Visió submarina de les Illes Medes
05 Jul 2012 1 comment Òscar Marín

Navigating around the Medes islands

Right in the heart of Costa Brava, just one mile off the coast of Estartit, there is an archipelago of seven islands called the Medes that attract thousands of divers each year. The reason is simple: the diversity and beauty of its seabed. To preserve all this, the Medes have been listed as a nature reserve under protection since 1990. However, recreational diving and navigation are permitted. It is not unusual to see a great number of divers to and from the beach when you arrive to l’Estartit. Wetsuits, swimwear and towels hang from balconies and windows.

The Nautilus at Meda Petita.

According to the people at Estación Náutica de l’Estartit, the local marina getting to the Medes islands is one of the most popular things to do in Costa Brava. It could be because this ride can be done any time of the year. Although you can hire many types of boats, the best known to take you to the Medes are the Nautilus yellow catamarans. Simply, because they have windows under the sea level that allow you to observe the seafloor.

The Nautilus weighs anchor daily from l’Estartit marina. It takes you along the coastline towards the famous Roca Foradada, a cliff with a hole in it where only kayakers can paddle through. But before getting there, you can see Punta Salinas and the Cape of Utrera, immense rocks shaped by the waves over thousands of years or hidden beaches like Cala Pedrosa.

At the Roca Foradada, the catamaran stops for the inevitable photo op. You won’t want to miss it. Next, the catamaran heads south towards the Medes. On occasions, passengers can spot a solitary sunfish surfacing and catching a glimpse of the boat. If you are lucky, you may even see a dolphin or two. Cormorants and seagulls will welcome you just when the archipelago looms on the horizon with the Gran Meda island dominating above the rest.

The Meda Gran

Under the Mediterranean light, the Medes can appear arid and inscrutable, but also romantic, mysterious or simply as a bunch of rocks. It depends on the way you look them. Regardless, it is a must visit if you come this far north on the coast of Catalonia. What’s beyond dispute is the fact that you will be navigating over one of the most important wildlife reserves of the western Mediterranean.

The Cavall Bernat and the Tascó Gros

To proof this, the yellow catamaran will go around islets Carall Bernat and Tascó Gros and stop near the island called Meda Petita, vaguely reminiscent of some exotic Far East island. Time to look out the windows and enjoy the magnificent view underwater. The bedrock is covered by large areas of Posidonia oceanica and there is a high concentration of grouper, not always easy to watch. It’s like going to the aquarium, but for real. An experience not easy to forget.


  1. Joan (Català) va dir això el 20 Aug 2012

    Un article molt interessant. Gràcies.

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