The Costa del Azahar, full of orange groves with their characteristic perfume, can feel proud of its almost virgin coasts and practically deserted beaches within protected natural areas and, above all, regarding the seabed, one of the most emblematic places of the Mediterranean, the Columbretes Islands Nature Park. Situated off the coast of Castellón, the Columbretes Islands form a small paradise archipelago of volcanic origin, which owes its name [derived from the Latin “colubraria” = snake] to the onetime abundance there of snakes.
A designated Nature Park, they are one of the destinations in the whole of Europe most sought by divers, who find the seabed in their waters to be one of the richest and best conserved of the western Mediterranean. But the range of possibilities in this province is even wider. Worth highlighting are dives on shipwrecks in Borriana, or the numerous dives that are undertaken from other places like Alcossebre, Oropesa del Mar or Benicássim.
The Columbretes Islands archipelago, some 30 miles oﬀ the coast of Castellón, is a real paradise for divers and, quite possibly, the greatest underwater gem of the Region of Valencia. The considerable distance from the coast and its location out at sea make this an oasis of wildlife, both in abundance and variety. The exceptional qualities of this natural environment determined its designation as a Nature Park and subsequently as a Marine Reserve, which carries with it a high level of protection limiting activities to be carried out.
At Columbretes, the diver will feel privileged to enter these waters of unprecedented transparency and where the only thing there is a shortage of the presence of other divers. The need for respect for the environment cannot be stressed too much. The instructions of the Reserve’s warden must be followed, who will visit you before the dive to remind you of responsible attitudes when diving, such as controlling ﬂotation and correct ﬂipper movement so as not to damage the bottom, the prohibition of removing anything from the sea and of feeding the ﬁsh.
Check the list of species of Columbretes Islands.