Greece is a popular holiday destination, and from looking at its gorgeous seas and pretty white villages, it isn’t hard to see why.
It is a wonderfully picturesque location, and many of its cities and islands are very popular, with tourists visiting from all over the world. It is also rich in history, and has some wonderful food. Are we selling it to you yet?
There are some great surfing conditions in Greece, such as natural currents, and winding shores, but despite this, surfing isn’t actually all that common there. Sports such as kite surfing and windsurfing are popular, with some more surfing clubs having been established across Greece’s islands in recent years.
Given the surprising lack of popularity of surfing there, it may be a good spot for your next surfing vacation, as you are certain to avoid crowds!
Before deciding on a location, all surfers must be aware of the dreaded question: ‘are there sharks?’. If Greece didn’t already sound like the perfect location, it sure does now, as sharks in Greece are extremely rare, and the odd few that do make their way into those waters are usually completely harmless. Here are some of the sharks you may (but probably not) encounter:
This shark is the second-largest shark in the world (the first being the whale shark), measuring 26 feet in length! They have grayish-brown mottled skin, and enjoy warm waters. They are known for travelling long distances and are occasionally seen in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas (two of the seas that surround Greece).
These babies have a huge mouth that has a width of around 3 feet! Despite its massive size, the basking shark has a very small brain, making it incredibly passive and generally harmless to humans.
In contrast to the large basking shark, we have the tiny little dogfish, measuring only 40 to 60 inches in length. They are easily recognized by their white spots on their back, in contrast to their brownish skin.
They are most likely to be found in offshore, shallow waters, and although they are not commonly found in the Aegean and Mediterranean, they are occasionally seen around there.
Interestingly, this shark has two spines to protect itself against any predators. If in danger, the shark will arch its back, releasing a venom from its spine. Although a relatively mild venom, it is still enough to scare off its aggressor.
Although this little shark enjoys the warm waters around Greece, it is pretty unlikely you’ll see it, as they are mainly spotted by fishermen who are far out at sea. If you are fortunate enough to spot one, you can be assured that they are harmless.
These sharks enjoy the shallow waters off the coastlines of the Mediterranean. They also enjoy waters surrounding the Canary Islands. Sadly, spotting one of these is pretty rare due to fishing.
They grow to around 7 feet in length, and they are flat in shape. They are sometimes confused for rays, which can give you a good idea of what they look like.
It is best not to confuse these two, though, as angel sharks have some extensible jaws and extremely sharp teeth. They feed on crustaceans, mollusks, and small marine creatures. They hunt their prey by camouflaging with the sand on the seabed, until they are ready to pounce.
Furthermore, they aren’t aggressive to humans intentionally, but unfriendly encounters have happened with them, due to them usually lurking where human traffic is, such as in scuba diving.
Although it is extremely rare to see a blue shark around Greece, this species must be mentioned in this list due to its migration throughout the year, seeking warm waters in the Gulf Stream. It’s been seen off the coast of the United Kingdom, and the Mediterranean and Aegean seas occasionally.
This is a truly beautiful shark, with a blue-colored skin, making it unique in appearance. They can grow to around 10 feet long, and they feed on shrimp, lobster, and crab.
There are stories of blue sharks attacking humans, but like the previous sharks on this list, it is very rare.
Great White Shark
Ah, the great white. The most feared shark of all. Although they are mostly found in cooler waters around North America, and South Africa, they used to be pretty present in the Mediterranean, more so than they are now.
Despite them not being too common in this region now, they have made it on this list because of their history of roaming these waters.
However, recent scientific surveys have found that the oceans of the Strait of Messina, are very rich in minerals, making it a key breeding area for great whites. This area is only 400 miles away from the Aegean Sea in Greece.
This means that migrations of these sharks in these areas cannot be completely ruled out.
These bad boys can grow up to around 16 feet in length and are easily spotted due to their size and their white bellies.
They also have two rows of teeth, and are the species of shark that is most responsible for attacks on humans. You’d be happy to know, though, that only one case of a great white shark attack has been documented in the Aegean so far.
So, are sharks found in Greece? The sharks on this list are all sharks that can be found (although rarely) in the waters that surround Greece, those being the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Although these seas are less likely to be inhabited by dangerous sharks, the small possibility is still there. The species of sharks that are most likely to be found in these areas are usually harmless to humans, and are unlikely to intentionally attack a human.
So if you’re looking for a new surfing location, Greece will provide you with warm waters, great surf locations, and a significantly low risk of shark infested waters. Surfs up!