Above and Below the World

DIVING AT LAVEZZI ISLANDS

Summary:

  • Date & place: 24/08/2020 | Lavezzi Islands, Mediterran sea
  • Level: Open water (18m max)
  • External & underwater conditions: Strong wind and waves| Good, without currents
  • Duration, visibility & water Tª: 48 min | Medium (<10 m) | 24 ºC
  • Max. depth & Gas: 18,8 m | Air
  • Surface time:  –  (1st dive)

Activity type:

Categoria de buceo - diving activity

Profile/Map:

Location:

The Lavezzi Islands are a small archipelago made up of a hundred small islands or granite islets located in the Strait of Bonifacio, about 10 km south of Bonifacio.

The main islands are Porraggia, Ratino, Piana, Cavallo (the only one inhabited) and Lavezzo (where the lighthouse is), in addition to the Sperduto group of islands.

It is a French protected area, listed as a nature reserve since 1982 and since December 1999, it is part of the larger natural reserve of des Bouches de Bonifacio.

If you are lucky enough that the wind doesn’t blow a lot, diving in this area is considered one of the best in France. These islands are famous for the large number of different fish they shelter, including their population of groupers, which the nickname of “Méroubille”.

In addition to diving, there are also boat departures from Bonifacio to spend the day in these islands and take the opportunity to snorkel or enjoy its beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters.

DIVING AT LAVEZZI ISLANDS: GROTES DE VECCU

We get up early to go to Bonifaccio to dive in the Lavezzi Islands which are said to be one of the most beautiful places to dive in France, we are very excited!

We arrived at Bonifacio Plongee diving club, which is located in the center of town without the possibility of free parking nearby, so we park for a moment at the gas station, we leave the equipment at the club and go to park. Further up the road, past a campsite, we find a free mini parking lot where you can leave your car (in the early hours of the morning there was only one other car parked) and it takes approximately 8 minutes walk from the diving center (see detail below).

Bonifaccio Plongee diving club

Location and indications of the small free parking that we find up on the road

We park and go back to the club, change ourselves, prepare the equipment and bottles and leave them in a cart that the club itself takes to the ship and we walk to the port.

It’s very windy, but they still decide to go out. The captain Emilie of our zodiac goes very very fast and the trip to Lavezzi Islands, of about 40 minutes, is long and heavy with this swell and the constant boats having to hold ourserlves very tight to not fly away.

Finally we reach the dive point, located to the lee of the island.

Lavezzi Islands

Islas Lavezzi, just before diving starts

Diving without currents in a small area of ​​rocks with caves and holes in the rocks, the anchor is at a depth of about 7 meters and the base of the blocks are at about 16m.

Quiet immersion, we see groupers, scorpora fish and all the typical ones we can find here. As in the previous days, we see a lot of posidonea on the rock bottom.

Grouper facing up

Scorpora fish at the bottom

The most interesting thing about this dive is to go under the ‘holes’ in the rocks and see the roofs upholstered with yellow and orange anemones.

Ceilings in caves upholstered of anemones

We go around the anchor and after 45 minutes we go up. Once up, they tell us that the next dive is canceled since the wind conditions have worsened and we have to go back now.

And indeed, the return in the zodiac is even worse than the outward journey; The wind has risen and the captain is going very fast, constantly crashing and breaking against the waves with the bad luck that already arriving at port, in one of the waves Edu hits his knee against a metal bar located in front of him (the bottle clamp) and it hurts him a bit.

What a bad luck! The next day we had to dive here too but due to the strong wind it will not be possible,.. so we will need to come back another time!

At the club we take photos of the dive sites around Bonifaccio and Lavezzi Islands:

Diving sites at Lavezzi Islands

Diving sites nearby Bonifaccio area

More information about Bonifaccio Plongee diving club:

  • Club twinned with Kallister club (at Palombaggia beach)
  • There is no place to park your car for free (either you park outside the town or in a paid car park in the center of Bonifaccio)
  • The equipment can be cleaned with fresh water and has an open shower to wash off the salt. No changing rooms
  • Link to website
  • We recommend in the area:
    • Visit the beautiful city of Bonifaccio, known for its white cliffs.
    • Beaches in the natural surroundings, where you can walk and snorkel.

For more information on other Corsican dive sites, read our DIVING GUIDE IN CORSICA

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