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Simius Beach, at the southeastern tip of Sardinia, looks at first glance like a classic Mediterranean snorkeling spot. However, it offers a unique experience: encounters with grey triggerfish, a species that is rarely seen while snorkeling in the Mediterranean. Here, nothing could be easier; a small colony of triggerfish has settled on a rocky reef near the beach, some 12ft/4m deep. If you are visiting the area, the experience is worth the detour.

Simius Beach snorkeling location
The triggerfish snorkeling area is marked with orange buoys.

How to go snorkeling in Spiaggia di Simius?

Simius Beach is located near Villasimius, a seaside village in southeastern Sardinia. From Cagliari, it takes just over an hour by car to reach the area.

To explore this spot, you have two main options:

  • Getting in the water from the shore, from Simius beach, in front of Hotel Simius Playa. Access is thus free, but you will have to swim for about 250m to reach the small reef where the triggerfish are found, marked with orange buoys (see picture above). You can also rent a pedal boat or a canoe on the beach. This option is for very good swimmers, with a diving flag.
  • Booking a boat trip. Almost all snorkeling tours in Villasimius include a stop at this location. Tours can be booked directly at Villasimius Marina. The standard half-day tour includes snorkeling stops at the Madonna del Naufrago (a monumental underwater sculpture), at Simius to spot the triggerfish, and then at Punta Molentis, the iconic beach of the region. The 2-3 hours tour costs around 25 euros per person. If you choose this option, you will be dropped off for about twenty minutes at the triggerfish spot (zone 1 on the map).

Simius Beach snorkeling map, Sardinia

Water entrance for snorkeling Spiaggia di Simius

If you explore this spot from the shore, you will enter the water from the beach. If you are on a boat trip, you will enter the water directly from it.

Spiaggia di Simius snorkeling exploration tips

Simius is famous for its colony of grey triggerfish, a species rarely seen while snorkeling in the Mediterranean. Several individuals have settled on a small reef located about 250m from the beach (zone 1 on the map).

They can be found both at reef level, at a depth of 10 to 12ft/3 to 4m, and near the surface, where they mingle with saddled seabream. Regularly fed by the guides, they twirl by the hundreds around the boats moored near the reef.

Grey triggerfish at Simius Beach, Sardinia
One of the grey triggerfish living at Simius Reef.

The species of triggerfish present in Simius is the grey triggerfish. Sometimes unproperly described as “tropical” by the local guides, this species is native to the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

It can measure up to 60cm, but those present on this spot are smaller. Even if the reef is not very extensive, it is sometimes hard to spot them from the surface.

Triggerfish can be aggressive during the breeding season, in spring. They don’t hesitate to bite bathers or divers to defend their nest dug in the sand.

Salema porgy at Spiaggia di Simius
Huge salema use to swim around the tourist boats.

If triggerfish are the main attraction of Simius, several other species live around the “triggerfish reef”. Salema, saddled seabream, two-banded seabream, damselfish and ornate wrasse are particularly common at this location.

On the triggerfish reef, pay attention to the boats coming and going, especially if you are snorkeling from the beach.

Rocks and posidonia at Spiaggia di Simius
The “triggerfish reef”.

If you are reaching this spot from the shore, don’t hesitate to also take a look at the rocky beds to the north of the beach (zone 2 on the map). In the shallows, you will spot many fish and sometimes starfish.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are several restaurants and hotels along the beach. If you are on a boat tour, ask about any snacks or meals that may be included when you book.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaArea naturale marina protetta Capo Carbonara
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat (or a sandy beach)
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree (from the beach) or boat tour cost (from 25 euro pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, in Simius Beach

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.