Learn to Scuba Dive in Portugal

People come from all over the world to go scuba diving in Portugal and the experiences available are diverse, there are real and artificial reefs, wrecks, caves, ridges and grottoes formed by long dead volcanoes.

For experienced divers there are wreck dives and also thrilling night time dives available or for beginner levels there are lots of sites available to visit which are safe and a great way to see marine life up close. If you would like to capture the memorable experience we recommend taking an underwater camera. 

Divers are spoilt for choice in Portugal and you can book dive packages all year round in places like the mainland, Madeira and the Azores. View reviews, find our recommendations for the best dive centers and book a PADI or dive package in Portugal today.


Best Time of the Year to Go Diving in Portugal

Generally the best and most popular time of the year to travel to Portugal is from April to October, this is because summer brings warmer waters and a sunnier climate. 


Best Places to Go Diving in Portugal

Portugal really is one of the best scuba dive destinations in Europe, here are the top places to consider booking:

  • Algave
  • Azores
  • Lisbon
  • Madeira
  • Porto


Scuba Diving in the Algarve

The Algarve is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal and there are lots of dive centers located here. You might want to stay in Lagos, Vilamoura, Albufeira or Carvoeiro which have beaches, nightlife and lots of activities to keep you busy in your spare time. In Portimão there is a dive project called "Ocean Revival" where some battleships were sunk to generate marinelife and scuba activity.


Scuba Diving in the Azores

The Azores is located around 1500 km off the coast of Lisbon and is an incredible destination to go diving due to the archipelago of volcanic peaks in the Atlantic ocean. Here you can see spectcaular wildlife like big fish, pelagics, turtles, dolphins, beaked whales, sperm whales, fin whales, humpback whales and false killer whales. The average water temperature is around 24 C in summer to 15 oC in winter. You can also go swimming with dolphins in the Azores or join excursions to see whales and sharks.


Scuba Diving in Lisbon

Lisbon is a beautiful city to base yourself when going diving in Portugal and you can find one of the most popular dive locations in the country here - Sesimbra. This area is a marine reserve with lots of wildlife like fish. We recommend booking a trip to see the "River Gurara" wreck. There are lots of dive centers operating in Lisbon. The Berlengas Island is about one hour north of Lisbon, this natural park and marine reserve will leave you amazed due to the incredbile beauty and marine creatures you will see here. You can book dives here with dive centers in Lisbon and Peniche.


Scuba Diving in Madeira

Madeira is located off the coast of Portugal in the North Atlantic, around 535 miles from Lisbon. Maderia is a spectacular location with two islands inhabited- Madeira Island and Porto Santo Island. You can get here by boat from Portugal or by air from Europe and other destinations including the USA and South Africa. Madeira has a warm tropical climate almost all year round even in December and January which makes it an appealing diving destination.

If you go diving in Maderia you will be in the Atlantic ocean which has temperatures of around  23ºC (74ºF) in summer and 15ºC (60ºF) in winter. There is good water visibility and you should be able to see tuna, barracudas, gullies, crevices, puffer fish, octopus, rays, cuttlefish, starfish, moray eels, sea urchins, trigger fish, tarpons, groupers, reef fish and parrot fish. If you get lucky you might also be able to see manta rays, sharks, dolphins and whales which travel through the waters between Africa and the Atlantic. 

Popular dive sites you might want to visit in Madeira include: 

  • Garajau national park
  • T-reef national park 
  • Ponta de São
  • Caves in Canical and Canico 
  • Monastry and Machico reefs
  • Bowbelle wreck 
  • The Madeirense artificial reef


Dive Courses in Portugal

If you would like to take a PADI or diving certifcation course why not book a beginners course in Portugal. Dive centers here have English and multilingual speaking staff and offering world class tuition and the opportunity to get an internationally recognised qualification. 


Wreck Diving in Portugal

If you are an advanced diver there are lots of amazing wrecks to see whilst also learning more about the maritime history of the area you visit from your experienced guide.  Some ships are from the 1700's and most are from between World War I and II. Popular wrecks we recommend trying to see include the Torvore, the Wilhelm Krag, the Nordsoen, a B-24 Liberator Bomber near Faro, a german U-boat near Porto, and the Empire Warrior located close to the coast of Vila Real.


Best Dive Centers in Portugal

There are lots of dive centres located throughout the mainland and islands of Portugal who cater for all levels of divers. If you would like to make a recommendation please contact us.


Marine Life

Portugal is one of the best dive destinations in Europe due to the amount of wildlife you can see. Expect lots of fish, octopus, cuttlefish, lobster, star fish, sea horses, dolphins, seals, turtles and if you are lucky whales. 



Portugal is a very cheap country to go diving, partly due to the great value regular flights from the UK and other worldwide airports. You can fly into Porto in the North, Lisbon and central regions and Faro for the Algarve and the Alentejo.


Snorkelling in Portugal 

If you are not yet ready to go diving then Portugal is a great destination to go snorkelling. This is a great way to see the amazing underwater world of Portugal but at the same time never going to far from the coast. Snorkelling is very easy to learn if you have never done it before and anyone who is a good swimmer can take part. You can buy, hire or take your own equipment and some operators also run snorkelling trips in popular tourist areas.


Portugal Scuba Diving Reviews

Have you ever been diving in Portugal? Would you like to help future divers? Write a review of a resort, package or destination - contact us today.


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