Grotta del Cammello

Useful Information

Location: On the coast of Isola Marettimo, 1.6 km north of Marettimo. Visited by boat from Marettimo harbour.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologysea cave
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Grotta del Cammello, Contrada Pelosa, 91023 Favignana TP, Tel: +39-0
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Grotta del Cammello. Public Domain.

The Grotta del Cammello (Cave of the Camel), was named after a rock at the entrance, which is shaped like a camel. The sea cave is quite spectacular with its huge opening in the ceiling, sun falls through the hole on the sea water producing an eerie turquoise glow. The best time to visit is around noon, when the sun actually hits the water. As the cave opens to the east and there is a cliff on the southern side, the sunlight shines through the cave entrance only in the early morning.

The cave has long been a refuge for the monk seal who came here to shelter, give birth and raise her puppies. The species is endangered and there are only a few hundred left, but research at the cave has shown that they still frequent the cave. There were sightings during the winter season and pictures and organic remains were collected. One reason is probably that the remote location on a small island off the easternmost tip of Sicily restricts the number of tourists quite effectively.

The Grotta del Cammello is the most spectacular sea cave along the coast of Isola Marettimo. The others are smaller, but boat trips typicall visit several of them while making a round trip around the island. The other caves are Grotta del Tuono (Thunder Cave) who was named after the loud noise the cave produces when the waves break nside this cave during stormy weather, The Grotta della Pipa (Pipe cave) has a 20 m high portal and is about 100 m long. At the end shards, lamps and remains of wineskins have been found. It was probably used to collect sweet water. Grotta Perciata (Perciata cave) is rather wide and entered by some boats. It has a sandy beach at the end. Located at the west coast, the sun shines into the cave in the afternoon. The Grotta della Ficaredda (Fig Tree Cave) was named after a fig tree which grew above the entrance, some older inhabitants of the island can still remember it. The cave is home to birds named uccello delle tempeste (storm birds) which are protected. The guano in the cave creates a distinct smell. The Grotta del Presepe (Crib Cave) was named after a rock formation which resembles a nativity scene. Grotta della Bombarda contains a stalagmite with the shape of the pope's headdress (miter). A hole in the ceiling blows air and water when the waves crashing into the cave are high enough. There is also a cove with numerous small caves named Ruttidi. You can swim 40 m into one cave which is called Cave of Lovers.