45 km of coasts and more than 30 beaches and coves overlooking a sea of incredible colors, this is the starting and ending point for those who visit the Archipelago that bears his name.
La Maddalena is the largest island of the Archipelago, 20 km2 for over 45 km of jagged and rocky coasts rich in sandy coves, landing places, natural and cultural attractions that make it an ideal destination for a stopover, but also a starting point for exploring the other islands of the archipelago. An island inhabited all year round that has not lost the charm of unspoiled nature and the harshness of a granite landscape that is home to men without accepting too much compromise.
Protected to the east by the large island of Caprera to which it is connected by a thin strip of asphalt, and with which it shares a wonderful and difficult stretch of sea, facing south on the island of Santo Stefano which seems to want to hide from it the view of the coasts of Sardinia between Capo d'Orso and La Sciumara Beach, La Maddalena is the large home of the Archipelago National Park which has been included in the Bocche di Bonifacio International Park since 2010, the "mother island" of an area that includes more than 60 islands that host some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
on the island of La Maddalena
The island of La Maddalena needs a little introduction, frequented since the Neolithic, it has been permanently inhabited since 1600, when the small citadel that still occupies the southern part was founded, the island has been used as a strategic outpost since times of the Royal Navy, as the seat of a military arsenal, a destination that facilitated its use as a strategic base for US nuclear submarines, until 1998 when, with the departure of the US contingent, a difficult path of tourist conversion began. For a long time, La Maddalena was the island of the Americans, the island of quarries and the island of fishing before becoming the island of tourism, the island of beaches and the island of one of the most appreciated and known archipelagos in all over the world for the color of its waters and the particularity of its naturalistic attractions.
An island that seems to have accepted its tourist vocation only in recent times with the establishment of the Archipelago National Park and with the choice to implement a system of strict but necessary safeguards that have sheltered for the future masterpieces of nature such as the Pink Beach of Budelli, the Port of the Madonna between Razzoli, Santa Maria and Budelli, Cala Corsara on the nearby island of Spargi, Cala Coticcio on the sister island of Caprera and Punta Marginetto on the same island of La Maddalena.
La Maddalena is also the only island of the archipelago, together with Caprera, on which it is possible to arrive by car and move easily on the roads that flank the infinite beauty of the sea and choose to stop for the day in one of the approximately 30 beaches frequented by tourists and locals. A dream island which, thanks to the presence of accommodation and services, is the perfect starting point for a long stay but also for calmly planning excursions and visits to the other islands of the Archipelago, to quickly reaching Caprera, the island "of the Hero of the Two Worlds", across the isthmus of Via Benvenuto Cellini that starts from the Port of Moneta or, again, to immerse yourself in the pleasant life of the walks by the sea, the bars and clubs and restaurants that animate the evenings of the town and its central streets.
Maddalena Island, home to the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park, the island of Cala Francese, Cala d'Inferno and the Bassa Trinità beach.
La Maddalena is an island of jagged coasts, deep inlets, wide coves, promontories, isthmuses, straits and peninsulas, white beaches and golden beaches, surrounded by a difficult sea of shoals and outcropping rocks that requires maneuvering skills and knowledge of the rocky bottoms and currents. Seat of a municipality of just over 10 thousand inhabitants devoted mainly to fishing, granite and alien to agriculture that the characteristics of the island make it very difficult, if not impossible, La Maddalena has become a symbol of the protected beauties of northern Sardinia and of all over the Mediterranean Sea.
In its south-western, southern and eastern coasts, the island offers beautiful beaches sheltered from the main winds that affect the Archipelago and the Strait of Bonifacio, and many landing possibilities, from the small Port of Giardinelli, to the docks of Cala Chiesa, Cala Gavetta and Cala Mangiavolpe, up to the very small docks of Cala Nido d'Aquila, Cala Capo Ferrari, Porto Massimo and Cala Spalmatore.
But the attractions of La Maddalena do not end with the beaches. The granite quarries of the Geomineral Park of Sardinia, the Diocesan Museum of the Island of La Maddalena and the Nino Lamboglia Naval Archaeological Museum represent an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in culture and local history. The Naval Museum is home of the remains of the famous wreck of a Roman tax ship of about 35 meters, recovered in the waters off the nearby Island of Spargi with its cargo of over 200 wine amphorae, pottery, glass ointments, oil lamps and ceramics of oriental import .
In the Diocesan Museum, housed in the historic center in the rooms enclosed to the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, the "Treasure of S. M. Maddalena" is kept, a precious collection of objects linked to the ecclesiastical history of the island and of the people who met and clashed in its waters, Sardinian, Corsican, Genoese, Tuscan, Piedmontese, and which can count among its pearls the gifts of Admiral Nelson accompanied by an autograph letter, wooden statues dating back to the '600 and original prints and engravings that return a broad panorama of the iconography of the Saint Patron of the Archipelago.
La Maddalena, the island of landings and beaches to be reached on foot, by car and by bicycle, from Punta Tegge to Punta Testiccioli.
Unlike all the other islands of the Archipelago, in which, to move from one beach to another, the fastest and easiest solution is navigation, the Island of La Maddalena offers the possibility to move around on foot, by bicycle and by drive along a network of inland and coastal roads that is rather widespread given the size of the island. This is certainly a possibility that completes the need to turn to expert maneuvers and connoisseurs of the many pitfalls that the Maddalena sea hides under a mantle of beauty that can deceive the eye of the less experienced.
Moving by land, heading west from the town of La Maddalena overlooking the port of Cala Gavetta, you quickly arrive at Punta Tegge, a small rocky promontory connected to the island by the beaches of Punta Tegge, easily reachable from the coastal road that runs along Cala Nido d'Aquila, closed to the south by the cliff of Punta Tegge, and to the north by Punta Nido d'Aquila and the breakwater that shelters the small landings that dot the Cala characterized by expanses of light granite polished by the sea and the wind.
Continuing north-west on the coast road that cuts inwards the promontory of Cava Francese, you reach the wide Cala Francese, protected to the south and north by two rocky tongues that close the mouth of the Cala and its granite coasts marked by small sandy coves. The Cala Francese beach is a beach of medium-grained golden sand, overlooking a sandy bottom that slopes very slowly, into a sea of very light colors. Very well known and accessible, the beach of Cala Francese is obviously one of the most crowded on the island during the high season.
After the Carlotto Military Battery, testimony of the recent military past of the island, the small Cala Carlotto opens up, closed to the north by the Pescatori Beach from which you can easily reach the jagged Punta Testiccioli, mainly rocky but which houses a small sandy cove and stones usually little frequented.
Cala d'Inferno, the wonderful Bassa Trinità beach and the Punta Abbatoggia fjord
Often beaten by the mistral winds coming from the Strait of Bonifacio, Cala d'Inferno is a beautiful beach of medium-grained golden sand, over 170 meters long, and surrounded by dense Mediterranean vegetation. To reach Cala d'Inferno it is necessary to take an impervious and not exactly easy path. However, the name should not be deceiving because, on days that are not particularly windy, the effort to reach the cove will certainly be rewarded by the solitary harshness of this stretch of coast which offers one of the most evocative views of the whole island.
A little further north, inside the wide Cala Maiore, there is the more accessible beach of Bassa Trinità. The white beach, one of the best known in the entire Archipelago, is often colored with pink shades that recall the more famous Pink Beach of the Island of Budelli towards which this stretch of coast is oriented.
Cala Trinità and the beach of Bassa Trinità take their name from the eighteenth-century church located above the cove, they can be reached from the south, along the coastal road which, before reaching Cala d'Inferno, heads inland passing through the Old Watchtower and Trinity Village. From here you can reach the sea by taking one of the paths that end behind the Cala. An easy alternative allows you to reach the Cala from the north, taking the stretch of dead-end road that goes south from the Monti d'A Rena beach. Going along the same road and continuing, however, towards the north, you can easily reach the western part of the Abatoggia peninsula which begins with the Spiaggia del Morto and continues to narrow down to the famous Strangolato beach. Here, seabeds rich in fish fauna ideal for snorkeling and diving, clear sand and sea with colors ranging from light blue to blue, are the backdrop to the large rocky promontory of Punta Abbatoggia while to the east the gaze opens onto the great Cala di Stagno Torto.
The northern tip of the island, from the Monti d'à Rena beach to the Cala Spalmatore beach, sheltered by the great rocky promontory of Punta Galera.
The first beach on the southern side of Cala di Stagno Torto is the wonderful Monti d'Arena Beach (sometimes written as Monti d'à rena), a beach of golden and slightly dark sand more than 300 meters long, surmounted by a characteristic sand mountain that gives its name to the beach overlooking a shallow sandy bottom interrupted by low cliffs. The beach is easily accessible from the coastal road that also connects it to the small Cardellino beach a little further north. This small beach of light sand, not even 50 meters long, a few meters from the paved road, takes its name from the islet that faces it but is also known as the Castelli Beach. The inlet, although apparently closed within the gulf of Stagno Torto, is particularly exposed to winds and this makes it one of the archipelago's favorite destinations for windsurfing. At the same time, its characteristics make it a not particularly crowded cove even during the high bathing season.
After passing the large promontory that culminates in the peninsula of Punta Lunga, which also includes the small beach of Punta Lunga, rather exposed to the westerly winds, you reach the beach of Punta Marginetto, considered among the most beautiful of all the island of La Maddalena. . The beach of fine white sand closes a narrow inlet surrounded by rocks and Mediterranean Scrub and it is located at short distance from the Porticciolo di Stagno Torto, also called Porticciolo di Marginetto from the nearby Military Battery of Marginetto, and from which numerous boats authorized to tourist navigation in the Archipelago start. The northern tip of the island of La Maddalena is also called Punta Marginetto and is a large rocky peninsula with a jagged profile, full of tiny coves that are very difficult to access and land.
From the west coast of the peninsula, however, along the Strada di Punta Lunga, it is easy to reach the first north-eastern beach of the island, known as Cala Lunga beach which is located in the shelter of the cliff of Punta Lunga, near of Porto Massimo.
The small beach of Cala Lunga, easily reachable from the road, is made of stones, pebbles and dark sand, and is surrounded by a thick vegetation. Overlooking a crystal clear body of water, the port of Porto Massimo and the beach of Cala Lunga are bordered by the coastal road that continues south from Punta Lunga towards Cala Spalmatore. The latter is a very sheltered inlet between the rocks of Spiaggia del Costone and the great promontory of Punta Galera. The long beach changes type and orientation passing from light to golden sand, from the low rocks of the northern part of the cove to the high cliff that closes Cala Spalmatore to the south-east and continues varied and jagged up to Punta Rossa.
From Punta Rossa to Giardinelli Island, a small itinerary among the most beautiful beaches of the eastern part of the La Maddalena archipelago.
Beyond Punta Rossa, the cliff becomes less and less rugged and wild, softening near Piras Beach, and in the many inlets of the arm of the sea closed to the east by the Giardinelli island and to the south by the narrow Cala Peticchia.
It is on this strip of sea similar to a real lagoon that the Spiaggia del Nautico, the Spiaggia di Ricciolina, the docks of Cala Peticchia overlook and stretches northwards with the peninsula that connects La Maddalena to the Giardinelli Island.
The Giardinelli island, is an integral part of the island of La Maddalena, and is considered a peninsula, it can be reached by land from the narrow isthmus that starts from Cala Peticchia and reaches the Spiaggia del Porticciolo. From here it is possible to take the road that makes a ring and allows you to reach all the beaches of the islet. Going along the ring in an easterly direction, and deviating from the main road, you reach the Il Sentiero beach, and from there to another large beach that faces south-east towards Punta Cavicchio. The beaches are clear and perfect for bathing, alternating with short stretches of low cliffs that are interrupted to the north in the Alberello beach and in the Passetto beach. At this point the Octopus Head, Capocchia d'ù Purpu, juts out into the sea towards the east, with the jagged profile of the Octopus Cliff that closes to the north one of the most beautiful bays in the entire Archipelago, characterized by low and sandy bottoms below the coast that become deep in the harbor, allowing mooring and parking, waters with very clear shades of green and blue, in a stretch of sea particularly sheltered by the particular conformation of the Testa di Polpo promontory, and from the fact that the coast east of the Giardinelli Island directly overlooks the nearby cliff of the Caprera Island.
At the end of the Capocchia d'ù Purpu promontory, the Twin Beaches, one facing south and the other north and not far from the Giardinelli beach, and the suggestive Punta Tramontana, a cliff particularly exposed to winds from the north opens to the west on a long beach dotted with rocks, overlooking a stretch of sea with a rocky bottom ideal for snorkeling and diving.
Returning to the Island of La Maddalena, it is possible to continue south, along a particularly jagged and inhabited stretch of the Maddalena coast that hosts the eastern area of the Municipality of La Maddalena and is known above all for the presence of a multitude of small moorings that culminate in the Port of Moneta, in the Porto Arsenale area, in the Cala Camiciotto landing place and in the central Port of Cala Mangiavolpe facing the small Isola Chiesa reachable by land from the Mirabello promenade. Still in the south-eastern tip of the island, in Marina del Ponte, it is possible to take the bridge that leads to the nearby island of Caprera, perhaps the best known from the historical point of view thanks to the link with the figure of Garibaldi who spent his last years of his life, and that with the island of La Maddalena forms a real archipelago in the archipelago, completed by the island of Santo Stefano.
The Island of La Maddalena is under the protection of the National Park of the Archipelago of La Maddalena of which it is the main seat and is entirely included in the Tc zone, a partial reserve land area. The Chiesa and Giardinelli islands and the peninsula between Cala Peticchia and Porto Giardinelli fall within the Tb area, a general reserve area, while the area of Punta Marginetto and the islets of Abbatoggia in front of the Roccaforte di Guardia near the Spiaggia del Morto are included in Zone Ta, Land Zone of integral reserve.
The waters around the island of La Maddalena are characterized by the presence of very varied and difficult to navigate depths, the large number of landings, especially in the southern part of the island, does not necessarily correspond to greater ease of maneuver. The park authority indicates in the zoning map the main pitfalls, represented by the shoals located near the Giardinelli Island and to the south-west near Punta Tegge and Punta Nido d'Aquila, but no material produced by the Park Authority can consider itself as a substitute for the Cartography of the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy.
To visit the archipelago by sea, it is therefore advisable to rely on qualified personnel, expert navigators and maneuverers with adequate knowledge of the difficult waters of the Archipelago.
Starting from € 50 per person
Starting from € 500 for the Lomac 790 IN inflatable boat
We are open in the months of June, July, August and September
The excursions start at 10 am and return around 5 pm.
In case of exclusive rental you can decide the departure time but the return must always be before 18:00
Le Isole has been operating for some time as a dinghy rental in Cannigione. Our information point is located at the "Golfo di Arzachena" Camping Village.
Boarding is carried out from the jetty of the Arzachena Nautical Club of the Cannigione tourist port