ISLA DEL AIRE

The Isla del Aire is situated off the extreme south eastern tip of Menorca, in front of the resort of Punta Prima. The small limestone island is a very popular spot for sailing, swimming and scuba diving and has some of the most amazing dive sites to be found anywhere around Menorca, which are accessible to all levels of experience, and include almost everything from shallow rocky reefs which are excellent for snorkelling to magnificent caverns, submarine walls, deep boulder strewn rocky reefs, sand flats and extensive areas of Neptunegrass Posidonia oceanica.
Although the most frequently visited dive sites include The Coral Galleries, The Spike, Orion's Caves, Giant's Bay and West End Reef (See aerial photo) there are a number of other less well known sites including the rocky reef below the lighthouse, the submerged wall in between Giant's Bay and West End Reef and perhaps the most spectacular of all, the area in between Orion's Caves and the Lighthouse, where just off the island's steep submerged eastern wall there are a number of huge boulders with depths dropping almost immediately to 30 metres or more.


Aerial view of the Isla del Aire depicting some of the most popular dive sites.......
Image © Oceanic Research & Publishing Ltd.

Marine life is also diverse and abundant depending upon the time of year, with the summer and early autumn months being the best for water temperature, clarity and marine life. Owing to the warming of the sea in springtime, there follows a prolific reproductive period and by mid July the waters are then teeming with life, both adults and juveniles, which in turn bring in predators which usually only frequent open waters further offshore.

Of the myriad species that may be seen around the Isla del Aire, perhaps the most common and well known include the Blue damselfish Chromis chromis, which form huge shoals all around the coast of Menorca, Barracuda Sphyraena sphyraena Common octopus Octopus vulgaris, Moray eel Muraena helena, Grouper Epinephelus marginatus, Stingray Dasyatis pastinaca and Amberjack Seriola dumerili. Whilst it is not uncommon to see small Amberjacks early on in the summer, it is later toward the end of August and on into September and October when much larger specimens may be seen more frequently and in greater numbers.
Owing to the large number of shaded overhangs and caverns that are found around the Isla del Aire, Ahermatypic corals, Bryozoans (False corals) and Sponges are also very abundant and provide a spectacle of colour on any shaded rock wall.

Also worthy of a special mention are the numerous remains of Menorca's past history, including Roman Amphora, Canons, cannon balls, musket shot, copper nails and the occasional coins found buried in the sand or hidden under a rock, the remains of endless shipwrecks over the centuries.

The island is also a haven for sea gulls where both the endangered species Larus audouinii and the more common Larus cachinans nest during May and June, it is also home to a very large population of the endemic Black lizard (Podarcis lilfordi).

 

VISIT FEATURED DIVE SITES

CORAL GALLERIES
CORAL GALLERIES TO THE SPIKE
GIANTS BAY

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