With a mild climate all year round, and sea temperatures ranging between 17ºC and 23ºC, Madeira is a very attractive diving destination.
The extremely clear waters allow visibility to more than 20 metres to observe a wide diversity of species, such as jewfish, rays, moray eels, dolphins and manta rays.
Quite close to Funchal there are several spots, like the Clube Naval. And you can also go night diving in complete safety, as part of a programme organised by one of the various schools. Marine reserves are places not to be missed, but nature should be respected by not disturbing underwater life. Some areas even enjoy the status of full reserve, which bars any visits, so you should obtain comprehensive information before setting out.
On Madeira’s southern slope, the Garajau Nature Reserve is the only exclusively marine one in the country and a world reference. Diving in its waters is unmissable to observe an abundant and diverse fauna, with large fish such as the jewfish, an emblematic species of the reserve. The diving spots are the cleanest, with easy access and only a few minutes away by boat. The most well-known locations are Corais Negros (at 35 metres), Pão de Açúcar, Garajau Baía, Garajau Este (where the largest jewfish lives), Recife dos Monges and Gruta dos Reis Magos, a favourite night diving spot, accessible by land.
On the Island of Porto Santo, the beauty of the seabed and its clear, warm waters offer an unexpected tropical setting, much appreciated by divers. One of the most sought after spots is located south of the harbour, where the wreck of O Madeirense is to be found. Ilhéu de Baixo and Ilhéu de Cima, uninhabited rocky islets off the south coast, are other places with excellent diving conditions.
More information about Diving in Portugal at http://www.visitportugal.com/