Diving Centres in Ustica

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23 November 2015
Ustica is a beautiful little island 37 miles north of Palermo, Sicily. The island of Ustica has been a Marine Reserve since 1986 which shows in the number and size of the fish here. It's a volcanic island with black larval rock: the name Ustica comes from the Latin for burnt.

Diving Lo Scoglia del Medico (Doctor's Rock) cave, Ustica, Italy
Diving Lo Scoglia del Medico (Doctor's Rock) cave, Ustica by Andrew Reay-Robinson

Ustica's Dive Sites

Ustica's dive sites are among the best in the Mediterranean. Especially good are Secca della Columbara and Lo Scoglia del Medico. Secca della Columbara comprises a straight, colourful, wall adorned with corals and sponges in an array of oranges and pinks. At the end is a wreck and circling shoal of barracuda. Lo Scoglia del Medico, or Doctor's Rock, features a fabulous cavern around 70 m in length with azure light streaming in through the exit holes. Whilst diving Ustica you can also expect to see grouper, the rare giant mussel Pinna nobilis, seagrass meadows, nudibranchs, amberjacks, false black coral, shrimp, neptune's lace, amphora, gorgonia and many large shoals of fish. Read more about the dive sites…

When to dive in Ustica

Diving is from May to October, with the opening and closing of the season being the quietest. Accommodation prices are also lower in May, June, September and October.

Medical Facilities

Ustica has its own air ambulance service. Of Italy's three hyperbaric chambers two are on nearby Sicily. Make sure you have adequate insurance.

Getting to Ustica

You can fly to Palermo (in Sicily) and then take a ferry to Ustica. The budget airlines visit Palermo. The Airport in Palermo is around 45 minutes drive from the Port. A taxi from the airport will cost around 50 Euros. The Hydrofoil from Palermo to Ustica takes around an hour and a quarter. The ferry takes around 2 and three quarter hours. Buy a ticket at the port before boarding the ferry; alternatively your dive centre may arrange for a ticket to be waiting for you on board. Confusingly, the "Ustica Ferry" company doesn't go to Ustica: you need the Siemar ferry. For timetable information see the FerriesOnline site

You could instead catch a ferry to Ustica from Naples. This takes 4 hours and in Summer there is one a day.

Ustica is only small. The main road which circles the island is only 9 km long. A bus travels round this every hour. You can also hire bicycles or motor bikes. Your diving centre will generally pick you up from your accommodation and take you to their dive boat.

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The Dive Centres

Profondo Blu Ustica Orca Mare Nostrum Diving Alta Marea Ustica Scubaland Diving Centre Barracuda Diving Ustica La Perla Nera Diving Hellshark Diving Center Diving Center Ustica Katuma Diving Center

Profondo Blu Ustica

Profondo Blu Boat

Profondo Blu is owned and run by Paolo and Ann. Paolo is Italian and Ann Belgian: they speak Italian, English and Flemish. Profondo Blu is one of only two diving centres on the island to offer a covered hard boat. Open May until October. June, July and August are their busiest months. May or October is a good time to go as this is their quietest period. They are happy to go out even if there are only two divers. For 10 Euros non-divers can go on the boat - snorkelling whilst the divers are down or just relaxing on the sun deck.

Profondo Blu also offer accommodation in a small resort with excellent food and wine. Lunch is on shore so you can choose just to do the morning or afternoon dive if you wish. The diving is very relaxed, in small groups according to experience. A very friendly, well-run, dive operation.. Highly recommended.

Profondo Blu Boat Profondo Blu Ustica
Via Cristoforo Colombo s.n.
90010
USTICA (PA)
Sicily
Italia
Tel: +39 (0)91 8449609 - 3385336201
Fax: +39 (0)91 8449609
E-mail: [email protected]
http://www.ustica-diving.it/

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Hi Jill: my son Sammy and I just got back from a week at Profondo Blu, and really enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the recommendation. Even though it was the end of the season (we were the last guests before they closed), the diving was great and the weather more or less cooperated - we'll definitely go back. Anne and Paolo are brilliant, the small resort is pretty much every thing a diver could ask for, and the food, boat and service was great.
We stayed at Visa Mare B&B in Palermo - literally across the street from the Ustica ferry. "

Tim, 2015

Orca

Mare Nostrum Diving

Mare Nostrum Diving Boat

Mare Nostrum Diving started in Ustica in 1997, arranging dive safari liveaboards. Since 2005, a new boat changed the way of organising dive vacations, by offering full day diving and accommodation on land.

A dive boat gives you the real freedom you need to experience on holiday. No hassling with equipment at each dive, diving when you feel to, have a siesta in the refreshing shadow, eating with your feet in the water, the sun on your back, next to a good glass of wine!

The Linosa Sunshine Day Cruiser is a Dive Boat especially planned and equipped for divers. Length: 10,70 m, width: 4,10 m, sundeck, toilet, kitchen and fresh water. Full-Day Diving min. 8 divers/ max. 14. Also the Dinghy "Gommone": no services, no shelter for single dives with up to 8 divers.

Open June to September. Other periods only for groups on request. Guided dives can be organised in full day diving or half day, with about 2 or 3 dives per day and lunch on board if arranged. You can also choose to go for single dives. Groups are divided by level of licence and experience with about 6 divers per guide. Night dives, Deep dives and Nitrox on request. Dive Courses, Discovery programs, Scuba Review, Equipment rental. Snorkelling and sea-watching, boat tours and excursions.

Via Cristoforo Colombo
Isola di Ustica
Palermo
Italy
Tel: 330 792589
Tatiana Geloso (booking & info): +39.3281698697 (English)
Danilo Genovese (Responsible Diving Centre): +39.330.792589 (Basic English)
E-mail: [email protected]

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"A wonderful week was spent on Ustica diving wih Mare Nostrum. The two young guys running the dive centre, Danilo and Giuseppe, were a lot of fun but also very professional, and were excellent dive buddies. The diving was great, lots of life - octopus, tuna, lobsters, shrimp, morays... I could go on and on. Highly recomended."
James Padfield, UK, 2008

Alta Marea Ustica

Scubaland Diving Centre

Barracuda Diving Ustica

La Perla Nera Diving

Hellshark Diving Center

Diving Center Ustica

Katuma Diving Center

di Rosario Lo Cicero
Via Petriera, 7
Tel: +39 (0)91 844 8216-021


Books to Take

Europe and Mediterranean Marine Fish Identification Guide
By Patrick Louisy. Covers 860 species with 1430 photos and 1400 drawings. This identification guide includes nearly all the marine fish you might see in coastal Western Europe and the Mediterranean up to 50 m depth.
Lonely Planet Sicily
Includes Ustica

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