Snorkeling in Italy: exploring the underwater wonders of the Mediterranean Sea

July 12, 2023

For sea lovers looking for an unforgettable experience in Italy, snorkeling can really prove to be the perfect way to get to know the country from a whole new perspective – the underwater one. The crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea are a spectacle not only observed from the coast but also underwater, thanks to their wealth of fauna and flora, and offer the possibility of snorkeling in different regions of the country.

In this article, we want to explore the best Italian locations for this activity, the marine life that can be found in Italian waters and the reasons that make snorkeling one of the most popular sports for sea aficionados.

The best locations for snorkeling in Italy


Image by thebrokentreestump from Pixabay


Liguria, in Northern Italy, is home to some of the best spots for snorkeling in the country. The clear waters of the Ligurian Sea offer fantastic visibility and the chance to explore an intensely rich marine life.

For beginner snorkelers, the sheltered coves of the Cinque Terre are a great place to start, while more experienced snorkelers can head out to the Isola di Bergeggi or Isola di Tino for more challenging dives.


The Tuscan coast is lined with spectacular beaches that are perfect for snorkeling, from the popular resorts of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi to the more undiscovered spots like Cala Violina and Cala del Gesso.

The crystal-clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea are home to a very rich marine life including seahorses, octopuses and colorful coral reefs, especially in the areas of the Calafuria Coast, the Giannutri Wrecks and San Giovanni Merobita.


Moving South, we find Apulia – a true spectacle for the eyes. This region is home to some of Italy's most spectacular snorkeling spots, with its picturesque coastline dotted with coves and bays.

From the crystal-clear waters of Polignano a Mare to the stunning Grotta del Sangue, the region is teeming with fascinating marine life, including starfish, sea urchins, and colorful seabed.


Finally, the island of Sicily is home to some of the best snorkeling spots in the Mediterranean. From the stunning beaches of the Aeolian Islands to the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, Sicily is teeming with fascinating marine life, including dolphins, turtles, and various colorful fish.

Famous (and renowned!) spots for snorkeling in Sicily include the Marine Reserve of Capo Gallo, the Marine Reserve of Vendicari, the Marine Reserve of Plemmirio, the Zingaro Nature Reserve and the Marine Reserve of Isola delle Femmine.

What marine life can you expect while snorkeling in Italy?

Snorkelers in Italy can expect to find an extreme richness of marine life in the country's crystal-clear waters. From vibrant coral reefs to seahorses, octopuses, sea turtles and even dolphins, there's something to discover in every region.

In the Liguria region, snorkelers can also spot giant sea bass, moray eels, and barracudas. In Tuscany, you can find seahorses, starfish, and a variety of colorful fish. In Apulia, expect to spot seahorses, sea urchins, and colorful coral reefs, while in Sicily you can see turtles, dolphins, and spectacular fish such as moray eels and barracudas.


Image by J. Ketelaars from Pixabay

Snorkeling: the perfect activity for sea lovers

Snorkeling is the perfect activity for sea lovers, as it offers the chance to explore the wonders of the underwater world without the need for special equipment or certification. This sport is also a healthy and fun way to exercise, as you can spend hours swimming and exploring the depths. In addition, it's an excellent way to get to know marine life up close and personal. Please remember to always be respectful toward the living beings living underwater and don’t forget that you’re a guest in their home!

As far as the health benefits of snorkeling, this activity can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve cardiovascular health. It can even help improve your breathing capacity by forcing you to take deeper breaths. Plus, it's a great way to get Vitamin D from the sun.

Finally, snorkeling can be a great way to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the underwater world. Whether you're exploring the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea or the stunning coral reefs of the Apulian coast, which boasts a mesophotic ecosystem, snorkeling can truly be an unforgettable experience during your luxury vacation.


Opening shot: Image by Nicole_80 from Pixabay

Read more about

Browse news by destination.