It was in ancient Phoenician port of sailors, Roman and Greek, in the Middle Ages hosted an important Benedictine monastery, the monastery of Saints Mary and Martin.
In the early sixties, its owner Riccardo Diana, Genoese industrialist, built the docks and made a safe landing, even providing it with electricity and drinking water supply.
Since 1989 the island is a nature reserve and is part of the Regional Natural Park of the island of Gallinara.
It is a marine protected area which houses the most largest nesting colonies of herring gulls in the Tyrrhenian Sea.Scuba diving, that until recently were forbidden because of the presence, on the seabed adjacent to the island, of explosive remnants of war, are now allowed, accompanied by local guides authorized diving-center.
The beauty of its depths includes a magnificent yellow orange esacorallo, large yellow sponges and a wide variety of aquatic organisms.
The south east side is characterized by rocky bottoms with crevices and small caves where they find shelter rather large specimens of groupers, moray eels, octopus and scorpion fish.
Of great environmental naturalistic interest are forms of plant life: the campanula sabatia, agaves, aloes, prickly pears, olive trees and eucalyptus.
In September 1998 he was laid, on the seabed surrounding the island, a statue of Christ the Redeemer, the Christ of the Deep.
Can be visited with a quite simple dive quite, it comes down to a maximum of 18 meters.
If you want to continue the descent it passes a large step and arrive at a depth of 22 meters.
The dive is not very difficult, except sometimes, because of the current, that here can be very strong.
Marine archeology lovers can visit the wreck of a Roman ship, discovered in the fifties, facing the mouth of the river Centa about 1400 meters from the coast of Albenga.
They were recovered 1,300 amphoras which are now kept inside the main hall of the Roman Naval Museum.Another nice wreck to visit is located about 500 meters away from the bottom of Gallinara, it is the merchant vessel, named Umberto I that in 1917, due to a torpedo, sank here positioning itself on the bottom, resting on its side with its 70 meters in length to a depth of about 45 meters.
In particular, the island has two dive sites:
Cristo Redentore or Punta Falconara (44 ° 1'24.75 "N 8 ° 13'33.96" E) It characterized by a shallow seabed about -18m deep, with walls colonized by large sponges, gorgonians, nudibranchs and bryozoans (small aquatic invertebrates animals, living in branching colonies, anchored to a submerged substrate) This dive is not difficult and it is also recommended to inexperienced divers.
Punta Sciusciau (44 ° 1'34.08 "N 8 ° 13'44.77" E) Is a very rocky bottom that from -15m sinks down to about -30 -40 m. Are many caves and crevices, hiding place for groupers, conger, moray eels and octopus. Illuminating with a flashlight the inside of these rifts, we will surely find many interesting fish to observe or to photograph. Sometimes there may be current but the dive is not so difficult.
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