Happily, the marine life inhabiting the waters around Ibiza is a lot less fickle than the summertime tourists, choosing instead to remain all year long for your viewing pleasure. The waters of the Mediterranean are famed for being crystal clear, turquoise and warm, and Ibiza is no exception. With temperatures never dipping below 14C, diving and snorkelling is always one of the most fantastic things to do in Ibiza, even in the winter months. There are simply too many incredible dive sites for us to fit in, so we’ve decided to concentrate on the five most spectacular… in our humble opinion, of course…
Cueva Cala Llonga (The Cathedral)
‘Spectacular’ is the only word that comes close to describing this dive, so it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most popular dives on the island. Cala Llonga lies on the east coast of the island and even though you’re not here to enjoy the sand, you won’t be able to stop yourself admiring the view. As you enter the bay on the south side, you will find the beginning of the Cathedral dive.
After bottoming out at 15m, you swim alongside the rock wall until you reach the cave opening, which is about 8m from the surface. As you enter this enormous cave you will be able to ascend and surface into a huge air pocket and remove your mask and regulator to properly take in your majestic surroundings. The cave is filled with curious rock formations and impressive stalactites, which were created eons ago. When you’ve finished admiring the cave and you’ve made your way back out, take a moment to fully appreciate the contrast between the darkness of the cave and the breath-taking turquoise colour of the Med.
This is one of four must-do dives around Esparta Island and by far the most exhilarating. This dive may be a little daunting for beginners due to the depth, but it’s not as scary as you may think. There is a fantastic drop-off from about 5m down to 23m before it turns into wonderful shelves at about 45m. If you don’t fancy plunging all the way to the bottom, don’t worry because all the best marine life can be found at levels between 25 – 30m. Keep an eye out for ‘Elvis’ – an enormous grouper fish that often lurks in his 37m deep den.
Cueva de la Luz
The steep cliffs at Es Racó Fosc provide the backdrop to this amazing dive. About 3m below the crystal clear waters you will find an entrance to an enchanting cave. Like the Cathedral, this cave has an air pocket, meaning you can surface and marvel at your surroundings. The cave is as deep as it is wide – about 15m – and has a vaulted dome ceiling.
What makes this cave unique is the crevice at the top that allows light to flood its interior and illuminate the water around you. The way the colours dance and bounce around the cave can only be described as magical. There are many fabulous sea creatures living in these waters, including cardinal fish, lobsters and conger eels, so keep your eyes peeled. The Pillars of Hercules are nearby, too, so try to have a look round them as well if you get the chance.
Isla de Daus, just off the east coast of Ibiza Town, is home to one of the most amazing dives on the island. It is a dive that most enthusiasts usually only dream about but never really think they will have the opportunity to experience – a shipwreck. The Don Pedro was a merchant ship that sank in the summer of 2007 while on its way from Ibiza to Valencia. At 140m in length, it was an impressive vessel, meaning there is a lot of wreck to explore. Its shallowest point lies at 25m, its deepest at 45m. It is now the biggest recreational dive site in Europe. And as if things couldn’t get any better, the water visibility in this area is fantastically good.
Just one beach down from the Cathedral dive site, you will find the secluded spot of Cala Olivera. The bay is surrounded by huge swathes of pines and the waters are renowned for their clarity. Just diving around the entrance to this cave is an experience all by itself, but when you actually enter, the magic begins. There are no fewer than three access points and the fantastic chimney system within will astonish you. The waters are teaming with all manner of exotic sea creatures and the depth maxes out at 20m, so don’t worry if you’re just a beginner – this dive is suitable for all abilities.
Now that we’ve (hopefully!) whett your appetites, all that remains is for you to book that flight and join us in some underwater winter exploration. Keep in mind that not all the dives mentioned here are available from the same dive companies as they are based in different parts of the island.
Written by: Chantal Azevedo