As the second largest island in the western Mediterranean, Sardinia has over 1800km of coastline, and trying one of the many water-based activities on offer is an absolute must. Sailing, windsurfing, diving, boat excursions, swimming…the opportunities are endless.
Top of my list on my visit in August was to find a snorkelling experience that was family friendly and sympathetic to the natural environment and I was delighted to find Argonauta Dive and Snorkel Centre.
Argonauta – local diving and snorkelling centre
Set up in 1995 by local experts – Cinzia and Maurizio – Argonauta is a local diving and snorkelling centre in Cala Gonone, in the Gulf of Orosei, eastern Sardinia. They provide diving experiences, PADI courses, and snorkelling tours, all of which can by combined (as an option) with a stay in locally owned, private apartments or agriturismos, for a truly relaxing and authentic holiday.
Family friendly snorkelling
Argonauta offer half day or full day snorkelling tours, specifically suitable for children and families. During our visit, we did two half days, from 9am to 1pm, exploring the Gulf to the north of Cala Gonone on the first day, seeing beautiful caves, limestone walls and stunning beaches like Cala Luna, and to the south of Cala Gonone on the second day, marvelling at the basalt formations and swimming in crystal clear water near the gorgeous beaches of Osalla and Orosei.
The cost of a half day snorkelling trip in August 2013 is 30 euros per person. All equipment is provided – wetsuit, masks, snorkel and flippers. Aurora was a great help, fitting us with the correct sizes, which, as a parent, was very reassuring. Argonauta’s offices are situated in a quiet area, away from the centre of Cala Ganone, and your equipment is taken to the boat for you on the day of the excursion.
Our boat was a small rib-boat which took a maximum of 12 people plus our two guides. It was perfect for ‘cruising’ near the limestone coastline, stopping as Cinzia, our expert guide, pointed out interesting landmarks and geography and then speeding back to Cala Ganone at the end of the trip, which the kids loved!
There are two guides on each trip, one leading the swim and one at the back of the group, giving parents that added reassurance.
Marine life, caves and more
Argonauta’s snorkelling trip is so much more than just snorkelling and swimming in the clean waters of Sardinia, though that would have been fantastic just by itself. What makes this trip stand out from the crowd is the enthusiasm, passion and care that Cinzia, has for the natural environment. She’s knowledgeable about the geography as well as the marine life, showing us hidden gems along this wonderful coastline, small caves with stalactites and beaches that only a local can know.
The delight of travelling with children, is being able to share magical experiences that create long lasting memories and to learn together. These two snorkelling trips were an unbeatable combination of snorkelling, swimming, boat ride, speed boat, caves, mountain scenery, learning from a local and meeting like-minded people. Rest assured, we’ll be talking about ‘the time we went snorkelling in Sardinia’ for a long time to come.
You might also be interested in 5 good reasons for families to visit Sardinia in August.