A coastline that is rich in inlets and beautiful beaches and the spectacular shapes and colours of the underwater environment: these are the principal elements that attract visitors to this Marine Protected Area.Posidonia meadows grow in the clean waters here: you can find them at just 3-4m deep. On the rocky outcrops and tidal areas you can see “trottoir” vermetids, belts of Cystoseira amentacea seaweed and encrustations of the calcareous seaweed Lithophyllum papillosum. The Spiaggia dei Conigli in Lampedusa is very important because it’s one of the few sites in Italy where loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs. Caretta caretta turtles are protected by Legambiente in Lampedusa, and there is a refuge run by CTS in Linosa.The waters of the island are home to cetaceans like bottlenose dolphins. Other types of dolphins and fin whales pass through the Canale di Sicilia in the spring. In Lampedusa the Taccio Vecchio and Capo Grecale areas and in Linosa the Faraglioni la Secchitella have steep rocky seabeds colonised by elegant spirogyras, pillow coral and bryozoans and are the ideal habitat for spiny lobsters, sea slugs, large groupers, moray eels and parrotfish. Lucky scuba divers may spot grey and hammerhead sharks off the small island called Lampione. In the Marine Protected Area there are several companies that offer whale watching and fishing tours.
Marine Protected Area
Founded in 2002, the Marine Protected Area covers 4.136 hectares, 80 of which are in a zone A integral reserve. The Marine Protected Area is centrally located in the Canale di Sicilia, about 200km off the coast of Italy and about 110km off Tunisia.The Archipelago delle Pelagie is formed of three islands that are very distant one from the other. Lampedusa, the largest island; Lampione, which is not inhabited; and Linosa, a volcanic island. The land-based part of this reserve is operated by Legambiente in Lampedusa and by Italy’s Corpo Forestale in Linosa. There are yellow buoys on the water and yellow topmarks on the shore around the zone A integral reserves both in Lampedusa and in Linosa. In case of bad weather as advised by the Capitaneria di Porto, passing boats, yachts and ships may enter Pozzolana and Mannarazza in Linosa and Cala Creta in Lampedusa.
Comune di Lampedusa e Linosa (Ente gestore)
via Roma, 36 – 92010 Lampedusa (AG)
Sede di Linosa: delegazione comunale
Capitaneria di Porto di Porto Empedocle
Italy’s southernmost paradise, with waters that are even more turquoise and crystalline than the Caribbean, the Isole Pelagie are located in the centre of the Canale di Sicilia, close to Tunisia. Recently declared a Marine Protected Area, this archipelago has untouched natural beauty and old-fashioned appeal. Key attractions are the nests of loggerhead sea turtles.
Lampedusa, the largest island of the archipelago, is a flat, windswept plate that tilts towards the water from a high, rocky northern shore to a low-lying, sandy southern shore. The port is a large bay that’s divided into three branches, all of which are rather full. This island has some incomparably beautiful spots: extraordinary is the bay around the Isola dei Conigli, but
Cala Greca and Cala Madonna are also worth a stop. Cala Pisana, on the eastern side of the island, can be a good spot to drop anchor.
Circumnavigating the island, you have to be careful of the “Marrobbio”, an underwater current that only lasts a few minutes but can create waves up to 2m high. Marobbio is frequent in the spring, but even the most experienced local fishermen can’t predict when it will form. As far as winds are concerned, in summer breezes are mostly from the southeast, usually at about
20-25 knots but they can reach 30. Linosa is 60nm from Malta and is completely isolated from the rest of the world. The islands homes are colourful and you can explore the island on foot, by motor scooter or by bike. The small port called Scalo Vecchio is impossible to enter in southerly sirocco winds and can only berth a few boats that are less than 14m LOA. Cala Pozzolana di Ponente, on the northwest side of the island, can be a better place to stop and has beautiful ochre coloured rocks. Here you’ll find Linosa’s only beach where loggerhead sea turtles go to lay their eggs. In southerly winds you can anchor at Cala Mannarazzo, on the northern side of the island. Wherever you decide to drop anchor, take the time to explore the island and this unique and historical corner of the Mediterranean.