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Scubadiving on the Portuguese Island Madeira

Updated on March 6, 2015

Facts about Madeira

The Madeira Archipelago consists of the islands Madeira, Porto Santo and the uninhabited islands of Selvagens and Desertas. The island of Madeira is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and lies closer to Africa than Europe which brings the island subtropical temperatures with 25°C on average in the summer and 17°C in the winter as well as a moderate level of humidity. Madeira is a natural paradise with primeval forests, desert-like hiking trails, cliffs and an amazing underwater world with crystal-clear waters that are home to an underwater national park. The Gulf Stream is responsible for warm water temperatures that vary between 18°C in the winter and 25°C in the summer. For these reasons and the island’s diversity of species and its abundant fish life, Madeira is a popular and sought after diving location.

The Madeira Diving Center

You will find one the best diving opportunities in Canico de Baixo which is the fastest growing community of Madeira and lies at the Eastern coast at elevations of 0 to 400 meters. At this fantastic bay, the Madeira Diving Center reopened in 2012 offering interesting discounts and its own holiday apartments. The Diving Center is managed by Felix Waschkewitz and Alice Allgeyer, two certified scuba diving specialists who have a professional diving team at their disposal including their own photographers. They know the ocean by heart and can show you the underwater world and its astonishing Mediterranean species such as the rare toad fish, triggerfishes, puffer fishes, Canarian lobsterettes, big amber mackerels, various species of prawns, forkbeards and slipper lobsters. Once in a while you can even marvel at a large Mediterranean monk seal.

Seahorse at the housereef

Housereef dives

The Madeira Diving Center has a beautiful house reef inside the Bay of Reis Magos with three different diving locations that feature steep walls, tunnels and a rich variety of flora and fauna. You can admire seahorses and toad fishes.

At the Siebengebirge, gigantic rocks form caves and represent the ideal shelter for the house reef inhabitants. 1.5m tame groupers have had their territory here for many years and large schools of fish are our constant companions. From September to April, the yellow grouper pays the Siebengebirge a visit. Big amber mackerels and barracudas make their rounds in the open water.

The Cape of Garajau features a long steep wall with a length of 400m and a depth of 27m. This is where you will the biggest grouper known by the diving center. Triggerfishes and puffer fishes confirm the subtropical character of the Eastern Atlantic. At the foot of the steep wall, you can often see several brown stingrays. This is where night dives take place for those interested in discovering the Madeiran paradise in the dark.

The megalithic tomb consists of three large rocks that are covered by a thick ledge. At this spot you can see groupers, rays and other marine surprises.

Boat trips

Boat tours are organized to the T-Reef that has 30m high pyramids covered with Yellow Cluster Anemones. The main attraction is schools of triggerfish and large shoals of barracudas as well as four moray species and sting rays.

The diving center also takes you to an amazing cave where you can watch reef lobsters, different types of prawns, forkbeards and slipper lopsters. At the end of the cave you can dive up into an air-dome.

Felix and his crew will also take you to the 3 canyons of Gabo Girao where no other diving centers dive. They start at depths of 14-20 to 30 meters. At this location you can marvel at stingrays, big amber mackerels, groupers and barracudas.

Diving courses

Courses are for beginners as well as advanced and professional divers. They include test dives, CMAS*/PADI OWD, PADI AOWD, C​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MAS/CMAS, PADI Rescue and PADI Divemaster (on request).

Special offers include:

  • Every 5th dive is free
  • Free transfer from your hotels to the diving center
  • 5% early bird discount when booking up to 30 days before your arrival
  • Special conditions for divers who stay at the diving center's holiday apartments

Mediterranean monk seal

Holiday apartments

One of the great holiday apartments offered by the diving center is the holiday apartment Sunshine. It is located a few meters away from the sea and the scuba diving base. It features a bedroom for two people and a sleeping possibility for a third person in the living room. The kitchen has a micro-wave, a stove with four plates, a coffee machine and a serving hatch to the living room. The living room is equipped with a TV and a radio. If you wish to be picked up from the airport, the transfer amounts to 20 Euros. The price per day is 55 euros for 2 people plus 50 euros for the final cleaning. The owner of the apartment can additionally help you find the cheapest flight and inquire prices for car rentals.

Only a flight and a dive away

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, take a flight and discover the beautiful eco-paradise of Madeira. You won’t regret it.

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    • Jennifer Madison profile image
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      Jennifer Madison 5 years ago from Lohmar

      Yes, scuba diving is definitely amazing. I loved diving at the bay of Reis Magos and seeing the beautiful marine paradise with all its wonderful innocent creatures. It was a dream come true!

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Wonderful information and amazing images! Scuba diving must be an beautiful experience. I always think of the most famous Italian designer that lives in a small cozy house, snorkels to the bottom and lays in the swaying watery grass. (He is a philosopher too, amazing man very in touch with people)