Greece is teeming with islands, islets and rocky coves with crystal clear waters. It is also home to potentially thousands of snorkeling spots. While it is possible to get into the water almost anywhere along the coast of the country, the islands of Crete, Corfu, Zante and the Ionian Islands are among the busiest regions. Touristic and easily accessible, they are prime destinations for exploring the seabed.

Snorkeling with sea turtles in Cameo Island, Zante
Zante island is one of the rare regions in the Mediterranean where you have good chances of snorkeling with sea turtles (here, a loggerhead sea turtle in Cameo Island)

Like anywhere else in the Mediterranean, there are no shallow coral reefs to be found in Greece. However, the seabed is diversified, between seagrass meadows, sandy plateaus, and rocky bottoms, where there lives starfish, sponges, sea anemones, and sea urchins.

Hundreds of species of fish live in Greek waters, where wrasses, damselfish, sea bream, mullet, and pomfret are easy to observe from just a few meters from the shore. For the lucky ones, there are the rare encounters with small groupers, brown meagre, or the wary Mediterranean parrotfish, mainly in protected areas.

Snorkeling in Nissaki, Corfu
Dozens of small rocky coves are spread along Greek islands shores, like in Nissaki, in Corfu island.

Greece is one of the few places in Europe where it is possible to see sea turtles while snorkeling. The coasts of Zante are particularly famous for the observation of the loggerhead turtle, with the island being the first nesting site of this species throughout the Mediterranean. Try your luck around Cameo Island, for example.

If you are planning a snorkeling trip to Greece, we recommend you take with you great Europe and Mediterranean Marine Fish identification guide, a comprehensive guide that includes all the marine fish species that may be encountered in the Mediterranean up to 50m depth.

When to go snorkeling in Greece?

As everywhere else in the Mediterranean, snorkeling is mainly done during the summer in Greece, where the climate is warm and sunny from May to October. July and August hold its highest peak of tourism, where millions of tourists land on the coast. Daytime temperatures generally exceed 30°C.

The temperature of the water rests between 20 and 27°C from July to October and around 17°C from May to June. Waters can reach up to 5°C warmer in the southern part of the country (especially in Crete) than along the north coast. Later, in the winter, waters cool sharply- though it rarely drops below 11°C.

Even during summer, we recommend wearing a rashguard, which will protect your back and shoulders from the strong UV radiations that occur in the Mediterranean. Our selection of the best rashguards and wetsuits for snorkeling may help you to make your choice!

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