Diving in the Marine Reserve Isla del Aire in Menorca
Menorca is one of the most amazing diving locations in the Mediterranean. It is the most easterly island in Spain and S’Algar is at the most eastern point – the sun rises here first! It is an island steeped in prehistoric history and has been invaded by many races, including the British, Greeks, French, Moors and the Romans. Menorca has steep vertical cliffs along its coastline and these are reflected in the underwater topography – arches, caverns, tunnels, swim-throughs and other exciting rock formations. The warm waters of Menorca offer no tide, little current and support a wide variety of flora & fauna. And it will only get better. In April 2019, the area around the Isla del Aire, has been declared Marine Reserve. The prolific fish population includes Barracuda, Grouper, Octopus, Moray Eels, Lobsters Cuttlefish – even Rays.
Dive Sites in the Marine Reserve Isla del Aire
We have over 20 dive sites, most of them within the Marine Reserve Isla del Aire, within a 15-minute boat ride that we dive regularly. Most dive sites have a turnaround of two hours so the non-diving family members are not left to fend for themselves for too long. Some sites are for more experienced divers, for example, some caves or wrecks in the area. In the main, most sites are accessible to all levels. Visibility generally is excellent, often more than 25m.
For most sites, the boat will anchor in 6-10 metres and have a maximum depth of around 30 metres. As always and with any qualification, you dive within your own capabilities and are responsible for your own depths and dive times. Maximum depth limitation for recreational dives in Spain is 40m. Every diver has to respect his own dive depth limitations according to the qualification held. Maximum divetime is 60 minutes or 50 bar, whatever comes first.
Safety and Quality
All dives are led to ensure the groups’ safety and to ensure clients see the best and most of any given dive site. Detailed safety and dive site briefings are given on the boat before entering the water. Experienced diver buddy-pairs who know the area well, may choose their own route around the site, if they so prefer, given prior communication and agreement with the responsible Instructor or Divemaster.
We have two custom-made dive boats which seat 10 divers and if the weather is such that we cannot load on our quay, we have two mini-buses to take you to where we can load you. Being a small island we can always find you a reasonably calm, and therefore pleasurable and safe dive site. Depending on the time of the season, the boats will leave the Centre at 9.30am, 11.30am, 2.30pm, 4.30pm and the night dive leaves 15mins prior to sundown. The dive times are somewhat ¨German¨, meaning that the dive boats leave right on time and divers are expected to be at the centre to kit up half an hour before the boat leaves.
During July and August, we have many customers diving in shorties. In June, September and October 5/7mm wetsuits or a semi-dry would be a fine choice. The coldest month with water temp anywhere between 15 – 19C is without a doubt May, where you may find one or two divers in their dry suits. For us, a 5mm or 7mm semi-dry is the suit of choice, as it covers all of our seasons, from May until the end of October.
We open for Easter if possible (depending on the date) with a skeleton crew and in earnest in May. During the low season in May and October, the centre might be closed on a Sunday, but for most of the season, we run seven days a week. We open at 8.30 in the morning, closing whenever the last customer has left the premises – there’s no siesta for us 🙂
Shop and Facilities
At the Centre, we have a well-equipped shop with dive kit, clothing and other bits and bobs. Our ‘wet area’ includes rinse tank, drying rack & benches outside, kit hire desk, changing room and drying room for stab jackets and wetsuits and also racks of storage boxes for regs, fins, etc. This means there’s no lugging kit to and from hotel rooms.
As a single diver, you don’t need to book your dives much in advance. Just get in touch with us a few days prior, and we´ll get organised. Group bookings might be better done with an advanced notice for better planning on our side.
Payment is usually made at the end of the stay according to what you have done, with discounts applying for more than 4 dives or groups of 4+ people. You may pay by cash or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) as well as through our website using PayPal.