Illes Medes, Costa Brava, Spain
The Medes Island chain in Spanish waters is a great place to snorkel with the whole family. There are seven islets in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea close to the shore, east of the coastal town of L’Estartit. Because this coastal area is so rocky, there won’t be a lot of swimmers, boaters, and fishermen getting in your way and spoiling the relaxing experience of snorkeling. The fish and plant life both seem more peaceful, and as a result, more beautiful. Nothing is getting caught up in netting, and no one is damaging the coral life. Take your best underwater camera with you, and watch for the giant groupers and the very distinctive barracudas. The barracuda, by the way, is a ferocious ray-finned fish.
Here is a couple of videos showing some great snorkeling and scuba diving in Illes Medes.
Up next we have…
Isola Rossa, Sardinia
Enjoy the seaside tourist town of Isola Rossa in the northwest of Sardinia. The red rock sandy beaches are beautiful with many small warm pools and inlets to explore. Even if the water is shallow, hundreds of colourful fish will be there to greet you. Your kids will love it. The water is crystal clear even on wavy days. Moray eels are popular here because they love to hide amongst the rocks. Eels are quite capable of looking after themselves. They have been know to attack a shark.
For the more experienced snorkeler, venture further from shore. You never know what might be lurking in the deep. Once again, never snorkel without a friend and a camera.
Here’s a great video showing some of the underwater sights you will see in Isola Rossa.
Ok, onward to…
Makarska Beach, Croatia
Makarska Beach is on the Adriatic Sea, and the snorkeling here should provide you with some very different species. The sea bed at Makarska beach has fresh water springs, which results in a unique collection of corals and plants such as the Golden Sponges. Octopuses and crabs are hiding in the rocks below, and best of all, seahorses will make your snorkeling experience complete for sure. Did you know that the male seahorse gives birth to the baby seahorses known as fry? The fry is on his/her own right from the beginning. They float along in the plankton and only 1 in a 1000 will survive.
Alrighty, let us hop on over to the beautiful…
The Paphos area has gently sloping beautiful sandy beaches. There are several secluded beaches, where you will be the only one there. After a great snorkeling experience, enjoy the privacy on several small and quaint beach strips.
The lighthouse area is popular because of the sea caves. Look closely and you might spot the elusive octopus. For sure you will spot a pipe fish. Swim along with him and enjoy his adventures. The water is very clear and perfect for photos.
The pipe fishes’ body is long and straight, and it is a cousin of the seahorse. He has to work hard to get his supper, because he is so small.
If you are able to visit all of these places, consider yourself lucky. Here is another great European snorkeling destination!
Caneiros, Algarve, Portugal
Thirty minutes from Faro airport and not far from the community of Lagoa, Caneiros can be a romantic spot or a wonderful family day at the beach. It is close to the eastern bank of the Rio Arade estuary.
The large rock faces envelop the underwater explorers, and the swimming is great. Rent a day bed on the beach for sure. Paddle boats and kayaks are also available. You must snorkel in the warm clear Atlantic Ocean and explore the underwater caves. At low tide, you can walk, swim or snorkel to your own private cove. Have a chic meal at the Rei das Praias on the beach with ice wine. Wrap up your day in the beautiful sunshine with a massage.
Can you handle another great European snorkeling destination? Here’s one more!
Plage de la Palud, South of France
The south of France borders the Mediterranean Sea with a shoreline of over 560 miles. Many different marine environments exist here with rocks, sandy beaches, and islands. The snorkeling is great, especially in the reserves and National Parks.
Port Cros National Park is a small island, with some of the best preserved sea beds which contain the richest fish. Palud Bay is just one location that will impress the most experienced snorkelers. Arrive in Port Cros, and walk north for about 40 minutes to reach Palud beach. The path is well marked, but stoney. You will need good foot wear.
The water is calm and very clear, especially from June to September, so snorkelers can get up close and personal with hundreds of fish. The temperatures are perfect for snorkeling during these months, too. The underwater path prepared by the Parks Service rangers will make your snorkeling education that much easier.