Scuba Diving in Marbella
With its beautiful warm weather and crystal clear ocean, Marbella is the perfect spot to go scuba diving.
Although there's many watersports on offer in the region nothing offers a glimpse of the underwater world in the same way as diving.
Snorkeling is a great way to start out, but to see the best of the marine life; you need to get right under the water.
Here's a closer look at scuba diving in Marbella and what you can expect.
There's a myriad of colour when diving off Marbella
Learn to dive
If you're going to be staying in Marbella for any length of time, it would be a shame not to explore the hidden underwater world of the coastline.
Marbella's waters offer the perfect conditions for diving, with good visibility and a warmer temperature than out towards the Strait, making it more comfortable for both novice and experienced divers.
However, before you can head out to the waters, you'll need to learn to dive first. This is easily accomplished as there's a number of accredited diving schools in the region.
PADI is the world's largest diver training organisation and it is highly recommended to find a diving school which offers one of their courses. PADI starts out from the beginning, with courses for total novices and continues to provide accreditation right up through the ranks to 5* standard. There are also additional specialities which can also be awarded.
If you already have the basic certificate but haven't been diving in a while, or want to move on to the next stage, it's a good idea to either attend a refresher or get some further training. It can be dangerous underwater so it's important not to attempt anything you haven't been trained on.
Scuba diving can be experienced by children too, typically from the age of 10, but there are limits on what dive sites are considered safe for them. Scuba diving will help to improve their awareness and skills in the water, so can be beneficial for many reasons if you're looking for things to do in Marbella.
Scuba diving is a popular "stag do" activity in Marbella
Learning to dive typically involves a morning in the safety of the pool, learning the techniques and how to use the equipment. This can then lead to a preliminary dive in shallow waters in the sea.
Marbella has a number of fascinating dive site, perfect to lure in scuba divers of all abilities. Here's just a few of the most popular dive sites in and around Marbella.
Marbella Tower (Torre Marbella)
One of the most famous diving sites in the area, Marbella Tower is the remnants of an old cargo tower which was in use until the 1970s.
The two iron ore towers which make up the site are located close to the fishing port, lying 100 metres and 250 metres away from the shoreline. The tower nearest to the shore was knocked over by a winter storm in 2004, and despite being submerged to a depth of 6 metres and smothered in marine life, is usually disregarded by divers.
Instead, it's the second tower, slightly further out which provides the most interest.
This second tower currently stands on an underwater hill of between 6-11 metres in height and was originally the spot where the loading of cargo ships was carried out.
It's at this tower where there's an embarrassment of riches for divers, teeming with marine life of all kinds. Various species of crab, sea slugs as well as moray and conger eels can be found in the many holes, nooks and crannies in the underwater tower. On the upper side, there's an unexpected treat with octopus and brittle stars visible at a depth of just six metres.
Further down there are segments of the tower which have snapped right off; lengths of up to 30 metres. This offers unique opportunities for fish and other sea life to hide, with schools of wrasses permanently swarming around.
Near to the Marbella Tower, there are three wrecks situated in close proximity to each other, submerged at just 11 metres. One of these is decomposing rapidly, but the other two are steel bodied and holding up well. These wrecks are a further source of good marine life viewings for divers.
Running from the beach to a depth of 25 metres out at sea, Tubo is in fact a large pipe around two metres in diameter. Not visible from under the sea bed until the waters reach around three metres in depth, the pipe gradually emerges to become fully visible.
Underneath the pipe there's lots of hiding places for fish and as the waters get deeper, there's a gradual appearance of soft coral and larger fish such as tuna and catfish. There's still plenty to see in the shallower waters too, with scorpion fish aplenty plus conger and moray eels and spider crabs.
Marbella's waters are perfect for diving
A site reserved for more experienced divers only, Roqueillos is a much deeper site, starting at around 26 metres and continuing downwards to around 42 metres. At the foot there's a fascinating rock formation made up of huge round boulders piled up on top of each other.
The current here can be very strong so it's essential to build up some experience before attempting this site. For those with the necessary skills, Roqueillos can be extremely rewarding as the marine life is plentiful and the landscape is spooky and ethereal. Some of the images of Marbella <INSERT LINK TO 10 Amazing Flickr Images of Marbella> underwater are just incredible.
What's particularly interesting about Roqueillos is that because it's so close to the Straits of Gibraltar, there's an influx of water from the Atlantic, where it meets the Mediterranean. This is partly the reason why the currents can be so unpredictable, but species of fish found in the two separate bodies of water can both be found here, a very unique phenomenon.