Learn about an exceptional research project
The project is promoted by the Valencian Government Council for Education, Culture and Sport which finances the scientific project and authorises the tours; by Alicante University through Fundación General which co-ordinates the works; by Villajoyosa Local Authority through the Council for Historic Heritage, responsible for the tours to the Vilamuseu laboratories and all the conservation, restoration, publicity and exhibitions and by the Club Náutico which contributes its facilities and personnel. The local diving company, Alisub, organises the dives and contributes its own infrastructure.
The sub aquatic visits to the Bou Ferrer are a unique opportunity to see what is going on in the best Roman merchant ship undergoing excavation in the Mediterranean. It floundered just off the coast of old Allon (Villajoyosa) in the 2nd century AD. It had on board about 3000 amphorae full of fish sauces (valuable merchandise in those days) and lead ingots with marks showing that they were the personal property of the Emperor Nero.
The Bou Ferrer is a very exceptional wreck for different reasons. The project, of international proportions, has received unanimous recognition from the European scientific community and is a benchmark of Valencian research. With these sub aquatic tours the project acquires a pioneering, cultural publicity dimension in Spain being that it it is the first ancient wreck that the public can have this type of experience. In addition, it is an initiative within what is known as "turismo de experiencias", which strengthens the value and image of tourism for the south of the Valencian Community. The excavations and the guided sub aquatic tours to the Bou Ferrer wreck are one of the pillars of the 'Plan de Arqueología Subacuática de la Cominidad Valenciana' recently launched by the Council for Education, Culture and Sport. This plan aims for the comprehensive management of the sub aquatic archaeological heritage so that it becomes the cultural and economic driver in close relation with tourism and sport. In this particular case, to position la Vila Joiosa as the destination of preference in the submarine experience and to consolidate it as one of the principal tourist destinations on the Costa Blanca given that is one of the cities with the most monuments in the Valencian Community. This is borne out by such other highlights as its walls and the old town, its fortified church, the Sant Josep Tower, the House Museum of la Barbera dels Aragonés, the watch towers, the Valencian Chocolate Museum and the new Vilamuseu, not to mention many other monuments and places of interest.