One of Ustica's most fascinating dives, an impressive underwater cave that leads to a spectacular emerged cave. A unique experience in Sicily, the Grotta delle Cipree!
Just beyond the bay of Sutta a'zza Lisa, a peculiar rock formation suggests the location of the cave. Once underwater, you immediately notice a large gorge in the seabed, which is followed, at a depth of about 20 metres, by a large canal, inside which we find the entrance to the cave. The opening is very wide and quite bright, which makes it perfect for hosting slipper lobster and dotted sea slug. Immediately after the entrance, we can see on the right the opening of the exit, from which the sun's rays filter in and illuminate the initial part of the cave. Following the left wall, the dark part of the cave begins, where it is possible to observe the parapandals, the typical Ustica shrimps, and if you look carefully, you can find specimens of Erosaria Spurca, a particular species of cypraeas that gives the cave its name. As you go further into the cave, the bottom slowly begins to rise until you reach the surface, where the presence of fresh water (halocline) makes the temperature inside the cave constant throughout the entire diving season. The emerged part of the cave contains breathable air and is divided into two main chambers, the first small, with a ceiling less than 3 metres high, in which there is a small passage leading to the second chamber. This chamber is as massive as it is interesting, with a diameter of more than 10 metres and a vault more than five metres high. From the dome, plant roots can be seen dangling and fresh water filtering through, and small stalactites and a stalagmite are taking shape. On the south side of the large chamber is a small passage, about 2 metres deep, which connects to the submerged part of the cave. After the tunnel, keeping the wall of the cave to the left, you head for the exit, before which you can admire the sun's rays creating beautiful light effects from the opening. Before the exit, one can follow a spiral path created by a rock inside the cave, which ends outside the cave at a depth of about 13 metres.
Definitely one of the most mesmerising dives in Ustica, Grotta delle Cipree offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who has the chance to visit!