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.
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If the sandy beaches of Fontane Bianche, in the southwest of Sicily, have just decent snorkeling, the rocky coast which extends north from the seaside resort shelters some underwater treasures. This is particularly the case on La Bussola spot, just one kilometer north of the beaches. Go explore its rocky ridges and sandy beds to discover fascinating species, such as flying gurnards, parrotfish and scorpionfish.
La Bussola snorkeling spot is located in Fontane Bianche, a small seaside resort about 10 miles/15 kilometers south of Syracuse. It is north of the village’s main beach, on the edge of the La Bussola condominium.
Some house rentals are available in the condominium but even if you are not staying here, you can freely access the shore by walking through the condominium, which has two pedestrian gates. You can also use the path located just after the condominium (coming from Fontane Bianche), but this access is more tricky because you then have to walk on steep rocks.
Advanced snorkelers can consider snorkeling from Fontane Bianche beach to La Bussola, following the shore (about 1300 m, don’t go alone).
We recommend you enter the water using one of the ladders fixed on the rocks, or directly from the rocks.
You can snorkel along the rocky shoreline, both south and north to the water entrances. The seabed features rocky ridges which gently slide towards sandy bottoms (↕16 ft/5 m). There are many cracks in the rocks that serve as hiding places for fish.
Sargo, salema, saddled seabream, red mullets, and wrasse (both the rainbow wrasse and the ornate wrasse) are all very common on this spot. Occasionally, you may spot a Mediterranean parrotfish or a black scorpionfish near the rocks.
The sandy beds that extend beyond the rocks allow observing very specific species, such as the wide-eyed flounder, very common from 25 ft/8 meters deep, and the flying gurnard, with its majestic pectoral fins. Flying gurnards often visit the shallows and, very territorial, can usually be observed at the same location for long periods of time.
La Bussola has crystal-clear waters and almost no current. We advise you to snorkel La Bussola in the morning or during the day as it is in the shade in the afternoon.
Just before the condominium gate (when you are driving from Fontane Bianche), you will find a small restaurant, supermarket, and fruit stands.
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.
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