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Madonna del Naufrago is a monumental sculpture that was immersed in 1979 near Isola dei Cavoli, at the southeastern tip of Sardinia. This local emblem is celebrated in July, when flower-covered boats sail along the coast of Villasimius to commemorate those who lost their lives at sea. Despite the important depth (the statue is submerged about 11m below sea level), snorkeling on this spot is a good experience, especially since the surrounding rocky areas are full of fish.
The sculpture is located near Isola dei Cavoli, a small granite island off Capo Carbonara, in Villasimius. Almost all snorkeling tours in Villasimius, which can be booked directly at Villasimius Marina, include a stop at this location.
The standard half-day tour includes snorkeling stops at the Madonna del Naufrago, at Simius Beach to spot the triggerfish, and then at Punta Molentis, one of Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches. The 2 to 3 hours tour costs around 25 euros per person.
You will enter the water from your boat, a few tens of meters from the sculpture.
Once in the water, you will first enjoy the show offered by the thousands of saddled seabream gathering around the boats, in a crystal blue sea.
Then start swimming towards the sculpture, indicated by an orange buoy, which your guide will show you. After swimming for a few tens of meters, you will see La Madonna on the seabed.
Madonna del Naufrago, over 3m in height, sits at a depth of 11 meters, at the foot of large granite boulders. If the sculpture can be seen from the surface, this significant depth does not allow enjoying it from the best angles.
Immersed for more than 40 years, the Madonna del Naufrago is covered with small algae and attracts lots of small fish. At its foot, some Posidonia meadows have also grown.
After admiring the sculpture, we advise you to swim a little further towards the rocky islet. You will find a more reasonable depth (↕6-12ft/2-4m), allowing you to closely observe the sea life.
The seabed is made of huge granite boulders, which form a very cool underwater landscape. Around the boulders, sargo, two-banded seabream, ornate wrasse and schools of damselfish abound.
Some day boat trips include lunch. Inquire when you book.
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.
Small rocky reef with triggerfish
Level: Free shore access Resort nearby
Sandy and rocky beds in crystal-clear water
Shallow rocky and sandy beds in a crystal-clear sea
Level: Free shore access
Shallow "lagoon" with sandy, grassy and rocky beds
Fishy natural pool protected by a marine reserve
Rocky beds and seagrass meadows protected by a marine reserve