Crete is a Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located 110 kilometers away from Europe, 175 kilometers from Asia and 300 kilometers from Africa. In addition to the breathtaking underwater landscapes, the Aegean Sea, which washes the north coast of the island and the Libyan Sea to its south are ready to reveal many secrets to divers that Joe Public’s not like to see.
Its location predetermined that the island should participate in many historical events. Island merchants supplied many goods: Since time immemorial, Crete has exported olive oil, honey and other goods. Be sure to dive in the bay of Bali, where one of the more ancient ports of the island was reputedly situated. It is here, in some exceedingly beautiful canyons, that divers found the remains of ancient amphorae, some of which were rooted in the landscape. It is known that Crete was a base for pirates who came here seeking the services of courtesans. Who knows, perhaps it’s possible that some of these amphorae packed with pirate gold?
In the Panormo area you will find dozens of interesting dive sites. Especially notable are the local caves and the cemetery of anchors. It should be noted that the anchors here were not jettisoned on purpose: Ships of different eras were deprived of their anchors exactly on this spot. It was the will of nature that forced these vessels to be rid of them. Interestingly, it’s possible to see how the anchors have become tangled with one another. At shallow depths of 7-15 meters here you can find quite a variety of animals; Moray eels, seahorses, flounder, octopus, crabs, great snails and many other inhabitants of the underwater world are found everywhere.
There’s also a special dive site that some call the "Elephant Cave". Here you can see the fossilized remains of an elephant skeleton and the jaw bones of other animals. Particularly impressive are the cave’s numerous stalactites and stalagmites that flash in the red or white of a torch’s light. Many divers dive here for the light show that these centuries-old calcite formations can create.
Around the island there are several wrecks from different ages at a comfortable depth for divers. One special object isn’t a ship, but a fighter plane. A Messerschmitt BF.109, an aircraft of the German Luftwaffe, crashed during the Second World War in the waters near Hersonissos town. At a depth of 24 meters, more curious divers are met by a fuselage, complete with wings and, nearby, a propeller with its three blades bent. This iron bird may be missing its tail, but around are fish tails of all varieties; if you’re lucky, you might come upon a bevy of cuttlefish.
Not far from Crete, there are other interesting islands where you can go on a day trip. For example, on the island of Santorini, you can dive down to the active underwater volcanoes. But such dives are for real fans who are keen on the extreme. It’s always best to be careful.