Life under the sea has always been a passion. As a child eager to explore the world below, I would throw on my mask and flippers and jump in the water.
Things have not changed much since then.
The island of Kea has rich marine life you won’t find on other touristy islands, like Mykonos and Santorini. The underwater communities have been preserved due to the lack of human intervention, and can be observed on almost any part of the island. Over the years, I have come across different species of fish, starfish, octopi, sea eels and squid. Most memorable were two seahorses I spotted about two years ago tangled in seaweed, near the cove of Kalidonixi.
Top 3 Snorkel Spots on the Island
1. Caves at Kastri
The caves are accessible only by boat. They are about 3 meters in height above sea level and go down very deep underwater. Here is the place where you’ll spot big fish, like groupers, and maybe even a seal or sea turtle if you’re lucky. Make sure to go early in the morning, because as soon as the sun starts to set, it gets very dark. (Tip: Bring an underwater flashlight so that you can look inside the caves as the water is a dark, opaque blue)
2. Glaronisi Rock
This island-rock is located near Otzias beach, but can only be accessed by boat. The water is emerald green, with different varieties of colorful fish floating around the reefy terrain. Keep an eye out for a parrot fish, known as”skaros”, as there are usually plenty in that area. (Warning: the water gets very shallow with sharp ledges, make sure to approach carefully!)
3. Kastellakia Coves The three coves located on the south side of the island are accessible by both car and boat. Each cove is accompanied by a small beach, making Kastellakia a more approachable destination. Still, it’s a great place to snorkel with family and younger children.
Spearfishing for Beginners – 3 Tips of Advice
1. Use a light speargun -a heavy one can be difficult to maneuver given its extra weight underwater
(Tip: Sand soles can be spotted at Kefalas Beach frequently, camouflaged in the sand. Their wide, flat appearance makes them an easy target, despite their swiftness and speed)
3.Try Kefalas, Spathi, or Xyla Beach as your best bet – rich marine life and deep coves to explore (Warning: the water in Spathi is deeper than it looks, make sure to dive responsibly)
While snorkeling on the far right coastline of Spathi beach last year, I spotted an octopus camouflaged beneath dark brown rock. Interested to take a closer look, I dove down a few meters to where the animal lay hidden beneath a rock. As soon as I tried touch its body, the octopus glued itself to the rock, stubbornly using strength from all its tentacles. With a second dive, I tried again, I was lucky and caught it off-guard. Without any special spearfishing gear or snorkeling equipment I managed to catch the octopus and bring it to the shore. (Tip: as soon as you catch the octopus, turn its mantle inside-out)