LA MADDALENA, SARDINIA OFF BEAT

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Lovers of nature and silence: this is your ultimate destination. Located in north-east Sardinia, right in front of those Gallura coasts where parties and entertainment are on the agenda, La Maddalena is the largest of the namesake archipelago of about 60 islands, and so far, it is the only one to be inhabited. Come with us and discover this off beat land, where nature still wins over jet set.

The physical conformation of La Maddalena is characterised by beaches and coves, jagged stretches that can be visited along its 45 km of perimeter; on the interior, the island is dominated by greenery and hills and its protected by the National Park of the archipelago.

THE BEACHES

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For those who want to enjoy the sun and sunbathing, the island is full of suggestive beaches where calm reigns. First of all, the Cove of Spalmatore, that contributed to La Maddalena’s title of “Caribbean of Europe”.

Cala Francese, La Maddalena

Cala Francese, La Maddalena

Three kilometres from the historical center we arrive at Cala Francese, a small fjord, reachable through a path that leads to white beaches and creeks that deserve to be immortalised in a photograph; this place is also famous for the extraction of granite, so much so that a legend wants that the Statue of Liberty of New York was built with La Maddalena granite.

Abbatoggia, La Maddalena

Abbatoggia, La Maddalena

Then Abbatoggia with its Morto and Strangulato beaches and many other creeks. And further, heading in the south to Padule’s waterfront, the nest of Nido d’Aquila, located near the military fortress, and Punta Tegge, with its astonishing cliff. While in the northern part, beyond the isthmus of Strangolato, we find Bassa Trinita, Cala Lunga and Arena Mountains, impressive small beaches with white dunes and rocks shaped by the wind.

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For wild life lovers, immediately next to La Maddalena there are other pristine islands such as Razzoli, Santa Maria and Spargi to the north, Santo Stefano to the south, and Budelli, with its famous and almost surreal Pink Beach, where Michelangelo Antonioni set his Red Desert.

THE HISTORY

Compendio garibaldino, La Maddalena

Compendio garibaldino, La Maddalena

This Sardinian island is also rich in history. Being in a strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea, in 1793 young Napoleon Bonaparte attempted to invade it, but was blocked by troops led by Maddalenian Domenico Millelire. In Cala Gavetta, inside the renowned Casa Bianca on the nearby island of Caprera, lays the tombstone of Giuseppe Garibaldi, preserved in the place he spent his last years; Caprera is reachable through the pass of Moneta.

For culture and adventure lovers, it’s also possible to visit the naval museum Nino Lamboglia, which recounts the foundation of the Navy.

Strolling through the historic center will add to the sense of going back in time, with its eighteenth-century palaces, the town hall and parish churches such as the church of Santa Maria Maddalena and the church of Madonna della Pace.

WHERE TO STAY ON LA MADDALENA

Regarding the stay on the island, there are several possibilities for lodging; from relaxing in a hotel to a wilder adventure within a camping, to a simpler bed and breakfast suitable for young people who want to discover the island. So here are three, rather different, proposals

Grand Hotel Resort Ma&Ma

The Grand Hotel Resort Ma&Ma is perfect for those who want to totally relax in a paradisiac environment. Located just 150m away from the beach an near the cliffs of Punta Tegge, the hotel boasts a panoramic view over the island of Santo Stefano. The ultramodern rooms and suites make the perfect contrast between elegance and eclecticism.

Prices from 300 € per night.

https://grandhotelmaema.com/ 

Località Nido d’Aquila, 07024 La Maddalena (OT)

+39 0789 722406

La Casitta

Nestled in the pristine island of Santa Maria, the luxury vacation house La Casitta is the epitome of a getaway in the middle of an amazing nowhere. Endowed with all the comforts of a 5-star hotel, the hosts of the villa will also have their private butler, chef, watchman and even a sailor for eventual tours.

The broad terrace makes the perfect ambience for an exclusive restaurant. Here the menu skillfully revisits the traditional Sardinian dishes, always with an eye to the guests personal taste.

Prices on request.

www.lacasitta.it/

Cala Ajacciolu, 07024 La Maddalena (OT)

+39 329 370 5621

 

Camping Maddalena

Camping Maddalena, La Maddalena

Camping Maddalena, La Maddalena

The Camping Maddalena is ideal for free spirits and for those who can’t give up on the beauty of nature.

The property proposes three different types of accommodation. Bungalow, a two-bed studio, with bathroom, kitchen and fridge; Tukul, three-bed, circular shaped studio with kitchen, fridge, bathroom and a small veranda with a table and garden chairs; Chalet, a two-room apartment with four beds and all the facilities needed to enjoy your stay, in addition to a spacious veranda. The campsite also has a pitch for campers.

Rates from 50 € per night

www.campingmaddalena.it

Moneta, 07024 La Maddalena (OT)

0789 728051

SHOPPING ON THE ISLAND

Coral items, La Maddalena

Coral items, La Maddalena

Of course, being in Sardinia, there is no shortage of shopping on La Maddalena. In the historical center there are, in addition to the expensive boutiques, small artisan shops that display souvenirs and typical local products. Handmade carpets and coral items are the strong part of the tradition of this small corner of Sardinia. Recommended is also the market, held once a week in the afternoon at Moneta.

WHERE TO EAT

Porcetto sardo

Porcetto sardo

Of course, being in Sardinia, there is no shortage of shopping on La Maddalena. In the historical center there are, in addition to the expensive boutiques, small artisan shops that display souvenirs and typical local products. Handmade carpets and coral items are the strong part of the tradition of this small corner of Sardinia. Recommended is also the market, held once a week in the afternoon at Moneta.

Among La Maddalena’s culinary specialties, we find the Maddalenina soup, a dish that contains different types of fish such as scorpionfish, crabs and cuttlefish, cooked in garlic, onion, chili pepper, celery, tomato and parsley. Like having the sea in a plate. The porcetto a la Garibaldi is another delicious dish of local cuisine: a boneless piglet filled with its pulp and served as a porchetta. Obviously there are also salami and cheeses produced by the shepherds in the area.

The great wine tasters will also be delighted by Vermentino di Gallura, Cannonau and myrtle liquor.

Rifugio dei peccatori, La Maddalena

Rifugio dei peccatori, La Maddalena

All these Sardinian goodies are offered at Rifugio dei Peccatori, a restaurant whose menu is made up of zero-kilometre ingredients. Tours are also organised to discover the excellence of Sardinia.

www.rifugiodeipeccatori.com

Via Tommaso Zonza 3, 07024 La Maddalena (OT)

+39 0789 735207

La Scogliera, La Maddalena

La Scogliera, La Maddalena

If you are looking for an elegant restaurant with fish-based cuisine or revitalised Sardinian dishes, La Scogliera is at your convenience. The restaurant stands in the middle of granite cliffs, and the sea view is its strong point. Who arrives here on board of yachts or motorboats has also a private marina at disposal. Before sitting at the table, guests are offered a welcome cocktail to enjoy in the privé or on the terrace. Prices from 30 €.

www.restaurantlascogliera.com

Porto Massimo, 07024 La Maddalena (OT)

+39 0789 1876556

HOW TO GET TO LA MADDALENA

The island can only be reached by sea from the port of Palau, whose connection times are decided by the local Harbour Master’s Office and may vary according to the season. The main ferries companies are Decolmar, operating even during nighttime, and Maddalena Lines, only in summer.

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