There are several unique bays around the Bodrum Peninsula. The seas swiftly change from shallow to astonishingly deep with an abundance of fishes, octopuses, seaweed, seagrasses, and sea sponges.
There are around 20 dive sites off the Bodrum Peninsula featuring two shipwrecks, a plane, walls, caverns, and pinnacles. With dive depths up to 30 meters, you will be well-placed to see the likes of stingrays, barracudas, tunas, moray eels, and octopuses.
In Bodrum’s underwater world, you’ll come across a big and a small reef. These two reefs between Bodrum and Kara Ada (Black Island) are separated by only 200 meters. The reef walls are packed with marine life and extend from 5 m all the way down to 32 m on the south side and 36 m on the north.
From Wolf's Point to Kargı Adası (Kargı Island), dive sites offer something for everyone, including a 29-meter shipwreck of the SG115 cargo ship; Pınar 1, a 37-meter former Turkish Navy water tanker; and the Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota plane, an ex-Turkish Air Force parachute airplane that was sunk to create an artificial reef.
In fact, it was during a sponge diving expedition when a local stumbled upon the wreck of the Uluburun, a Bronze Age vessel dating back to 1400 BC. Now, the shipwreck is on display at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
Datça is a beautiful area with hot springs, glorious coves, and beaches. It is also a key marine centre as it is the most important nesting site in Türkiye for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta carettas). The Datça Peninsula boasts many beautiful coves and areas for snorkelling and diving, with dolphins, sharks, and other marine life spotted regularly in the region. Datça promises diving enthusiasts many unforgettable underwater experiences!
The underwater world of Marmaris is very attractive, offering excellent visibility and many dive sites in well-protected bays – perfect for some gentle, stress-free holiday diving! Both shore and boat diving are available, and larger centres offer a range of courses and night dives. As with the diving around Bodrum, expect a variety of sites from caverns to reefs and plenty of opportunities to spot some of Türkiye’s ancient amphoras.
Kadırga Cove is one of the most popular diving spots in Marmaris. This site could be renamed “Amphoras and Eels”- such is the prevalence of both at this dive. Opposite the Kadırga Lighthouse and stretching down some 40 meters, this rocky site is suitable for most levels of diving experience. Other than the field of amphoras, at a depth of 15 meters, the remains of a ship from the Hellenistic period also await divers.
Çeşme offers a level of water clarity that is very rarely found and a diverse range of marine species. Dive sites include Yatak Odası, a spectacular cave particularly loved by underwater photographers, and Ayrık Taş at Eşek Island where experienced divers can go down 45 meters.
Suitable for all divers, Fener Island is in the northeast of Çeşme, in İzmir’s popular holiday spot. Fener Island is a great spot for those seeking an underwater adventure in a colourful site that extends 18 meters below water.
At Fener Island, you can swim with streams of sargos (or white seabreams) and breams surrounded by yellow marine sponges and coral flowers. In an old seal cave, you can even come across some seals!
Kuşadası & Didim (Aydın)
Kuşadası, a popular holiday spot on Türkiye’s Aegean coast, has one of the more unusual dive sites in the form of an A300 Airbus. With a 44-meter wingspan and a length of 54 meters, the local council sank the 36-year-old aircraft to attract international divers. Perhaps, the highlight of the dive is a flight through the interior of the A300 to visit the cockpit. The fittings, cables, and switches have all been removed but it’s a unique feeling to sit in one of the cockpit seats and to look beyond, into the impenetrable blue of the Mediterranean.
The Aegean underwater world around Didim creates amazing opportunities to explore marine life and the chance to explore a deliberately sunken former coastal guard ship.
Ayvalık, a beautiful location on the north Aegean coast, has a variety of diving spots and islands, making it a popular spot for divers.
Deli Mehmet is one of the best diving spots in Ayvalık with two underwater islands. One of them, Deli Mehmet 1, is 18-70 meters deep and favoured by intermediate divers. The second island, Deli Mehmet 2, is 27-70 meters deep. Unlike Deli Mehmet 1, this is preferred by professional divers. There are stunning coral reefs from 27 meters up to 50 meters. You can see the red corals on each island, and swim with moray eels and a variety of colourful fish.
In addition to Deli Mehmet, İlyosta Island is another popular and beautiful diving spot in Ayvalık. İlyosta is a lively, vibrant spot with plenty of sea creatures – once you dive, you will find yourself surrounded by them and you can photograph them to your heart’s content.
Gavur Port is the most popular diving site on İlyosta Island. It extends between 3 and 35 meters and is suitable for both experienced and inexperienced divers. You can observe many great underwater creatures here: aquatic insects, moray eels, and even sea bunnies (Jorunna Parva), so don’t forget to take a flashlight with you.