More and more appreciated by diving lovers worldwide, scuba diving in Cinque Terre and La Spezia offers a variety of animal and vegetable species to depths enthusiasts.
Since 1999 the area has been part of the Sea Cetacean Sanctuary, extended from northern Sardinia, Côte d’Azur, and South of Tuscany. So it is easy to see whales, dolphins, and others for those who swim on the surface.
Especially in the Protected Sea area of the Parco Delle Cinque Terre is a variety of animal and plant species, subject to constant monitoring and research for natural sciences and environmental protection to make the experience of diving in Cinque Terre extraordinary, particularly in the caves and in the dry areas.
Of course, the area is subject to seawater protection regulations. Therefore, it is essential to dive with local experts to have the necessary support and dive safely, especially for those who own only a first-level diving patent.
7 recommended diving experiences in Cinque Terre and La Spezia, in typical caves and dry marines.
1. Island of Palmaria Blue Cave.
Suggestive wide opening in the rock to find on the west side of Palmaria Island. The cave is a few meters high above sea level. It continues below the surface for about twenty meters, with spectacular reflections of the ravine’s light blue water. Diving among the rocks, one can easily find different species of invertebrates.
2. Diving at Punta del Tino.
From below the deep vertical wall of Tino Island, proceed to the tip to admire, particularly with good underwater visibility, Eunicellasingularis, and Leptogorgia sarmentosa. In the canal separating the Tino from the Palmaria islands are the Paramuricea clavata and the Eucalyptus verrucosa. At the same time, upward, there are Pentaporafascialis and sea chestnuts. In this underwater plants panorama, you will find sarangis, lettuces, clumps, moray eels, and nudibranchs of different species..
3. Dive in the TInetto Grotto and dry.
Tinetto’s island can look just as small as a cliff but hides in its backdrop, albeit somewhat muddy, a cave where lobsters swim. The cave’s large entrance has sponges, tunicates, nudibranchs, and anemones. You can dive about 20 feet deep, following the light that filters out the surface in a narrow path that opens up somewhere else, between beautiful light and shades games.
4. Diving at Punta Mesco.
In Punta Mesco, a beautiful dive follows the wall on the right and descends along a slope down to an about 30 meters-deep muddy sea. It features lovely red gorgonians and sea daisies. The wildlife in the blue of Punta Mesco consists of moray eels, browned horns, daggers, barracudas, and lobsters.
5. Diving at Punta Pineda.
Punta Pineda is a very suggestive spot characterized by a strong tide from the west, which gives water transparency and is, therefore, rich in curls, toothpicks, and tuna. The “swimming pools” are shaped like horse saddles and reach 12 meters maximum depth. Although following the wall gets about 18 meters deep, there are many gorgonians up to 30 meters deep, where clumps and mounds can be dangerous.
6. Diving at the Maralunga Cave, or Brigantino Grotto.
To some, the Maralunga Cave near Lerici is of archaeological interest as old marble blocks visible on the backdrop would witness the shipwreck of an ancient Rome ship. For others, the name “Brigantine Cave” dates back to a more recent time, when a brigantine hid in the cave, probably destroying its trees after a fight with a pirate ship. It is forbidden to approach the cave by boat. Hence, enthusiasts leave the ground inside the Caletta di Lerici, an awe-inspiring place on the coast of Maralunga, especially in the morning with the sun rising to the east. Swimming to the right, leave behind the Maramozza Tip to find the 15 meters emerged and 40 meters deep cave in the white limestone of the coast. Near and inside the cave, small breams and occhiate fish grow safely.
7 – Diving at the Wreck of Equa.
Diving in Cinque Terre, you can also explore some wrecks. One of these is the wreck of Equa, a ship built in 1929 by the Società Partenopea Degli Armatori of Naples. During the war, the navy forcibly used it to destroy enemy submarines. Unfortunately, on June 10, 1944, it sank due to a protrusion by a German unit two miles off Riomaggiore. However, the ship is in good condition and widely visited amid anemones’ jewels, lobsters, chestnuts, sponges, and oysters.
At about 45 meters, Equa is still on the east/west route of its sailing. You can see the top deck at a depth of 34 mt, the lower deck, and the control room, a lobster shelter. Along the left keel is a machine gun with a turret and a perfectly preserved anti-aircraft cannon. For the most skilled, it is possible to access the machine room, toilets, to the aft, where the depth bombing equipment is visible.