Today we explore the history of the Columbretes Islands. In facto, one of the most demanded spots for our diving liveaboard in Spain. From legends of pirates and smugglers to the paradise of scuba diving in the Mediterranean that the marine reserve represents today.
Firstly, it is known that the Greeks discovered the archipelago and named it Ophiusa. Later, the Romans baptized it with the name of Colubraria, and even the Iberians by Moncolobrer (Mount of snakes). The common reason for these names is the reptile that inhabited the islets: the snake, the first great conqueror of the archipelago of the Columbretes Islands.
Over time, snakes coexisted with pirates (who used the island as safe haven) and with whom they lived in harmony for a long time. The protection offered by the islets and the easy watch offered by the highest point of the archipelago, made out of Columbretes Islands an ideal base for pirates and smugglers.
Once converted into a smugglers’ refuge in 1423, Alfonso El Magnánimo granted the Columbretes Islands to Dionisio de Odena. However, he rejected them when attempting to carry out a military detachment, due to the high cost of the project.