The 36km of coastline are characterised by eight promontories and terrace-like underwater calcarenitic formations that make for shallow waters to about 600-800m from the coastline. The area is especially rich in seaweeds like Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa that provide the ideal habitat for many sea organisms like fan mussels (Pinna nobilis) and a wide variety of fish such as rare and beautiful seahorses, Mediterranean rainbow wrasse (Coris julis) and parrot fish. Long tracts of coastline with waters between 5 and 25m deep have colonies of pillow coral (Cladocora caespitosa.) The large sandbars off Le Castelle and Capo Rizzuto and the wreck of the ship Bengala are ideal spots for divers to see spiny lobsters, mantis shrimp, red fish, conger fish, groupers along with migrant barracuda and greater amberjacks. You can take tours on glass-bottomed boats to see the shallow water aquatic life and also charter sailing boats or take fishing tours.

The Marine Protected Area

The Marine Protected Area is along the coast of Crotone and Isola Capo Rizzuto, between Capo Colonna and Le Castella to a depth of 100m. Created in 1991, it covers a surface of 14.721 hectares of which 585 are a zone A integral reserve. These are marked with yellow buoys with signal lights and by topmarks on shore. The area has been designated a Marine Protected Area to protected the underwater terraces and the diverse marine life that inhabits this unique ecosystem characterised by rocks that tilt gradually towards the Ionian Sea, sea grasses like Cistoseireti, Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa, and the many organisms that live in this rich and diverse habitat.

Useful Contacts

Provincia di Crotone (Ente gestore)
via C. Colombo – 88900 Crotone
tel. 0962/665254
Centro visite Castello Aragonese
piazza Uccialli
88841 Le Castella – Isola di Capo Rizzuto
tel. 0962/795511
Capitaneria di Porto di Crotone
tel. 0962/20721

By Boat

15nm north of the Capo Rizzuto Marine Protected Area you’ll find the port of Crotone, which now has a tourist marina called Porto Ulisse with mooring buoys, water, electricity, fuel and a travel lift. The Lega Navale docks, on the left as you enter, usually don’t have berths for recreational boats. Within the boundaries of the Marine Protected Area you’ll find the small port of Le Castella, 0,33nm east of the fort by the same name. Be careful to stay away from the

promontory that doubles as a breakwater and to keep to the centre of the access canal. There are no night time signals. The bay is only 2m deep and tilts to the north, but the area is very well protected. There are hoses for water and you can get fuel from a cistern.