Diving in Belgium is mostly done in quarries like Carrière La Croisette and La Roche Fontaine. Furthermore Belgium has some nice recreational parks, for instance De Put van Ekeren and Zilvermeer Mol in Antwerp. Almost all dive spots are on private property so you’ll need to get permission first before diving and there are strict house rules you need to obey.
Belgian dive spots are a nice variation for the dive spots in Zeeland and the Dutch gravel and sand quarries. What can you expect? Most of the Belgian dive spots have reasonable accommodations like a fill station, a jetty, dressing rooms and a restaurant of some sort. Rules and safety precautions are pretty strict but they do have good emergency facilities. The only minor thing is the lack of biodiversity. There’s a lot of fish, mostly introduced, but the amount of species is limited. You’ll see large shoals of roach but also gold carps and sturgeons. Due to the bottom existing of rock instead of sand or silt, visibility is reasonable at most times, varying from five to ten meters. Some of the quarries are quite deep, with depths up to fifty meters.
Although visibility in Belgium is a bit more stable than in The Netherlands, a good preparation is still advised. Check the Divers Guide app or this website for recent log reports and actual weather conditions. Because the banks of the quarries are steep and high, mud will run into the water during heavy rainfall or extended periods of rain. The total amount of dive spots in Belgium is quite limited, making these site busy in weekends. So avoid the weekends or make good use of the possibility to make a reservation long before you tend to do the dive.
Diving in abandoned marble quarries
Most of the stone pits are abandoned marble quarries that flooded with rainwater during the years since they were abandoned. In some cases you can still find remains of the old mining activities. La Roche Fontaine is famous for the huge crane that protrudes far above water level. Underwater you will find drilling heads, pumps, winches and other materials. The walls are steep so take into account that a long descent has to be made to reach the entrance to the water. One of the most beautiful quarries in Belgium is La Gombe where you, besides tools, can find a fighter jet and an armoured car with tracks. The clear water with many sturgeons and carps make La Gombe a very nice dive experience. Furthermore La Gombe features perfect services with covered dressing rooms, warm water showers, toilets and a tavern.
Belgian recreational parks
One of Belgium’s most famous dive spots is the Put van Ekeren. Not a quarry, but a recreational domain where you can do fun dives. The dive spot is located in a quiet area and the water is clear, being at its best in August and September because of the exuberant flora and the large amount of fish. Between the water plants you will spot pikes, perches and crayfish. Whoever is interested can go and hunt for fossil sea shells that can be found in the clay walls between six and nine meters. The recreational domain Muisbroek’s above water setting is also very nice as it has a beautiful green environment. As in most Belgian dive spots the rules are very strict. Besides that you’ll need a year or a day permit to dive here. The Put van Ekeren is a real good training spot but it lacks diving facilities.
Dive spots in Wallonia
At least as famous is the recreational park Zilvermeer Mol in the Antwerp Campine region. Striking is the water’s blue colour and the ‘Onderwaterpark voor Schone Kunsten’, a underwater museum consisting of more than fifty statues and pieces of art. Like the Put van Ekeren, the Zilvermeer is a real training lake. The dive center, the good facilities and the terrace on the water’s edge make your dive a real experience. Do bear in mind that in Wallonia a lot or even most inhabitants lack all languages but French, so just in case you don’t speak French, bring a digital or paper translator, when diving in Wallonia. All together, diving in Belgium is a bit more limited than in The Netherlands concerning the amount of dive spots and biodiversity. This doesn't mean that Belgian quarries are not a welcome alternative for Zeeland and the Dutch gravel and sand quarries, because they are. Furthermore, the dive spots in Belgium are often better facilitated than the ones in The Netherlands.
Dive spots in Belgium
Want to go diving in Belgium yourself? Below you’ll find a list with all dive spots.