Just off the west coast of Ibiza lies a hidden gem, the Cala d'Hort Marine Nature reserve. Protected in 2001, this group of 18 islands was made a UNESCO world heritage site for the vast meadows of ancient sea grass which is thought to be one of the oldest living organisms in the world. This 'Posedonia' sea weed not only oxygenates the water but also provides a habitat for a huge number of fish. With well over 20 dive sites to pick from we are spoilt for choice and each of these sites has something different and exciting to offer, with everything from walls to caves, drifts to wrecks and spits to reefs. Below are just a few of our many sites....
The Point of No Return
Depth 15m-40m Advanced Level
The Point of No Return is just one of four dives in this area, the others being; The Phoenix, The Dark Side and The Long Swim. These sites are generally more advanced, but there's also a shallower easier variation. The underwater rock formations alone are stunning but it is also an area where you can see all the whole variety of marine life that the western Mediterranean has to offer. As it sits on the end of the island of Esparta, there is little sediment, so the visibility is usually very good but it can be affected by occasional currents.
Depth 5m-40m All Levels
Despite the intimidating name, the dive starts on a shallow platform at 5 metres and progresses gently down to 14m... BUT, the edge of the platform drops off a vertical wall down to 24m and more. There can often be a current running over the wall and this attracts thousands of little sprats which shimmer in the light as they dodge attacks from amberjacks, barracuda and other predatory fish. The shallow platform is also home to lots of octopus and young moray eels which can be found in the cracks and crevices. Down the wall, more for Advanced Divers, you may see large Denton and occasional Tuna, whereas the platform above is more suited to Open Water/less experienced divers.
Depth 10m - 40m All Levels
A new dive site this year Horseshoe reef has rapidly become one of our favourites due to stunning rock formations, abundant fish life and fantastic visibility often exceeding 40m. Anchoring in a shallow bay at just 4m the bottom drops to 40m plus making for a spectacular wall that attracts a wide variety of fish and allows you to pick your depth. Down deeper you find moray eels and lobsters and off the wall you can often see shoals of predatory fish patrolling the busy waters. The shallows here are made up of bizarre formations of white rock that make your safety stop as interesting as the rest of your dive. This dive site occasionally has currents running over it which is what makes it such a great dive site.
Depth 5m-35m All Levels
This tiny rock sits just off the island of Esparta and has several dive routes for different levels of qualification. There are more features at this site than you could hope to see in one dive, including walls, spits, swim-throughs and sandy bottomed valleys. On the north side of this rock there are 3 shelves and walls which finish on a sandy bottom at 35 metres. The deeper wall is very porous and is the home to countless morays, congers and spiny lobsters. We have also seen electric rays, stingrays and turtles here.
Depth 10m-18m Open Water Level
A rediscovered dive site, Logan's Rocks has quickly become a firm favourite, fantastic visibility and frantic fish life are just two of the features that make this dive so great. This dive is ideal for Open Water divers, as all of the best diving is to be found above 15 metres. Occasionally there is a gentle current that runs around the island which brings nutrients up from deeper water and attracts vast shoals of fish to congregate around the rock which, in turn, brings in larger predatory fish like barracuda and tuna.
Depth 25m-40m Advanced Level
Far West in the Nature Reserve on the Bledas Island chain, one of the smaller Islands, Es Vaixell, hosts one of the rarest and most beautiful corals in the Med.The dive takes its name from the forest of Gorgonia soft coral fans that thrive on the vertical walls thanks to the gentle nutrient rich current that drifts past. It is also a ideal nursery for a myriad of smaller fish, which in turn attracts many larger predators. It is also a favourite haunt of John Dory and giant Sea Snails.
Depth 26m Experienced Advanced Level
Going North up the coast from San Antonio you find an island with an impressive archway through the middle. Underwater, it is even more spectacular, as Margaritas is the number 1 cavern dive in the region. Dropping down a concave wall to 26m and turn into a labyrinth of large open caverns bathed in blue light that floods through a series of large 'windows' on one side. Exiting at 14m, you ascend slowly through curtains of tiny bubbles that have filtered through the rock from the caves you have just passed through. A colourful garden of corals and sponges, and a large shallow swim-through make a perfect safety stop to finish off this spectacular dive. Conger eels, Morays, Cup crabs and Hermit crabs plus thousands of a large rare colourful shrimp, are just some of the marine life particular to this dive. We recommend this dive for advanced experienced divers as the caves start at 25 metres and it requires very good buoyancy and finning technique to avoid touching the ceiling or disturbing the bottom.
The Wreck of the Neptune
Depth 5m-26m All Levels
On 16 Jan 1980, the 'Neptune', a 140m cargo ship, was being towed to be scrapped and broke its tow cable in bad weather. It was blown into a small cove on the north west coast, at the base of spectacular cliffs that tower hundreds of metres above you. The wreck has suffered from crashing waves and heavy seas but makes an interesting jig-saw puzzle of recognisable pieces like the boiler, propellers, bulkheads, decking and anchors. The deck plates and wreckage make an excellent habitat for moray eels and grouper.
The Organ Pipes
Depth 5m-30m All Levels
On the island of Conejera this excellent dive site suits all qualifications, starting on a shallow gentle slope and descends down to a platform at 12 metres. A left turn takes you along a wall with lots of marvellous features; gullies, cracks, canyons and overhangs, all the time you are shadowed by Barracuda, Damsel fish and Jacks. Watch out for Painted Combers swimming upside down underneath the rock faces.
Depth 10m - 40m All Levels
This tiny pinnacle of rock off the point of Torre Rovira, surrounded by deep water, is where hundreds of species of fish congregate to feed and breed so there's always lots to see. On a number of occasions, Sunfish and Stingrays have been filmed here. Roughly cone shaped, it makes for easy navigation and offers a variety of depths.
Snakes and Ladders
Depth 20m Advanced Level
Contrary to what the name suggests, 'Snakes and Ladders' doesn't go up and down but turns left and right through a maze of narrow cracks and canyons that wind and criss-cross a shallow platform of rock off Cala Conta. The walls of these canyons are covered in coral polyps and many colours of sponge so only small groups can do this dive. Nudibrancs and small wrasse are plentiful and you may even spot the elusive slipper lobster. Emerging from the maze of canyons, we descend slightly to a patch of sand at 12m where we often see rays and other sand dwelling fish like star gazers and flat fish.
All Depths All Levels
All Depths All Levels
In total, we have more than 35 dive sites on offer on and around the 18 islands of the Marine Reserve, offering, without a doubt, the best underwater scenery, visibility and variety of marine life to be found anywhere in the Med.