors from all over the world. But, under the water, you also can find artifacts that keep the secrets of the past.

The great and small reefs

This pair of reefs is located about 200 meters apart between Bodrum and Black Island. They’re home to an assortment of marine life and, most importantly, a dive site suitable for divers of various levels. The maximum depth at the Great Reef is 34 meters. Here you'll see an impressive wall covered with colored sponges. The small reef is in the shape of a cylinder. Its depth ranges from 7 to 35 meters. The abundance of life is sure to please underwater photography hobbyists. During the dive, you can find ancient amphoras, under which lobsters often hide. Among the most frequently encountered fish are wrasses, barracudas, and large groupers.

Fethiye

This city proves itself suitable for sunbathing lovers, inquisitive tourists, those who like to climb the mountains and, of course, explorers of the seabed. Calm and clear water hides the depths below its smooth surface, under which there are about two dozen dive sites.

The Mexican Hat

This dive site is considered one of the most beautiful underwater caves. The dive begins next to a rock. This place is only reachable by boat; there’s no access from the land. Having plunged along the wall down to a depth of 30 meters, you'll see a large cave entrance. Swim into it and you'll immediately understand why this dive site is named “the Mexican Hat,” because it's exactly like a sombrero from within. Swimming through the cave, you'll see flocks of shrimp that will shine under the light of your torch, while rays can be seen among the sandy areas. The top of the "hat" is located at a depth of 20 meters and can accommodate about 7 divers at a time. If you swim out of the cave, there will be several tunnels waiting for you, one of which is filled with fresh water. The entrance to it begins at a depth of 11 meters, and, at the exit, you'll be fascinated by the turquoise-blue glow, which is created by penetrating sunlight.

Conclusion

Hospitable Turkey is perfect for relaxation. Here you can find relaxation on the beach, and cultural excursions, as well as night and underwater activities. Yes, Turkish sea life is not so rich as that found in the Red Sea, but the large selection of dive sites opens up the opportunity for finding just what suits you exactly. The undoubted advantage of Turkey is its accessibility from anywhere in the world and its affordable prices.