Scuba diving

Once-stringent scuba diving regulations for Greek waters were recently lifted, eliminating diving depth limits and allowing diving at archaeological sites and sunken ships.  This loosening of restrictions follows the passing of a 2019 bill in Parliament easing scuba diving laws to encourage the return of international tourists to Greece following the global coronavirus lockdown.  Prior to the passage of the bill, scuba divers could only enter archaeological sites when accompanied by underwater guides.  The new 2019 bill allows for unescorted visits to shipwrecks that are older than 50 years.  Besides improving the current framework and introducing new regulations, the newly passed law also paves the way for the development of diving tourism, which Greek tourism authorities are betting on to boost revenues.

Hidden and protected for millennia, an ancient shipwreak in Greece opens to the public for the first time from 3rd August 2020, fusing archaeological wonders in the depths of the sea with the marvels of modern day artificial intelligence.  Access to underwater sites is typically restricted in Greece to preserve their integrity.  But authoritiies have been able to allow recreational diving at the shipwreak at Peristera, thanks to computer surveillance technology.  Underwater cameras monitor the site, and use image recognition software to alert administrators instantly if the wreak is in danger of being disturbed.  The site is located off a rocky islet near the Aegean island of Alonissos, where a wooden vessel sank in the mid 5th Century BC taking with it thousands of amphorae used for commerce across the ancient Mediterranean.  Professionals divers refer to the site as the 'Acropolis of sea wreaks'.

The famous shipwreak, considered one of the most important in classical antiquity, was discovered in 1985 by a fisherman from Alonissos at a depth of 28 metres.  It was a large merchant ship, probably Athenian, which is estimated to have run into very stormy weather and sank around 425 BC.  The doomed ship was loaded with thousands of wine amphorae from Peparithos (todays Skopelos) and Mendi (the ancient port of Halkidiki) two areas well known in antiquity for their excellent wine.

If diving is not for you, then visitors are also able to stay on land and access the wonderful and mysterious world of the seabed, through a virtual diving tour using XR technologies.