I had never been to La Maddalena, so it was one of the stops on our last trip to Sardinia. After 5 days in Gallura in the magnificent beaches of Costa Smeralda, we were told that if we wanted to see the most beautiful sea in the north of Sardinia we should go to the Maddalena archipelago.
La Maddalena Sardinia
So we left early in the morning from our residence in Porto Rotondo to reach the north-eastern tip of Sardinia in Palau, where the embarkations for Maddalena Island are located.
Actually you can also reach it from Golfo Aranci and Olbia by sea, but we preferred to drive to see the interior of the Gallura.
Ferries to La Maddalena
In about half an hour from Porto Rotondo you can reach the embarkations in Palau, there are two companies that make the journey, one is the Maddalenalines and the other is the Delcomar.
The ferries of the two companies alternate departures about every fifteen minutes, so I suggest not to book earlier in order to have the maximum flexibility especially if like me you go in the month of September where the tourists are definitely less.
How much does the ferry cost
The cost of the round-trip ticket for two people and our car was 40 euros and, very interesting the formula of the open return ticket so as not to worry about timetables.
We decided to take the car too because moving around the various coves would be very difficult without a means of transport, but I assure you that to find wonderful beaches you just have to pull your car over at a random point along the road and go down the thousands of paths.
The archipelago of La Maddalena
The archipelago of Maddalena, In Maddalena in Gallurese, Sa Maddalena in Sardinian is a natural marine park established in 1994 and is composed of 7 islands: Maddalena, Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Budelli, Santa Maria, Razzoli. Also there are other small islands Mortorio, Chiesa, Spargiotto and where is the beautiful beach of .
Where is La Maddalena
La Maddalena and its archipelago are located in the north-eastern part of Sardinia. I didn’t know where it was either, but if you are on holiday on the Costa Smeralda the road signs for Palau and the embarkations for the archipelago are many.
The ferry trip from Palau takes about half an hour, but it is also possible to visit the archipelago with the numerous boat trips that leave from the same Sardinian port lasting the whole day. These touch all the islands of the natural park and stop in the most beautiful coves for swimming.
We had the intention of renting a dinghy once we arrived on the island, there are all sizes of dinghy – even for those who don’t have a nautical licence – to have the maximum freedom to discover the most hidden corners and maybe get to the pink beach of Budelli, but the strong sea and Mistral did not allow us this option, so we went to the information office asking for suggestions to reach the best beaches by car.
The information office is located immediately off the ferry, park near the first large roundabout you find and less than a hundred metres away on foot. There we took the map of the island and the hostess gave us very useful information about the most significant places.
The village of La Maddalena
Once you arrive at the port, a very pleasant village opens up in front of you which hosts many tourists during the summer season. In its narrow streets tourists swarm to visit all its most characteristic corners and take advantage of the numerous cafes and craft shops.
Choose the best beach depending on wind conditions
It is almost impossible to choose between the Beaches of La Maddalena the best. The archipelago is almost always beaten by the wind and in our case there was an annoying 30 knot mistral blowing on the west side of the island, so we only visited the most famous coves on that side and then left again towards and then .
The beaches we visited were really beautiful and in the middle of September even devoid of the hordes of tourists that usually abound on this island.
Cala Trinità with the beach of bassa Trinità can be reached along an equipped path a few tens of meters from the main road. More than 200 metres long, it is divided into three coves separated by huge cliffs that can be covered on foot.
Octopus head and the alberello beach are located on the island of Giannarelli, separated from the island of La Maddalena by a small land bridge 2o meters long. It is not easy to reach the beach because you have to walk along a very bumpy dirt road, but at the end there is a car park from which, passing through the cliff, you can reach this corner of paradise.
La Maddalena by car
Luckily we went by car, otherwise it would have been very difficult to understand the wonders of this island.
There is only one road that goes around the whole island of La Maddalena in all its external part. They call it “Panoramica” and in fact it is; it can be travelled both clockwise and anticlockwise and its length is about 20 km.
We opted to go clockwise starting from the side of the island which, even on this sunny day, is beaten by a strong wind that over the years has rounded off the enormous blocks of granite that emerge everywhere.
It gave us magnificent views of hundreds of coves and a breathtaking panorama of the island of Spargi out and the island of Budelli where the icredible Pink beach is located, now forbidden to disembark and swim to preserve its uniqueness and beauty.
In the distance you can also catch a glimpse of Corsica from where in the past the dangers and attacks of the French with Napoleon arrived.
The sea with its Tiffany colour seems to call you in every cove and after three stops for a swim, our journey continued to the discovery of Caprera, island that was owned by Garibaldi who gave it to Italy after his death.
In our stay in the North of Sardinia the archipelago of La Maddalena was one of the most exciting moments. The sustained sea will “oblige” us to come back to visit the other islands in a better way.