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.
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.
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.
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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Take your chance in Zante waters, for example in Cameo Island
One of the most beautiful fish in the Mediterranean, often seen in rocky areas throughout Greece
On all spots, sometimes very close to the beach.
On all spots, in rocks or seagrass beds
Commonly seen in large schools above posidonia meadows
On all rocky spots
Rocky beds visited by loggerhead sea turtles
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Level: Free shore access
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