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Explore Europe: 7 Top Places to Go Lake and Quarry Diving

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Scuba divers and freedivers are drawn to the world’s oceans but there is so much to be explored inland. Throughout Europe, there are stunning places to try lake and quarry diving. Imagine lakes surrounded by mountains and forests, offering clear freshwater dives in calm waters. Disused quarries that are now filled with water are waiting for divers to discover the hidden treasure in their depths. 

Have you tried lake or quarry diving yet? Get inspired with our 7 best quarry and lake dives across Europe.

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Go lake and quarry diving at these top dive spots:

1.Lake Stechlin, Germany.

Lake Stechlin is the deepest lake in the northeast state of Brandenburg, with a maximum depth of 69.5m (228 feet). Natural light illuminates the surface water of this lake, with visibility reaching 10 meters (32 feet). 

If you are going diving in Germany, do not miss this dive site – the water of this lake is so clean you could drink it! But the clear waters are best enjoyed as a diver. There is abundant flora in the lake, and you can spot numerous fish darting among the plant life.

The average water temperature is 8.5°C (47°F), with temperatures dropping to below freezing in the winter but peaking at 16.5°C (62°F) in August. For those with a watchful eye, crabs and spotted eels can be seen in the lake. Large numbers of Fontane’s cisco can also be seen along with perch, pike and roach fish.

There is a dive center a short walk from the shore and its high visibility means freedivers can test their depth performance before hitting the cooler temperature of the deep. 

2. Delphy Pool, England.

In the southwest corner of England, at the British surfing capital of Cornwall, is Delphy Pool. This in-land granite quarry is 37 meters (121 feet) deep and offers daily scuba diving and freediving courses.

The consistently calm waters make it a great place to go quarry diving all year, regardless of the unpredictable British weather. Water temperatures can reach 20°C (68°F) in the summer and go down to 5°C (41°F) in the winter. Fortunately, the on-site facilities include hot showers with heated changing rooms and even a hot tub.

Delphy Pool also hosts special cold-water events with access to a sauna; to not only embrace the incredible diving but to restore your body’s health. For those divers who want to build their skills in a specially designed environment, Delphy Pool is not to be missed.

And while you are diving in Cornwall, make sure you visit nearby Padstow. This charming fishing village is the undisputed foodie capital of Cornwall and hosts remarkable chefs and eateries.

3. Capo D’Acqua Lake, Italy.

You can dive deep at high altitudes when visiting Capo D’Acqua Lake in Italy. The excellent visibility of this man-made lake allows divers to explore ruins, spot marine life, and effortlessly bask in the beauty of this protected location. 

Temperatures vary from 15°C (59°F) to 26°C (79°F) and water visibility is at its peak from spring until fall at 40 meters (131 meters). Located in the Province of Potenza, you must seek permission to access this site and it is surrounded by stunning mountainous scenery. 

The factory walls of an old mill, which was submerged when the valley was flooded, begin at 9 meters (30 feet) deep, and due to the lack of current, the ruins remain incredibly well preserved. 

Brown trout and fario fish can be seen in the lake and there is plenty of fauna that bring hues of green and yellow to the clear blue waters. Diving the lake requires some planning but it is a unique inland diving experience that only some freshwater scuba enthusiasts have enjoyed. 

4. La Gombe, Belgium.

Divers of all abilities can enjoy the famous limestone quarry La Gombe. This freshwater highlight of diving in Belgium offers visibility of up to 12 meters (39 feet) and has a maximum depth of 30 meters (98 feet). The quarry can even be dived after dark when organized with local authorities.

There is plenty of marine life to see when you go quarry diving at La Gombe, including sturgeon, pike, koi carp, barbels, and freshwater sponges. There are also submerged objects and unique landscapes, from natural rock formations and underwater trees to sunken wrecks. Explorative divers will find boats, a tank, and even a fighter jet in these waters. 

You will need to register before diving at La Gombe, but this is a great location for scuba and freedivers who find themselves far from the ocean shore. 

5. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia.

Explore the preserved graveyard of an ancient city at a UNESCO World Heritage Site in North Macedonia. Lake Ohrid has a maximum depth of 288 meters (945 feet) and is one of the oldest lakes in the world. Despite its depth, you will find the most fascinating diving in the shallows.

Explore the sandy base underneath the ancient city, which has been reconstructed and sits on stilts above the water. Artefacts and bones of animals from centuries ago are scattered on the lakebed, which is what gives the site its name, the Bay of Bones.

Temperatures vary from 15°C (59°F) to 24°C (75°F) and the lake is accessible to divers of all abilities. Species of trout, crustaceans, and carp can be spotted in these waters. 

6. Stoney Cove, England.

Flooded by rainwater since its closure in the late 1950s, Stoney Cove quarry has become one of the UK’s most popular dive sites. It offers excellent conditions for beginners to learn to dive and great diving for more experienced divers. 

Go quarry diving at Stoney Cove and you will find a dive site full of hidden treasures to discover, including a scavenger hunt to spot aircraft, submarines, shipwrecks, and even a bus. 

The maximum depth of the site is 35 meters (115 feet), and visibility varies depending on what time of year you visit. On a calm summer’s day, it can reach 16 meters (52 feet). Freshwater marine life including crayfish, carpperch, and pike can all be seen. 

Water temperatures can reach a high of 18°C (64°F) in summer and drop down to 6°C (42°F) in winter. With full facilities on site, Stoney Cove is an ideal inland dive location for anyone going diving in the UK.

7. Lake Lyngstøylvatnet, Norway.

For those wanting to head to the northernmost region of Europe, Lyngstøylvatnet Lake in Norway has a special history and can be accessed by divers of all abilities. 

A devastating rockslide led to the river Lygna being blocked and flooding the surrounding valley including a local village. The remains of this settlement can now be explored underwater, with the sandy base at a maximum depth of 12 meters (39 feet) and visibility of around 10 meters (32 feet). 

This is a true off-the-beaten-path dive site with no facilities by the lake, but it is an ideal location for traveling divers to pitch up camp and explore. Water reaches a high of 10°C(50°F) in the summer.

Scuba and freedivers can enjoy swimming through stone gates, under a submerged bridge, and follow the sunken road that remains intact, with eerie trees frozen in this underwater landscape. 

If you want to take a trip to Europe and go lake and quarry diving, check out the SSI Center Locator to find the perfect dive center for you.

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For more than 45 years, SSI has provided training, scuba diving certification, and educational resources for divers, dive instructors, dive centers and resorts around the world. Started in 1970, SSI has expanded to include more than 30 Service Centers, is represented in more than 110 countries with over 2,800 International locations, and has materials printed in more than 30 languages. SSI is the name to trust in the diving world, and we attribute that success to our uncompromising standards and focused methodology.

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