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Scuba Diving & Try Dives
scuba diving
Said to be the best diving in Turkey, Kalkan has a selection of some 30+ dives available. The number is constantly increasing as new dive sites are being found after the completion of archaeological studies in October 2001, which gave us permission to dive in the majority of Kalkan's waters. These include Snake and Mouse Islands which are visible from Kalkan village, and the ancient Greek Harbour.

Nearly all of our dive sites, with few exceptions, are in calm water with minimal current or water movement. As with most other Mediterranean areas, tidal movement is negligible. Water temperatures range from a cooling 18-20C in May and October up to a toasty 30C in August. Visibility is generally excellent, 30m plus. We try to vary the dive sites on a daily basis depending on experience levels. A day trip consists of a morning dive, inclusive lunch and a relaxation period of two - three hours before moving out for the second dive in the afternoon. Depths and dive times vary according to the dive site and experience levels in the group.
STARFISH DIVE SITES
scuba diving
Moving in a clockwise direction from Kalkan harbour there is a steep cliff directly in front at the edge of the bay. The corner of this is FRENK HARBOUR, the ancient Greek Kalkan Harbour. Depths start from about 1m for beginners and training purposes, and then gradually slope down to about 20m to explore the vast array of Amphora with fresh water springs coming through the rocks.

FRENK WALL takes in the cliff face itself, which drops to depths of over 80m. An abundance of sea life can be found in the wall itself including moray eels, octopus, nud branches and soft corals. Away into the blue, often large pelagics such as leerfish and tuna can be spotted along with the ever-present Dusky Grouper. There are a range of gentle dives following the coastline eastwards along the top of the wall, for the less experienced diver.

The next site we reach is BATAK REEF. This is a long narrow reef starting from 3m depth and it is it's shallow peak that caused the the wreck of a cargo ship, sunk nearly 100 years ago, for us to explore. Debris starts at 15m depth with the hull sitting at about 25m. Now the wreck is home to several large grouper and crayfish with curious Squirrelfish peeking out at divers from beneath the wreckage. Further along the reef turtles, trigger fish and morays can often be spotted. The aft section of the wreck lies on the eastern side of the reef on a slope from 40 to 65m. Due to the excellent visibility these depths do not have to be reached to get a good view of the structure which is in near perfect condition - the portholes still contain their glass!!!

Still heading east, HEYBELI ADA is a small island with two bays providing shelter whatever the weather and catering for all diving abilities. The past four years have seen a shoal of barracuda take up residence and develop. Normally they are found anywhere between 3 -15m depth - an amazing sight for first timers and experienced alike! Amphorae can be found on the seabed with grouper, morays and octopus regularly sighted. Stingrays can be found in 20m plus.

100m off the island is PANORAMA REEF. Peaking at 11m the reef slopes down gradually to approximately 35m before rising up again to meet the island. The opposite end of the reef finishes in an abrupt wall at 18m and then drops away into the depths. Large numbers of grouper with Leerf?sh, bon?tos, adult barracuda and jacks are commonly sighted. A good dive for all qualified divers although the occasional current can make it a little more demanding.

STINGRAY REEF is slightly further from the island and starts from a depth of 7m providing good snorkeling for non-diving partners. The topography is very different to Panorama Reef with a gentle slope on the north and south sides of the reef whilst the western edge drops sharply from 20m down to 50 or 60m where blue sharks have been sighted in the past. The eastern side of the reef consists of several large boulders where turtles are common. During the latter part of the season dives have been known to reach no more than 12m and move no further than 50m from the boat due to the fantastic displays on the top of the reef as bonitos and leerfish chase through the mists of silverside and anchovies, getting their fill - an amazing show.

CAPTAIN OLU REEF is our most distant site with a beautiful substrate of clean white rock from depths of 3m - 15m, providing an ideal backdrop for macro photography. Grouper, barracuda and turtles are common to this site giving an interesting, relaxed dive.

OKSUS ADA is the second island we see to the east of Kalkan. The island is small enough to complete a full circuit at 15 - 18m depth in about 40 minutes. Slightly deeper dives discover large boulders giving homes to morays and nud branches with appearances of stingrays and barracuda being quite common.

Moving back towards Kalkan, SNAKE WALL provides an impressive, adrenalin-producing dive in calm weather conditions for experienced divers only. Dropping onto the reef flat in 10m to 15m depth, then moving over the edge of the wall to see the grouper and leerfish many metres below you with no visible seabed in sight. Seeing so much activity both in the wall itself and in the clear blue waters below, and at the same time hovering over the void, means this site is never boring.

SNAKE ISLAND has a relaxing drift dive along its east coast where we drift with the marine life floating gently by and then surface to find the boat waiting for us.

SECRET REEF is located north of Mouse Island and was discovered last year by one of the local dive schools. This is a beautiful dive site displaying a very different range of flora and fauna due to the constant gentle current moving across it. There was a blue shark sighting here last year by a diver and a large turtle appears to use the reef as its preferred feeding site.

The CAMEL STONE is an excellent beginner and training site starting from the shore and moving gently down to 6m. The waters are sheltered and always calm making it a perfect site for lunching and snorkelling amongst the rocks. A second shoal of barracuda is occasionally seen here.

The last site before heading back to the harbour is CAMEL STONE REEF rising up to 10m. The main rib is crossed perpendicularly by a second, which drops to clusters of rocks at 20m along the 'runway', which is a very strange rock platform, housing a cave at 25m. Large grouper and triggerfish alongside amphorae, make an impressive dive site even more so.
 
Dive Itinerary Courtesy of Starfish Diving in Kalkan
 
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