Parts of the Med are just as stunning under the water as above it. We pick four holiday home destinations that also offer some of Europe’s best scuba diving

Port Chambray in Gozo, Malta

Gozo, Malta
A short ferry ride from its sister island Malta, smaller Gozo is a haven of rustic charm and an increasingly hard-to-find laid-back lifestyle. Sleepy villages look across rolling hills, while its dramatic coastline is a gateway to some of Europe’s finest scuba diving. Dive sites in Gozo include stunning reefs, caverns, walls and wrecks, many of which are conservation areas. The highlight is the famous Blue Hole, a collapsed underwater limestone cave.

Gozo’s villages are famous for converted character houses, typically made of stone and set around an interior courtyard. Otherwise, a landmark project on the island is the conversion of the ancient Fort Chambray garrison into a luxury residential development, which offers duplex apartments with stunning views and access to world-class facilities.

Calella de Palafrugell, Costa Brava

Costa Brava, Spain
Diving is popular almost everywhere along the Spanish Costas, but the Costa Brava is notable for its especially rugged coastal scenery and intriguing rock formations, both above and below the sea.

Highlights of the region’s dive sites include the protected Medes Islands, located off the beach resort of L’Estartit, and the waters around the Cap de Creus peninsula, a designated natural park near the French border. The captivating scenery around Cap de Creus is said to have inspired the famous Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, who lived much of his life near the pretty whitewashed town of Cadaqués.

The coastline between Pals and Palamós, home to a string of pretty bays including Calella de Palafrugell, is also home to some notable dive sites. An alternative to the Spain’s Med coastline are the Canary Islands, situated in the Atlantic and often ranked as one of the best diving sites in the world.

Hvar Island, Croatia
The jewel in the crown of Croatia’s Dalmatian islands, Hvar sits in the clear waters of the Adriatic just a one-hour catamaran ride (or two-hours by ferry) from the historic city of Split. While the interior of the island is a patchwork of lavender fields, vineyards and olive groves, the coast is home to ancient fishing villages and unspoilt beaches set around pretty bays. There are more than a dozen dive sites within a short boat ride from Hvar, many located around the stunning Pakleni archipelago. In recent years, the main town of Hvar has become  a chic hang-out for the international jet set – Prince Harry has been spotted there! To see a selection of properties for sale in Hvar, click here.

Villa near Plakias, Crete

Crete, Greece
The largest and most southerly of Greece’s islands, Crete’s distance from the mainland of Europe – and Africa – helps keep the waters around it crystal clear.

Dive hubs on the north coast just west of Heraklion are the neighbouring beach resorts of Agia Pelagia and Ligaria. Meanwhile on the less developed south coast, directly south of Rethymnon, is Shinaria beach near the resort of Plakias, which is deemed one of the best spots in Crete for observing marine wildlife.