During our trip by car to La Maddalena, we could not miss a visit to Caprera, a naturalistic jewel of the archipelago.
After spending half a day discovering the beaches of La Maddalena, we decided to go to Caprera because a visit to the house where Giuseppe Garibaldi spent his last years of life could not miss.
Island of Caprera
The island of caprera is one of the largest islands of the archipelago of La Maddalena with wonderful beaches and is separated from the main island by a bridge a few hundred meters long built in its present configuration in the fifties. Previously there was a small bridge built at the beginning of the century, while Garibaldi used a boat to reach La Maddalena.
Its surface area is about 16 square kilometres and the highest point is 212 metres above sea level. Its size makes it difficult to get around without a means of transport.
Beaches of Caprera
The beaches of Caprera are beautiful, even if the conformation of the island hosts very few of them hidden among the magnificent granite coves. Before dedicating ourselves to the history of Italy, Ornella and I wanted to visit at least the best ones to make a comparison with those visited in the morning on the other island.
Two are those recognized by the many tourists who visit the archipelago:
Cala Coticcio is recognised as Tahiti in Sardinia. In fact, this splendid cove has colours that are very reminiscent of those of Polynesia and give truly unique emotions. Even more beautiful after the exhausting walk you have to face to reach it.
Cala Coticcio how to get there
There are basically two ways to reach Cala coticcio and Tahiti in Sardinia: From the sea with the numerous excursions that leave from the port of La Maddalena or by renting a rubber dinghy, or by a long walk from the highest point of the island, near the memorial of Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The path to get there is quite challenging and you will need more than 40 minutes, so I suggest you leave inflatables, mattresses and anything else that is not strictly necessary.
You will cross a Mediterranean scrub that seems untouched enjoying very beautiful views. the effort will be amply rewarded with the arrival at the beach: very small but exceptional, set in the granite has truly crystal clear waters.
If you decide to take the dinghy, you can rent one at the port of La Maddalena for about 120 euros. The excursion will be very nice because it will allow you to see hidden panoramas if you arrive by land. Be careful because the sea and the wind rise suddenly and it will not always be easy to land because of the intense traffic and the number of boats, making you understand that you have no original ideas.
Despite the fact that even here the amazing sea seemed to call us, we didn’t go swimming because we had little time and there were still many things to see.
So we left for Garibaldi’s house in Caprera.
Caprera is known to be the last home of Giuseppe Garibaldi. From my school memories I thought he had been sent into exile on this small Sardinian island, but in reality it was his property! I bought half of it thanks to a legacy of his brother and the other half was given to him by wealthy English people.
It is in the centre of the island that you can find Garibaldi’s compendium and Garibaldi’s house in Caprera, where the era of the two worlds retreated for his last years until his death. We dedicated about 2 hours to the visit of the house and the Gardens made entirely by Garibaldi, to which I will dedicate a story later, then we continued our visit to Caprera to reach the most recognized beach of the island.
Beach of the Caprera Wreck
If you are looking for beautiful sea, the Wreck beach is for you. A long tongue of white beach, surrounded by Mediterranean maquis, is what you will find at the end of your route (a bit winding). The good fortune is to have visited it at the end of September because from what local people have told me, in high season it is really very crowded being one of the only ones on the island.
It is located in the extreme south of Caprera. After passing through the pinewood, continue on the road that gradually becomes dirt, narrow and rather bumpy. After the beach of the two seas, continue to Cala Andreani and then you will find the diversion to Spiaggia del Relitto. Very difficult in high season to go against the flow, because there are few points that allow the crossing of two cars.
Characterized by an arched beach with a bottom of not very fine white sand and with the presence of some posidonia beach, it is famous for the presence of the remains of an ancient wreck a few steps from the shore. It is a ship carrying coal that was deliberately washed up after a fire on board and it is very suggestive to go swimming near it.
The beautiful crystal clear sea with its colours between emerald green, turquoise and blue, is usually shallow and has a shallow, sandy seabed. The beach is set in a bay, and the two long cliffs are its natural limits.