The 10 Best Places for Snorkeling in the Italian Riviera

The underwater world has fascinated many since the beginning of civilization. Italy is one of the best countries to explore this world.

The top places for snorkeling in the Italian Riviera are often less crowded than other areas around the world.

If you haven’t traveled to the Italian Riviera before, you also need to know you can stay locally. Booking a local hotel is all that’s needed to get started with underwater adventures as many run their snorkeling programs.

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10. Taormina

Taormina might only be a small municipality, but it features scuba diving facilities offered by local hotels. If you aren’t sure where to start your Italian Riviera snorkeling, Taormina might be the best option as a diving newbie.

Nike Diving and Blue Sea Diving Center are just a couple of popular tour organizers of the region. You need to call them or other tour operators in advance if you haven’t planned your snorkeling trip yet. Alternatively, you can organize your diving sessions through your hotel.

9. San Fruttuoso

The diving areas of San Fruttuoso di Camogli are now world-famous. It’s here that you can dive to the statue of Christ of the Abyss which has been submerged in 1954. The submersion was the idea of Duilio Marcante, a passionate diver.

San Fruttuoso is one of the areas most known for its snorkeling trips organized through local hotels. You can arrange snorkeling either at the reception or by phone before you arrive in the region for a dedicated snorkeling operator. The daily price of a snorkeling trip in the region normally includes a boat and all of the equipment you need.

8. Cinque Terre

The entire Cinque Terre region is known for its warm clear waters. You can join one of the local diving schools and snorkel to see blennies, gobies, or wrasses. Big fish are also found here for those who want to turn their snorkeling adventure into deep-sea diving.

As one of the most popular snorkeling destinations, Cinque Terre boasts multiple snorkeling guides and tour operators to choose from. If you’re planning a romantic gateway, you can also arrange a pleasant boat ride and sunset for you and your partner with most of these operators at the end of the snorkeling session.

7. Camogli

Camogli can be a great snorkeling starting point for those staying in the Portofino region. This area is known for its deep ancient fishing net which you can explore and photograph with a group snorkeling trip.

B&B Diving Center is the main snorkeling tour operator in Camogli. The company offers English-guided tours and you may even book your snorkeling equipment at the destination through the company.

6. Genova

Genova is mostly a touristy destination but it has its unique charm as there’s plenty to visit. You’ll always be just a short drive away from top snorkeling destinations and you’ll also be able to enjoy some of the best seafood at renowned local restaurants as well.

Genova is one of the top relaxing snorkeling destinations on the Italian Riviera for couples. All local tours include tasty prosecco at the end of the tour. For small groups (up to 6 people) you can consider Tiburon Boat Services, but you need to book your trip a few months ahead during the busy summer season.

5. Moneglia

Snorkeling destinations in Moneglia are visible from the main road. You can drive and even walk to most of them as local hotels are situated right on the beach here. Cycling is also popular in Moneglia when you decide to come back onshore to enjoy the summer sun.

4. Portofino

Portofino already enjoys impressive popularity among snorkelers. You can easily find snorkeling tours from 1 hour to 4 hours here. Inside the marine reserve of Portofino, you can even book snorkeling tours for you and your friends (normally up to 15 people).

You will find all types of outdoor tour operators in Portofino due to its high influx of tourists. Most of them can also offer very specific in-water activities. When you’re tired of snorkeling, you can switch over to stand up paddleboarding as its growing in popularity right at the edge of Portofino.

3. Riomaggiore

If you don’t want to overspend on your snorkeling adventure, you need to consider Riomaggiore. It’s here that you’ll have to share your passion for the sea with kayaking fans from all over the world who also follow their passion on a budget.

For experienced snorkelers, Riomaggiore can be a top destination on the Italian Riviera. However, the low influx of snorkelers comes with its disadvantages when it comes to tips and guidance. As a result, you should only consider the place if you’re already familiar with snorkeling techniques and safety.

2. La Spezia

Snorkeling in open waters and small caves is possible in La Spezia. The region is mostly known for snorkeling in small groups. Up to 6 people snorkel here at a time with most tour operators.

You may also favor La Spezia over other regions for its long trips with a local guide out in open waters. Madyson Sailing is one of the popular operators offering multi-day trips on boats for small groups. If you’re only planning to spend your time snorkeling, you might struggle to find a better alternative.

1. Monterosso al Mare

Snorkeling the crystal-clear waters of Monterosso al Mare is a dream for many. Couples are among those who love the area the most. You can find a snorkeling guide in Monterosso al Mare at your local hotel who may also arrange other outdoor activities in the sunny area.

Most underwater activities can be enjoyed from the rocky shores here. You don’t necessarily need a tour operator which can be a major plus if you’re on a budget. For those who might be planning snorkeling tours in other cities, it’s worth noting there are fast trains to Cinque Terre here as well. They run frequently during the summer, usually every 30 minutes.