Welcome to the Medes Islands, one of the most lavish marine sanctuaries in Europe
In the northern part of the Mediterranean, just off the coast of Spain, is a small archipelago that happens to be one of the most visited dive destinations in Europe.
Just one nautical mile from the port of the fishing village of L’Estartit, in the Spanish province of Girona (in the Autonomous Region of Cataluña), the Medes Islands are made up of seven islets. The two largest are Meda Grande and Meda Pequeña. The topography of these islands makes them havens for life in the vast Mediterranean.
Being so close to L’Estartit, it is no wonder that, for generations, this area was the main local fishing ground. Scientists soon started to study and understand the importance of the biological richness of these islands. However, it was not until 1990, following a proposal made by the Spanish Federation of Underwater Activities, that the Medes Islands Protected Area was created. It became one of the most important marine protected areas (MPA) in the Mediterranean.
Twenty years later, in 2010, this protected area was integrated into the larger Natural
Park of Montgrí, Islas Medas and Baixo Ter, significantly expanding the protected area, and facilitating more integrated and sustained environmental management and conservation.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Depending on your personal preferences, and the level of comfort you might desire, there is a dive centre in L’Estartit that can accommodate you. From large boats, up to 20 metres long, with lift platforms for effortless entries and exits, to traditional rigid-inflatable boats of seven or eight metres, which provide more personalised and relaxed experiences for smaller groups.
There are dive sites for all tastes, from vertical walls dropping into the depths, to sheltered, shallow bays, and the famous caves of La Vaca and Dofi, where qualified and experienced divers can explore tunnels patrolled by large and friendly groupers. (It is worth