Scuba Diving around the area of Calpe is primarily focused around the Penon de Ifach – a towering rock stretching out into the Mediterranean Sea, which is visible from Benidorm to Moraira and for miles around. At the Penon de Ifach there are several dive sites from the shallow shore dive at Pebble Beach to the beautiful Arches at Los Arcos and all the sites in between. The temperature in the water ranges from 27ºC in the summer to 13ºC in the winter.
Fish life is abundant around the Calpe area as the Penon is a protected area. During the months of May through October we regularly see eagle rays, sting-rays, large schools of barracuda and sometimes if we are lucky the odd shaped Ocean Sunfish. Amongst the many other species, our all year round residents include octopus, moray and conger eels, Thornback rays, groupers, scorpion fish, large schools of cow bream and damselfish.
The area of Calpe enjoys good visibility within a range of 10m-40m with an average visibility of 20m. There are several dive sites within a 5-10 minute boat ride of the various ports around Calpe and double that amount within a 45 minute boat trip. All of the diving around the area is very scenic with wall dives, arches and swim-throughs as well as some impressive caves and caverns.
For those new to diving, or those who prefer the shallower, more relaxing dives we have a few shore dives including the tranquil bay and wall dive at Les Basetes port, maximum depth of 6m and various boat dives including Los Arcos and Flatrock.
The dive site at Los Arcos has evolved over hundreds of years to become the favourite that it is today. In the past boulders have fallen from the Penon de Ifach forming a maze of arches and swim-throughs encrusted with soft corals and anemones. At this site you will usually find large schools of the smaller local residents – damselfish, wrasse and sea-bream. If you look closely among the rocks you can find octopus, moray eels and scorpion fish.
The dive site of Flatrock runs along the shore line of the Southern side of the Penon and has a jumble of large rocks exploding with fish life. Anything from dive-bombing cow bream feeding from the plentiful Neptune grass to schools of stripped barracuda up to two or three hundred in number. This site starts at around 5m and drops down a slow sloping ledge to around 25m where the elusive Sunfish can sometimes be seen.
For the more experienced and adventurous divers there are many deeper dives around the Calpe area to a depth of 35m. At Toix, the headland South of Calpe there are some impressive cave and cavern dives and another cave dive at Cumbre Del Sol to the North of Moraira
At the tip of the Penon de Ifach there is a 30m dive – The Bowl. This site can only be dived when the sea is calm. The dive starts in a cave at the point of the Penon and continues through a swim through to an area of the rock carved out by the sea to form a perfect soup bowl into which 4 to 5 divers can fit. In this area lots of the larger fish congregate including wrasse, grouper and from time-to-time barracuda.
The south side of the Toix headland is very interesting with numerous caves and caverns – most can be entered with ease although this dive is recommended only for experienced divers. Torches are essential here as in some of the caves there is no natural light. As well as the caves, this site offers a wall dive with many swim throughs coated with soft corals.
Cumbre Del Sol is a popular cave dive. At the beginning of the dive you can swim through a wide, low cave opening and surface inside the open air cave. From there you dive back out of the cave entrance and follow the wall along until you reach a second cave. This is a very large entry which takes you into the cave where a fresh water river pours into the sea. As you surface in this cave you come up through salt water into the fresh water. This sits on top of the salt water forming a salicline and is like travelling through an underwater fog
Our thanks for this introduction to the underwater world of Calpe to Del and Petra of the Les Basetes Dive Centre in Calpe.