Nature

High cliffs, rocky shores, small bays with sandy beaches, rocky outcrops, grottos and natural arches all make up the natural landscape of these islands. There are forests of Aleppo pines and you’ll find the native Tremiti cornflowers (Centaurea diomedea), at S. Domino, there are mastic trees at S. Nicola and scrubland at Caprara. The underwater ecosystem is a real natural treasure. In the shallowest few meters you can see colourful sponges, elegant sea worms and a vast variety of seaweeds, single pillow corals like Balanophyllia europaea, and others that grow in colonies like Cladocora caespitosa.On the seabed at Cala Matano (S. Domino) and Caprara there is a large and healthy meadow of Posidonia where fan mussels (Pinna nobilis) and seahorses thrive. There is also a benthic ecosystem of coralligenous animals, red and yellow violescent sea-whip, yellow cluster anemones, bryozoans and candelabra sponges. There are fish like ornate wrasse and groupers that can be up to a metre long. The Tremiti islands have many excellent diving sites, some with ancient shipwrecks to explore. Punta Secca in Caprara, the Secca delle Vedove, and Scoglio della Cernia are all excellent diving spots. Don’t miss touring the grottoes, especially the Grotta delle Viole. You can set out from the port in Termoli in local fishing boats for a fishing tour.

Marine Protected Area

The Archipelago delle Tremiti is 13nm off the promontory of Gargano and is composed of the islands San Domino, San Nicola and Caprara. Pianosa is a bit further off and there are also the outcrops called Cretaccio and La Vecchia. The larger islands are mostly limestone and have high cliffs and isolated outcrops. The Marine Protected Area was founded in 1989 and covers per 1.466 hectares, of which 180 are a zone A integral reserve. The zone A integral reserve at Pianosa is delimitated by five yellow buoys.

Useful Contacts

Ente Parco nazionale del Gargano
via S. Antonio Abate, 121
71037 Monte S. Angelo (FG)
tel. 0844/568911
Centro visite del Parco del Gargano
tel. 0884/568911
[email protected]
www.parcogargano.it
Capitaneria di Porto
tel. 0882/463262
Comune di Isole Tremiti
tel. 0882/463003
Pro Loco di Isole Tremiti
tel. 0882/663008

By Boat

Just a few miles from Gargano you’ll find the Sassi di Diomede, where legend says the Homeric hero is buried. The tiny Arcipelago delle Tremiti, is a real uncontaminated corner of paradise, thanks also to the fact that it’s hard to reach.  It is formed of three larger islands and some rocky outcrops. S. Domino, the largest of the islands, has craggy rocks and the famous Grotta del Bue Marino. The island is thickly wooded in Aleppo pines, just the opposite of the S. Nicola island that is completely barren with steep cliffs topped by a prison fort. Caprara, a bit further off, is uninhabited and is a favourite destination for fishing boats. Few protected spots and deep waters make it a hard-to-reach destination for inexperienced boaters. At any rate, it is not advisable to leave your boat unattended. The area’s town hall is in S. Nicola, where there is also an old abbey whose monks used to own the archipelago. From the port you can walk up to the fort along a series of winding and narrow paths through the town; at the top of the hill there’s a beautiful view. In S. Domino you can dock at Cala degli Schiavoni, in the northeast but you should also stop to see Cala Spido with its pine forest on the sea, Cala Matana with its excellent protection from northerly and north-easterly winds, and Cala della Provvidenza. Cala dei Turchi on Caprara is the best-protected spot in southerly winds. In case of bad weather you can take cover in Vieste. This old fishing and whaling port is at the tip of the Gargano promontory.

Nearby is the most beautiful tract of coastline with high rocks topped by lookout towers and steep white cliffs with inlets and caves. The whole area has a series of remote spots that are excellent for taking a swim. Beware though that the port’s waters are shallow; if you need deeper draft go to Termoli.

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