Aragón, located in northeastern Spain, might not be the first region that comes to mind when thinking about scuba diving. Given its inland position, it doesn't offer the open sea experience that coastal regions do. However, it does possess reservoirs and lakes that cater to both novice and experienced divers. The diverse marine life, the underwater landscapes, and the uniqueness of diving in freshwater environments make Aragón an underrated yet fascinating diving destination.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Experienced Divers
La Tranquera Reservoir: This spot is renowned for its depth and clarity. Divers have the opportunity to explore sunken structures and a submerged village. The experience of navigating the remnants of a village is hauntingly beautiful and is often a highlight for many experienced divers.
El Grado Reservoir: Another deep dive location, El Grado offers divers a mix of terrains and the chance to see larger fish species. The visibility can vary, making it more suitable for those with a good number of dives under their belt.
Best Scuba Diving Spots for Beginners
Lake Lanuza: Situated near the Pyrenees mountains, this glacial lake offers beginners a relatively shallow and safe environment to get acquainted with the sport. The clarity of the water is superb, and the surrounding mountainous scenery adds to the dive's charm.
San Salvador Reservoir: With its controlled conditions and an array of fish species, this reservoir is ideal for those taking their first dip into the world of scuba diving. Dive schools in the area often choose this location for training sessions due to its friendly conditions.
Given the freshwater nature of diving in Aragón, you won't encounter coral reefs or marine species found in the sea. Instead, expect to see freshwater species like carp, perch, and pike. On occasion, you might also spot freshwater crayfish darting between rocks. The true magic of these sites, however, lies in the underwater structures and the surreal experience of diving in a submerged terrestrial environment.
Diving in Aragón is different from the typical oceanic dives. Being freshwater sites, the buoyancy will feel different, which can be a fun challenge for ocean divers. Temperatures in these inland waters can vary significantly depending on the season. In summer, the water temperature is relatively warm, ranging from 65°F to 75°F. However, in winter, it can drop considerably, and dry suits are recommended.
Visibility, too, varies with the season and location. Some spots, like Lake Lanuza, boast excellent visibility year-round, while others, especially the deeper reservoirs, can get murkier. It's always advisable to check current conditions before planning a dive.
Scuba diving in Aragón is generally more affordable than in many coastal regions. A typical dive, including equipment rental, might cost anywhere from $50 to $100. Dive courses for beginners are priced at around $300 to $400, which often includes multiple dives and equipment usage. Always check with local dive shops for the most current pricing and package deals.
Aragón offers a unique scuba diving experience that beautifully contrasts the traditional oceanic dives. With spots catering to both seasoned divers and novices, it's a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Whether you're entranced by the thought of submerged villages or the allure of freshwater marine life, Aragón beckons with its underwater treasures.