Scuba Diving in Portugal
The diving around Lisbon is regarded as some of the best in Portugal, particularly in Sesimbra, just south of the city. From wrecks to reefs and drifts to deep dives, Lisbon has a little bit of something for every level of diver. There are two main diving areas near the capital city. Those are Sesimbra and Fonte de Telha.
The first, and possibly most famous, dive area is Sesimbra. Here divers will find the Arrábida National Park, Cabo Espichel and the Luiz Saldanha Marine Park. To the east of the fishing village, the underwater world provides a hatchery for many species and is great for macro photography. Arrábida National Park and its attached marine park are famous for sheer cliffs and colder waters that attract a variety of stingrays and squid. Finally, Cabo Espichel to the east of Sesimbra is home to a fantastic wreck. The River Gurara was a Nigerian cargo ship. Today it sits within recreational limits. Although it is not intact, large pieces can be found by divers, including the ship’s massive propellers.
The second area is a bit closer to Lisbon and instead of facing a protected harbor like Sesimbra, Fonte de Telha faces out to the Atlantic Ocean. The area is populated with rocky reefs dotted among its sandy bottom. If you are lucky, you might find a pod of curious dolphins or even a solitary sun fish during a dive in the area. For technical divers, the many wrecks near Fonte de Telha lie below recreational limits.
The climate is mild throughout the year, ensuring that diving is possible year-round. The rainy months are November and December while the time of year with the fewest days with rainfall is from April to September. Air temperatures range from 54-74°F (12-24℃). During certain seasons, water temperatures may necessitate a semi-dry suit, so be sure to check the monthly averages before your trip. Water temperatures average from 55-75°F (13-24℃). While you may not visit Lisbon explicitly for the diving, you won’t be disappointed when you jump in the water and discover the fantastic scenes on the seafloor.
Escola de Mergulho de Lisboa (meaning, the Lisbon Diving School) is headquartered both in Portugal and in Porto de Sesimbra. Most of the diving sites it explores are scattered from Cabo Espichel (to the west) to Baia da Armacao (several kilometers east of Sesimbra). Lessons are organized for sundry levels of experience (juniors, to rescue divers).
Dive Club Cipreia takes pride in being the first Portuguese company fully dedicated to leisure diving. There’s an entire range of diving lessons made available for all age categories (children under 10 included) and technical categories alike. The center complements its diving-related services with navigation lessons. Dive Club Cipreia is a PADI IDC 5 Star center, and teaches all PADI levels, from Scuba Diver to Instructor.