This page have been written in collaboration with aurelie (8 spots)

The Lavezzi Islands are an archipelago of small islands and reefs lying 6 miles (10km) south-east of Bonifacio. With their granite rocks, light-coloured sand and a series of small creeks with an intense blue colour, they are as beautiful as the finest tropical destinations. Snorkelers will have no hesitation in diving into the crystal-clear waters and exploring their superb sea beds, the home of hundreds of fish.

Painted comber at Lavezzi Islands, Corsica

How to get there?

The simplest – and cheapest – way to get to the Lavezzi Islands is to take the sea shuttle leaving from the port of Bonifacio. The crossing, which costs €35 per person for a round trip, takes about 30 minutes. A large number of companies also organise cruises to the islands from Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio, including a meal on board, swimming stops and/or pre-dinner drinks at sunset. Prices start from €60 per person for the day. Finally, you can also go there with your own boat or a rented boat.

The Lavezzi Islands have many snorkeling spots. We recommend exploring the rocky coast near the beach of Achiarina, at the far south of the main island. You will have no trouble getting there along the signposted footpaths covering the whole island.

Lavezzi Islands snorkeling map, Corsica

Water entrance

Our advice is to enter the water either from the far west of Achiarina beach (marked out by an underwater path) or by the (quieter) small beach nestling in a rocky creek a little further north. Use the map below to guide you.

Exploration

The Lavezzi Islands have been protected as a marine reserve since 1982. The fish have long been used to human presence, so this is an exceptional spot for discovering Mediterranean underwater life. As soon as you are in the water, the fish will even come to meet you.

Rocky seabed - Lavezzi Islands snorkeling

Move along the shore, exploring the series of small rocky creeks (↕2-8ft/0.5-2m). Highly colorful ornate or Mediterranean rainbow wrasses dart through the water above the granite rocks. In this area, look for painted combers, adorned with blue and yellow, which are more discrete, but just as elegant. In the deepest areas, there are large shoals of salema porgy or small groups of sea bream, which are hard to see outside the protected areas. Neptune grass seabed also reserves some surprises with red starfish and noble pen shells. The luckiest visitors may also get a glimpse of a brown-marbled grouper, the star of the Corsican reefs, but the depths of its habitat make it difficult for snorkelers to see it. With almost 70 species around the Lavezzi Islands, you will never weary of exploring this exceptional site.

Salema porgy in the Lavezzi Islands

Restaurants & accommodation

The Lavezzi Islands are a natural reserve, so there is nowhere to buy water or food. Most visitors bring their own picnic (take all litter away with you). Even if you opt for a cruise with a meal included, take a lot of water with you because the island is arid and there is little shade.

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaRéserve naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio
  • Maximum depth12ft (4m)
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.