Trevor and I went to the Dive show at the NEC and amongst a lot of general research about places to dive, we spoke to Emanuel on the ‘Explora Madeira‘ stand who was very enthusiastic and assured Trevor that there were lots of shore diving opportunities on Madeira. As a result we decided to book a last minute package with Jet2 to Madeira to check it out for ourselves. We packed our wetsuits, qualification cards and dive computers and turned up on spec at Explora Madeira’s dive centre in Funchal just a week after the dive show. Emanuel was very surprised but pleased to see us and organised a dive on their house reef and two dives at two other sites along the coast.
As a dive centre, Explora Madeira was quite small and did not have a huge amount of rental equipment but what they did have seemed well maintained and the young girl who guided us seemed very proficient, although she was just a guide and not an instructor. The centre does have the use of a small RIB for diving further offshore but, needless to say, we didn’t try this out.
It seemed to us that diving in Madeira is not as well developed as in, for example, the Canaries. We didn’t find any other dive centres in Funchal and although we did meet up with one other group of divers once, considering we were supposed to be diving two of the best sites, this didn’t seem a lot.
Over the week, we combined the diving with walking in the lavadas. Madeira is a beautiful, verdant island with great scenery above and below sea level, I’ve included some photos. Catch us in club if you want any more information about diving or staying in Madeira.