SCUBA DIVING PORTUGAL
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
This is absolutely the best of the best diving in Portugal. You are going to dive in 4 different locations: starting by the Porto region, you'll drive south to experience the unbelievable Berlengas Archipelago, dive in Sesimbra, try the unique Fonte da Telha dive spots, and finally, end up on the Ocean Revival Park. All this discovering always the best spots and dive with the the finest diving centers.
You will arrive at the Porto Francisco Sa Carneiro International Airport (OPO). and proceed to your 4-star hotel. At around 8:00 PM your Portugal Dive Buddy will meet you at the hotel reception. He will brief you on what will happen during this fantastic diving trip that is now starting, providing useful information and answering any questions you may have. He will also give you the Portugal Dive hoodies, that we hope you’ll wear during the entire trip.
Porto is the capital and gateway to the north of Portugal, and both the city that provided a nation with a name and a fortified wine known world-wide: Port wine. With its splendid geographical location on the mouth of the river Douro and architectural heritage of exceptional quality, UNESCO declared the historic centre of Porto as World Heritage in 1996. Porto is the capital of the North and the second-largest city in the country; its hard-working inhabitants are noted for their commercial enterprise, always standing firm against outside impositions and foreign invaders, which explains why Porto has become known as the «unvanquished» city.
$2,810 US or 2,318 euro
10% discount with LoveScuba
WHAT'S THE DIVING PLAN
13 days, 19 boat dives, the ultimate Diving in Portugal pack
Portugal from Top to Bottom. This means Matosinhos, Peniche, Sesimbra, and Algarve - Portimão
Porto, the Berlengas Archipelago, Sesimbra, Fonte da Telha and Praia da Rocha - the Ocean Revival Park
WHAT ELSE DO YOU GET?
Thirteen days/ twelve nights in 4-star hotel, room for 2, continental breakfast
Nine days diving, nineteen dives (Recreational, boat dives)
Tanks – AIR
Car with GPS for the whole trip (13 days)
Welcome briefing 1st night at the hotel
Portugal Dive hoodie
Port Wine Tasting in Porto
Portugal Dive Private Tour in Lisbon
Dinner at a Fado Restaurant in Lisbon
All packages include local support during your stay.
HOTELS & APARTMENTS
First-day Diving; People tend to leave the best for last? Don’t count on that. You will start by the most iconic dive in Portuguese waters, the U-boat 1277.
U Boat - 1277 is a WWII shipwreck. She was a German submarine Type VIIC/41 from the Kriegsmarine. On 3rd June 1945, she was scuttled by her crew to avoid the capture of the submarine by the Allies.
The wreck of U boat -1277 is located in a North-West direction from Oporto, 2 miles offshore way, laying at a depth of 31mts.
Small white anemones (Sargatia elegans) cover the hull of the submarine, thousands of pouts, the largest congres in these waters, big and curious octopuses, fantastic lobsters and the magnificent pink anemone community, are some of the natural attractions of this wreck.
After the dives on this first day, we invite you to attend a Port Wine Tasting experience. But don’t drink too much, though. This one is a dive trip and tomorrow you have to wake up early to drive south to Peniche.
DAY 3 & 4
Peniche, Berlengas Archipelago;
Your base for the next couple of days is Peniche, and you will be diving in the fantastic Berlengas Archipelago. You will not believe you’re diving European Continental waters. But yes, you are.
Located opposite Peniche, the Archipelago consists of 3 groups of small islands: Berlenga Grande (the only inhabited one, that can be visited by boat from Peniche) and the nearby reefs, Estelas and Farilhões-Forcadas; their geological nature is different from that of the Portuguese coast.
The Islands have their particular fauna and flora, with characteristics that make their ecosystem unique in the world, the importance of which was recognised by the creation of the Berlenga Nature Reserve in 1981.
“Parede de Rabo de Asno” is the dive that everybody wants to do (its name translated into English: Donkeys Tail Wall).
The rock is famous for its wall covered with red Gorgonians and for its cave. Its bright blue waters make the wall similar to a coral wall as we usually find in the tropical seas. In certain parts, the density of the Gorgonias covers the rock completely; inside the cave, we can still find walls lined with Gorgonians and the shoals of Pouts sometimes cover the sight. A beautiful sight!
It is a dive with usual currents which brings pelagics to feed along the wall. In the extremities of the rock, there is usually seabream, and it is also possible to see mola-mola.
Lisbon is Portugal's capital and the hub of a multifaceted area that appeals to different tastes and senses.
In a city that has been influenced by many different far-off cultures over time, there is still a village feel in each historic neighbourhood.
Your Portugal Dive Buddy will take you on a stroll through the Pombaline grid of streets in the Baixa district that opens on to the Tagus in Praça do Comércio, then follow the river to discover some of the city’s most beautiful parts: the Cais do Sodre, the monumental area of Belém with its World Heritage monuments, to come back afterwards to the mediaeval quarters on the hill we call Alfama.
And you’ll end up the day having dinner at a Fado Restaurant. Your Portugal Dive Buddy will invite you to listen to sounds that evoke the Portuguese soul. Fado is melancholic with mourning voices expressing longing and is always accompanied by an acoustic and a Portuguese guitar.
A national symbol and included in UNESCO’s list of World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, beyond the music, Fado is a sensory experience, a journey through history, art and the gastronomy of Portugal. One more experience you'll never forget.
DAYS 6, 7 AND 8
These blue waters are waiting for you. And if you want to take a specialty course while your holiday's buddy is diving, don't waste the opportunity to become certified as you need to be...
For the next three days you will be diving in the Sesimbra Marine Reserve.
For Portuguese divers Sesimbra is a kind of sanctuary – some call it the “Mecca” of Portugal Diving – because of everything you find underwater but also because of its location and morphology; the perfect match for a site where you dive over 330 days, on average, each year.
Sesimbra, formerly a fishing town set in a sheltered bay, was founded on the hilltop around the Moorish castle that Dom Afonso Henriques (the first King of Portugal) captured to the Moors in 1165.
Sesimbra's wealth of seafood persuaded the population to go down the hill and explore the neighbourhood, turning this town into one of the region's main fishing ports. It was the sea too that during the 20th century has attracted outsiders in search of the excellent sheltered beaches with prime conditions for water sports and diving, making this peaceful place a busy summer resort.
Jardim das Gorgonias (Garden of the Gorgonians) is one of the most popular dive spots in the area, because of the diversity of life and easy orientation. In the descent, a group of seabreams accompanies the divers, seeming to guide the “guests” to their territory. Reaching the bottom, 15.5 meters, you face the primary rock, while on the rock floor some soft corals and gorgonians dance with the flow. If you look carefully, you will see some fish that lurk among the corals or are merely sleeping. This rock has several holes and cracks; each one is full of life: forkbeard fish, octopuses, morays, not to mention the diversity of sponges, anemones, algae and lots of sea stars in different colours.
Here we can also find a huge variety of nudibranchs, so, if you are a fan, the camera is indispensable! The best time is between April and September, although some species are all year round.
The most popular course is to have the rock on our left side and round it, taking into account that the northside of the stone is less deep; therefore, you can have a longer dive. When following this path, it is possible to see cuttlefish, pipefish, white seabream, several species of corals soft and hard, mixed with schools of fish. If you look carefully, you can see some zeus faber, hiding in disguise...
Please take into account that when rounding the rock on our right side there is a large sand area. Look steadily for hiding flounders, stingrays and other creatures.
When the dive has ended, the seabreams will be escorting you again, halfway to the surface. Once again we advise: keep the camera ON and ready!
Fonte da Telha;
Day nine will be the day you go further south, to the Algarve. But this is also the day to go diving at Fonte da Telha, a beautiful beach south of Lisbon, and a unique opportunity in Portugal because although this is a country with numerous beaches, this is the only dive centre, with its entire operation on the beach.
Pedra da Lagoa, or Lagoon Stone, is one of the most appreciated dives at Fonte da Telha for the life that it attracts. Usually, there is some current and also for that, this is considered a dive for experienced divers that should know how to behave in such conditions.
The average visibility is 10 meters, and the maximum depth is of 30 meters. This spot consists of two stones that are about 20 to 30 meters apart. As we approach the most massive stone, seabreams surround the divers, while triggerfish and schools of pouts swim by you.
This stone has canyon forming shelves where you can see lobsters, rock crabs, Mediterranean slipper lobsters, octopuses and many congers. The rocks are full of life; yellow, red, orange and purple are predominant colours due to the various species of sponges, soft corals, and starfish urchins. For this reason, some consider the "Lagoon Stone" (translated from the Portuguese) the dive where one can observe more species and with a greater diversity of life, in mainland Portugal.
DAYS 10 & 11
Algarve, Praia da Rocha;
Located by the mouth of the Arade river, Rocha Beach extends over a vast area of sand, some 3 kilometres long, irregularly broken up by odd rock formations that the sea has been carving out throughout tens of thousands of years. Bathed by a calm and warm sea that provides for risk-free swimming, Rocha Beach houses many facilities for some different sports, including the Ocean Revival Park. You will stay here for the last part of your trip, diving the wrecks of the Ocean Revival, and enjoying everything else the Rocha Beach has to offer.
Algarve is universally recognised as one of the best destinations in the world for those who wish to go to the beach and have lots of fun. Now, you're about to find out that it can be also, for diving.
The “Comandante Hermenegildo Capelo Frigate" is the second frigate in a group of four ships ordered in 1964 by the Portuguese Navy. From the point when it was brought into active service for the Portuguese Navy on 26th April 1968, it took part in several missions in Africa, in various national and international exercises, search and rescue missions and also inspection of the exclusive economic zone. It also undertook voyages for the instruction of naval college trainees. This shipwreck is part of the Ocean Revival Project
The Ocean Revival Project was born with the intent of promoting Algarve's underwater tourism, making it an exceptional destination. Other three ships make part of this project: "Corveta Oliveira e Carmo", "Patrulha Zambeze" and "Navio Hidrográfico Almeida e Carvalho". The Ocean Revival Park is a group of shipwrecks worth being explored!
The lower decks are only accessible to experienced divers as it is necessary to have reasonable buoyancy control not to raise sediments. However, there is still a lot to explore on the superior decks. There you will find lots of life. You can observe several schools of fish, namely triggerfish and seabreams, that act almost like "dive guides" as they accompany us throughout the entire dive. They are the actual hosts of these wrecks!
And on the twelveth day, you rest. Yes, it’s surface interval day — time to enjoy a little more of the Algarve. Our recommendation, go to Sagres and enjoy the site where many centuries ago Portuguese sailors departed to the discovery of new land like the one we call today, Brazil.
Time to say goodbye. You will go to the Faro International Airport (FAO), and start thinking on your next dive trip to Portugal.