TRAVEL: EUROSPLASH

Scuba Diving - - Contents -

Some­times it seems like trop­i­cal is­lands get all the love — not so this month, when we take you back across the Pond to the Old Coun­try, where it turns out the div­ing is fan­tas­tic year-round.

Each year, our Top 100 Read­ers Choice sur­vey re­sults show that North Amer­i­cans — who make up the bulk of the re­spon­dents — are well-trav­eled, jet­ting to Caribbean is­lands, ex­otic Pa­cific lo­cales and be­yond. But Europe? Even though stel­lar div­ing is found in the bod­ies of wa­ter that sur­round it — the At­lantic and Arc­tic oceans and the Mediter­ranean and Adri­atic seas, to name a few — Euro­pean hot spots barely reg­is­ter. It’s time to change that. We asked eight un­der­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­phers to share their fa­vorite places to blow bub­bles across the Pond.

The source of the 19-mile­long Verza­sca River is on the peaks above the vil­lage of Sonogno, in the Ital­ianspeak­ing Ti­cino can­ton. More rag­ing moun­tain tor­rent than lazy river, the Verza­sca is for ad­vanced divers; when it rains on the sum­mits, the river’s flow can quickly be­come dan­ger­ous, so it’s rec­om­mended that you hire a lo­cal dive guide. For cen­turies, the river’s glacial waters have smoothed the rugged gran­ite; un­der­wa­ter, sparkling rays of sun­light give the sen­sa­tion of be­ing in a cathe­dral. We had only one at­tempt at this shot be­cause the cur­rent was so fast.

WHEN TO GO June to Oc­to­ber, with warmer wa­ter of­ten in fall; av­er­age wa­ter temps are in the low 50s F DIVE NOW grup­po­sub­verza­sca.ch SWITZERLAND LO­CA­TION Posse, Verza­sca River PHO­TOG­RA­PHER Marc He­nauer

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