Tel Aviv, a popular city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel is a unique place. With a blend of old and new, the city shines in the morning with ita bustling commercial activities and glitters at night with its stunning nightlife. Popular for its White City, a cluster of more than 4,000 building structures built in Bauhaus or International architectural style. While this aspect and many others are the highlights of the land, some fascinating diving sights are the attractions of the sea around Tel Aviv. The wrecked-treasures and marine life that it houses attract divers from round the world. It would be really interesting to know about the various sites for scuba diving in Tel Aviv and the secrets that hold.
Beach Dives In Tel Aviv
Beach diving, also known as shore diving, is a form of dive that can be done from the beach itself. In this case the diving spots are close to the shore so one doesn’t need to take a boat and reach the spot to begin the dive. Here are some of the most popular beach diving spots in Tel Aviv:
1. The Gordon Caves
One of the most famous spots for scuba diving in Tel Aviv is the Gordon Caves which are a part of the Gordon Reef. This reef is a rocky strip extending along Israel’s Mediterranean shores. It is located next to the wide Gordon Beach. The reef is deep and features striking huge and tall rocks structures. This topology enhances the diving experiences of the travelers and the caves form the major highlight of this adventure. The walls of the reef have caves in a variety of sizes and shapes. The divers can swim through some of these caves to unfold the underwater secrets of the sea. Home to some of the rarest and splendid marine species, be ready to spot some Octopus, Crabs, Lobsters, Axe Fish, Soldier Fish, and Thorn Fish as you enter these caves. But the surprises don’t end here! Ones you are completely spellbound by this world underwater, move ahead for a short swim through the sandy bottom to the wave barrier.
Level: Beginners and experienced
Depth: 6 – 12 meters
2. The Bird Head Canyon
Off the coast of Mezizim beach lies Mezizim Reef, one of the spots for best scuba diving in Tel Aviv. This reef is popularly known as the Bird Head Canyon because of a landmark bird statue that has been installed on the top of the hotel located above the beach. This statue is visible from the sea too. Swimming to this reef doesn’t take much time as it is located very close to the beach. You can also reach the Canyon on a boat which will take about 5 to 7 minutes. Although the Mezizim Canyon is quite shallow as compared to the Gordon Reef, it has an abundance of marine life and an array of wonderful rock structures. The major highlight of this dive journey is exploring the canyon. This long natural crack passing through the reef from East to West gives you a peep into the depths of the sea. Swimming over the canyon’s rim will help you sight some of the astonishing sea creatures including Crown Squirrelfish, Cuttlefish, Sea Breams, Lobsters, Octopus, and Stingrays. These species live peacefully deep inside the canyon and for them it is the world.
Level: Beginners and experienced
Depth: 9 – 12 meters
3. Caesarea Underwater Old Port
Falling within the Caesarea National Park, the Caesarea Underwater Old Port is a popular spot that attracts divers from round the world. With a unique underwater archeological park, this is one of the best places to experience scuba diving in Tel Aviv. About 2000 years ago, King Herod had built Caesarea along with the huge Sebastos harbour. With time, the entire old port of Caesarea sank in the sea and became a part of the reef. Now this is a hotspot among divers. The park is divided into 4 trails and each diver gets a waterproof map to explore the site. The entrance gate of the port, the walls and towers are still intact. The wave breakers that were built for protecting the ship surround the port. The port is a habitat for a variety of Mediterranean life, including octopuses and Nudibranch.
Level: All levels
4. The Great Rock Of Bat-Yam
Bat-Yam is a city in the Tel Aviv District, located on the central coastal strip of Israel. The Great Rock Beach, an artificial lagoon, is one of the major highlights of Bat Yam. This is a happening spot in the city where several parties are hosted. Just outside this lagoon lies a partially-natural reef that offers to the sight of Mediterranean species. To enjoy a dive here, reach the Great Rock via swimming and rock-climb the plateau surface. Ones you are there on the top, just jump over towards the outside of the rock. Swim dive outside the lagoon, explore the marine creatures and head to the beach to exit.
Suggested Read: 10 Tel Aviv Museums That Will Leave You Intrigued
Boat Dives In Tel Aviv
Boat dive is the form of dive in which the divers need to take a boat to reach the dive spot, as it is located at a distance from the shore and cannot be reached by swimming. Here are some of the famous boat diving sites in Tel Aviv:
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5. Jafa Peanut Shipwreck
Just off the coast towards the West of the old Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv, lies the Jafa Peanut Shipwreck. This is one of the recently discovered shipwrecks in the region. It is believed to be an old Egyptian steamship from 1934 that used to serve as commercial sea transport to Europe. It ship sank in the early 20th century. The wreck was named ‘Peanut’ because it was carrying tonnes of peanuts when it sank. In fact, locals still remember when peanuts in huge quantity sided to the coast. The wreck can be reached from the beach as it is located just 30 feet deep in the shallow water. It still retains its shape to a great extent so can spot the steam boilers and the inner parts of the ship. It is a sight to see how this wreck houses an entire colony of marine life. You will be walking through the fishermen’s shallow lagoons pass through the rocky surface to reach the water outside the natural barrier. Then we will take a short swim to reach the spot and after a short descent, the wreck adventure begins.
Depth: 9 meters
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6. The Old Oil Channel
The Oil Channel, also known as ‘The Pipe’, is an old oil channel that was being used to send oil to Europe from the Middle East. Use of this channel has stopped and it has been replaced by other new channels. It is located outside the port of Tel Aviv, 50 feet (15 meters) deep in the sea. To explore the Old Oil Channel, divers will be taken on a boat that will be anchored right above this spot. These kind of dives are fascinating because of the nature of marine life to inhabit anything that is stationed deep inside the water. Swimming along this old pipe will let you witness some really rare marine creatures and plants that have embraced it as their home.
Depth: 5 meters
7. The Sea Wolf
Sea Wolf is the name of an old battleship that was made to sink by the Israeli Diving Federation in early 1993. Built in Denmark in 1956, the ship got its name from the first Israeli Captain. The ship that was being used to train the Israeli Marine Officers is now a popular shipwreck in the sea near Tel Aviv. You would be taking a boat ride to start your dive to this exciting spot underwater, lying 100 feet (30 meters) deep in the sea. The length of the shipwreck is 130 feet (40 meters) and its width is 30 feet (9 meters). The best attraction about the Sea Wolf wreck is that even after so many years it is still intact and preserved. It has now become one with the marine scape and is home to many sea creatures including stingrays, groupers, gray triggerfish, sea bream. You get to swim around the shipwreck to explore what all it treasures. The rooms and hall of the ship can be seen from its windows. After the dive, you will ascend with the help of an anchor cable. It would take you about 15 minutes to reach the boat.
Level: Experienced & Advanced divers
Depth: 30 meters
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8. Deep Reef
As the name suggests, this is a dive into the deeper part of the sea. The rocky reef starts getting deeper the more you sail toward the Western portion of Tel Aviv. This is the lesser explored depths of the sea and life here is not directly affected by life in the outside world. This is where you can encounter some of the rarest and astonishing sea creatures. This is for those passionate divers who love exploring new depths of the sea.
Scuba diving is one of the best most exciting things to do in Tel Aviv and you must surely experience it. Plan a trip to Israel and head to the charming coastal city of Tel Aviv for some really unique experiences. This will be a vacation full of mesmerizing beach views, exciting sightseeing, adventures, and cultural enrichment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scuba Diving In Tel Aviv
A. Tel Aviv also is known as ‘The White City’ is a beautiful city along the Mediterranean coast of Israel and is known for its Bauhaus architecture which has earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage site.
A. Tel Aviv has stunning networks of underwater caves, and beautiful reefs and is an excellent diving site for all levels for divers.
A. A few fun things to do in Tel Aviv for some amazing experience:
1. Walkthrough the Rabin Square
2. Spend some relaxing time at The Beach Promenade
3. Enjoy the stunning view from the Tel Aviv Port
4. Visit the Bauhaus Center
5. Explore the wonderful world of Jaffa
A. The months of March to April and September to November boasts pleasant weather and is the best time of the year to visit Tel Aviv.
A. Scuba diving is not at all dangerous and is absolutely safe even for first-timers. But prefer scuba diving with a trained professional for a better experience.
A. A valid diving certificate is mandatory by law in Tel Aviv. In case you don’t have one, you can get it from any of the authorized diving centers in the city within 1 day.
A. Scuba diving in Tel Aviv is not very expensive and can cost you anywhere between INR 3200( $ 45) and INR 5700( $ 80) per dive per person.
A. The most popular dive shops in Tel Aviv are:
1. Dugit Dive Shop
2. Deco Stop Israel-DecoStop Israel
3. Old Caesarea Diving Center
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