Yes, there is diving, scuba and snorkeling in Portugal.
We have this little Portuguese island about an hour flight from the mainland called Azores that was selected last year by National Geographic as being among the top five richest sea wildlife areas to dive in the world.
On the mainland of Portugal, there’s a wonderful place called Sesimbra about 40 to 50 minutes southeast of Lisbon. Sesimbra is a protected land that is surrounded by really beautiful green mountains. No building or construction is allowed over there and fishing is allowed only 4 or 5 miles off the coast. So that means the area in between the land and about give miles to sea is the perfect diving place for snorkeling, diving, and everything else.
We also have diving schools here in Cascais and Estoril in the Lisbon area, but the waters are a bit darker than in Sesimbra. The reason for that is because under the ocean when there are rocks the sea becomes darker and when there’s sand the sea becomes lighter. There’s a huge sandbank in Sesimbra, so therefore, the water is much more clear.
I’m 37 years old and I’ve lived always in front of the sea and I’ve been surfing since I was 10 or 11 years old. When I was young, I never felt the need to use a wetsuit, but as the years have been passing, I started to feel the water getting colder. Of course it’s not the water getting colder, it’s just me getting older. So in the winter, I use a 4/3-millimeter wetsuit for surfing or snorkeling or for when I go spear fishing. I use a 4/3-millimeter in winter and a 2/2-millimeter in the summer.
(Diving off Sesimbra, Portugal, pictured.)