Santo Stefano
island

Santo Stefano, the island of Forte San Giorgio, the Napoleonic Tower, the Fish Beach and the “Della Paura” island.

The island of Santo Stefano is the smallest of the three sisters in the south-eastern part of the La Maddalena Archipelago, together with Caprera and La Maddalena it reproduces on a larger scale the more northern trio of Razzoli, Santa Maria and Budelli. The island is also the closest to the coast and faces the stretch of the Sardinian coast between Palau and Capo d'Orso.

Easily reachable thanks to the numerous connections with the Ports of La Maddalena and Palau, Santo Stefano is the island that until 2008 hosted the US naval base and which now, despite the persistent presence of some outposts of the Italian Navy, has rediscovered its own tourist vocation, no longer limited to just the large Resort overlooking the Spiaggia del Pesce, on the west coast of the island. There are, in fact, numerous coves that offer everything that a visitor to the Maddalena Archipelago imagines finding, dream beaches, white sands, sea of incredible colors, and some of these beaches reachable only by sea, are still relatively little known and frequented during the tourist season.

Isola di Santo Stefano

Spiaggia del Pesce (Fish Beach)

COORDINATE: 41.19660206299524, 9.39968243499679

A cala among the most popular of the Archipelago, famous for its very fine white and golden sand, the shallow sandy seabed ideal for bathing, even for children, the crystal clear water and the presence of a large Resort (Villaggio Turistico Valtur) built close to the beach.

Opposite the Spiaggia del Pesce is the Isola Della Morte, or Isola Roma, an evocative islet named after the famous battleship Roma sunk by the Germans in 1943, in memory of which it houses a large monument that can also be seen from the beach.

Visits are not recommended during peak seasons.

Isolotto Roma (Rome Islet) (or Della Paura)

COORDINATE: 41.19654219113926, 9.396661113291973

An islet which takes its name from the Battleship Roma, sunk by the Germans in 1943, and in memory of which it houses a large monument that is also visible from the nearby Spiaggia del Pesce.

The island is covered by thick vegetation and offers the opportunity to stop in the beautiful beach which is located on its short eastern coast and which faces the Valtur Village.

Very popular during the high season, it still offers the opportunity to enjoy the crystal clear water that it shares with the crowded Spiaggia del Pesce, from a new perspective.

Forte La Torre beach

COORDINATE: 41.190570171007586, 9.403867671909737

Surmounted by the square tower, also called the Napoleonic Tower, the beach is a small beach of light sand, easily accessible by sea and less accessible by land due to the thick vegetation.

Located at the eastern entrance of the deep inlet that leads to Porto Vela Marina, it offers a privileged view of the rocky coasts of Palau and Capo d'Orso.

Less crowded than other beaches on the island of Santo Stefano, it is very close to the other coves in the south-western area of ​​the island.

Punta Santo Stefano beach

COORDINATE: 41.18725536188819, 9.410078590244023

It would be more correct to speak of Beaches, given that the rocky promontory of Punta Santo Stefano offers visitors who come by sea the opportunity to dock in various sandy coves that dot the extreme southern tip of the island.

Shallow waters below the coast, waters between light blue and blue, fine sand and low cliffs make the beaches of Punta Santo Stefano an ideal place for those who reach the island aboard a boat.

Cala Levante beach

COORDINATE: 41.18843429800785, 9.415751276134584

Last inlet of the stretch of coast that from Punta Santo Stefano reaches the almost inaccessible east coast of the island, Cala Levante stands out for its sand between golden and reddish granite, of medium grain, a thick vegetation that covers its shoulders and impossibility of accessing it by land.

This ensures that the beach is not very busy compared to the nearby beaches on the west coast of Santo Stefano.

Overlooking a sandy and sometimes rocky seabed, and blue and turquoise waters, Cala Levante guarantees an easy landing in one of the wildest stretches of Santo Stefano, a short distance from the northern coasts of Sardinia.

Cala di Vela Marina (or Villamarina)

COORDINATE: 41.19271026418631, 9.4078313833551

Deep inlet that offers a safe shelter even in adverse weather conditions, it is therefore very popular with boats and houses the port of Villamarina, a reference mooring for boats that carry out tourist services in the Archipelago.

Along the eastern coast of the inlet there are several sandy coves, easily reachable also from land, while from the port it is possible to reach the nearby granite quarry which remained active until the 1950s, in which the unfinished monument to Ciano, commissioned by Mussolini and then remained on the island.

  • Spiaggia del Pesce (Fish Beach)

    COORDINATE: 41.19660206299524, 9.39968243499679

    A cala among the most popular of the Archipelago, famous for its very fine white and golden sand, the shallow sandy seabed ideal for bathing, even for children, the crystal clear water and the presence of a large Resort (Villaggio Turistico Valtur) built close to the beach.

    Opposite the Spiaggia del Pesce is the Isola Della Morte, or Isola Roma, an evocative islet named after the famous battleship Roma sunk by the Germans in 1943, in memory of which it houses a large monument that can also be seen from the beach.

    Visits are not recommended during peak seasons.

  • Isolotto Roma (Rome Islet) (or Della Paura)

    COORDINATE: 41.19654219113926, 9.396661113291973

    An islet which takes its name from the Battleship Roma, sunk by the Germans in 1943, and in memory of which it houses a large monument that is also visible from the nearby Spiaggia del Pesce.

    The island is covered by thick vegetation and offers the opportunity to stop in the beautiful beach which is located on its short eastern coast and which faces the Valtur Village.

    Very popular during the high season, it still offers the opportunity to enjoy the crystal clear water that it shares with the crowded Spiaggia del Pesce, from a new perspective.

  • Forte La Torre beach

    COORDINATE: 41.190570171007586, 9.403867671909737

    Surmounted by the square tower, also called the Napoleonic Tower, the beach is a small beach of light sand, easily accessible by sea and less accessible by land due to the thick vegetation.

    Located at the eastern entrance of the deep inlet that leads to Porto Vela Marina, it offers a privileged view of the rocky coasts of Palau and Capo d'Orso.

    Less crowded than other beaches on the island of Santo Stefano, it is very close to the other coves in the south-western area of ​​the island.

  • Punta Santo Stefano beach

    COORDINATE: 41.18725536188819, 9.410078590244023

    It would be more correct to speak of Beaches, given that the rocky promontory of Punta Santo Stefano offers visitors who come by sea the opportunity to dock in various sandy coves that dot the extreme southern tip of the island.

    Shallow waters below the coast, waters between light blue and blue, fine sand and low cliffs make the beaches of Punta Santo Stefano an ideal place for those who reach the island aboard a boat.

  • Cala Levante beach

    COORDINATE: 41.18843429800785, 9.415751276134584

    Last inlet of the stretch of coast that from Punta Santo Stefano reaches the almost inaccessible east coast of the island, Cala Levante stands out for its sand between golden and reddish granite, of medium grain, a thick vegetation that covers its shoulders and impossibility of accessing it by land.

    This ensures that the beach is not very busy compared to the nearby beaches on the west coast of Santo Stefano.

    Overlooking a sandy and sometimes rocky seabed, and blue and turquoise waters, Cala Levante guarantees an easy landing in one of the wildest stretches of Santo Stefano, a short distance from the northern coasts of Sardinia.

  • Cala di Vela Marina (or Villamarina)

    COORDINATE: 41.19271026418631, 9.4078313833551

    Deep inlet that offers a safe shelter even in adverse weather conditions, it is therefore very popular with boats and houses the port of Villamarina, a reference mooring for boats that carry out tourist services in the Archipelago.

    Along the eastern coast of the inlet there are several sandy coves, easily reachable also from land, while from the port it is possible to reach the nearby granite quarry which remained active until the 1950s, in which the unfinished monument to Ciano, commissioned by Mussolini and then remained on the island.

🡡  Discover the points of interest

Insights on the island of Santo Stefano

Cala Levante, Forte La Torre Beach and the Punta Santo Stefano beaches are certainly an example, all distributed on the southern coast of the island, on the sides of the deep inlet of Cala di Villamarina, also known as Vela Marina. These beaches are small sandy beaches between red and gold that open into a jagged cliff face, with dimensions that allow the stop of a few visitors at a time, and represent a very valid alternative to the most famous beaches of the Archipelago from which they have nothing to envy.

The island also offers several reasons for a visit even to lovers of history and culture, with the presence of some military structures that date back to the Napoleonic era or earlier, such as the Quadra Tower, and the Fort San Giorgio, from which it is It is possible to enjoy a privileged view on the western side of the island and of the entire Archipelago.

Santo Stefano Island, the island of the Arsenals, between small rocky coves and tiny tongues of sand, unfinished monuments and Monte Zucchero.

 

The history of the island of Santo Stefano is closely linked to that of the navy, even before the advent of the Kingdom of Italy, its strategic position made it a point of reference and a stronghold from which it was possible to control the coast north-eastern Sardinia, the narrow passage of the Strait of Bonifacio and the other islands of the Maddalena Archipelago. It is from Santo Stefano, in fact, that in 1793 the attack on Maddalena herself was launched, apparently by the then lieutenant colonel Napoleon Bonaparte, before the intervention of the Lieutenant of the Vessel Domenico Millelire, of the Regia Marina Sarda thwarted the attempt to conquest by the French. In relatively more recent times, ie from 1972 until 2008, the island was granted by the Italian government to the US navy as a base of support for nuclear submarines, and this has limited its tourist development.

Even today, the island offers visitors only two coastal fronts, the southern one, in which opens one of the most sheltered ports of the entire Archipelago, Cala Villamarina, or Vela Marina, a privileged landing place during the tourist season, and that southern known for the presence of the large white beach that faces the Isolotto Roma and for the numerous rocky coves, alternating with tiny beaches of light sand, which dot the entire north-western coast of Santo Stefano. Most of these tiny coves do not have a real name, but they are easily reachable along a short coastal road that follows almost the entire coastal profile of the island, with the exception of the southern portion that extends as far as Punta Santo Stefano.

Two other points of interest that are worth taking into consideration once landed on the island are: the Granite quarry near the Port of Cala Villamarina, where it is possible to see a monumental unfinished statue of Costanzo Ciano, commissioned by Mussolini himself for the mausoleum of Ciano in Livorno, and remained on the island, and the highest point of the island of Santo Stefano, Monte Zucchero which stands out with its jagged profile of white and pink granite at an altitude of 101m., offering a panoramic point of exception not far from the road that surmounts the buildings of the military base that occupies the east coast of Santo Stefano.

isola Santo Stefano
isola Santo Stefano
isola Santo Stefano

To know

The island of Santo Stefano is part of the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park and it is included for its most part in Zona Tb (Terrestrial area of ​​general reserve) while the area of ​​the Spiaggia del Pesce and the area between the Port of Villamarina and the western slopes of Monte Zucchero fall within the Tc Zone (Terrestrial zone of partial reserve).

The waters around Santo Stefano are included, like all those surrounding the islands of the Maddalena Archipelago in the Mb Zone (Marine General Reserve Zone).

There are no particular dangers for navigation, but as is good practice for the whole area of ​​the Park it is advisable to rely on maneuvers and connoisseurs of the many pitfalls that characterize the waters of the Archipelago for navigation.

Prices

Rental with group

Daily tour

Starting from € 50 per person

Exclusive rental

Daily tour

Starting from € 500 for the Lomac 790 IN inflatable boat

Timetables


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

Find us

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


Contact us

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  • LUN - DOM : 09:00 - 19:00

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