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Sardinia
 
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THE POPE SHOAL 
THE POPE SHOAL
Isola Tavolara

Olbia

SS [Sassari]


 
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LOCATION: Tavolara (North Eastern Sardinia)
The diving spot is about 300 metres far away from the east of Punta del papa which is located at the eastern extremity of the Tavolara isle.

DIFFICULTY: Medium/high

MAXIMUM DEPTH: 35 metres

CURRENT: Always present, sometime strong

ANCHORAGE: Difficult

This is the most famous dive in the Protected Sea Area of Tavolara.
The anchorage is sometimes difficult and it would be wise finding the lowest spot with the echo sounder. It's also advisable to descend and to position the anchor manually, as to avoid damaging the variety of red gorgonia situated along the walls of the shoal.
The seabed is an imposing granite structure, that reaches a height of 18 metres and a depth of 42 metres. The rock is constantly interrupted by cracks of different sizes.
Groupers of all dimensions, barracudas, dentexes, almaco jacks, brown meagres, morays and white seabreams slowly dance around the shoal. Here you can find the Paramuricea Clavata, very rare on the coasts of Sardinia, characterized by yellow and red colours, which makes this spot even more beautiful.

 
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Thanks to its 565 m of height, Tavolara island overlooks the Golfo di Olbia. This small island has a so particular form that seems to change its aspects according to the different point from where you can see it. The facts that two thirds parts of the island are forbidden to visitors and its peaks are reachable with difficult have allowed the conservation of some rare botanic species, like the Alyssum Tavolarae, some kinds of limonium, maples and elicrisum.
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