The Lavezzi Islands are a small archipelago made of a main island and many islets located about ten kilometers south-west of Bonifacio. Their picture-perfect landscapes complete with granite blocks, white sand, many small coves and intense blue water are worth any tropical destination. The area has been included in a marine preserve for about 40 years: no surprise the islands now boast the most pristine waterscapes and thriving sea life in Corsica.

Located on the main island’s east coast, Cala di u Grecu is one of the three snorkel spots on the Lavezzi Islands, together with Cala Achiarina (west coast) and Cala della Chiesa (north coast). This spot is the closest to the eastern jetty. It encompasses two small, generally sheltered bays.

Cala di u Grecu snorkeling area

How to get there?

The easiest (and cheapest) way to get to the Lavezzi Islands is to take the maritime shuttle leaving from Bonifacio harbor (round trip: 37€/adult). Departure times are flexible (several round trips per day, expect even more boats during summer) and you will be free to explore the islands the way you like. The crossing to the islands is direct and takes about 30 minutes, but the retour trip takes one hour, as the boat makes several stops at touristic points of view (Cavallo Island, Bonifacio cliffs…).

Many operators also offer cruises to the islands from Bonifacio and Porto Vecchio. They include a meal onboard, stops to bathe in the sea and even sometimes an aperitif drink at sunset (prices from 60€/adult for a day). Finally, you can rent a boat, or drive your own boat, to the islands.

Once on the island, walking is the only means of transportation. A few paths lead to the beaches and creeks. Cala di u Grecu is located on the island’s east side, about 100 meters from the eastern jetty (walking distance: 5 minutes) and 500 meters from the western jetty (walking distance: 15 minutes). Tags will guide you down the paths.

Cala di u Grecu snorkeling map

Water entrance

We advise you to enter the water from one of the small beaches inside the creek (see map).

Exploration

The exploration area encompasses two small rocky bays, the larger one being about 150 meters wide. Do not swim out of the bays: the maritime shuttle route to the eastern jetty is right outside.

School of salema at Cala di u Grecu

Underwater life especially thrives on the rocky areas rimming the small bays (↕0,5-2m/2-6ft). The rocks are covered with seaweed that shelter many fish species such as blennies, rainbow wrasse, peacock wrasse (often seen in groups of a dozen) and brown wrasses. If lucky, you might also spot a red starfish. Close to the shoreline, fry from various species sometimes gather in groups of hundreds.

At the center of the bay, water is much deeper (↕2-6m/6-20ft) and the seabed is covered with Posidonia meadows. This place is ideal to try to spot a school of salema porgy with their horizontal grey and yellow stripes, or gilt-head breams, a fish loved for its taste and hard to meet outside of protected areas.

Water is crystal-clear most of the time on this spot, and it is particularly calm, but jellyfish can come here at certain times of the year.

School of saddled seabream at Cala di u Grecu

If you have enough time, consider combining this spot with a visit to Cala Achiarina’s natural pool (located 500 meters to the west) or to Cala della Chiesa’s rocky maze (located 500 meters to the north).

Restaurants & accommodation

The Lavezzi Islands are included in a nature preserve, where you won’t find any drinking water or food. Most visitors bring their lunch and have a picnic (bring your waste back with you as there are no garbage bins). Bring a lot of water: the island is barren, and shade is rare. Beach umbrella day rental is possible at the maritime shuttle counter in Bonifacio.

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaRéserve naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from small sandy beaches or rocks
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree (excepted boat trip, €37pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

This reference identification guide includes all the 860 marine fish species that may be encountered while snorkeling in coastal Western Europe and the Mediterranean.

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.