The History of Tremiti Islands
The main information on TREMITI Islands during the ancient Classic times, were reported by authors such as TOLOMEO, Strabome, and Plinio il Vecchio. They used to call the island INSULAE DIOMEDEE as they were linked to the mithic events of the homonym greek hero
Diomede. Tacito in his “ANNALES” was the one who changed the name into TRIMERIUM, when he reported of Giulia who was exiliated by the Emperor Augusto.
The documentation of the arcipelago during the Christian era is poor. This lack of information was filled by the blooming of the legends on the Saint Heremit. The great number of apparitions of the Saint Vergin lead to found a treasure on the San Nicola Island which was then used to built the church of Santa Maria Assunta a Mare. The church became the destination of many pelgrims.
Around the first years of 1000, the Pope incharged the Benedectins of taking care of the sanctuary. The Benedectins founded the famous Abbey. Around the year 1236 the Cistercensi took on but in the first half the XIV century they soffered an heavy raid from the Pirates , who first killed all of them and then distroyed both the church and the majority of the walls. In 1412 were the Canonici Lateranesi who bought back the
monestry to its old splendor and sourround it with strong bastions and walls so strong that they could resist the attak of the Turkish army which could count on 300 galleys in the month of August in 1567.
In 1780 though, Ferdinando IV di Borbone, forced the Canonici Lateranensi to leave the Tremitis which became again the land of exiliated people and hosted many “coatti” coming from Naples and Calabria. These people were given “ five tomoli of land, the place for a house, tools for working and 5 grana a day for the first three years”.
People continued to be deported even after the national reunion. In 1863 the colony was reorganized according to new rulesand even during the Libia war on the island were exiliated many prisoners who then died because of an epidemic of tifo petecchiale.
After this unique situation, the islands were managed by The Chief of the criminal colony wich became again land of exiliated people during the Fascism until 1932 when the Arcipelago became city Council with the name of “Isole Tremiti”.
An unexpected Adriatic sea
Five emerald and gold color islets, floating in the blu constantly shaped by the waves that seems to walk toward the heart of the Adriatic sea.
The Tremiti archipelago reflects their immage in the most clear water the Adriatic sea has to offer.
Located 12 miles away from the Gargano coast and 24 from the coast of Molise, the Tremiti is an authentic concentration of natural beauties and historical monuments that are suspended in the blue of the sky and sea.
San Nicola, The Fortress isle: the 42 hectare, suspended on top of high rocky coasts overlooking the sea, holds within its stately walls , the most impressive abbey ever built in the middle of the sea. The abbey is an historical symbol of the entire archipelago, a distinctive tug of this true fortress standing in the open waters. The San Nicola island is the administrative capital of the Tremiti archipelago.
It is built on an upland 1600 metrs long, 450 meters wide which stands 70metrs above the sea level.
On the island, there are more towers than three.
There are stately fortalices, walls, strongholds, churches and cloisters of the abbey which was occupied by three differents religious comunities: the Benedettini Cassinesi in the IX century, the Cistercensi from 1237 through 1313 and the Canonici Lateranensi from 1413 until the begining of ‘700.
San Domino and its caves: it is the largest and most populated. It spread for a lenght of 3km and a width of 1,7km and with its Colle dell’ Eremita , San Domino rises 116 meters above the sea level.
The island is wrapped up by the maditerranean chaparral and by a forest of ilex and pine of Aleppo which hide the hotels and accomodations for the turists. This is the only island thatb can host a true street that connect the little port and the San Domino village located in the central part of the island.
The street is to be used by just few private cars and little busses that drive the turists from the marina to the different hotels located around the main rural village centre which hides inside the forest. In these enchanting places, the sourranding peace is unique and the frangrance of the forest is really intense.
The rocky coasts of San Domino enhance natural arches and caves of variuous depths. The island is rich with these natural beauties made by the erosive action of the water and wind. The most suggestive of all of them, is the cave of the Bue Marino, aproximately 70 meters deep, dominated by very high cliffs the Alpicco and the Ripa dei Falconi, where flocks of Falchi del Pellegrino, Falchi of the Queen and Berte (the famous Diomedee) fly around.
The untouched charm of Caprara: Caprara, or Capraia or Capperaia, used to be a wood but nowadays is just a hipe of stones and vegetation is thin and is made by just few cappers bushes, thistle and grass. A large colony of gulls live on Caprara, which matain untouched the charm of nature masterpieces. The Architello which appears on the surface, is the most beautiful of all of them. A monument carved in the calcareous rock by the nature opens into a little lake formed by the sea. Only the north-west side offer the view to high cliffs while the the rest of the island is a flat land laying down toward San Nicola. All along the cost there are many creeks and little creeks. The only sign of human presence on the island is a farmhouse where shepherds used to live and today is occupied by the only inhabitant of Caprara.
The Scoglio del Cretaccio: located in the centre of the archipelago, the Cretaccio is shaped like a half moon of yellowish colour and it is a natural bridge between San Domino and San Nicola. As a matter of fact the Cretaccio was a real “pier” of a bridge which used to connect the marinas of the two major islands. The bridge was built at the end of the ‘700 by deported people of San Nicola for the will of King of Naples Ferdinando IV di Borbone. Next to the Cretaccio going toward San Nicola Island, the black reef of Scoglio della Vecchia emerges. The reef is a funny presence, misted over with mystery. An old tradition tells the story of an old hoary widow ghost who appears sitting on the rock while she spins, few hours before the storms and during the full moon nights.
Pianosa the inaccessible: it is almost invisible as the surface that emerge is really modest. Pianosa is located 12 miles north-west of San Nicola and it is a comprehensive reserve were it is absolutely forbidden any kind of access. Pianosa is free from all forms of arboreous vegetation and keeps her natural treasures under the water. Many marine species which populate the southcentre of the Mediterranean sea, find in Pianosa the best conditions for reproduction being a true ecological niche.
An Archipelago not well known but for sure...
a real paradise for the divers.
The Tremiti is a spectacular site for those who love the sea.
On top of the typical fascination of islands, here there is also the athmosfere of a land of banishment maybe due to its position, which is located on the limit between the deep waters of the Adriatic sea and those up north more usual and famous with shallow sandy waters.
For sure is a magic place . Alsmost a meeting point of all the creatures who populate the waters of this portion of the sea and at a certain point they decided to meet here and give the divers special excitement.
It is impossible not to resurface full of excitment and wish to take the rugulator off the mouth to comment with a friend of with the master all what you have seen as if the time for resurfacing could cancell from the memory all what you saw.
Every island has its own unique morphology and gives a big variety and a large number of dives that fit perfectly every different level of experience and capability.
The Tremiti islands were appointed Marine Reserve with a DM of July the 14th 1989.
Since 1996 the area is part of the Gargano National Park. The restriction of the laws doesn’t limit the divers and the opportunity that they may have to explore the island.
The Island of San Domino, as an example, it’s characterized by depths and underwater paths. These runs along the coast an inside the creeks. Almost the whole island is contained inside the C area of the Marine Reserve (*see box) and on the south-east side these creeks glides up to a depth of 25 meters with places full of seaweeds,posidonia, rock’s groups, gravel and sand, ideal to
obseve octopus, opisthobranchs In the ravins you can see, litte lobsters, congers and scorpion-fish. On the rocky depth live red mullets, rhombus, priest-fish which are masters of mimicry.
Inside the posedonia there are many Pinne
nobilis and if you look up in the open waters you can see sargos,damselfish and cow bream. Among all the dives we suggest the Scoglio del Sale, the cave of Sale, Punta Elefante and the creek of the Murene.
Only when going on the south side of the island, named Punta Secca B area of the Marine Park, the waters change is aspect and it opens up to a rocky dorsal that fall immediately into the deep,it goes down to even 45 meters and gives the
opportunity to those export divers, to see fishes of lage size such as dentex, barracuda and
The San Nicola Island, on the other hand, presents itself with waters full of agglomarates and massive rocks which make the dives articolated and fun. Even on San Nicola, the most interesting side is the one on the south-east. The difference between this side and the south-east side of San Domino, is that the San Nicola side has a line at 25 meters deep which determines a net passage from an enviroment rich with splits and fissures to an sedimenary enviroment (there aren’t any Posidonia) which go down to very deep waters with few interesting banks but yet very demanding.
For 2° level divers the bank of Ferraio is surely the dive that can offer a lot of special
encounters. The Ferraio bank is a concentration of huge standing blocks within a desert area that offer good shelter, a good hiding-place and great place for huting to many fishes.
This is the reason why at the Ferraio, it is easy to meet big size scorpion-fish, octopus, congers, morays, common lobster and large sized and numbers of lobster. In certain particular times of the year it is possible to see also some giant angler fish.
This sight will satisfy even the most demanding divers, but at Ferraio it is impossible not to notice the soft coral, opisthobranchs, sponges that make the rocks very colourfull.
In such a rich enviroment the predators could not be missed. As a matter of fact dentexes, gilthead breams and bonito seems to patrol regularly the whole area in an obsessive way so that they can be seen even at a close distance.
The queen of the Island is surely Caprara due to its spectacular enviroment.
The nature of this island , is without any compromise. Dives are exceptionally beautiful and among all of them, the dive called Secca di Punta Secca leaves everyone breathless and it is counted as one of the 10 most beautiful dives in the Mediterranean sea. Part of its side is completely colonized by spectacular bicoulored, red and yellow gorgonias (Paramuricea clavata) of big dimension. The area is always busy with schools of damselfishs,silversides,striped bream, cow bream and saddled bream wich constantly challenge the agility and agressivity of dentexes, barracuda, bonitos and tunas. In this whirl and fights to survive, the divers are spectators of actions, strategies of attacks or defense which are normally peculiarities of filmed documentaries. Sometime huge scorpion-fish which lays on gorgonias, soffer for the fact that divers don’t even care about them as their attention is captured by the rest of the scenery.
However Caprara is more than this...the plateau with groupers, the bank with black coral, Cala Caffè, Cala dei Turchi or the peaks of Elena or the Secca della Vedova are just few of the exciting dives the Tremiti can offer, difficult to forget.
It is located on the island of San Domino, where are the main accommodation, and is located inside the Hotel Eden.
A covered area of 200 square meters with a reception, offices, meeting room, library sea and a sea lab where marine biologists illustrate the life forms of the Marine Reserve.
1000 square meters of outdoor space where they are inserted: 2 stores of equipment, solarium and showers.
diving, technical diving, snorkeling, boat trip,
historical and cultural excursions.
Using rubber boats and a comfortable boat
For technical diving recharges helium, oxygen and argon
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from March to December
Start of diving
8:30 | 10:30 | 12:30 | 14:30 | 16:30 | 18:30
9:00 | 11:00 | 13:30 | 15:30 | 17:30 | Night dive
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