Diving in Northern Portugal


Contact us to come diving in Northern Portugal!

The most famous site for diving in Northern Portugal has to be the World War II German U-boat U1277 that lies 31 metres down near Porto. It was deliberately sunk in 1945 after the signing of the Armistice and offers experienced divers a thrilling, if eery encounter with modern history.
Contemporary photo of a German U boat

This is not the only wreck you can explore in Northern Portugal. It may be a great area for diving but over the years it hasn’t proved so hospitable for a good many ships with other wrecks including:

  • Tiber, a British steamboat that sank in 1847 off the coast near Porto,

  • Veronese, a British steamboat that sank in 1913,
  • Barbosa, a Brazilian packet boat that sank without casualties in 1934 while carrying Jewish refugees away from Nazi Germany
  • Vila do Porto a Portuguese motor boat that sank in 1955,
  • Batelão,, the wreck of a large barge which sank in a storm in 1959 while transporting concrete,
  • Jakob Maersk, an oil tanker that sank after an explosion in 1975,
  • Kassamba, an Angolan cargo ship which sank in 1985,
  • Charneca, a tugboat that sunk in a storm in 1986
  • Brenha, a trawler that sank in a storm in 1996 with no loss of life
  • and finally the mysterious Navio do Norte about which little is known.

Diving in Northern Portugal is not only about wrecks though.There are also some very enjoyable general dive sitesesposendewhere the sea bed teems with life including an interesting mix of fish, eels, octopus, crustaceans, molluscs and beautiful, colourful anemones.

Some of the best dive sites are found around Portoand neighbouring Matosinhos both famous for Porto wine and excellent seafood and Esposende, an idyllic fishing village 50km (30 miles) north of Porto. Look out for trips to the the following sites: Bezerros, Pelo Negro, Pegro, Rodelha, Olo, Cavalos da Fão, Forcadinho and Pena.

The best time for diving in Northern Portugal is from May to October and the average water temperature is around 13ºC to 16ºC (55ºF to 61ºF).

I strongly recommend that you always dive with a local guide who will not only take you to some of the sites that are tricky to find but also keep you out of any danger from passing ships, fishing nets and lines and within the wrecks themselves.