By Martha – (Carrboro, NC, USA)
Does anyone recommend snorkeling in Greece? Sometime in the next couple of years I will be traveling there on a Road Scholar Tour. I would like to stay a few extra days and travel with a friend. I plan to go to Kastellorizo (near Turkey) to swim in the Blue Cave. I would also like to snorkel in Greece. My snorkeling experience so far has been in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Southern California, and the Galapagos.
Can anyone tell me where to find the best snorkeling in Greece? Lots of guidebooks and articles mention snorkeling, but these descriptions are usually not written by serious snorkelers. Or maybe it is just not worth it, I would be disappointed? Anyone willing to share their opinions here?
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Romy – Jun 6, 2018 – Not Tropical But Great Float Snorkeling
I spend two weeks sailing in Greece every year (in the Ionian, Saronic, or Sporades groups of islands) and it’s where I took up snorkeling after never being much of a swimmer. If you fancy doing that while there, look at “Share a Yacht” on Sailing Holidays dot com. It’s also where I learnt to sail so no experience is required.
The water is very clear and there is no tide or currents so it’s ideal for just floating in one place and watching fish behavior. We swim two or three times a day in different bays and overnight in a different harbor town or remote bay each night.
Obviously there are no tropical fish or corals but there are a variety of fish (not in the numbers or colors of the tropics) and occasionally you’ll see a glorious fan tube worm, like a delicate flower rising from the sea floor.
I often sail around the Sporades islands of Skorpelos, Skiathos, and Alonnisos and these are pleasantly untouristed and I’ve once seen a rare Monk Seal on a beach there as I swam past. Alonnisos has a marine park but there’s nowhere stand out or must see for snorkeling that I have visited. You may be lucky enough to see a turtle – I’ve seen a few surface near the boat but they don’t hang round so unlikely to see them snorkeling.
There are hundreds of Greek Islands and it’s probably better just to go to one or two to get the feel of the place as well rather than try to visit too many in a short time, unless of course you’re sailing. The well known islands are now too busy and under huge strain from tourism, plus have become more like theme parks, so visiting lesser known islands (generally those without airports) and with a more traditional Greek lifestyle is my suggestion.
There are blue caves on quite a few Greek Islands, but if you’re set on Kastellorizo (which looks to be far enough south to have warm water much of the year) I’d suggest just staying there and snorkeling straight off the beaches – any rocky bay (i.e most of them!) will have fish on the sides and in most small towns you can just swim off the harbor, with the advantage of the cold beers awaiting when you return!
So in summary, don’t go to Greece specifically for the snorkeling, but do take advantage of the lack of currents plus the very buoyant water to just float in one place watch the fish interact in their territories, which is not always easy in the tropics with currents!
Samuel M – Sep 14, 2021 – Zakynthos
I recommend going to Zakynthos Island. The water is a spectacular blue and has good visibility. You can spot a lot of loggerhead turtles there if you go to Cameo Island or their marine parks. In July and August you can also see baby turtles hatching.
Martha – Sep 16, 2021 – Thanks So Much!
Thanks so much to both of you for your excellent advice. I have had to put off my trip, so I am still collecting information on where to snorkel. I am looking forward to an amazing time in Greece, post-COVID.