Tavolara-Punta Coda Cavallo marine reserve is the sea area on which
we dive in. Its extension is about 15.000 sea hectares, and offers us
many different dive sites even if the “A area” is closed
to divers and to the passage too. The marine park is divided in three
areas: A area is a total reserve, B area is a general reserve and C
area is a partial reserve.
From Porto S.Paolo it takes 10 to 50 minutes navigation to reach our
dive points. During the return journey divers can eat typical Sardinian
food and listen to the music on the boat.
Even if the dive points are closed one to each other, they have their
own characteristics. The underwater landscape changes in few minutes
of navigation, for example, if we dive close to the wall of Tavolara
island we find big white limestone blocks and clear water allows good
visibility even when the weather is cloudy.
On the other side, Molara island shows granite pinnacles, some of which
go close to the surface and some others create canyons that look like
A single dive description is not enough because from one dive point
you can make
different tours. The guide chooses daily the best tour, according to
the drift, to the presence of other divers on place,
to fishes or to groups of big groupers, always caring about safety and
divers amusement. During all of our dives we respect scuba diving safety
standards and the local law too. (see
What we would like to underline is that the characteristics of this
place allows us to find a good and quiet place for diving with all weather
conditions always respecting the safety rules.
THE BANK OF THE POPE ( diving depth 17-40mt.)It is considered one of
the most beautiful dive in the Med sea.
at about 300mt. far from Punta Papa extreme cape of Tavolara island.
Its name comes from a rock on the island that looks like a Pope.
The bank rise from a bottom 40mt. to 16mt deep from the surface where
there is a boa to anchor the boats.
Sometimes the drift leaves only one possible way of touring and the
depth makes this dive no good for the first level divers.
We descend on the rope of the anchor till the top of the bank where
many blue damsel fishes, rainbow wrasse and ZERRI welcome us. As we
leave the bank, we swim on neutral buoyancy into the blue at 24mt. depth
following a ridge of stones under us at 40mt. depth. During the tour
it is easy to meet groupers of different sizes, groups of breams who
play with each other, dentex with a dark look and fancy ombre. This
dive should end with a spiral ascend around the bank, but there are
too many things left to see: octopus, MURENA and coloured nudibranch.
Most curious divers looking inside the splits of the rock can find crabs
like Granceola, GALATEA and mechanical prawn. And again the gorgonian
red and yellow fans put a seal on this great adventure. As we stop for
safety all divers look sad and they look down…Hey what a grouper!
TEDDJA LISCIA (diving depth 9-40mt.)A smooth and
vertical wall on the south-center side of Tavolara island means that
we are at Teddja Liscia dive point.
following the wall of the island till the first step of the bottom at
12-15mt depth. At first we lie in wait for a big grouper, and it’s
like being on a balcony, because she is good to hide inside the Posidonia
As the depth increase there are different landscape for all tastes:
big blocks, good grouper hiding-place, small holes house of RE di TRIGLIA
passages where the light pass in and lighten sea flowers and coloured
sponges. Sometimes we have to look into the blue for passing fishes.
On the way back to the boat, we dive in shallow water and the range
of landscape seems to guide us into a new dive. Before the safety stop
we go once more to look for the big grouper “on the balcony”
to tell her “goodbye”!
L’ARCHETTO ( diving depth 7-40mt.)This dive
takes its name from a small arch on the wall of Tavolara
and the most careful divers can find one of it even underwater.
The first step of the bottom goes almost to 12mt. depth but we can expect
spectacular encounters. A big stone with a mushroom form hide big breams
and ombre. The falling rocks hides octopus hole, moray eel and conger
eel. The most careful divers can find some Alicia Mirabilis and think
to come back to see their beauty on a night dive. A vast expanses of
Posidonia plants covered the bottom till the depth of 40mt. where white
THE ELEPHANT BANK ( diving depth 18-30mt.)It is
an unusual dive point but it is an amazing diving. There are mountains
so big that makes us feel so small in front of the greatest beauty of
The dive point lies on the bottom a big anchor aged 1700. The tour is
around the big mountains that define the bank. Every big rock has many
splits whee placed ombre, spider crabs, slipper lobsters and moray eel.
This dive can not stop without visit the elephant rock, so big that
we can go through it.
Frequent encounters: groupers, dentex, barracuda, brown meagre, spider
Other important encounters: iron anchor, elephant-shaped rock, big grouper,
school of brown meagre and spider crabs.
There are really a lot of dives here, in and out of the park, so
it could be repetitive if we tried to describe them all or just list
their peculiarity. If we keep in mind that we are diving in the Mediterranean
sea, it will be easier to meet groupers (Ephinephelus marginatus), Brown
meagres (Sciaena umbra), dentex (Dentex dentex), rainbow wrasse (Coris
julis), slipper lobsters (Scyllarides latus) and dotted sea slugs (Peltodoris
atromaculata) rather than red and black anemonefish, Napoleaonfish or
sharks.Here follows a list of name of some of the dive of 2003:
• Baia Bua
• Beach Rock of Spalmatore
• Beach Rock p.to Istana
• Cala Chiesa
• Cala Cicale
• Cala Grano
• Dive at Ceppo
• Isola Rossa (Red Isle)
• Occhio di Dio (Eye of God)
• Orecchio di Ulisse (Ulysses’s Ear)
• Punta Arresto
• Punta la Mandria
• Relitto dell’Omega (Omega’s Wreck)
• Relitto Oyed Qew (Windjammer Wreck)
• Secca dei Tritoni
• Secca del Fico
• Secca del Papa 1
• Secca del Papa 2
• Secca dell’Elefante
• Secca dell’Elefantino
• Secca delle Ancore
• Secca di Capo Ceraso
• Secca di Mezzo Canale
• Secca di Monte Petroso 1
• Secca di Monte Petroso 2
• Secca di p.ta la Mandria
• Secca nord di Molara
• Secca nord-est di Molara
• Teddja Liscia• Relitto del Kt (Orosei Wreck)
• Isola dell’Asinara (Asinara Isle)
• Secca di Lavezzi (La Maddalena)