La Maddalena National Park, with Mediterranean charm
With its 180 km of coastline, the La Maddalena National Park in northern Sardinia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean Sea.
Those who love the idyllic sea cannot fail to put places such as the Pink Beach on the island of Budelli, Cala Corsara and Cala Granara in Spargi, Cala Napoletana and Del Relitto in Caprera on their list of places to visit.
In the park of La Maddalena, nature's own architect has really indulged in shapes and colours here: the pink granite rocks and the blue sea make this slice of paradise on the Bocche di Bonifacio truly irresistible.
La Maddalena and Caprera
There are 62 islands and islets that make up the Maddalena archipelago park.
The largest island is the landing point due to the frequent ferry service from Palau, on the nearby Sardinian coast. The historic centre is a delightful maze of narrow streets sloping down to the sea, always lively both during the day and at night. From the port by bus, one can circle the island and stop at its many beaches: Spalmatore is a deep inlet that is well protected when the mistral wind blows; the beaches of Bassa Trinita and Monti d'Arena preserve sand dunes, and walkways have been built to protect them from being trampled on, allowing even the disabled easy access to the sea. The most beautiful sunsets can be enjoyed from Punta Tegge, opposite the island of Spargi.
The island of Caprera, connected by a bridge to La Maddalena, is the true enchantment of the Archipelago Park. The dense pine forest that covers it is owed to Giuseppe Garibaldi, who wanted to spend the last years of his life from 1856 to 1882 in one of the most beautiful places on the island.
His home and burial place is definitely worth a visit, not just for historical curiosity, but for the pleasant atmosphere that emanates from a place that was certainly much loved: 4 km from the house in Forte Arbuticci is the Garibaldi memorial, which recounts his adventurous life, to say the least. The rest of the island is a succession of bays and beaches, one more beautiful than the other; in one of which you will find the Centro Velico, one of Italy's best-known sailing schools.
The islets of the archipelago
The island of Budelli is famous for an inlet that faces south-east, known as the Spiaggia Rosa or Pink Beach, because of the colour of its sand. This colouring is due to the skeletal debris of aquatic animals (Miriapora truncata, Miniacina miniacea) that are concentrated here due to a number of factors: the presence of a Posidonia prairie, the shape of the seabed, because there are low-energy currents, and because it is protected from the westerly winds by a thick juniper hedge.
Changing just one of these factors, for example with the wave motion of boats that would intensify the energy of the currents, could alter the delicate balance and set off an irreversible degradation process. This is why the Pink beach is not accessible and can only be seen from a distance from walkways set up by the park.
Equally beautiful and fragile is Budelli's white Cavaliere beach in the north-eastern part, a natural swimming pool facing the so-called Porto della Madonna, the stretch of water bordered by Budelli and the islands of Razzoli and Santa Maria, one of the most sought-after spots by yachtsmen. Due to sand erosion, the beach has only been open partially since summer 2020.
The beaches of Spargi, the largest and greenest of the smaller islands, are also beautiful. Many protected birds nest here thanks to the presence of fresh water: as far as beaches are concerned, with cala Corsara and cala Granara, we are in the top 10.