Today the Octopus takes you on a tour of one of the most beautiful national parks in the Mediterranean, Asinara National Park in Sardinia!
Asinara, also known as the Italian Alcatraz, is an exceptional island to visit by boat. The diversity of its coastal landscapes, from steep cliffs in the West to fine sandy beaches and paradisiacal coves in the East, will amaze you in a preserved natural setting.
Asinara became a national park with the prison’s disaffection in 1997. The island is home to many endemic and unique species of the Mediterranean. This is particularly the case of the Albino donkeys, symbol of the island, which can only be sighted in Asinara National Park.
Between its marine paradises, wild lands and mysterious ruins, Asinara Island has many good surprises in store for you that we are pleased to present to you in this article written with the help of the Navily community.
Les mouillages du Parc National de l'Asinara
Located in the Northeast of the island, it is a very popular anchorage for boaters on Navily. In a protected cove with waters of rare clarity, it faces a village of white houses leaning against the green granite coastline of this part of the island. A picturesque landscape that looks like a paradise from the end of the world, as some boaters on Navily describe it.
It is of course a peaceful place where you will enjoy good protection from North to South winds. You will need to book a buoy in advance with Porto Lands (number given on the anchorage page on Navily). Indeed, like almost everywhere on the island, anchoring is not allowed, and this prohibition is understood when one measures the beauty and the richness of the aquatic life populating its waters.
This is all the more true in Cala d’Oliva, where you will come across many species of fish living in a blooming underwater environment! The mask and snorkels are required and for the more seasoned divers, the coast has a few diving clubs for a unique underwater experience.
On land you can observe donkeys, symbols of the island, stroll freely in the small alleys of the only inhabited village of the island.
Finally, from the latter you can take the path that leads to the famous Cala Sabina. A small paradisiacal Cala with unique crystal clear waters bordering one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
The Cala d´Olivia anchorage is a stopover of choice on the island and approved by the Navily community. A feeling of pure authenticity emanates from this place promising an emotional introduction to Asinara National Park.
Cala del Bianco
If you visit the island in the high season, Cala d’Oliva is often crowded with tourists, so we advise you to follow the coast to the South and once past Punta Gruzitta, you can stop at Cala del Bianco.
It is a superb Cala, sheltered from the winds from the North-West to the South-West, recommended for its calm and fabulous panorama: calm translucent waters border the green low relief of the coast offering an exceptional setting.
Boaters on Navily praise the absolutely wild aspect of the anchorage and its exclusivity. Only a few buoys are available promising an intimate atmosphere, rare for the region especially in high season.
From Cala del Bianco, you can reach the village of Cala di Oliva very easily, enjoy the many cultural and bucolic activities (the visit of the old penitentiary, donkeys, diving session) and find the calm and exclusivity of your wild spot in the evening.
A very good address really appreciated by boaters, as evidenced by the many positive comments on Navily
Continuing your journey South, we then advise you to stop at Cala Trabucco. Located in the South of the island on an arm of land bordering mesmerizing waters, it presents one of the most beautiful beaches on the island in a completely wild setting. Punta Barche Napoletane is very well protected from North-West to South-West winds, promising serenity and calm at anchor.
Almost no network, engine dinghy prohibited and only a few buoys, time seems to have stopped in this exceptional anchorage. The Aragonese Tower of Trabuccato is the only vestige of human civilization that you will be able to observe in the panorama of the anchorage. The rest is crystal clear waters, a sandy beach, lush green plains and granite giants on the horizon.
When you reach the coast you can go and enjoy the magnificent Trabuccato beach and take the coastal path to reach Cala Reale. The latter will also take you to the heights of La Cala where you will enjoy the an exceptional panorama of the anchorage.
If you haven’t been able to enjoy a snorkeling excursion in your two previous stopovers, now is the time. As is often the case on the island, the seabed is teeming with aquatic life which is unfortunately increasingly rare in the Mediterranean.
The ALMAR captain’s commentary on Navily sums up the feeling this place has:
‘’ What tranquility here! It’s been two years that we come to loose ourselves there! After crossing from France we were alone each time to rest for 3 nights. Admittedly the buoy is a bit expensive 30 € for less than 10 meters … The day some boat passages between 11h and 17h … Nothing really embarrassing since it regains its calme in the evening…You are alone. We ♥ it ’’
A few kilometers further West you will reach Cala Reale. Although more coveted than its neighbor, we put it on the list because it is also an exceptional anchorage that deserved a few words!
In addition, it is the nerve center to depart for a hike to visit the Natural Park and to meet the intriguing albino donkeys! Electric cars and bicycles, train and tourist guides, everything is accessible from Cala Reale to move around the park and optimize your discoveries. Between wild coastlines and deserted penitentiary ruins, an extraordinary atmosphere reigns over the island, mixing beauty, history, tragedy and mystery.
Diving enthusiasts will not be disappointed either, as the waters around the anchorage are worth a closer look. Thie effervescent aquatic life found shelter in particular in a wreck of a Roman boat from the end of the 4th century, 8 meters deep near the Lazaret Quay.
You can moor without worry at the many buoys available at the anchorage, to be booked in advance in high season. A floating dock providing electricity and water is also installed during the months of June, July and August.
The largest cove on the island offers a magnificent setting, mixing translucent waters and mountains covered with vegetation that majestically overlook the Cala. At dusk you will enjoy a breathtaking sky that does not weaken during the late hours of the night in this place devoid of light pollution. A real experience of anchoring under the stars awaits you!
Finally, to wrap up your tour of the island, you can head South and reach the Fornelli anchorage.Well-rated on Navily, it offers very good protection from north-westerly winds.
Fornelli is the perfect place to end your tour of the Asinara National Park with a visit to the abandoned prison, a relaxing afternoon at the beach at Spiaggia dello Spalmatore or an introduction to windsurfing (club nearby). But while you’re in the area, we recommend that you drop your anchor (for real this time no buoys) at Passaggio della Pelosa anchorage.
Passaggio Della Pelosa
South of Fornelli, following the coast of Isola Piana, you will reach Passaggio della Pelosa. This exceptional anchorage is one of the most beautiful listed on Navily. No more than 5 meters of depth in this lagoon-like passage that reminds us of the tropical paradises of the Caribbean. We could say a lot but the photos and comments of boaters are sufficient to paint a beautiful scenery that surely will make you want to cross the sea to experience it.
‘’ One of the most blue and crystal clear waters ever. There is room for everyone on a 3/4 meter background. Awesome. View on a very pleasant islet, and excellent departure for the passage between the dromes towards Alghero. Highly recommended! ’’
Quetzal – sailboat ~ 13m
A final dream stopover to end your tour of Asinara National Park on a high note. We hope this article inspired you for your next cruise. Please feel free to leave a comment and share the article on social media!
Fair Winds Captains,