WorldStreet travels to sunny northern Greece to visit an old friend, Mr. Mihail Balabanov, who runs one of the finest Greek Diving Centers – Atlantis.
Why is Northern Greece a popular scuba destination?
Undoubtedly, Halkidiki (Northern Greece) is one of the best places for sea vacations in Europe and the world. With its 14,500 km of coastline and 380 blue-flag beaches, Greece ranks among the first places in the world regarding water and beach cleanliness. In Halkidiki, we have 126 blue-flag beaches. Along with good organic food, low prices, good service, nice weather, and almost zero crime, Halkidiki has the potential to become a top travel destination.
About the Atlantis Diving Center
Mihail has created the complete diving service in the region. The center offers activities for children and beginners, recreational and technical diving courses, snorkeling, boat diving (Kelyfos Island), gear maintenance, consulting, and a high-quality gear shop.
Monica asked our instructor the following questions:
When did you start diving?
– Mihail: I did my first course in a paramilitary formation of the Bulgarian Army in 1986. In 2001 I started with PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors (USA). It is the most considerable diver training and certification organization in the world. In 2009 I became a PADI Instructor, and in 2019 a PADI Trimix Instructor Trainer – the highest level for an active member of this organization.
What is the most incredible dive you have ever done?
– Mihail: I still love diving as much as I did in the beginning. I still get excited when I go in despite my almost 6000 thousand dives. So there are many amazing dives and underwater adventures with extraordinary emotions that I have done.
Why do people go diving in general?
– Mihail: Everyone has their own reason for doing certain things in their life. But I think that the main driving forces of people are, first of all, curiosity, love for nature, the spirit of discovery, and the desire to do something new and challenging for themselves. Divers visit many new places, meet interesting new people, and do many exciting things.
What makes for a quality diving center?
– Mihail: Many things are essential for a diving center to be at a high level. I think it is vital that the staff is friendly and works with high professionalism. To inspire confidence and trust in people. To help them overcome their fears and take a bold step forward. Consistency over time is critical because this is how trust is built. You have to make them feel like one big underwater family. That’s how people come back again and again. We now have a third generation of trainee divers with us. This is already a reason for pride and hopes that we are on the right path.
Do people get addicted to scuba diving?
– Mihail: Once the salt water gets into your blood, you can’t help but fall entirely in love with diving. The underwater world is wonderful and different. Going deeper and deeper into it, it becomes an inexhaustible reservoir of positive emotions. Diving has the power to change people’s lives for the better. Happily, I see this effect of it often around me.
What would be a perfect diving course for beginners?
– Mihail: The Discoverer Scuba Diver and Open Water Diver PADI programs are the best-selling diving courses in the world. They are designed specifically for beginners, including children. In a controlled environment with a professional, you will learn what diving is all about and how to plan, prepare and execute a dive with your underwater buddy, even without the help of an instructor.
When diving becomes a job for you, it’s time to change your profession. Mihail Balabanov
Is scuba diving suitable for kids?
– Mihail: Children aged eight and over who are physically and mentally healthy can engage in scuba diving. They are divided into age categories. This is done primarily for safety purposes. The aim is also to avoid possible stress and for the children to have as much fun as possible, each according to their abilities.
What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to make a living with scuba diving?
– Mihail: First of all, a person should enjoy what he does. To try to keep the thrill and excitement of diving. It is crucial and, accordingly, challenging to protect yourself from boredom and the traps of routine. Being a diving instructor is not a job but a way of living. When diving becomes a job for you, it’s time to change your profession.
What are the outgoing promotions at Atlantis Diving?
– Mihail: We strive always to offer our customers promotional products and packages. We have promotions that are suitable for both beginners and advanced divers. We have also remembered the future and current instructors we want to attract to train with us. Many interesting promotions and packages, and adventures can be found on our website at www.atlantis-scubadiving.com.
Atlantis Diving Business Card
Atlantis Diving is the complete diving service in Chalkidiki. The center offers various fun activities for children and beginners, recreational and technical diving courses, snorkeling, boat diving (Kelyfos Island), gear maintenance, consulting, and a high-quality gear shop.
- Atlantis Diving Website: https://www.atlantis-scubadiving.com/
- Atlantis Diving Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AtlantisDivingCenterNikitiGreece
- Atlantis YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@AtlantisDivingCenter
Where to Find Atlantis
Nikiti 630 88, Sithonia, Halkidiki, Greece