Galicia is a place worth visiting in depth, from its highest mountains to the depths of its estuaries. Discovering the wonders hidden in Galician waters is an experience that many ocean lovers remember for a lifetime. No wonder: diving allows us to get close to surprising species and landscapes that, despite being unknown to most, can turn our stay into a unique experience. Below we recommend some of the best destinations for diving.
The Parque Nacional das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia is one of the best places to get to know the Galician seabed. The crystalline waters of the Illas Cíes (located in the municipality of Vigo) invite us to take a swim every summer and are home to an incredible reserve of marine species in its unique environment. The archipelago is ideal for diving, as its ecological richness allows even the most novice to enjoy a marine paradise just 50 metres from the coast. Even so, professional divers will also be able to enter the wonders these waters offer, as there are routes for all levels.
Illa de Ons
Also part of the Parque Nacional das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia, the Illa de Ons (belonging to the municipality of Bueu) is a great destination for diving practices. The marine life that can be seen is similar to that of Cíes and also stands out for its great ecological value and for the benefits that being within a protected area means for conservation. Diving into the waters of this island located at the entrance to the estuary of Pontevedra you can get close to an incalculable number of species. Furthermore, as it has a smaller influx of people than Cíes, the bureaucratic procedures for permits are carried out much more quickly.
Illa de Rúa
Much less known and smaller than the most famous islands of the Ria de Arousa, the Illa de Rua is a place well worth a visit by underwater tourism enthusiasts. It is a small rocky islet of 4 hectares of surface and that arises from bottoms of heavy sand. There, divers can dive with the most basic certifications due to its shallow depth, although the reduced visibility that may exist in the surroundings must be taken into account. In addition, two very different dives are allowed, one in the northwest part of the island and the other in the south. In both we will be able to find very diverse marine flora and fauna, such as sea carrots, octopuses, crabs, salps or maragots, among many others.
If you are an advanced diver and you like history, you cannot forget to dive to observe the remains of Achondo, a Basque fishing boat sunk in 1986 that gives shelter to fish of various species. Located at a maximum depth of 38 metres, this shipwreck lies between the Estelas and Cíes islands on a bed of sand and rock, and is the most impressive in the Ría de Vigo. What is most surprising is its almost 40 metres in length and its wooden stern which, as it requires a deep dive, can be seen by the most professional divers. Its excellent state of conservation and its geographical location make this dive one of the most spectacular in the Rías Baixas.
Another fishing boat that you cannot forget if you want to dive in Galicia is the Aries, an old freighter that used to run a regular line between some ports in Galicia and Morocco and also served as a transport for different cargoes. It has a large number of visitors, as it is the most accessible in the Ría de Arousa: it allows you to enjoy a shallow dive (between 14 and 21 metres). The shipwreck, which is now in good condition, has a wonderful environment full of marine fauna and flora, such as immense fields of sea carrots, crabs, spider crabs, maragots or mudflakes.
Located at the bottom of the Ria de Viveiro, this merchant lies on a sandy bottom at a depth of 45 metres. The area for diving is between 40 and 50 metres across the two parts into which it is divided, where all the life around it can be seen. Divers entering these waters will be able to observe a great diversity of fauna in the surroundings, in addition to the fact that the structure itself is full of spirographs, gorgonians and sponges that create a visual spectacle full of colours.