Diving Inside the Heart of the Volcano

The underwater exploration of the caldera has many wonders to reveal


It’s been 40 years since the legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau sailed the legendary Calypso to Santorini in the hopes of discovering the Lost City of Atlantis. The results of his 1975 expedition were disappointing, as extensive underwater research failed to reveal any concrete evidence of its existence. Despite this setback, however, Cousteau made another important discovery that he shared with the world: . It is this treasure that continues to attract divers from around the globe.

The biggest underwater caldera in the world offers a plethora of images: endless cliffs, solid walls, reefs and lush meadows of sea grass. The most popular dive sites are located off the coast between Fira and Akrotiri. Particular interest is shown in the savage environment off Palia and Nea Kameni, where vast lava formations illustrate how the small islets emerged from the bowels of the Earth. The conditions are ideal, with visibility reaching 20 meters and the water temperature climbing to 23-27 degrees Celsius in the summer.

“ The biggest underwater caldera in the world offers a plethora of images: endless cliffs, solid walls, reefs and lush meadows of sea grass. ”

The Cousteau family’s special bond with Santorini was not severed after Jacques failed to find Atlantis, as his younger son, Pierre-Yves, visited the island in 2009. Charmed by its natural beauty, its people and, of course, the volcano – “a monument that reminds us of the fragility of human existence” – he decided that from all the places where he could have qualified as a diving instructor, he would do it in Santorini. What he saw was a magnificent backdrop devoid of life.

“Santorini has volcanic formations, underwater caves and ravines – a magnificent stage. But where are the actors? Where are the fish? They were gone…” he said.

 

It was this observation that compelled him to take action against the blight of over-fishing, with the establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA), which, according to the study, could result in an increase of 21% in diversity, 28% in the size of organisms, 166% in density and 446% in biomass, relative to unprotected areas nearby. Together with the “Thiraiki Thalassa” Society for the Marine Protected Area of Santorini and with the island’s fishermen and locals joining the battle, experts hope to establish a management body within the next year that will delineate the borders of the marine park and impose strict controls. The objective is to turn Santorini into one of the premiere diving destinations in the Mediterranean.

INFO

Santorini’s dive centers are certified by the leading international authorities. They provide all the equipment and offer a complete range of programs, from the kids’ Bubblemaker to instructor-level training.

ATLANTIS OIA
Tel.
 (+30) 22860.71.158 

 

AEGEAN DIVERS
Aghia Irini, Pyrgos • 
Tel. (+30) 22860.33.201

SANTORINI DIVECENTER
Perissa • Tel. (+30) 22860.83.190

MEDITARRANEAN DIVE CLUB 
Perissa Beach • Tel. (+30) 22860.83.080 

NAVY’S WATERWORLD
Kamari Beach • Tel. (+30) 22860.28.190 

VOLCANO DIVING CENTER
Kamari • Tel. (+30) 22860.33.177 



Read More

Santorini

The 15 Best Wineries to Visit in Santorini

A visit to the guardians of the island’s great oenological...


Santorini

The Truth about Santorini’s “Wedding Industry”

Santorini's exquisite caldera brings honeymooners from around the world to...


Santorini

Owner of Famed Atlantis Books Spills Santorini’s Secrets

There are still places to explore on this magical, if...


Santorini

Meeting the Cloistered Catholic Nuns of Santorini

At the Monastery of St. Catherine, the Catholic nuns devote...


Greece Is Blog Posts

An Ode to Local Products

BY Yiouli Eptakili

No more avocado toast and croque-madames. From Thessaloniki to Crete...

read more >

How Can Greece Become a Gastro-Tourism Destination?

BY Yiouli Eptakili

It’s about more than just taking a trip...

read more >

Leaving Room in Greece for Everyone

BY Greece Is

Labor Day, this year September 5, marks the...

read more >