Top Technical Diving Destinations Vol. 1

Top Technical Diving Destinations Vol. 1

Technical diving is the most exhilarating experience of my diving career. It allowed me to explore some of the most remote locations and see places only a few people have ever seen or see the most popular dive sites from a different angle.  

Being a manager of a technical diving facility in a remote destination takes a particular set of skills and another level of drive. Running a technical dive centre is more challenging as it requires maintaining a filling station and supplying oxygen, helium and sometimes argon in remote locations. However, in return, technical divers have access to the most fantastic dive sites, which can be explored beyond recreational scuba and in the most extraordinary depth, taking the whole scuba diving experience to another level. Over the years, I have had the privilege of participating in various technical diving trips and expeditions. Here is a list of some I visited personally, and some are still to tick off from my technical diving bucket list:  

Malin Head, Ireland

Frog's leap from mainland UK Malin Head was described by a fellow technical diving friend as a location of sleeping giants. Divers from the UK can reach this destination from the UK by ferry or plane.The local technical diving sites range from 45m to 150 meters. The best way to dive them is to book on one of the charters with Mevagh Dive Centre, which has experience in catering to technical divers, including air, nitrox, helium, and oxygen fills. Regarding scuba diving sites, Malin Head includes a mixture of World War I and World War II wrecks, including battleships, ocean liners, and large cargo ships carrying war supplies such as tanks. The best time to dive Malin Head, between June and September, have surprisingly excellent visibility, thanks to the rock and shale bottom composition. Algae bloom decreases visibility a bit around April and the end of August. Massive ships, engines and propellers pose unique opportunities for underwater photography and fabulous technical diving week. Don't wait too long - most of the biggest wrecks are over a hundred years old and deteriorate much quicker. 

Most notable technical diving wrecks of Malin Head:  

  • HMS Audacious - Depth: 64 metres |
  • SS Carthaginian Depth: 58 metres |
  • SS Empire Heritage Depth: 66 metres |
  • RMS Justicia Depth: 72 metres |
  • SS Laurentic Depth: 42 metres |
  • U-2511 Depth: 67 metres |
  • U-89 Depth: 62 metres |
  • SS Athenia Depth: 60 metres | 

Season: June - September

Equipment recommendedTechnical DivingDrysuits

Level of Support: Atlantic Catamaran with a diver's lift

Top Technical Diving Destinations

Scapa Flow, Scotland

Scapa Flow is on every UK diver's bucket list. It may not be the deepest technical diving, but you can go into a deco on many ships here because of their sheer size. The sunken World War I German High Seas Fleet is the main attraction. As per the post WW1 agreement, the remaining ships of the German Fleet arrived at Scapa Flow for the interment. After a few months in Scapa Flow and believing that the British would finally cease the Fleet, the Germans decided to scuttle all ships right where they were anchored. Today, we can dive into the main seven ships called the Big Scapa Seven, which is a must-dives if you want to consider yourself a Scapa Flow tech-wreck diver. Scapa Flow wreck diving makes a fantastic experience if the weather is right. Not only do wrecks offer tremendous insight into maritime engineering, but they are home to abundant fish life. I dived at Scapa Flow many moons ago, but I still remember it as one of my diving career highlights.   

Notable wrecks to dive of Scapa Flow: 

  • SMS Markgraf - Max depth 45m A Konig Class Dreadnaught
  • SMS Kronprinz Willhelm - Max depth 38m Another Konig Class
  • SMS König - Max depth 42m - the flagship
  • SMS Brummer - Max depth 34m - mine laying cruiser
  • SMS Dresden - Max depth 38m - light cruiser
  • SMS Cöln - Max depth 36m) This 118-meter-long light cruiser

Season: The best time is around September, but the season runs from late April till November

Equipment recommended: DrysuitsTechnical Diving Gear and Cold Water Regulators.

Level of Support: Strongly recommended a liveaboard with catering for technical diving.

Best Technical Diving Destinations  

Portofino, Italy

If you are a keen wreck technical diver, you will be delighted to know Portofino is one of Europe's best wreck diving destinations. You can dive into the biggest wreck in the Med called MT Haven. The wreck's depth ranges from 35m (bridge) to 85m (propellers). It is truly an incredible experience, and I strongly recommend everyone dive it. The massive structure against the blue background creates an immensely atmospheric experience. Honestly, this is one of the best wreck technical dives in the world. While the wreck of MT Haven is the main attraction here, there is plenty of well-preserved shipwrecks, all of which will be a treat for every technical diver out there. Truk Lagoon, eat your heart out :-) ! 

Best technical wreck diving in Portofino:

  • Mohawk Deer Steamship - Depth: 20-45m |
  • Genova Steamship - Depth 40-60m |
  • UJ2216 Submarine Chaser - Depth 45-57m |
  • UJ2210 Submarine Chaser - Depth 44-64m |
  • Bolzaneto - Depth 40-55m |
  • Saint Nazaire - Depth 48-55m |
  • Calabria Steamship Depth: 66-75m |
  • La Focen - Depth 68-80M |
  • MT Haven Supertanker - Depth 36-80m |
  • Ischia Steamship - Depth 78 - 92M |
  • Washington Steamship - Depth 77-88m |
  • U-455 Submarine - Depth 90-118m|

Season: Year-round, but autumn is the best as the accommodation prices are lower and visibility is better.

Equipment recommended: DrysuitsTechnical Diving Gear and Cold Water Regulators.

Level of Support: The Portofino Divers, GUE facility will fill tanks with any colour of bubbles you wish and run hard speedboats to the dive sites- very professional service—full support for open-circuit and closed-circuit diving. 

Top Technical Diving Destinations

Island Vis, Croatia

Let's remember Croatia is one of the best wreck diving destinations in Europe, and one of my favourite little places for wreck diving is an island called Vis. There are around ten wrecks accessible for recreational divers and a few other amazing deeper wrecks for strictly technical diving, such as B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress warplanes that crashed and sunk during WW2. Both wrecks are in a surprisingly good state, creating a unique opportunity to dive on a plane wreck of this type. 

Best technical wreck dives Island Vis:

  • B-24 Liberator Plane Wreck - Depth 40-55m | 
  • B-17 Flying Fortress Plane Wreck - Depth 65m-72m | Fortunal Trawler - Depth 35-51m | 
  • Brioni Passenger/ Cargo - Depth 45-61m | 
  • Vassilios Steamship - Depth 22-53m | 
  • M.N Maris Steamship 65-82m | 

Season: The best time to dive is between April and November, but please check dive centre opening times as selected dive centres restrict operations over winter. 

Equipment recommended: DrysuitsTechnical Diving Gear and Cold Water Regulators.

Level of Support: Few dive centres around the Island vis provide full gas support for open-circuit and closed-circuit diving and run dedicated trips between April and November. Please check regarding twinset availability.

Top Technical Diving Destinations


Egypt, Red Sea

The Red Sea technical diving is just giving all the time. Even though the primary purpose of most diving is recreational, the Egyptian Red Sea has iconic technical dive sites are near each major resort. From Taba and Nuweiba in the North of Egypt to Brothers and Marsa Alam in the Southern Egyptian Red Sea. Additionally, Egypt has an astounding number of shore-based dive centres and liveaboards dedicated to technical diving, providing support for all flavours of bubbles - air, nitrox, trimix and they will supply sofnolime too. No doubt, the best way of diving the red sea is from a dedicated technical diving liveaboard such as MV Tala from Red Sea Explorers or Emperor Divers Tekstream TM, who provide full gear support including back gas, deco and stage cylinders.

Best technical wreck dives:

  • Dahab - Blue Hole: Depth 60-120 meters
  • Jackfish Alley Caves: Depth 60-120 meters
  • Walls of Shark and Jolanda: Depth 100+ meters
  • Strait of Tiran Walls and the wreck of Lara: Depth 40- 110 meters
  • Panorama Reef Wall: Depth 100+ meters
  • The wreck of Gulf Fleet 31: Depth 90-100 meters
  • Salem Express: Depth 30 meters
  • The wreck of Rosalie Moller: Depth 30-50 meters
  • Brothers Islands - Numidia wreck: Depth 12-85 meters
  • Brothers Island - Aida wreck: Depth 15-50 meters
  • Daedalus Reef - Wreck of Zealot: Depth 75 meters
  • Elphinstone Reef and Arch - "Pharaoh Sarcophagus" 65 meters 
  • Rocky Island - Wreck of SS Maidan: Depth 80-120 meters

Season: All year-round destination

Equipment recommended: Technical Diving. As far as exposure, suit wetsuit thickness depends on the season. In summer, 2-3mm Thick Wetsuits while 5mm Thick Wetsuits may be good all-rounders, and 7mm+ Thick Wetsuits and Drysuits over winter months for technical dives.

Level of Support: complete equipment and gas support for technical diving, including bailout and rebreather cylinders. Gas support includes air, nitrox, trimix and oxygen, plus rebreather consumables such as sofnolime.

Best technical diving destinations