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Budelli pink beach, a wonder in Sardinia
Unique in the world for the unlikely colour of its sand, located in the far North of Sardinia, near the Strait of Bonifacio. The pink beach of the Island of Budelli alongside Razzoli, Santa Maria and the nearby Spargi, are the most unspoiled, wild areas of the Archipelago della Maddalena National Park.
A hidden gem
Situated in Cala di Roto, which is on the south-eastern side of Budelli Island, the beach glows its special rosy hue. To protect it, the park authorities decided to prohibit tourists from docking their boats on the shore. All around there is an archipelago full of islets, coves, inlets and beaches - all accessible - and sea beds to be discovered. Populated by fish and colonies of soft corals gifting their typical red reflections to the crystalline waters.
Heritage to be safeguarded
The island was owned privately for the last century. The last individual a New Zealand billionaire who bought it at auction in 2013 for almost 3 million euros. The state however snatched it back and it became public property in 2016. It was assigned to the care of the Archipelago della Maddalena National Park who declared the beach Zone A. This high level of protection prohibits tourists from accessing, passing through, resting and bathing in the water of the island.
Stepping on the pink beach is therefore, a now forbidden pleasure, navigation is possible up to the border of buoys, which close access to the bay from about 70 metres from the shore. Having recently evicted the very popular 80 something year old caretaker, who shared the wonders of Budelli with the whole world through social media, the Park council decided to install, in collaboration with the WWF, a surveillance camera system that allows constant monitoring of the beach.
Alchemy en rose
Sheltered from the wind thanks to a jagged rocky headland and a high juniper hedge, the beach owes its particular colour to a fragile yet powerful alchemy from mixing fragments of coral, granite, shells and molluscs in its fine sand.
The rare pink hue is particularly influenced by a microorganism that lives inside the shells, decorating the seabed in the Posidonia meadows. When this microorganism dies, its shells get swept to shore pulverized by the currents and atmospheric qualities.
In the last century, frequent anchoring and the irregular motion of the sea compromised the Posidonia seagrass beds and modified the sandy composition. Since the rules for safeguarding the beach were put in place, the beach has finally taken back its original coral colour.
A myth immortalized by the cinema
“There was a little girl who lived on an island”: is how Monica Vitti began her long monologue. Legendary protagonist of Deserto Rosso, the first colour film shot by Michelangelo Antonioni. Vitti’s unforgettable voice evokes a dreamlike enchantment, in the 1964’s film which the director from Ferrara decided to set on the pink beach of Budelli.
A step from beauty
Even if the authorities have prohibited access to the shoreline, in order to preserve its integrity. From a distance, you can still enjoy its unique panorama, thanks to the many boat services departing from Palau or Maddalena that offer the Archipelago tour.
You can indeed limit yourself to admiring its beauty from the sea, at about 70 metres. However the Park Authority have also made wooden pathways surrounding the perimeter of the beach, to give tourists the opportunity of visiting this natural paradise, without trampling or altering it. Once your boat or raft is anchored, from the nearby beaches of Cavaliere and Cala di Roto, which also offer spectacular views, you can set off accompanied by park guides along the pathways that run alongside the area.
Explore the surroundings