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With its white sand and crystalline waters bordered by granite rocks, Passo Cecca di Morto offers spectacular scenery. The area is considered one of the most beautiful places in the entire archipelago of La Maddalena. This lagoon-like location has beautiful turquoise water, and the sun highlights and enhances the contrast. Below the water, you’ll spot many fish and invertebrates above the sandy, grassy and rocky beds.

Snorkeling La Maddalena archipelago
Passo Cecca di Morto offers calm, clear waters, perfect for enjoying the local underwater world.

How to get to Passo Cecca di Morto snorkeling spot?

Passo Cecca di Morto is the name of the shallow pass that separates the islands of Budelli and Santa Maria, two of La Maddalena Archipelago’s uninhabited islands.

To get there, you can rent a license-free inflatable boat (from euro 140 per day, 2020, for a boat for 6 persons); rent a boat with a skipper; or book a boat day tour in the archipelago (from euro 50 per person, 2020).

The main port of departure is Palau, but it is also possible to reach the spot from the island of La Maddalena, the main inhabited island of the archipelago.

Passo Cecca di Morto snorkeling map, La Maddalena archipelago

Water entrance for snorkeling Passo Cecca di Morto

Water entrance is from your boat.

Passo Cecca di Morto snorkeling exploration tips

You can snorkel the whole area between the islands of Budelli and Santa Maria. With its turquoise and shallow water, this site looks much like a tropical lagoon.

On this spot, you’ll explore large expanses of sand, Posidonia meadows, and rocks. Around the boats and bathers, many saddled seabream gather under the surface, used to being fed by visitors.

School of salema at La Maddalena
Salema, generally seen schooling near the rocks, is one of the most common fish species at this location.

It is in the rocks, and around islands and islets, that you’ll find the most fish and invertebrates. Here and there you’ll spot purple sea urchins, hermit crabs, tubular sea cucumbers and sea anemones, while small octopuses hide in the crevices.

Among the fish that can easily be seen in the “lagoon” are Mediterranean rainbow wrasse, damselfish, sargo, saddled seabream and salema, but you could potentially encounter in this protected area many other Mediterranean shore fish.

Octopus in La Maddalena
An octopus hiding among the rocks.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The islands which surround Passo Cecca di Morto are wild, and there is no restaurant or water point. Most day trips to La Maddalena archipelago include lunch; inquire when you book.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaParco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsBoat rental (licence-free boats from €140/day, 2020) or boat tour
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.