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In the south of Portugal there are nice diving spots. I know some around Faro and Sagres.
I have dived with this center located in Faro Hidroespaço (Their English website is not as complete as the one in Portuguese).
And I have also heard really nice comments about this one in Portimão Clube Subaquático de Portimão (No English version but get in touch with them and they'll give you the info you need. The last link on the left "Contactos" give you their contacts.)
Not to jack your thread .....but it looks like I'm gonna be in Lisbon in mid May for about a week. I have three questions: what should I expect of the ocean conditions as far as water temp and viz?, are there any cave systems nearby to dive?, and how much gear would I need to bring?
@T.Bix - Expect the water around here to be about 60 degrees F. There are some small grottoes and tunnels, but no big cave systems in this area. The main draw around Lisbon are the shipwrecks.
Visibility is very hit or miss. On a good day, it can hit 60 feet. On a bad day, it can be a murky soup of less than 10 feet. Most days are somewhere in between.
Right around Lisbon, the closest place I recommend diving is Sesimbra. It's about a 30 to 40 minute drive south of Lisbon, and if you are looking for other things to do around there, it's also in an area with vineyards, two castles, and makes one of the country's most distinctive cheeses (azeitao). The Sesimbra fishing port has three or four dive shops all concentrated together. Anthia and Nautilus Sub are to I remember off hand. Top Sub, which is a dive shop in Lisbon, does most of its trips in Sesimbra and provides transportation there.
A little further afield is Peniche, a coastal resort about 70 minutes drive north of Lisbon. A few miles offshore are some rocky islands, the Berlengas, and this is hands down the best diving in central Portugal. Visibility is almost always 60 feet or higher, and the islands are thick with sea life. There are two shops there I know of - Haliotis and Aquaoeste.
As far as gear is concerned, all the shops rent equipment, so I would take whatever you would bring on any other dive trip.
In Sesimbra there's a small sea cave, but shallow and if the sea is not flat it's not possible to go there.
1h15 away from Lisbon there are very nice cave systems, Alviela and Almonda. The problem here is that there are no dive operations.
things are firming up for my trip, It looks like I'll be in Faro for the middle of next month. Any recommendations on accommodations right near the dive ops? and which dive ops would you recommend in Faro?
Does anybody have any feedback on this op? I N D I G O D I V E R S - Diving Area They are closer to where I will be staying. It looks like they do both boat and shore diving. Also would a BP/W kit be something they are not accustomed to, or would this be common?