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Sardinia dive site map

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Scuba Diving in Sardinia, Italy

Water temperature:

The water temperature varies from 15°C in early Spring, and between 19°C and 25°C in Summer and Autumn


5mm - 7mm


15 - 30 metres (50 - 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Rocky reefs with caverns and overhangs, seagrass areas and a few wrecks

Marine life:

Octopus, grouper, bream, barracuda, sponges, coral

When to go:

April to October

How to get there:

The closest airport is Olbia, located 30km from Palau. Daily flights low cost flights (such as Easyjet and Ryanair) arrive from the main European cities. Alternatively Alghero airport is located around 2 hours drive from Palau. Renting a car allows you to get to Palau and have access to the beaches, forts and ruins around the island.

Propellor, diving Sardinia, Italy - courtesy of Nautilus Diving Centre
Barracuda, diving Sardinia, Italy - courtesy of Nautilus Diving Centre
Grouper, diving Sardinia, Italy - courtesy of Nautilus Diving Centre
Coral polyps, diving Sardinia, Italy - courtesy of Nautilus Diving Centre
Sponge, diving Sardinia, Italy - courtesy of Nautilus Diving Centre
Nudibranch, diving Sardinia, Italy - courtesy of Nautilus Diving Centre

Diving Islands and Marine Parks of Maddalena and Lavezzi

There are 40 dive sites to be visited around the Maddalena Archipelago, the reserve of Lavezzi and the Bonifacio Strait. Palau is in a strategic location and can be used to easily reach both east and west sides of the archipelago, while Lavezzi (Corsica) is just 12 miles from the harbour. Most of the dive sites can be reached in a few minutes to a maximum of 40 minutes. The presence of many islands and islets in the area offer us sheltered places to dive, even with bad weather conditions. The dive sites are generally represented by rocky shallows and granite walls rising from beneath the islands to a few metres from the surface. Nearly all the dive sites are suitable for any level of certification.

The Bonifacio Strait is a wide, shallow area. The waters between the islands are no deeper than 70 metres. Such an extension of shallow and well lit seabed, swept by currents, represent a perfect cradle for rich and diversified marine life. Most of the sedimentary seabed within 40 metres are covered with prairies of Posidonia Oceanica, a superior plant with flowers and fruits. The Posidonia Oceanica are huge nurseries to different species of fishes, crustaceans and molluscs. Among those prairies, you will dive along enormous granite rocks, drop offs, overhangs, swim through, caves all covered by spectacular marine life, sea fans, sponges, tube worms. Those incredible landscapes offer habitats to a large variety of fishes, molluscs and crustaceans like moray eel, stone fish, dorados, conger, barracudas, groupers, octopus, crabs, lobster and lots of nudibranchs. For the wreck lovers there is the 'Angelika', a cargo ship lying in between 12 and 21 metres and a Second World War plane engine covered with beautiful sponge at 21 metres.

Daily dive trips start at 8.30am. The dive boat leaves the port early as they like to be the first at the dive site. They go out for one or two dives with a surface interval. Snacks and drinks will be provided on board. The boat returns to Palau by early afternoon so you have the rest of the day for other activities. The water temperature varies from 15 degrees in early Spring, and between 19 and 25 degrees in Summer and Autumn with visibility ranging between 15 metres to 30 metres.


Palau is a small community located on the north point of Sardinia. It is the gateway to the marine park of La Maddalena and Lavezzi's beautiful beaches of the Costa Smeralda. The Bonifacio Strait is one of the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean Sea, the islands and islets shaped by the wind are scattered with crystal waters surrounding La Maddalena Archipelago and Lavezzi's Islands. The whole area represents a rich natural heritage with so many species living above and below the waters.

The little town of Palau will provide you with all the typical Sardinian delicacy, with little shops, relaxed bars and a wide choice of restaurants. The narrow streets are beautifully decorated with plant pots and flowers. One minute out of Palau you will find memorable sceneries of the Sardinian landscape with olive trees, wild flowers scuttled in between those gigantic rocks which offer great walking opportunities. Nautilus Diving Centre is the only PADI and BSAC Resort in the area and has a good location next to the unique and preserved area of the national park "La Maddalena Archipelago" and the marine reserve of Lavezzi (Corsica). Nitrox is available on request at the dive centre as is hire equipment.

I have done one weeks diving in Palau, north of the island of Sardinia. I must say it is one of the best spots I have seen in the med, with lots to see such as scorpionfish, morays, groupers and soft corals. Great reef topography with giant rocks, canyons, overhangs and little swim throughs. There is also a wreck, the Angelika which is nice and shallow. I will definitely go back next year. An advantage from the UK is the low cost airlines flying straight to Olbia next to Palau.


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