Christ of the Abyss: how to visit and more

The Christ of the Abyss is a bronze statue placed on the seafloor in San Fruttuoso bay (Camogli). It’s in the heart of the Portofino Marine Park and is one of the most famous attractions of the Ligurian coast.

In this article you will find all the advice and information necessary for visiting it in the best way possible. Are you ready to set off for this unforgettable experience?



cristo degli abissi
Face to face with the Christ of the Abyss


Where to find it

The Christ of the Abyss was placed on the seafloor in San Fruttuoso Bay back in 1954. The bay is found on the Southerly facing side of the Portofino promontory, exactly halfway between Camogli and Portofino. The statue itself rests at a depth of 17 metres, close to the Eastern side of the bay in an area closed off by signal buoys.

This is one of the most famous diving spots in the entire area. Thanks to its not prohibitive depth and its size, the statue can even be admired from the surface. For this reason it is frequented by lots of free divers, snorkelling lovers or simply curious swimmers.

What is more, the bronze monument is set in a context of perfect beauty. The coast, rocks and waters that surround it in fact are populated by numerous marine species – something you really mustn’t miss.


San Fruttuoso mappa
The map of the Portofino promontory.


How to visit


How to reach San Fruttuoso:

Overland: there are numerous hiking trails that lead off from San Rocco, Portofino Vetta and Portofino that will take you down to the little beach dominated by the famous abbey.

Here you can find all of the info necessary on the routes that you need to follow on foot.

N.B. no vehicular roads lead here, so don’t waste time looking for trains or bus stops!

By sea: all year round ferries head here from the nearby towns. But if you would like to arrive in San Fruttuoso by sea, we prefer arriving by kayak!

Keep on reading to find out how to organize your outing in an original, independent and eco-sustainable way.

Here are some more tips on visiting San Fruttuoso.


How to get to the Christ of the Abyss:

The statue is sited about 300 metres from the main beach. So the only way to get there is by sea:


  • by swimming. Do be very careful of seagoing traffic in the bay (especially in high season);
  • by kayak or on a paddleboard. These means of transport, as opposed to other vessels, allow you to get as close as possible to the diving site and admire it from the surface too!


San Fruttuoso dal mare in kayak
Arriving by canoe in front of the famous Abbey.


The Christ of the Abyss by canoe 

A kayak allows you to spend a day surrounded by the nature of the protected marine area and Portofino park, far from the crowds.

You can decide whether to enjoy this experience with a guide or on your own.


What to bring:


  • Kayak and paddle (obviously!) which you can rent here
  • Lifejacket
  • Means of communication, cellphone or VHF radio
  • Water (at least 1.5 liters)
  • Snacks
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Rock shoes
  • Snorkeling kit (for visiting the Christ of the Abyss but also for seeing all of the rest!)

The rocks near the Christ statue teem with marine life


From Niasca (Portofino):


  • Distance: 3,4 NM (6.3 km) each way
  • Duration: Around 1h 30min each way
  • Points of interest:
    • Portofino: enjoy the view of the tiny colourful village and its most important monuments from the sea.
    • Olivetta Bay: you can land in this tiny, shaded bay for a relaxation stop where you can stretch your legs. If you have some time here, use it for doing some snorkeling!
    • Portofino’s Punta Faro – at the lighthouse: this point delimits the two different zones of the promontory and protected marine area. From this point on, the natural life becomes more feisty and wild, showing us all of its charm.
    • Punta Giasso (or Vitrale): is considered to be one of the best places for snorkeling in the whole area. You can land between these rocks only when the sea is dead calm, or if you have a really good ability with the canoe.


From Camogli:


  • Distance: 3,3 NM (6,1 km) each way
  • Duration: Around 1h 30min each way
  • Points of interest:
    • Camogli tuna net: this traditional system of nets set up near Punta Chiappa is one of a kind. Watching the nets being hauled from your kayak is definitely an experience to be had at least once in a lifetime.
    • Porto Pidocchio and Punta Chiappa: the tiny port allows you to land your kayak and rest. Once you have landed here you can explore the long sliver of coast known as Punta Chiappa, which marks the separation of the Southern side of the promontory from the Eastern one.
    • Cala dell’Oro: signalled with a large yellow buoy, this is the only A zone and integral reserve of the protected marine park. Entry here is forbidden to anyone that does not hold a special permit – in fact this bay is devoted to monitoring and developing scientific projects.

Now the only thing you need to do is set off on one the most beautiful paddles that the Ligurian coast offers. Enjoy your trip!


Giulia Bertora - OP School - Outdoor Portofino
Author: Giulia Bertora, OP School and Activity Leader


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