ScubaDivingVacation.netDiving Vacation In Liguria, Italy: Beauties Of North Mediterranean Sea

"The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish" - Jacques Cousteau

DWS Diving is a PADI Resort located in the center of Santa Margherita, Liguria, Italy 2 kilometers from the world famous Portofino and 20 meters from the pretty, fishing port where our covered boat is moored. This is the heart of the Italian Riviera in the Gulf of Tigullio, close to Genoa and only a couple of hours from Pisa, Milano, Torino and Nice. DWS Diving has a licence to dive in "The Protected Marine Park of Portofino". This park has been protected since 1998 so there is an abundance of many different species of marine life, of which some are not found elsewhere in the Mediterranean! The Marine Park boasts at least 20 different dive sites within 15 minutes from the port and is also home to the most famous dive in the Mediterranean and one of the most famous dives in the world, "The Christo Degli Abissi" ("The Christ of the Abyss") - a giant submerged bronze statue that was created to honour one of scuba diving’s most courageous pioneers, Dario Gonzatti. Dario Gonzatti’s diving home was in these waters where he was the first Italian to ever used scuba gear and then went onto test it, through his and others courage and passion, scuba gear companies such as Mares were founded. "Christ of the Abyss" now symbolises all of those who live their lives on the ocean, so every diver has to do this dive at least once! Each July there is a pilgrimage of divers from all over the world who come and place floating candles on top of the water as a mark of respect.

One dive site in the marine park, L’Isuela, has recently been voted as the Most Beautiful Dive in the Mediterranean by the editor of "Tauchen" dive magazine. The entire park is filled with marine life – it can feel like you are diving in an aquarium! Diving is perfect for beginners as well as advanced divers with many multi-level dives, walls, caverns and swim throughs. In addition, because of the unique marine environment, scientists from all over the world travel here to dive and research these waters. You can expect to see every day spectacular carpets and walls of vibrant red corals, violet gorgonian and sunflower yellow "Margherita Del Mare". Big marine life including huge shoals of barracuda, snappers, tuna and large groupers are seen everyday. The area is also home to the unique giant moon fish, dentix, large moray eels, scorpion fish, lobsters and shrimps. Small life also flourishes with many varieties of pink, white and violet nudibranch everywhere. For those who enjoy wrecks, "The Mohawk Deer" is in the marine park and 2 other WW2 wrecks are a short navigation away. We can also organize excursions to dive The Haven, the largest wreck in the world!

The "DWS Diving Center" has been established for 15 years, is UK/Italian owned and staffed by multi-lingual instructors - fluent English, Spanish and Italian are spoken and during high season, German as well. The DWS team has accumulated over 10,000 dives in the marine park! The atmosphere is warm and friendly and the service is very personal. DWS has a comfortable, covered boat, equipment is "Mares" and renewed annually. The center is always clean with good warm showers and separate area to rinse dive gear. There are lockers for valuables and hairdryers. The gear and tanks are transported to the boat by the staff.

DWS Diving is headed up by owner Luca Smecca from Savona. Luca speaks fluent Spanish as well as English and Italian and has dived all over the world from the Red Sea, Cozumel, Roatan Island and Galapagos. He is passionate about diving: "It’s the greatest escape; its like being given a passport to another universe, it gets into your blood and becomes part of you, as soon as you are weightless under the water, you become free. This marine park is absolutely beautiful!". "I have dived all over the world and this place competes with anything I have seen. There is such an abundance of different marine life. People underestimate and undervalue diving in the Mediterranean Sea and I would like to change that perception because here as well we need to celebrate and protect this unique reef and the fantastic marine life in it."

DWS welcomes and can cater for dive clubs, groups, individual divers, families or students, so whether you are a complete beginner to the world of diving or you want to extend your training, there is a full range of PADI courses. Teaching is to a high standard. It is not just about getting the certification, it is about training confident, good divers who feel secure in the water. DWS has relationships with several hotels from 2* to 4*. There is also a well run and maintained hostel, perfect for dive club, groups and students and self catering mobile home sites. We pass all discounts directly to our clients. DWS has a loyalty card scheme that gives all clients and their families/friends every 11th dive free and some local discounts.

How to get here - International airports: GENOA – 50 minutes from Santa Margherita, PISA – 90 minutes + MILANO, NICE + TORINO 2 HOURS; The transfer costs from Genoa 6 € on volabus to Genoa Principe Station, while the train fare to Santa Margherita is €2.40. From Pisa the train connection is in the airport terminal and the fare costs around €12.

CONTACT: LUCA SMECCA. Website: Email address: Address: Santa Margherita, Ligure, Via Favale 11, 16038.
Cell: +39 335 72 59 758. Tel: +39 0185 282578. Skype: dwsdiving

Travel Article Written By Mimi Riddell.

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