Dive into the Atlantic Ocean and discover a fantastic underwater garden, in one of the best places for diving in Europe. Thanks to its clear waters and small insular plafform, it ensures dives with excellent visibility, at great depths and only at short distance from the coast.
The archipelago also has the oldest Marine Reserves in the country, including the Garajau reserve. In the warm and crystal-clear water around Madeira, divers can see anemones, corals, fish such as friendly groupers, morays and manta rays, and even monk seals. Some of the most popular places for diving in Madeira are Caniço, Garajau, Machico, Caniçal and Santa Cruz. In Madalena do Mar, at a depth of 21 to 30 metres, divers can find the ship “Bowbelle”, which sank here a few years ago and is now an artificial reef, inhabited by salemas (Salema salpa), grunts (Pomadasys incisus), amberjacks (Seriola dumerili, Seriola rivolina), white trevallies (Pseudocaranx dentex) and even wahoos (Acanthocybium solandri).
In Funchal, there are two underwater routes, “Baixa do Carneiro” and “Baixa das Moreias”, where divers follow a specific route to observe moray eels (Gymnothorax unicolor and Muraena sp) and the surrounding flora.
According to diving specialists, the water temperature determines whether divers can use a semi-dry suit in the winter or a 5 mm wetsuit in the summer. Visibility also varies little from one season to the next, being normally close to thirty metres during the summer and approximately twenty metres in the winter months. Sea currents are usually weak, allowing divers to return to the point of entry.
Around Porto Santo Island there are several good locations for diving or snorkelling, due to the clarity, temperature and beauty of the water. A network of protected marine areas has been set up, including the six islets around the island, as well as the area of the “Madeirense” shipwreck, one of the most popular sites among divers.