Guide To Scuba Diving In Turkey

Here’s your ultimate cheat sheet for scuba diving in Turkey, tailored to thrill both the seasoned pros and those new to the underwater game. Throughout the year, Turkey’s coastal gems offer an incredible underwater world teeming with life, including the elusive lionfish.

Whether you’re after well-known spots that make even the most experienced divers’ hearts beat faster or quieter, less-trodden sites perfect for beginners, we’re here to help you find the best places for scuba diving across this vibrant country.

Dive in and prepare to be amazed by the aquatic wonders of Turkey!

Türkiye is surrounded by different seas, which means plenty of marine life to check out!

Whether you’re a keen scuba diver, have tried it once or twice, or have never tried it, a visit to Türkiye is the ideal time to head under the sea and see what lies beneath!

Turkey has more than 8,000 km of coastline, which should give you an idea of the many different dive sites on offer. Underwater visibility is fantastic, and there are many dive schools to help you build your confidence and learn the basics.

Of course, you need to know a few things before you venture out, so let’s cover everything you need to know to plan a scuba trip to Turkey.

Marine Life To See While Scuba Diving In Turkey

Caves, deep canyons, shipwrecks, and countless types of marine life await you in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean, Marmara, Mediterranean, and Black Seas. Türkiye is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving and has some of the most diverse dive sites in the region.

You can see turtles, eels, rays, dolphins, octopus, scorpion fish, tuna, and even the odd shark (not the scary ones, don’t worry) when scuba diving in Turkey, especially in the Aegean and Mediterranean. So, if you’re keen to enjoy the underwater depths, you’ll find plenty of spots to enjoy.

Shipwreck Dive Sites In Turkey

There are countless shipwreck sites in Turkey; some you can dive and some you can’t. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular shipwrecks in Turkey perfect for diving:

Kaş – Dimitrios Shipwreck

Diving in kaş is hands down one of the best places for diving in Türkiye, but it’s also home to a very popular shipwreck. Dimitrios, carrying cotton, sunk in 1968 on a journey between Türkiye and Greece. It now lies at the bottom of the Mediterranean in the Kaş area.

Diving here is considered a normal level, so it’s fine for people with some diving experience. It’s best between April and October, but conditions are optimal mid-spring. Aside from the wreck, you can see smelt red shrimp, button coral, sea anemones, and crabs.

Kas – Flying Fish Reef

Another site in Kaş is the wreckage of a three-propeller Italian aircraft, Savoia Marchetti, which was sunk during World War II. This particular area is best for experienced divers as the sea can be pretty rough and currents are strong. However, you can check out stingrays, turtles, bream, leerfish, and groupers.

Canakkale, Saros Bay

Although considered the Aegean Sea, this is the area where the Marmara Sea also begins. Saros Bay is a self-cleaning part of the sea, which means it’s rich in marine life but also home to several shipwrecks. The Lundy shipwreck is the best known, and here you can see turtles, dolphins, lobster, and orange corals, as well as countless types of fish.

Caves To Go Scuba Diving In Turkey

If you’re keen to cave dive, Turkey certainly doesn’t disappoint. The best cave diving spots are in the Aegean Seas, with Bodrum scuba diving being a firm favorite.

Delikli Cave, Bodrum

Delikli Cave is considered medium to hard in terms of difficulty and goes down to between 14-45 meters in depth. You can dive here all year round, although conditions are best in late spring. You can check out different types of lobster and scorpionfish in particular.

Bubble Cave, Bodrum

This is undoubtedly one of the most popular cave diving spots in Turkey, and is another in Bodrum. It’s located just 40 minutes away from Bodrum Marina, and there are two caves you can explore. The medium cave is where you’ll enter the system and is 12 meters deep. The other is 15 meters. You can check out red lobster, slipper lobster, scorpionfish, and grouper fish, amongst others.

Orak Island, Bodrum

To visit Orak Island, you’ll need to take a boat around 1.5 hours away from Bodrum, but the area is more than worth the effort. At this dive site, you’ll find several underwater caves and a wall of 100 meters. You can check out moray eels, grouper, stingrays, and plenty of purple sponges.

Af Tower, Fethiye

Af Tower is located in Fethiye, in the Mediterranean Sea, and there are two caves to explore. However, the sea here can be rough, so this is best for experienced divers. There are countless species of fish here, and the larger cave is known as the Turkish Bath, home to an abundance of red anemones and brown meager.

Coral Reefs In Turkey

There are a few coral reefs you can dive in Turkey; however, most are protected. A few you can check out include:

  • Orak Island, Bordrum
  • Aladin’s Cavern, Fethiye
  • Three Tunnels, Fethiye

Tips For Diving In Turkey

Countless dive sites around Turkey are suitable for beginners; however, do remember that conditions can change quite quickly, depending on weather conditions. For that reason, it’s best to dive with a dive school if you’re particularly new to diving overall.

Do your research when looking for a dive school and ensure it offers insurance and full accreditation. However, most tourist resorts on the South Coast, in particular, all offer what you need, and you’ll have plenty to choose from.

For the most successful diving experience, do your homework to find the best times to visit wherever you’re about to go so you’re getting the best visibility. While most dive sites are great all year round, there are always times that are better than others.

Best Diving Destinations In The Aegean Sea

If you visit between Canakkale, right around the western coastline, and just past Marmaris, you’re in the Aegean region. Along with the Mediterranean, this is one of the best areas for diving.

Let’s check out some notable hotspots.

  • Bodrum, Big Reef: this is a very popular area and is suitable for the less experienced. Diving is between 4-36 meters, and you can dive all year around, with the best conditions in summer. Check out moray eels, scorpion fish, grouper, and octopus
  • Cesme, Fener Island: this is another spot that’s great for easy diving, and you can dive between 18-35 meters. Conditions are best in mid-summer, but you can dive between April to October and easily spot flowerpot coral, yellow tube sponge, black bream, red coral, and brown meager
  • Ayvalik, Deli Mehmet: this particular dive spot is rated as medium difficulty, and you can dive between 18-70 meters. It’s an all-year-round deal, but mid-spring brings the best conditions. You can check out shellfish, octopus, rockling fish, and red coral
  • Ayvalik, Ilyosta: diving at Ilyosta is considered easy in terms of difficulty and is possible between 3-35 meters. You can dive here all year around, but mid-spring is best when you can check out shellfish, moray eel, and nudibranch

Best Places To Go Scuba Diving In The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea is home to countless types of marine life, and if you’re visiting anywhere between Fethiye right along the southern coast towards the east, you’re in the Mediterranean region. Diving in Turkey is well known in these parts:

Kas, Ucan Balik

This area is best for experienced divers, thanks to strong currents. You can dive between 4 and 71 meters, and it’s best in the late spring, although it is possible all year around. Here you can see barracuda, leerfish, grouper, bonito, and sea bream

Fethiye, Aquarium Bay

Fethiye is home to many dive sites, and this one is considered easy in terms of difficulty. You can dive between 10-20 meters all year round, but late spring is the best time. Check out octopus and sand eel, to name just two

Fethiye, Afkule

This is another easy dive site, which is possible between 7-50 meters. Diving is best in late spring but possibly year-round. You can see grouper, brown meager, sea cucumber, and lettuce coral

Best Places To Scuba Dive Near Istanbul

The area around Istanbul is extremely busy with shipping, so scuba diving in Istanbul isn’t all that common. However, if you venture to the Princes Islands, you’ll find many dive schools and small sites where you can explore the best scuba diving in the Marmara Sea.

Best Time For Your Diving Trip – Diving Season

The best time to dive in Turkey is from April through November when the waters are just right—warm enough to enjoy without turning into a popsicle and clear enough to spot the fascinating marine life up close. Summer months, particularly from June to September, are the peak season thanks to the balmy weather both above and below the water.

But here’s a pro tip: if you want to dodge the crowds yet still catch excellent conditions, aim for the shoulder months, April, May, and October. 

You’ll get that sweet spot of comfortable water temperatures, fewer tourists, and, often, better deals on diving packages.

Just remember, while Turkey’s diving scene might not have the queues of a big theme park, those off-peak months have their charm, offering a more relaxed vibe to explore the underwater wonders at your own pace.

Now that you have our guide to scuba diving in Türkiye, please tell us which dive site in Turkey you will head to first.

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