Diving and Snorkelling in Antalya
Within the seas of Turkey, divers can discover a fascinating submerged world, from underwater caverns to sunken ships and even the remains of ancient cities. The only areas prohibited from diving are military zones, those conducting scientific research and areas under protection.
Antalya & ProvinceThis world famous tourist region has the highest number of diving schools in the country, containing many contrasting dive sites. A French military transportation ship at the entrance of Antalya harbour lies at a depth of 20 - 32m. The islands in the open seas around Tekirova has a wonderful array of sea life including huge thornback rays, and is also a good location for cavern diving. During August and September there is a huge amount of tuna fish and seals, and dolphins can be seen throughout the year. Lying 1km from the Antalya Yacht Harbour is the site of a French battleship, San Didier, which sank during the war in 1942.
The coast on the west side is relatively shallow and sandy (maximum 8m) but on the northeast side with rocky seabed descends to 22m, which also has a small cavern. Submerged 200m from the coast near Manavgat, east of Antalya, is a B-24 American war plane named Hadleys Harem, which came down after leaving its base in Cyprus after bombing over Romania in 1944. The cockpit was removed during studies in 1995, and now lies in a private museum in Istanbul. Diving to this particular site requires special permission. In Gelidonya, at the west of Antalya bay, there are the submerged remains of a cargo ship which sank after crashing on the rocks near to what is now known as Taslik cape.
The seas around Kalkan are suited to experienced divers, with species of sea life including sharks, turtles, tuna and thornback rays. Patara has coral and sea sponges, and the Fener waters descend from 11mts to 132mts, with lively and colourful sights. Oksuz Island is known for its lizard fish, a member of the shark family. 60m off the east coat of Uluburun and 9km southeast of Kas lie the ruins of a cargo ship dating back to the 14th century BC. As a result of dives in 1984 the ships cargo, which had slipped to a depth of 61m, was removed and some of it exhibited in the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum today. Near the Greek island of Meis off the coast of Kas, there are the submerged remains of an Italian plane from World War II. Its first sighting is at a depth of 57m, its tail going as far as 70m, and there is still ammunition within the wreckage.
One of the most popular diving areas in the region is the Three Islands, off Tekirova, which has many diver sites and greater depth than Antalya. The wreckage of a submerged ship lying 2km from Kemer Yacht Harbour at a depth of 25m, belongs to a French cargo ship which sank during World War II. It is estimated to have been built in 1896, and has three decks and two warehouses, of which some is still covered in tiles.