Island of Palmaria
A ferry service takes visitors to the island of Palmaria, which is a regional park: a protected area which is rich of natural treasures: beaches, cliffs, natural vegetation and caves that can only be reached by boat.
From a tourist point of view, the island of Palmaria is the biggest and the most popular of La Spezia Archipelago, especially among La Spezia citizens: every year in fact, thousands of tourists choose its beautiful uncontaminated beaches and crystalline water surrounding the coast.
Placed in front of the town of Porto Venere, it is separated by a narrow strait called Le bocche, it is part of the Archipelago made up also of Tino and Tinetto islands. Its area is part of the municipality of Porto Venere. Since 1997, Palmaria with Tino and Tinetto, Porto Venere and Cinque Terre, have been included in the UNESCO world heritage list.
The Palmaria island probably takes its name from the term “balma” which means cave, rather than from the presence of dwarf palms. The island offer many different landscapes: the eastern part is densely covered with Mediterranean scrub, and the western side is characterized by steep sea cliffs which are reach 188 m high.
The island presents also many interesting and spectacular sights, such as the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Cave) in the western side which can be reached only by boat, and the Grotta dei Colombi (Cave of Pigeons) accessible only by coming down with climbing ropes.
Finally, an other noteworthy site is an abandoned quarry situated in the southern part of the island called Pozzale, which was used for the portoro mining, a black marble with gold streaks.