The Capo Caccia – Isola Piana Protected Marine Area extends from Capo Galera up to Punta delle Gessiere and goes as far as 36 km and covers 2,631 hectares of land. The coastal strip is characterized by the presence of the high cliffs of Punta Giglio, Capo Caccia and Punta Cristallo, as well as by the beautiful Mugoni beach; the underwater scenery includes not only the sea plane Posidonia oceanica but numerous and incredibly interesting underwater sea caves and coral sea floors.
The territory of the Protected Marine Area includes some highly valuable features, both in terms of scenery and in terms of nature. Situated on marine limestone layers dating back to the Mesozoic, the whole area arose 70 million years ago owing to a series of tectonic movements. The action of atmospheric agents molded over time the limestone rock, giving rise to the typical shapes that are today visible along the coast, and, thanks to subterranean erosion, beautiful grottoes, full of internal lakes, imposing columns, such as the delicate shapes that are known as “eccentric forms’. The underwater grottoes, which are karstic formations, make the Capo Caccia-Isola Piana Protected Area unique by virtue of their morphological variety, number, extension and their fauna.
The marine environment shows a remarkable diversity of animal species the populate the rocky and sandy sea floors and Posidonia oceanica prairies. There are several vegetation species, and several animal species such as thrushes, rainbow wrasses, sarpa salpas, needle fish, sea horses, noble pen shells, the largest bivalve mollusc in all of the Mediterranean.
Typical of the rocky surface and front parts of the grottoes are the sessiles species of plants, such as sea sponges, sea fans, sea anenomies and red coral; among the brown grouper, the moray eel, chromis chromis, Sciaena umbra, cardinal fish and the redfish. The deeper you go, the likelier you are to come across a crayfish or lobster.
In a rocky marine environment the flora found are several green algaes, such as the Acetabularia acetabulum, sea fans, the sand dollar and codium bursa sea weed, among the widespread brown algaes are the Peacocks tail (Padina pavonica), the cystoseira and the Dictyota dichotoma. The various hues of red characterise the group of red algaes, among which signal the coral algae, peyssonelia and spherococcus. The ecological highlight, however, is the Posidonia oceanica which is a luxurious sea prairie located with Baia Porto Conte and monitored by the Protected Marine Area, which has drawn up a biological map of the protected sea floor.
The educational activities of the Protected Marine Area are designated for all users of the territory and are dedicated to the raising of awareness of the marine environment and coastline, to the themes of environmental upkeep and historical traditions linked to the sea. During the academic year, there are several actions taken, some in the form of in-class lessons, some in the form of field trips, that have been created for elementary, middle and high school students. During the summer season in places habitually attended by local citizens and touists alike (public beaches, bathing establishments, tourist facilities, etc.) are held educational events. The seaside, in this context, is a sort of an open-air classroom for children, but also the ideal place for raising the awareness of adults who accompany them. Particular attention is paid to the world of boating with the summer campaign “barca a barca’ (boat to boat), which will be held in collaboration with coast guard and will be focused on safe enjoyment of the sea. The Protected Marine Area has also carried out videoconference seminars for school students in Catalonia and directly in the field with goups visiting our area. The Protected Marine Area participates in regional and national events and fairs dedicated to the conservation of the environemnt.
Sports and nature for all. A network of trails, ancient paths to be travelled on foot, by bike, horse, all in order to discovery the incredible variety of this territory facing the sea.
A territory that goes from the coast toward the interior and presents itself like a veritable open-air school gymn with extraordinary viewpoints, natural trails and educational paths.
An eclectic range of excursions above and below sea level, veritable paradises of colour for a holiday of sports and relaxation in complete respect for the environment.
There are routes with various levels of difficulty. For those who love strong emotions among the imposing cliffs of Capo Caccia, which is where the “via ferrata’ of Cabriol is located, one of the most evocative areas of the area and for sports climbing.
Then there is the charm of the underground tunnels where you can discover the fantastic worlds drawn by wonderfully-shaped formation that nature has patiently created over the centuries.