Norway is a stunning country with much to offer in the way of diving and more. Whether it’s diving with orcas, drift diving or wreck diving, Norway is a great option for a diving holiday, but be sure to bring a dry suit as water temperatures will not venture beyond 15°C even in the summer.
More is a diving hub where divers are spoilt for choice with underwater landscapes: everything from canyons to drop offs, drift dives and kelp forests can be experienced, not to mention the opportunity to dive with seals and orcas. More presents rich marine biodiversity thanks to the warm gulf stream, and divers of all levels are sure to be impressed by what’s on offer.
Ideal for exploring both above and below the surface of the water, the Logoten Islands are well-known for their natural beauty and stunning clear waters. Wreck dives, kelp forests and marine life aplenty are all available here, with whale watching and killer whale experiences possible during certain times of the year. In the cold months of January and February, masses of herrings gather to the north west of Norway, which brings killer whales in what becomes the biggest gathering of orcas in the whole world.
For thrill-seeking drift divers in Norway, there is nothing better than experiencing the strongest tidal currents in the world at the Saltstraumen. This fresh water is rich in oxygen and as such serves as home to all sorts of plants, marine creatures and fish.
Norway presents great wreck dives too, especially for those interested in exploring WWII wrecks. The waters surrounding the areas of Sorlandet and Narvik are laden with German, English and Norwegian ships and there’s even the chance to dive around an old fighter plane.
The dive site known as Hottane in the diving hub of More offers an interesting and varied landscape with a sandy sea floor, rocky shores and surrounding kelp forests. There are a number of vertical drops at Hottane as well as some gradual descents to around 30 meters. Here divers will find nudibranchs, catfish, anglerfish and Norwegian lobster.
One of the most popular wall dives around the Lofoten Islands is that of Skarberget, a steep wall boasting crevices and overhangs laden with crustaceans. This giant wall can seem more similar to a mountain than an underwater reef, and night dives at Skarberget are fantastic with sea urchins, starfish and a variety of crustacean critters.
Drift diving in the Saltstraumen is highly regarded as one of the most exhilarating dives in Europe. The water here is the fastest tidal current in the world and measures up to 40 km per hour when entering the Skjerstad Fjord through the channel that is only 150 meters wide. Both the underwater and above water scenery in this area is well-worth the visit, and thrill seekers will not be disappointed by the immense rush of this drift dive.
Norway’s most popular and well-known wreck dive is that of the MV Seattle which originated in Germany and found its resting place in Norway back in 1945. At 140 meters in length, this old cargo ship is in excellent condition and can be explored on the inside by trained wreck divers. The MV Seattle is only suitable for experienced divers as it reaches depths of between 20-60 meters.
Donier 24 is the name of the famous German fighter plane that was part of the second World War. It is possible to dive this plane wreck from the shores of Topdanelfjord beach close to Kristinsand, where divers will find an intact right wing and nose including a cockpit with fully intact instruments and controls.
The majority of Norway’s diving operators can be found in More, where much of the diving takes place. The main town of Kristiansund is where divers should fly into in order to experience all that More has to offer.
There are also dive operators located on the Lofoten Islands, which can be reached on a daily basis from Bodø airport.
Some dive shops focus on the Saltstraumen drift dives in towns such as Fiskecampen. Easily reached by train, car, bus, boat or aeroplane, the Saltstraumen are only 30km away from Bodø town and offer a thrill unlike any other drift dive you’ll ever experience.
To explore the well-known WWII wrecks around Narvik and Sørlandet, visitors can make use of trains from Stockhold or fly, train or bus from Kristiansund.