CRETE – AGIA PELAGIA

7 DAYS / 10 BOAT DIVES IN CRETE FROM 700€

Agia Pelagia is a small coastal town with a lovely beach 20 kilometres west of Heraklion, as the national road drifts high above the coastline. At least twice in past times Agia Pelagia has been destroyed and washed into the sea. Once was probably due to a seismic sea wave from the earthquake that created Santorini. Before 1965 there was almost nothing in Agia Pelagia, which was a small port from where they transferred wood and coal to Heraklion.
The large deep cove of Agia Pelagia itself is surrounded by the smaller Ligaria Cove on the east and Mononaftis Bay on the west. The picturesque white buildings, the bluish-green of the Mediterranean and the varying shades from sandy brown to lush green along the shore, create a landscape of rare beauty. Agia Pelagia is an awe-inspiring example of the beauty of Cretan Nature and it’s almost impossible to resist taking a closer look.

Indicative package from 700

DAY 1

Transfer to the hotel for check in. Welcome and a short briefing about the schedule.

DAY 2

Two morning wreck dives!The first dive is at the Cargo Shipwreck, depending on the weather conditions, is 30 to 40 minutes away from our dive center by boat. Our boat anchors inside a small bay, in 20 meters depth. We start our dive from 5 meters where we can find the first smaller parts of the cargo ship, which is broken in half. We then descend directly to 22 meters where a big portion of the hall of the ship creates an approximately 15 meter long swim through. After passing underneath the big metal panel we can see the rear end of the ship lying at the depth of 37 meters. The ship sits on its left side and comes up to 27 meters. This part is approximately 30 meters long and it is almost intact, meaning that most of its mechanical components like a crane, most of the bridge and a siren/bell, and even some glass windows are still there. Unfortunately there is no access to the inside of the ship but most of the functional part of it is still visible from the outside. After spending a few minutes at the wreck we move towards  the reef, where we stay between 10 and 14 meters while swimming back to our boat. On this shallower side of the reef we meet many broken pieces of the ship and its equipment, as well as one of the big cleats which was used for docking the ship. From that point we ascent at 5 meters depth, where we do our safety stop, before we reach again the surface. At this dive site we usually encounter big groupers, large schools of sardines, seabreams and damselfish, and a few different kinds of nudibranchs.

The second dive site is at the Steamboat Shipwreck which is 20 minutes away from the Cargo Shipwreck and is located in a beautiful bay with crystal clear water, with visibility up to 40 meters. The reef starts at 5 meters where it forms a big plateau and with sides sloping down to the depth of 20 meters on the west side and 50 on the east. The steam boat is located on the west side of the reef, starts at 10 meters and gradually goes down to 19. It is approximately 5-6 meters wide and 25 meters long. This ship was made of wood, but since it is more than 130 years old, we can only see its metal frame, the front part where the coal engine used to be and a metal ladder, which lets us imagine its former shape and beauty. Around the wreck we can still find many pieces of coal, and on the framework we usually find plenty of nudibranchs and some octopuses and bigger fish. After the wreck we move along to see the rest of the beautiful reef, at depths between 18 and 12 meters. This part of the reef hosts some very big sponges, groupers, moray eels and larger schools of fish. Also on this particular part of the island lives the Big synaptid sea cucumber (Family Synaptidae), which we can see on shallower water and they can be as long as 50 cm. Heading eastward over the reef we can also see many broken pieces of ancient potteries. The safety stop starts at the top of the steep slope which goes down to 50 meters, creating a beautiful scenery, and we end our dive in the beautiful turquoise water of the shallow bay.

DAY 3

Two morning cave dives! The first dive begins descending next to the wall in the blue waters of El Greco. We arrive at the entrance of this fascinating marine cave at a depth of 17 meters. The cave is approximately 30 meters in length, with an opening height 8 meters and width 5 meters and core height and depth of approximately 7 meters. This gradual passage into the cave, allows both new and experienced cavern divers, time to adjust to their new environment and enjoy an amazing sight for the eyes as we encounter the incredible variety of colorful fauna and flora it has to offer. Beautiful stalagmites and stalactites can be found. On other places fresh water is floating in from the ceiling and creates a really fascinating optical iridescence when coming in contact with the saltwater.At the rear end you will find a vertical siphon (opening). By using a rope you ascend through the tunnel until you reach the cave’s top which includes an air-filled room. You can even have a sit-down here and enjoy the fascinating view! This cave is also an ideal start for experienced advanced divers, with experience in night diving, who are interested in cave-diving: The big size of this cave permits the simultaneous entrance to at least 8 divers. The straight course through the cave allows constant optical contact to the exit, almost from every point inside the cave. The bottom consists of hard stone-sand, so the visibility stays clear of whirled up sand. There is no danger for the diver to get trapped or entangled. We finish our dive outside of the cave, where the reef and the vertical wall next to it, has a lot to offer us!

Our second dive is West of the Agia Pelagia dive center the boat anchors right in front of the Blue cave’s entrance. Even before entering the water, the divers are already impressed of the huge rocky wall, which extends vertically from the surface up to 100 meters.
Depending on the diver’s experience the maximum depth of this dive varies between 22 to 31 meters. Directly in front of the cave are several large rocks and a reef offering an attractive living space for the white bream, jack fish and snappers that inhabit the area. The vegetation is also very beautiful with an impressive variety of sponges and red and soft coral. April through June also sees the area become “home” to a number of Lobsters.
As we dive closer towards the cave’s entrance the wall around it is full of small holes and cavities where – in the light of the torch – the divers can observe shells, shrimps, plants and other marine organisms.
We enter the cave at a depth of 12 meters. The cave’s width is 11 meters and its length is 15 meters. The ceiling of the cave’s entrance-hall is so high that it breaks through the surface and we can see the waves crashing in above us. The amazing colors of the typical flora and fauna of the cave can be observed in the shine of the torches lights.
The cave’s rear end is so narrow, only one diver can stay there with comfort. At this final core point of the cave, the salt water of the sea meets the fresh water coming into the cave and you can look up through the fabulous halocline at beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.
For the more experienced diver, nature offers a nice surprise: there is a siphon on the cave’s right side, which follows a semicircular course of 15 meters and leads the divers behind the wall into another hall which is big enough for four divers. In this hall area we can peer back out through small openings in the cave wall permitting us to have a wonderful ‘room with a view’ in the deep blue of the open sea…a sight not to be missed!
This is a very impressive dive site for all divers; except the “siphon” which can obviously only be offered to the experienced diver. The siphon, like the cave, has no entanglement possibilities or any other kind of danger.

DAY 4

First dive of the day is at a 27 meters depth dive where we can see the big ring of an Ancient Anchor standing majestically upright from the sea bed. The anchor dates over 400 years old and with a span of 3 meters in height and two meters in width it makes for impressive viewing. On this course large groupers, striped groupers and the ever curious snappers accompany the divers from a close distance. A striking grouper of 1.1 meters length has its territory around the giant residue. We call him “the guard of the anchor” (or Bruno, when he’s not working!) and he probably knows everything about its mystic history. Divers and the fish often observe each other curiously up to a distance of 5 meters.
As if these highlights were not enough, the scenery around “Big Anchor” is also stunningly beautiful. At a depth of around 33 meters you will find huge sponges, parts of broken amphorae and continue to enjoy impromptu interactions with snappers, which come seem to appear from nowhere, just to satisfy their own curiosity. A great variety of plants and beautiful fish (sometimes even Spanish Dancers) find their living place in and alongside the reef at “Big Anchor”.

The second dive of the day is at Dia’s Rock which is located in a small bay, 1.5 nautical miles away from our dive center in Agia Pelagia. The reef inside of the bay is gradually going from 5 meters down to 18, and on the outside it creates a slope which starts at 8 meters and can go up to 25 meters deep.
Our boat anchors close to the shore in shallow and calm waters, at the depth of 5 meters, making our descent very easy. We start our dive following the reef which leads us towards the corner of the bay at a depth of 18 meters. Just before the corner at the depth of 16 meters, under a rock there are small metallic parts and the shell of a mine from World War II. After the mine we turn outside of the bay which leads us to a place with many cavities where we can find groupers and moray eels. This corner is the home of many sardines, sea breams and damselfish which many times form a beautiful cloud of different colors.
On the deeper part of the reef we can usually spot larger groupers, dentex and other larger fish hunting for their pray. As soon as we start heading back to the boat we start ascending to shallower water coming closer to the wall of the reef at 12 meters. This is the spot where we meet again with the large groups of smaller fish as well as crabs, nudibranch and occasionally trumpet fish and barracudas. We end our dive conducting the safety stop underneath our boat in the crystal clear water of this beautiful bay, where we can find octopus hiding in small holes in the rocks.

DAY 5

First dive of the day is at Lygaria. This is one of the most beautiful dive sites in our area and just 0.8 nautical miles away from our dive center in Agia Pelagia. Our dive is conducted around the small peninsula of the area Lygaria and it offers a great biodiversity with large amounts of small and bigger fish as well.
The reef around the peninsula forms different levels, something like “steps”, starting at 6 meters, where we anchor our boat, then 12 and finally at 18 meters. The deepest part of this dive site is at 24 meters which is in the North-West side, on the corner of the reef. After turning around the corner we move closer and parallel to the wall at a depth of 14 meters where we meet a swim through. The swim through is a place where we can see moray eels, crabs, scorpion fish and depending on the season we occasionally see lobsters. The entrance of this tunnel is at 14 meters and the exit is at 8. It is wide enough to fit one person at a time passing through safely. It is one of the most exciting parts of this dive site and it is easy enough even for divers with minimum experience.
After exiting the swim through we follow the same way back to our boat but in shallower water. On the way back we stay between 10 and 12 meters close to the wall of the reef, which is the part where we meet with many small fish like damselfish, different kinds of sea bream, and occasionally bigger fish like amberjacks, which form large groups and are a pleasant company close to the end of our dive. Just before we arrive back to our boat and do our safety stop, we can see 3 bombs from World War II which lay at 11 meters depth.
All along our dive we also meet with groupers of different sizes, moray eels, anemones, different kinds of nudibranchs and inside the many small and bigger holes we can see crabs, lobsters, scorpion fish and octopus and colonies of small red corals.

Second dive at Daedalus! At 22 meters depth we meet the first huge rock which, with a height of 14 meters and a perimeter of 30 meters, plays host to an abundance of aquatic life.
By using a torch we can see a lot of animals and plants inside the rock’s cavities: shrimps, crabs, small lobsters, octopus, sea anemones, etc. The following course along the reef at Daedalus is very impressive. We dive in a maximum depth of 27 meters. From here parts of the reef extend high up to the surface, this way a charming mountain-like contour rises above the divers who are continuing on their course along the marine valleys. Among the reef we meet groupers, snappers, bluefin trevally, octopus, morays, schools of small Mediterranean fish, and lot of different kinds of sponges.
A special course at this dive site is also offered to the inexperienced diver. Here the divers are carefully guided along a path where the depth slowly increases to a maximum of 18 meters.

DAY 6

First dive of the day is at the wreck of the German Warplane Messerscmitt. The wreck is found lying upside down, broken into several pieces. The wings and fuselage are intact and you can see inside the cockpit. One of the machine guns is clearly visible & one of the ammunition belts, lies on the sea bed. One wheel is still attached, and the other lies a few meters from the wreck. The tail of the plane was evidently sheared off upon impact as it can be found some 50 meters away from the fuselage at a slightly deeper depth of 30 meters. The exact cause of the crash is yet to be discovered. Over the years the wreck has gradually built up a blanket of plant life and become host to large groupers and moray eels. The area surrounding the wreck is sandy, but there is a small reef about 20 meters away, at a depth of 24 meters.
Due to the depth and the difficult diving conditions on this dive site, it is recommended for experienced divers only!

Second dive at Lucky Reef! This reef has an excellent morphology with canyons and safe caves full of holes that a lot of marine life finds shelter. Divers that participate on this dive never get bored to do again and again this dive.
School of fishes, nudibrands, sponges, octopuses, groupers, moray eels are part of the marine life on this dive.

DAY 7

No Dive – Decompression Day.

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Inclusions:

– 6 nights at the in dbl room with breakfast. Website: https://www.perla-apartments.com
– 10 Boat Dives (2 per day). Tanks & weights included. (Diving sites: Cargo boat wreck, caverns, walls and Reefs).
– All dives are guided by Scuba Hellas expert divers & Accociates.
– All rates are quoted for a minimum of 8 pax in dbl sharing rooms.

* Itineraries and scheduled dives are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including weather and sea conditions.

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