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Snorkeling Athens/Hydra/Nafplio/Crete

Has anyone got any experience with this? My friend and I are interested in shallow water snorkeling and will be in Athens, Hydra, Nafplio, and Crete (Chania) for about 2 weeks. We would appreciate knowing any favored locations around , plus excursion companies or guides. We will rent equipment there. We will have a car, so driving is not a problem. Thank you!

Posted by
5311 posts

It has been a decade or so, but I have snorkeled on Mykonos, Crete, and a few other small islands. I do not recall any dive type shops, but I would start by looking for those, or water sports places.

I will say that snorkeling there is nothing like Mexico or the Grand Caymans. Many less fish, no real reefs, more rocks, lots of urchins, more a pleasant time swimming than destination snorkeling, probably why there are not tons of dive shops. I used to take my own gear, a bit of a luggage splurge, but worth it at the time.

Posted by
2568 posts

Layni, you have to recognize that the Mediterranean is NOT the Caribbean. First of all, there is no coral ... so there are not the reefs that contribute to underwater color and fish life, and also less undersea grasses. Also, the Caribbean opens up to the huge Atlantic ocean, so has the incoming fish life if its own fish life is disrupted for any reason.

By contrast, the mediterranean/Aegean is a closed (and smaller and shallower) basin ... it is shallow enough that it doesn't even have tides. Did you know that? And because it is smaller, and surrounded by many MAJOR countries who depended upon it for (seafood) protein, in times of disaster, it could become terribly "over-fished." After WW II, countries on this sea were full of starving people (the Nazis took so much food from Greece that 250,000 people died from Starvation in Athens alone). there were no farm animals left, not even chickens. All surrounding countries fished desperately for protein, to live. The major large fish species -- the ones that take years to grow - never recovered. So you will see few fish when you snorkel in Greece. What the Aegean DOES have is beautiful clear blue water, in many shades of teal & aquamarine. Being washed on all sides, the islands have very clean waters... 90% of its beaches win the sought-after "Blue Flag" designation. So... enjoy the water itself.

Posted by
101 posts

Thanks @Christschieder for the pointer! Thanks @Paul and @Janet - I knew from looking at all the photos & videos that we are unlikely to see anything beyond rocks & sea urchins, but I did not know the reason, so I appreciate the information! We will likely check out the beach Christschieder pointed out and probably try snorkeling there anyway.

Posted by
1 posts

Think about how many people have been using that rental snorkel equipment while cases have been soaring, and how willing you are to bet the risk of getting quarantined for 10 - 14 days on the employee who really doesn't care if you can't fly home because he or she didn't sanitize the equipment thoroughly enough. Not a bet I would be willing to make, but it's your call.

Posted by
3893 posts

If you have your own snorkeling equipment consider taking it. I have a lot more fun snorkeling when I have my own good equipment that fits me. A mask and snorkel does not take up that much room. If you feel you need fins (if there is current or you are not a strong swimmer) maybe just rent the fins. If you do rent, I wouldn't be that concerned about COVID on the equipment, but you could watch how they handle it between customers.

Posted by
62 posts


I did not know the history Janet shared, but she is right about the lack of fish. I saw very little sealife while snorkeling - unlike the Caribbean. Also Alyssa53 makes a good point about renting equipment. I brought my own mask and snorkel. Given COVID risk you might want to do the same (renting fins is not risky)