Kea is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea and the closest inhabited Cycladic Island to Athens, Greece.  

It is one of the lesser known and therefore quieter islands in the Cyclades with beautiful white beaches and crystal-clear waters, which makes this the perfect destination for families, adventure lovers and water sports enthusiasts.  

Kea is also considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, especially for wreck diving. The marine life is plentiful and the historic sites are a must-see for every experienced diver.  

A diver floats over a starfish on the deck of the Burdigala shipwreck near Kea, Greece

Introducing the Kea Underwater Historic Site   

The Kea Underwater Historic site opened in June 2022 and has three historic shipwrecks that are in marine protected areas of 36 hectares each. Fishing is not allowed, which is amazing for improving the fish population around Kea. It is estimated that in the next 3 to 5 years, the marine life will have dramatically increased and will be one of the best in the Mediterranean.  

The three shipwrecks divers can explore around Kea are the HMHS Britannic, the Burdigala and the Patris. The German Junkers Ju 52 airplane will be added as the fourth wreck dive site in the marine protected area soon.  

A plate signifying the discovery of this wreck by Jacques Cousteau is pictured as displayed on the Brittanic Shipwreck in Greece

Kea Shipwreck #1: HMHS Britannic 

The HMHS Britannic was one of the largest ocean liners with a length of 276m (905 feet) when she sank in 1926. The Britannic was, in fact, a sister ship of the Titanic and was accidentally hit by a German mine in WWI. In 1975, the wreck was discovered by Jacques Cousteau. As the wreck is at a depth of 84-118m (275-387 feet), it is also considered the Everest of diving and only for experienced Tec divers. Due to the size of this shipwreck, it is recommended to dive it with a scooter.  

A diver floats along the bridge of the Burdigala shipwreck near Kea, Greece

Kea Shipwreck #2: S/S Burdigala 

The S/S Burdigala was initially a German ocean liner called S/S Kaiser Friedrich but was sold to a French company that renamed the ship. This 183m (600-foot) long ship was built in 1897 and sank only a couple of weeks after the HMHS Britannic and just 2miles away. The sinking of the Burdigala was caused by the same German submarine as well. The shipwreck was only discovered in 2008 during a Greek diving expedition. It lies at a depth of 59-75m (193-246 feet) and it is standing upright, with everthing in place. The S/S Burdigala is one of the best wreck dives in the world and a must for every Tec diver with Normoxic level.  

The photograph shows the bow of the Patris shipwreck in Kea, Greece

Kea Shipwreck #3: Patris  

The paddle wheeled steamer Patris was one of the most modern ships of her time in 1868. She was on her way from Piraeus to Syros when she hit a reef just on the coast of Kea and sank. The total length of the Patris is 80m (262 feet), but she broke into two pieces. As this wreck is located by a reef and rocks, there is no need to use a line to descend and ascend. This beautiful wreck is at a depth of 28 – 54m (92 – 177 feet), which makes it an awesome dive and accessible for recreational divers. The minimum level is PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.  

Now, with the new legal framework that has just been completed, certified and qualified divers from all over the world will be able to dive these three shipwrecks supported and guided by Greek officially licensed dive centers. Don´t miss out on this amazing experience! 

A scuba diver floats over the Patris shipwreck in Kea, Greece

Upcoming Webinar: Wreck Diving on Kea Island, Greece

Do you want to learn more about wreck diving on Kea Island, the history of the ships and what dive qualifications are required to be able to experience this first-hand?  

Join our webinar about wreck diving on Kea Island with PADI Regional Manager for Greece Kostas and PADI 5* Dive Center owner Giannis Tzavelakos from Keadivers.  

The webinar is on April 5, 2023 at 5pm BST (8am PST).  

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