Clear waters and underwater gardens all waiting to be explored; the enchanting colours can be experienced whilst snorkelling in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. For the joy of the eyes and also for the pleasure of the soul. This sport is able to generate great enthusiasm and a life long passion.
Snorkelling is also known as Sea-watching; you move slowly along the surface of the water with a snorkel and, whilst it is possible to go snorkelling alone, it is certainly more interesting if you go with an expert marine biologist guide, ready to answer all your questions about this world rich in fauna and flora. You just need mask, flippers and a snorkel. To make this experience truly unforgettable, don’t forget your underwater camera. Because the snorkelling rule is “look but don’t touch!”
Boutique Hotel Ilio on Capo Sant’Andrea on the north-western tip of the island and in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, arranges fun excursions together with the Diving Centre, 150 metres away, from June to September and, with a wetsuit, also in spring and autumn. Under the guidance of an instructor, you can discover the wonders of the depths at Sant’Andrea. On the beach at Sant’Andrea you can hire motor boats and rubber outboard motor boats.
What you need
A mask in transparent silicone allows for better light and field of vision; make sure it fits the face well and is water tight. The snorkel must be soft and the right size to fit comfortably into the mouth without causing irritation and allow for proper breathing. Swimming flippers are better than the sub-aqua type because they are lighter and more flexible. A light wetsuit in neoprene or lycra gives adequate thermal protection and good protection against abrasions and sun burn. Don’t hesitate to bring underwater cameras; there are many kinds available and to suit all budgets.
Move cautiously and slowly and avoid making any noise that might alarm the fish; use your eyes rather than your hands and take photos only as souvenirs. Bear in mind that in water, objects appear 25% larger and nearer and that as the depth increases, both the light and the sensation of colour diminishes.
Sea-watching points at Capo Sant’Andrea and nearby
The bay of Capo Sant’Andrea, le Piscine, Cotoncello, l’Isolotto and many more offer an embarrassingly wide choice of places to visit! It is here in Sant’Andrea that the bright green seaweed, Posidonia, finds an ideal environment; this is further proof of the cleanliness of the sea here, which offers the ideal habitat for many species of fish, the brightly-coloured “castagnola”, the needle fish, sago and salpa; whereas standing out from the sandy seabed you can see starfish and mussels. Just one kilometre from Sant’Andrea, among the rocks of “Formiche di Zanca” you can admire an extraordinary variety of species of marine life; sponges, seaweed, corals, shoals of saraga, coloured torda and octopus. On a boat trip to the west, you must stop off along the coast at Pomonte to visit the wreck of the 62 metre merchant ship Elviscott which sank in 1972. The wreck lies on the sandy seabed in just 12 metres of water so clear that you can make out the bridge, machine room and the stern among the colonies of bream and sea urchins.