Ocean Revival: Europe’s largest artificial reef is in the Algarve

History, biology, adventure and diving come together at Ocean Revival, Europe’s largest artificial reef, created off the coast near Portimão in the Algarve.

Hook up an oxygen tank and dive into the Algarve’s waters to discover how nature has taken over sunken warships, transforming into a real home for hundreds of marine species.

This project, located about half an hour from the VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve, is focussed on the sea, so standing out from other theme parks in the region, and putting the Algarve firmly on the international diving circuit.

Reef armada

It all started in 2012, when four Portuguese naval warships were sunk about two miles off Prainha beach, so as to become an artificial reef and underwater theme park.

The patrol vessel “Oceânico Zambeze”, corvette “Oliveira e Carmo”, hydrographical ship “Almeida Carvalho” and frigate “Comandante Hermenegildo Capelo” were the ships the navy chose to make the Ocean Revival a reality.

The structure was established in an area of calm waters that are safe for diving, and where the temperature ranges between 14º and 22ºC over the whole year.

As well as the underwater complex itself there is support infrastructure and services on land, such as a small museum and a hyperbaric chamber to handle any diving emergency that might arise, as well as other underwater spots to explore in the Algarve, such as shipwrecks from the 18th century or the First or Second World War, as well natural reefs and walls.

How to arrive and enjoy Ocean Revival

Ocean Revival is freely accessible to any qualified person or tour operator to dive without any problems, although it is necessary to know and observe the park regulations.

Those in charge suggest that going through a diving club, centre or certified school is the safest way of making the most of this underwater showcase for Algarve marine life.

Among the advantages of going through certified companies is the chance this affords of getting to know all detailed aspects of the diving and the degrees of difficulty of the various routes on offer, or the characteristics or particularities of the sunken vessels.

Once you arrive on site, you can choose between various itineraries whose routes are carefully defined with a view to a safe and certainly unforgettable visit!

To prepare for your underwater adventure, you can take advantage of the diving lessons that VidaMar organises weekly. There are various courses on offer, to suit both beginners and more experienced divers.