Barcelona has long been one of the most popular cities for travelers to Europe. The Catalonian capital is home to modern cathedrals, gorgeous cuisine and a cultural atmosphere that’s tough to beat. But, did you know that Barcelona can also be considered a scuba diving destination? Don’t believe us? Keep reading to find out more about scuba diving in Barcelona, including the best dive sites, the best day trips and more.

A group of divers floats over a sea star in Spain

How to Find a Dive Shop in Barcelona

Most of Barcelona’s best dive sites are only accessible by boat. So, before you dive into Barcelona’s best dive sites, you’ll probably need to find a dive shop to book a trip. Luckily, there are two convenient ways to find the best dive shops in Barcelona.

  1. Dive Shop Locator – This nifty tool will show you all the PADI Dive Shops anywhere in the world. It also lists the hours of the shop, the languages spoken and the courses available. 
  2. PADI Adventures – Available on the web or as an app (available on Google Play and the Apple App Store), PADI Adventures allows you to book your fun dives, courses and even snorkeling trips online. 

The Best Time to Dive in Barcelona

While you could go scuba diving in Barcelona year-round, many dive shops in the area take a few months off in the winter, when the air temperatures get a bit chilly. Therefore, March to December is generally considered the diving season in this area, and the best time to dive in Barcelona is from July to September. 

the beach in lloret de mar spain, one of the best places to dive in Barcelona

The Top Dive Sites in Barcelona

If you’re only in Barcelona for a short while, you’ll definitely want to check out the best sites for scuba diving in Barcelona. While diving within the city limits is definitely possible, most dive shops make daily trips slightly north of the city and into the region known as Costa Brava. All of the dive sites listed below are within two hours of downtown Barcelona.

Roca Muladera, Lloret de Mar

About one hour north of Barcelona lies Lloret de Mar, one of the most frequented diving areas for divers living in the capital of Catalonia. While there are a variety of sites you can explore in this area, Roca Muladera is a favorite. The site is home to two seamounts with a channel running between them. The best part? The depths here range from 0 feet/meters to 25 meters (82 feet), making this a great choice for all levels of divers with a massive variety of underwater life to see.

Boreas Shipwreck in Palamòs

The Boreas Shipwreck in Palamòs was sunk for the purpose of scuba diving back in the 1980s. Before that, the ship had been confiscated by Spanish customs officials and sat at anchor in the city’s harbor after its captain and crew were charged with drug trafficking. Today, the ship lies at 30 meters (100 feet) with the top of the wreck reaching 18 meters (60 feet). This is considered one of the best wreck dives in Catalonia and one of the best dive sites in the Barcelona region.

an octopus looks at divers in Ibiza, near Barcelona

Ullastres, Llafranc

Just north of Palamòs, Llafranc is home to Ullastres, one of the best dive sites in Barcelona. Three underwater pinnacles are located just offshore and easily found thanks to an anchoring buoy attached to the highest part of the site. Fantastically, their topography makes this site an underwater photographer’s dream. The north face of the formations is covered in bright red gorgonians.

Illes Formigues, Cap de Planes

Part of a small reserve off the coast of Cap de Planes, Illes Formigues is full of life. These small islands just break the surface, but underwater, there is plenty to explore, namely a series of canyons filled with gorgonians. Here you might also find moray eels, a variety of nudibranchs and limpets, but underwater photographers will also love the way the light plays around the valleys of the canyons.

Dolphin Cave, Medes Islands, L’Estartit

The Medes Islands in Spain are often considered one of the best areas to go scuba diving in the entire country, and lucky for you, they are only an hour or so from downtown Barcelona. Of the dozen or so dive sites found here, Dolphin Cave is one of the most famous. This site features a swim-through, cathedral-like cave with an entrance at 8 meters (26 feet) deep and a wider exit at 15 meters (50 feet). Interestingly, the cave passes through part of Meda Petita, and the site gets its name from a dolphin statue inside the cave that divers love to photograph. 

divers exploring the coastline of Costa Brava Spain

The Best Dive Day Trips From Barcelona

Slightly further afield from Barcelona, you’ll find even more diving worth exploring. If you have an extra day or two for exploring Catalonia and its neighboring regions, be sure to check out these diving destinations.

Cap de Creus

This terrain-maritime natural park is 13,866 hectares large, meaning there’s plenty of adventures to seek above and below the surface. It’s also one of the most intact environments in the Mediterranean, making it a sought-after destination by divers all over Europe. Expect to see thriving marine life without the crowds wherever you choose to dive around Cap de Creus.


South of Barcelona, you’ll find Tarragona with a smattering of dive sites worth exploring. There are plenty of dive shops in the area to take you out to explore the clear waters filled with the typical Mediterranean players – nudibranchs, eels and temperate fish life.

Balearic Islands

Just a ferry ride or short flight away, Ibiza, Menorca and Majorca are all diving destinations in their own right. Enjoy the island vibes combined with warm waters and vibrant underwater life with a few days here. Dive shops are scattered across the islands, making this a great dive travel destination.

Ready to dive into Barcelona? After you have your Open Water Diver certification, check out the Dive Shop Locator or PADI Adventures to find the perfect trip to complement your trip to the Catalonian capital.

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