Destinations and routes

Discover the Columbretes Islands on a sailing trip

  • Alvaro G
By Álvaro García
9 July, 2019
In Spain, the Balearic and Canary archipelagos are well known, but in addition to this well-known group of islands there are more than a hundred small islands scattered throughout the country. Being a group of islands that are not known all over the world are the so-called `` blind islands ''. They are four groups of volcanic islands that are 28 miles from Alcocebre (Castellón). This group of islands was declared a natural park in the 80s and is one of the largest marine reserves in Spain.
Table of Contents
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  • How many islands are there in the Columbretes Islands?
  • What is there to do in Columbretes?
  • How long does it take to get to the Columbretes Islands marine reserve?
  • Is it possible to go ashore in the Columbretes Islands?
  • Is it possible to dive in the Columbretes Islands?
  • Where can I book a boat trip to the Columbretes Islands?

How many islands are there in the Columbretes Islands?

The islands that make up this archipelago are: Columbrete Grande (Illa Grossa); La Perrera, (La Ferrera); La Horadada, (La Foradada); and El Bergantín, (El Carallot). Throughout the archipelago there are pitfalls and basses and a orography with numerous craters and volcanic chimneys.

The islands are divided into four groups of arid volcanic islands that settle on a depth of 80 meters in an area of approximately three nautical miles. The erosion produced by the wind and the waves have sculpted the landscape of these islands conditioning the vegetation and fauna of the area.

The largest island, which is the Columbrete Grande or L'illa Grossa has an open arc shape, typical of underwater volcanic activity. The highest point of the entire archipelago is 67 meters above sea level on this major island. At that point is a lighthouse.

What is there to do in Columbretes?

The Columbretes is a quiet place several hours from the peninsular coast, a set of small islands that give us an environment to relax in the middle of the sea and that we can only reach by boat.

In addition to enjoying the cliffs and the landscape characteristic of its fauna and flora, in the Columbretes Islands we can enjoy a swim in its transparent waters. It is possible to explore the shore of the islands by kayaking, paddle surfing or in a small auxiliary boat.

Being a natural reserve, marine life is abundant and is a very interesting place to anchor and snorkel. For diving enthusiasts this is an exceptional dive. Unlike the poor life in the areas of land, there is abundant life and hundreds of species under the sea. 

At night, if the sky is clear, the star show is impressive. You can hardly find a place like this where there is almost no pollution. In good condition you can observe the milky way with amazing clarity.

How long does it take to get to the Columbretes Islands marine reserve?

The distance from the coast of the Iberian peninsula to the Columbrete islands varies depending on the port of departure. The approximate distance from the nearest ports is 27 miles (50 kilometers). Depending on the weather conditions we can reach the islands in two or three hours by motor or in just over four hours sailing.


Is it possible to go ashore in the Columbretes Islands?

In order to disembark in the Columbretes, specifically in l'Illa Grossa, it is necessary to communicate with the guards by radio, on channel 9, VHF, to request a guided tour of the island. It is not authorized to go down to land for free. There is a maximum daily limitation of visits and there are visiting hours. Permission to visit the island is made in order of arrival. It cannot be booked in advance. The descent to land can be uncomfortable for people with little mobility and sometimes, due to the state of the sea, it is not possible to disembark.

The walk on land is about 800 meters. On land you can not eat or smoke and there is no bar or establishment to buy food or drink. It is advisable to go with water and sun protection.

Is it possible to dive in the Columbretes Islands?

Anchoring in the Columbretes Islands is totally prohibited. There are buoys to moor available to boats. The rules for the use of buoys in the Columbretes Islands are as follows:
  1. The taking of the buoy for the mooring will be made of the boyarín of the gaza, not of the end of the own buoy, to avoid damages to the same with the boat.
  2. The mooring will be done with a end of the boat passed by the buoy's gaza, not encapillating it on board.
  3. During the stay tied to the buoy, the skipper will follow the instructions he receives from the marine reserve service.
To request the use of a buoy, reserve guards should be called on channel 9. These are the allocation criteria:
  • Work schedule.
  • Availability of free buoys
  • Priority order established
  • Order of receiving calls, by VHF, requesting the use of buoy.

Where can I book a boat trip to the Columbretes Islands?

On Sailwiz you will find different options to visit the Columbretes Islands by boat. Depending on the time of the year there is more or less supply. There are boats that come and go in the day, others spend a weekend and others have these islands as their destination on a longer crossing.

Remember that in the social networks of Sailwiz you can be aware of these and other plans to navigate. Don't stop following us!

  • Alvaro G
    Álvaro García
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