Germany may not be well known for diving, but there are endless opportunities for diving, with crystal-clear Alpine lakes, sunken towns, WWII wrecks, dives in the Baltic Sea and more. New divers will appreciate the range of shallow dive sites, including accessible wrecks and calm lakes, while experienced divers will explore old quarries, deep lakes and dark tunnels. Grab your drysuit and read on to find out more.
10 great places to dive in Germany
With its fairy-tale villages and pastel-hued medieval towns, it’s hard to take your eyes off the highlights of northern Germany long enough to start exploring underwater. But if you do, you will be rewarded with crystal-clear alpine lakes and an exciting dive in the Baltic Sea.
With easy access to lake and sea diving, northern Germany is a playground for divers and is home to many wrecks, as well as old man-made quarries, reservoirs and perfect altitude lakes. . Dive in and you’ll discover artificial reefs teeming with a variety of fish and surrounded by vibrant flora.
1. The baltic sea
The Baltic Sea is littered with wrecks, many of which are accessible from the German shores. The Helland, an 18-meter-long steel yacht is a popular shallow wreck and sits just off Kiel. Drop a pin on a map of the area and it will likely land at a wreck dive site. Covered with sea anemones and water lilies, the Dreimaster is a beautiful wreck sitting about 27 meters deep and accommodates many cod in the summer. About a hundred meters long, the Docker is an awe-inspiring wreck that you can look inside, and it’s home to abundant Baltic Sea life.
Once your wreck diving fix is over, take a trip to Svaneke Lighthouse for the chance to dive through granite canyons and eye-catching rock formations near an old abandoned harbor.
2. Schweriner See
This glacial tongue lake is one of the most popular places in northern Germany for diving and offers a variety of interesting wrecks. There are deeply sunken engine and sailboat wrecks, as well as the wreckage of a Russian occupation MiG-17 aircraft and an impressive century-old cargo glider, the Lastensegler.
New divers are also well received with shallower car and boat wrecks, and there are fun facilities to find, including a phone booth, benches, and signs.
3. Sundhäuser View
Sundhäuser See is a unique and fascinating experience. This sunken city was created specifically for divers and is full of interesting features, including oak sculptures scattered throughout the city. Good visibility on the water adds to the appeal of this special site and the waters teem with life.
4. Lake Stechlin
If you are looking for a diving spot that the whole family can enjoy, go diving at Großer Stechlin. This lake is the second deepest in Brandenburg and is set in a pretty nature reserve that offers seemingly endless possibilities for diving, hiking, biking and swimming. There are plenty of accommodation options for families and even children’s holiday camps. The abundant fish life in the lake will keep divers entertained all day while non-divers will enjoy their adventures on land.
5. Lake Wummsee
The peaceful turquoise waters of Großer Wummsee, a lake in Brandenburg, are enough to tempt any diver. If you like flora and fauna and quiet diving without crowds, go diving here. This lake is known to have lush freshwater plants and abundant fish, as well as two islands in the lake. The water quality in the lake is excellent, it is potable water and there are no boats allowed.
Although central Germany is not well known internationally for its diving, it packs a punch with its interesting mix of WWII history and varied dive sites. There are sparkling lakes surrounded by emerald green forests, challenging flooded tunnels, and underground factories closed to water with huge hollow caves to explore. With clear waters and a diverse underwater topography, diving in central Germany is a true hidden gem.
Sorpesee, also known as Lake Sorpe or Sorpe Dam, is a deep reservoir that offers a multitude of water sports, including excellent scuba diving. Popular in the summer, this is a great place to take the family or a group of friends on vacation, snorkel and relax by the lake in the sun.
With its mix of depths and underwater topographies, Sorpesee is ideal for both novice and experienced divers. Snorkel at night, drift along a steep wall that plunges 34 meters deep, explore wrecks, and linger over rich seagrass meadows bustling with fish.
7. Tauchsee Horka
Have you ever tried geocaching? Expand your hunt for caches and try the addicting thrill of geocaching underwater at Lake Horka. This former mining quarry is popular for diving, thanks to its exceptionally high visibility over the water, and includes an underwater forest and cache. You will have to dive 30 meters into the old quarry pumping station to find out more.
9. Geisel lake
Geiseltal, the largest man-made lake in Germany, covers an immense 18 square kilometers and has numerous dive sites in calm waters. The excellent visibility makes it easy to explore the deeper dive sites of this lake, which reach more than 35 meters in depth. With shore and boat diving available, you can experience Geiseltal’s sunken forests, canyons, and thriving underwater life in no time.
There are many of Germany’s most famous sites that you can check off your wishlist if you are visiting southern Germany. With the Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, the Danube and many historic castles – to name a few of the highlights – this is a fantastic place to visit. As for diving in southern Germany, this is easily one of the best dives in Europe.
9. Lake Constance
Lake Constance, the second largest freshwater lake in Western Europe, is an awe-inspiring sight 63 km long and is a must-see dive site teeming with fish. A popular summer destination, the lake is surrounded by charming resorts, vineyards and views stretching out to the Alps.
The underwater cliffs and mountain slopes of the lake provide a striking backdrop for the many dive sites found there. You’ll be spoiled for choice with over two dozen dive sites, including the Swear. It is one of the most beautiful freshwater wrecks you will ever see and is located about 38 meters deep. It is also one of the oldest paddlewheel steamboats in the world and sank in 1864.
Being fed by the Rhine, the water of Lake Constance is cold, so pack a thick show suit to make the most of the exceptional diving there.
10. Lake Walchen
Another beautiful place to dive in Germany, Lake Walchen is an alpine lake nestled in the Bavarian Prealps that has azure blue waters and plenty of dive sites. Take a dip in the cold waters of the lake and you’ll find wrecks of boats and cars including a VW Beetle, steep rock faces, huge boulders, and sunken trees. All of them are home to the diversity of fish life for which this lake is famous.
What experience does it take to dive in Germany?
With so many different destinations to choose from, Germany is suitable for all levels of diving experience.
When is the best time to go diving in Germany?
Summer is the most popular time for diving in Germany, but you can dive there all year round. Visit in winter and you can even go ice diving.
What marine life can you see while diving in Germany?
There is an amazing variety of fish in German waters, including carp, pike, perch, barbel, catfish, sturgeon, salmon, and trout. There are huge eels at many dive sites, lots of crustaceans, and abundant underwater flora. Snorkel in northern Germany and you will also get to see an array of Baltic Sea marine life.
Kathryn Curzon, shark ecologist and dive travel writer for International diving schools (SSI), wrote this article.