A blue lagoon, an emerald green, a red tile, a citadel, bell towers and churches, here is the postcard of Calvi! With its rich heritage and Mediterranean culture proudly anchored in the cobbled streets, the city of Calvi invites us to discover its iconic sites whether on land or under the sea! On the island, it is impossible to escape the wealth of the past of the capital of Balagne. First of all, the citadel of Calvi is a real cultural and political vestige with its Genoese fortress past. It dominates the Mediterranean Sea and offers a 360 ° panorama of the Bay of Calvi and the Corsican mountains. Calvi is also the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, which is the perfect link between land and sea. It has more than 15 kilometers of seafront including 5 kilometers of beach. The warm water and the reefs make the dives in Calvi pleasant and calm. There are 5 diving clubs that offer to bring you in about fifteen different diving sites underwater. Calvi Bay is home to 2 outstanding diving spots : La Revellata and the B-17 Bomber .
Where to dive in Calvi?
The Revellata, or Punta Revellata, is at the western end of Calvi Bay, where the steep coast plunges into the Mediterranean. To get there, we pass in front of the citadel, whose huge cliffs overhang the sea. The most beautiful part of the route is the north-east part of the site. The many straight rocks are deposited between 10 and 12 meters deep. The end of the last rock formation is a falling down to the sand, 40 meters, and has many faults where it is easy to get lost. In summer, the site is home to many divers and it is sometimes difficult to find your boat when you are too far away. The Revallata is also famous for the colors that ignite the walls, with the sponges or, beyond 25 meters, the gorgonian coral. One may be careful – identify octopuses that are sometimes difficult to distinguish because of their great ability to camouflage. In Calvi Bay there are also sedentary groupers hiding in faults or cavities.
The B-17 bomber
In front of the famous citadel of Calvi, the seabed shelters the vestiges of a B-17, American bomber of the years 1940 whose wreck lies 200 meters of the coast, on a bottom of sand and poseidonia, with a depth of between 23 and 27 meters. Diving does not present any particular difficulties. The reasons for the crash of the B-17 bomber are known. On February 14, 1944, while stationed in the south of Italy in Foggia, it flew away on his last mission: the bombing of the Verona marshalling yard, with Captain Frank Chaplik at the helm. As the B-17 bomber approached its target, it left its trajectory, separated from its unit and was attacked by German fighters. Having suffered great damage, the B-17 bomber could not hope to return to his base. The nearest allied airport was located in Calvi, but the track was too short to accommodate bombers of this size! It was then that Captain Chaplick made the decision to land on the water with the only remaining engine. When the bomber touched the waves, the survivors had a few minutes to abandon it before the plane sunk silently into the water. When visibility is good, it is possible to see the plane almost from the surface. The B-17 bomber had a wingspan of 31.6 meters. The wreck is almost unchanged since its accident. The engines are still present and only the nose of the plane that crashed during the makeshift landing, was lost. The shallow depth makes it possible to remain underwater for a long time to carefully inspect the wreck, under which big congers hide and, in the cockpit, under the pilot’s seat, one can also find moray eels.
When should we dive in Calvi?
As a general rule, the best time for a diving holiday in Corsica is between May and October, avoiding, if possible, the months of July and August because of mass tourism.
Visibility diving in Corsica is generally good reaching on average 15 to 20 meters. On the diving spots of Sagone and Propriano, in Calvi, around Bonifacio and on the Lavezzi Islands, the visibility can even reach 30 meters.
Marine currents : Due to the low tidal range in the Mediterranean, marine currents, in Corsica, are not very noticeable.
Required level : In Corsica, diving is possible for everyone, but experienced divers will appreciate the sites.
The temperature of the water rises to 26 ° C in August. In winter, it can go down to 12 ° C. An integral combination is strongly recommended!
What to see during a diving holiday?
The waters of the bay of Calvi abound with life as all the underwater fauna of the Mediterranean is found there. You could come across many dentis, amberjacks, pelamids, sea turtles and groupers. Most of the many diving spots are along underwater canyons or coral and sponge-covered drop offs.