Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
A drop-off where live sponges and starfish, tumultuous rocky beds where small moray eels hide, seagrass meadows where huge shoals of salema come and go… Cala Culip, located at the foot of the Cap de Creus lighthouse, boasts some of the wonders that snorkeling in the Mediterranean can offer.
Cala Culip is located in the Cap de Creus Natural Park, in northern Costa Brava. From Cadaqués, the nearest town, follow the signs of the Cap de Creus lighthouse (8km, 20 minutes by car). About 600m before arriving at the lighthouse, you will see from the road Cala Culip (on your left) and Cala Jugadora (on your right). A parking lot has been set up right before the last ascent to the lighthouse, but there are very few spaces. Once parked, walk down into the cove following one of the small paths in the slope (10 minutes).
For hikers, it is possible to reach Cala Culip on foot from Cadaqués (or Portlligat) by following the Camino de Ronda coastal walk. The walking time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Cala Jugadora, also famous for snorkeling, is located just across the road, about a 15-minute walk from Cala Culip.
You can enter the water from the tiny beach, or from the surrounding rocks.
You can snorkel throughout the cove, but we particularly recommend the shallow areas that face the beach, as well as the rocky ridge that begins near the small rocky island and extends perpendicularly to the beach for a hundred meters (see map). This spot is located in one of the three marine reserves of the Cap de Creus Natural Park and is home to lush underwater life.
The rocky areas near the beach offer a perfect depth for surface snorkeling (↕3-10ft/1-3m). Sea urchins, limpets and many beadlet anemones are easy to find on the walls. You will be able to meet there two species of triplefin blennies (the red-black triplefin and the black-faced blenny), ornate wrasses, and painted combers. Small Mediterranean morays, which love to hide in the rocks, are also frequently reported in this area,
From the rock (see map), you can follow the rocky ridge that outcrops below the surface of the water (↕1-6ft/0.5-2m). On both sides, it falls on posidonia meadows (↕15-30ft/5-10m). On the ridge, look for the yellow sponges and the beautiful red starfish, which are quite common here. On the drop offs, you will find clouds of hundreds of damselfish, as well as schools mixing sargo, two-banded seabream and saddled seabream.
Two restaurants are located at the Cap de Creus lighthouse. Otherwise, you’ll find in Cadaqués, a 20-minute drive from Cala Culip, a number of restaurants, supermarkets and accommodation fitting all budgets.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocky cove with many fish
Free shore access
Secluded rocky cove with a decent diversity of fish
Sheltered bay with rocky and grassy seabed
Marine reserve with shallow rocky seabed and a snorkel trail
Narrow rocky cove with fish and nudibranchs
Marine reserve with a great diversity of fish
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