Corsica diving is some of the best in all of Europe. Because the island’s waters are clean and clear due to almost no pollution, diving in Corsica is becoming more and more popular and you will find as many as 40 fully certified scuba operators in an area only about the size of Wales. There is diving from the shore, but most diving is done from boats. The vessels are varied, from small fishing boats to large yachts and sleek catamarans.
Diving in Corsica places you in an underwater environment that is a reflection of the rugged mountains and jagged cliffs found on dry land. You will be exploring sheer drop offs, deep canyons, needle sharp peaks, and fanciful rock formations as you admire the abundance of rich flora and fauna. The largest variety of seaweed, kelp, and sponges in Europe is found here (again, because of the lack of pollution). There are colorful coral reefs populated with a myriad of fish from tiny anchovies and shrimp to large groupers. Sharks, eels, rays, marlin, tuna, and even sea turtles (including the rare loggerhead) can be seen. Off Calvi, you can dive a downed World War II bomber or a sunken yacht.
Where to dive in Corsica is not a question you need to ponder for too long, as there is superb Corsica diving all around the more than 600 miles of coastline. But the best dive sites in Corsica will be found along the island’s west coast near Calvi, at the foot of the remote and beautiful Scandola Nature Reserve and among the needle-like “cathedrals” in the Valinco Gulf between Propriano and Ajaccio. This is where you will find the most avid diving enthusiasts.
Corsica diving is also very popular in the straits between Bonifacio on Corsica’s southernmost tip and the island of Sardinia (a possession of Italy). This is because these waters form an internationally protected marine reserve known as the Bouches de Bonifacio. Another of the best dive sites in Corsica will be found between Ajaccio and the Scandola Reserve along the coast of the remote Agriate Desert. The only way to access this land is with a four-wheel drive vehicle for transportation, or a boat. This means that things to do here while diving in Corsica in this region, is to put in at beautiful and completely deserted beaches for a picnic lunch and afternoon of relaxing on the pristine white sands.
Whether you are exploring the best dive sites in Corsica or snorkeling along Palombaggia Beach near Porto Vecchio, you will find that most operators are able to accommodate both experts and inexperienced divers. Dive centers have all the equipment required, so you do not have to travel loaded down with all your gear. You might also stay at one of the most popular types of Corsica hotels—the “auberge ferme.” These are simple but charming bed and breakfast inns that also are farms. Accommodation for divers can also be found onboard boats, as it is possible to charter yachts that sleep as few as two passengers or as many as a dozen or more. Another type of lodging that is well suited for the independent spirit of divers are self-catering vacation rentals. You will find these everywhere on the island, but in especially large concentration around the beach resort areas.