The headland and its surrounding water were declared a nature reserve in 1975 and now support significant colonies of seabirds, dolphins and seals, as well as 450 types of seaweed and some remarkable fish such as the grouper, a species more commonly found in the Caribbean. In addition, nests belonging to a rare kind of giant gull are visible on the cliffs, and you might see the odd osprey there used to be only seven pairs here, but careful conservation has increased this number to 24.
Scandola is off-limits to hikers and can be viewed only by boat, which means taking one of the daily excursions from Calvi or Porto. These leave from Calvi at 9.15am and 2pm, and from Porto at various intervals throughout the day and early evening (AprilOct), the first two stopping for two hours at Girolata and returning in the late afternoon. It's a fascinating journey and well worth the €32, although it's a good idea to take a picnic, as the restaurants in Girolata are very pricey.
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