July 19th, 2013

PREMIUM DC 2013, "Les Illes Dive Center" - CATALONIA

Premium DC 2013 continue with Diving Center "Les Illes Dive Center".
Keep in touch in the next days we will insert other questions in order to know this amazing DC.

Question10: What is the strongest argument for your DC to convince me as customer to dive at your DC?

Whereas other DC in our area, we only deal with small groups and personal contact with the divers is a must. Our staff will make you feel like home and have an experience that you’ll never forget! This added to the magnificent Medes Islands dive creatures will make you want to stay for more!

Question9: What else can be done/seen at your place. Are there other sport/culture activities to see/attend and could I come with family and/or kids?

L’Estartit is a multi adventure family destination with a wide range of activities including not only diving but also sailing, snorkeling, kite surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, horse riding, trekking and cycling among others. There are also cultural activities such as visits to the local traditional villages, markets, churches, castles and even museums as important as the Dalí Museum in Figueres.

Question8: What is the best time to come to go diving at your place?

We are opened from the end of February to mid November so all this period is good for diving here. Of course, in the colder months the water temperature is lower and visibility can be quite short distance, and in the hotter months the water temperature rises to a maximum of 24 degrees Celsius and visibility grows as much as 20-25 meters. It’s in this period when we can also see the seasonal sunfish and shoals of eagle rays and barracudas. Huge tunas are here all year round, same as the unconditional groupers, moray eels and octopus.

Question7: What kind of breathing gas is used on your DC and what is available as safety/back-up infrastructure at your DC or nearby?

We provide our divers normal air fills as well as Nitrox, if requested. Our security infrastructure includes one pure oxygen set in each boat, equipped with all different kind of masks and resuscitators, and one auxiliary rubber boat attached to each boat in case urgent evacuation of victim is need, or just to pick up divers who finish their dives too far from the boat. The decompression chamber is reached by road in 20 minutes or on a 5 minutes helicopter ride (which is the normal evacuation method).

Question6: How does your staff looks like? Are there instructors that speak different languages? Can they deal also with kids or disabled persons? Can I do some training specialties during my dives?

We have two boat drivers and five dive instructors that speak Spanish, Catalan, French, English and Italian. They can perfectly handle kids and disabled divers. In our DC you can make any kind of course from beginner to advanced, try dives and also dive specialties such as deep diving or Enriched Air.

Question5: : How does your DC look like and how many equipment sets do you have? Do I need to bring my own equipment or can I rent equipment at the DC?

Our Dive Center is integrated inside our hotel which has the same name: Hotel Les Illes. We have a special changing room for our divers equipped with lockers, showers, toilets, individual hangers and an integrated heating system that is automatically activated every 30 minutes to dry the wetsuits. We also have a storage room where we keep all the rental equipment which includes more than 50 sets of Mares jackets, regulators, fins, masks, gloves, booties and 7.5mm long wetsuits with their matching over shorties for the colder months. So any diver can rent full equipment or just some items.
We have as well a newly refurbished classroom equipped with tv, dvd player, projector, whiteboard and laptop. It can also be used as meeting room.

Question4: What kind of boats, cars or other kind of transportation do you use to get divers to the dive sites?

We have two 12 meter long boats specially designed for diving with roofs to protect from the sun. Each boat can host up to 38 people including crew and they have enough space to store all diving equipment. We also use two vans to transport diver’s equipments from the dive center to the harbor while divers stroll to it in a short 3 minutes walk.

Question3: Which dive sites you go to and how are the dives there?

We have two kinds of dive sites all of them located on the Parc Natural de la Costa del Montgrí, Illes Medes i Baix Ter: some of them on the Medes Islands and some of them on the coast line. The dive points are easily reached by boat on a maximum 10 minutes ride from the harbor, which is in front of our dive center and hotel.
The kind of dive sites we have are suitable for all levels of divers from beginners to the most experienced ones with depth rates varying from 5m to 50+ meters. We have all sorts of dive profiles including caves, tunnels and walls full of gorgonian fans, which are quite big in size in this area. Another characteristic of this place is the size of the groupers and its docile character towards divers, as they are used to them and fishing is not allowed in this area. We also have seasonal eagle rays and sunfish and all sort of Mediterranean Sea fish in big numbers.

Question2: How I can get to your DC and are there special things to organize like Visa or permissions to dive at your place?

There are several ways to arrive at our dive center depending from your origin. L’Estartit is located only 30 minutes away by road from Gerona, which can be reached by highway or national road from France and other parts of Spain and from anywhere else by plane on the nearby Gerona airport.
There are no special visa permissions needed for EU passport holders, whereas tourists from other countries should confirm with their respective embassies. In addition, a special permission is required to dive in the Medes Islands Natural Park but we make all the necessary arrangements.

Question1: Where is your Dive Center located and what is so special about it?

Les Illes Dive Center is located in the small village of Estartit, in Catalonia, Spain. All our dives take place in the privileged area of the Parc Natural de la Costa del Montgrí, Illes Medes i Baix Ter. This is a recently declared natural park protected area that comprises both coastal and maritime territories. However, the Medes Islands have been a protected area for more than twenty years. This is why the biodiversity and the size of the species that can be found here are very spectacular.