Diving in Germany offers a nice combination of both salt water and fresh water diving. In the north, Germany borders the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Way down south, at the foot of the Alps, some beautiful lakes can be explored. Dotted through the country you will find many small lakes, quarries and rivers that offer some options for diving. The water is cold throughout the year, which is why dry suits are popular for diving in Germany.
Diving in the Baltic Sea has a lot to offer divers interested in wreck diving and cold water diving. The many wrecks littering the bottom of the sea include some WW2 ships that are in great shape. Shallow dives just off the shore in seaweed meadows and around jetties and piers offer an opportunity for beginner divers and divers looking for interesting critters.
Freshwater lake diving in the south of Germany combines stunning views with interesting underwater scenery. Some steep underwater walls and rock formations seem to copy the dramatic topography of the surrounding mountains. The Bodensee and the Walchensee are two fine examples of lake diving in Germany, offering good visibility and a chance to see a variation of fresh water fish and inspiring rock formations.
Small lakes and quarries are used to train divers in Germany. They also make a fun opportunity for divers to explore some interesting objects that were, often purposely, sunken to the bottom, like car wrecks and quarry machinery. These dive sites usually have limited visibility, due to sand and sediment, however some real surprising dive spots can be found among them.
In summer, the lakes and quarries can get quite busy with tourists and people engaging in waters sports. For a quieter diving trip, plan your visit either in the spring or fall, and you might have the place to yourself.
The water in Germany’s lakes or sea is cold year-round. With temperatures varying between 7 degrees Celsius in winter and 15 in summer, a dry suit is often recommended.
Dive sites in the German Baltic Sea can be reached by shore or boat, depending on the site. It is worth it to investigate areas around jetties and piers, as fascinating marine life often hides here. An interesting wreck to dive is the Torpedo Test WW2, which is close to shore and lies between 7 and 12 meters deep.
The Bodensee at the northern foot of the Alps, stretches approximately 208 miles through Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and is Europe’s third-largest lake. The lake is divided in four parts, the Obersee, Uberlinger See, Untersee, and Zeller See, and boasts over 40 dive sites. The site ‘Zeichen 24’ in the Uberlinger See is one of the most dramatic dive sites in the Bodensee. As a steep wall dive with a maximum depth of over 40 meters, this site is more appropriate for experienced divers. Meersburg Krebsgarten is a shallower wall dive, which is easily accessible and suitable for any level diver.
The Walchensee’s clear waters are of drinking quality and have a healthy fresh water fish population that includes trout, char, pike, vendace, perch, and burbot. Popular dive sites in this freshwater lake are Galerie and Pioniertafel, which offer steep trenches, and the rock formation Steinbruch.
The quarry lakes of Loebejuen, consisting of 3 basins, are gems of quarry diving. Divers can enjoy exploring the original quarry machinery, with carts and levers that can still be moved around. Marine life found here includes catfish and sturgeon. Echinger Weiher Lake, just north of Munich, is a surprisingly clear pond between 5 and 12 meters deep. Fresh water constantly flows in to the lake from the ground. It is a well-organized dive site, and home to Germany’s first automatic dive card dispenser.
Finding the right dive center and dive sites in Germany can be tricky. There is a lot of diving activity, however, online information in English is limited. Diving in Germany often requires dry-suit diving or may require altitude diving skills. There are many professional dive centers that offer specialty courses in these areas.
Venturing far north, to the Baltic sea for cold water wreck diving is easy by car from Hamburg, or by plane directly to Kiel. The Baltic Dive Center, located in Kiel, is a good place to start your exploration of the Baltic Sea dive sites. They sell professional wreck diving equipment and are knowledgeable about technical diving as well.
Several days will be necessary to fully explore the Bodensee, or divers can decide to concentrate on diving part of the lake. The ‘Tauchakademie Bodensee’ offers dive courses, including necessary specialties like dry-suit diving and altitude diving. For certified divers they can supply tanks and equipment and help them on their way to explore the lake on their own.
Michis Tauchertreff, a well-established Walchensee dive center, is situated at the most southern tip of the Lake. From Munchen, drive south on the A95 and take the exit towards Kogel am See and then to Walchensee. This professional dive center can set divers up with gear, tanks and dive site information.
The three Quarries of Loebejuen are situated in the eastern German state of Sachsen-Anhalt, southeast of Berlin within a 2-hour driving distance. With Taucherkessel, a local and professional dive center, divers can organize their dive and rent equipment. Since the dive site consists of three separate quarries, it is recommended to plan three dives here. Lake Echinger Weier is easy to reach from Munich by car. Martins Diving Center is located at the lake and has an automatic dive card dispenser, to which you can pay the 8 euros dive fee.
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