Lifestyle / Travel

Diving in the Mediterranean: Cave diving and more in Costa Cálida

Explore your very own atlantis-esque world at this stunning dive location in Spain

May 27, 2017 | By Teri Chong

If you’re the type to go for adrenaline pumping activities such as skydiving, this is perfect for you. The Costa Cálida, in the Region of Murcia, offers a rich variety of diving experiences for the beginner or skilled diver. With 250 kilometres of sparkling turquoise waters, this location is blessed with an abundance of marine life and flora as well as magnificent shipwrecks that make it a prime location for diving. Consisting of the Cabo de Palos-Islas Hormigas-Isla Grosa, Cartagena-La Azohía- Cabo Tiñoso, Mazarrón, and Águilas, shallow and deep waters are aplenty.

In Cabo de Palos, Islas Hormigas and Isla Grosa — in the north-west of the region — one finds some of the best diving opportunities in the Mediterranean: spectacular reefs brimming with fish, overhangs and many seemingly unexplored caverns. Beyond the lagoon lies an ancient volcanic chain, forming islands and undersea mountains. At the Baio de la Campana, come face to face with marine life as well as long forgotten marine vessels, both Roman and Phoenician. At one site, a Phoenician trading ship nestles beneath a Roman vessel, while both perch atop another Phoenician ship. Used as a site for naval target practice through the years, a large collection of wrecks have been generated, making the site prime for exploration.

On the other hand, Cartagena is a melting pot of treasures. Protected it is from the easterly wind; it offers the possibility of discovering archaeological remains in the sand. Some of these treasures have been taken away for safekeeping and preservation, and are displayed in the ARQUA museum. Yet, the main attraction is undoubtedly the many wrecks that provide a playground for divers.

Further up lies La Azohía, known for its cave diving, as well as Cabo Tiñoso, a marine reserve. The diving zone around Mazarrón mainly occupies 10 miles around the port, where there are depths of up to 60m, with deserted coves and underwater cave.

In order to step up with ocean preservation efforts, many of the wrecks in the area have been sunk deliberately to create artificial reefs. Home to a myriad of sealife such as moray eels, blue-spotted rays and swordfish, the wrecks almost seem like a portal to another world. For beginners, immerse yourself in a safe diving environment in the shallow waters of Mar Menor, one of Europe’s largest saltwater lagoons.

A four-night, self-catering break in Cartagena in July costs from just £193.61 per person, based on two sharing a twin or double room, at the three-star Los Habaneros hotel, in the city centre, opposite the tourist office and the ancient city walls.

Access to Costa Cálida, Región de Murcia, is simple as it is served by Murcia-San Javier airport all year round, while Alicante airport is also nearby. Both airports are served by numerous other airlines flying from a wide variety of UK and Irish airports and flights in June cost from just £26 one way.

For more information, do visit Murica.

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