Here is the second episode on this unique region! After presenting a global overview of navigating the region with our two experts Giovanni and Philippe, we now offer you an itinerary that will take you to the most beautiful anchorages in La Maddalena! Based on our community reviews and the advice of our two sailors, here is a route to follow in the archipelago.
Beforehand, we would like you to remember that a pass is necessary to navigate and anchor in these waters and that respecting the navigation rules is of crucial importance. Here’s an official map of la Maddalena, presenting all restrictions and rules for you to take notice of.
Without further due, from Razzoli to Caprera, let’s head for the most beautiful anchorages in la Maddalena Islands.
Itinerary of the best anchorages in la Maddalena
Weather and climate :
With average annual temperatures around 17 degrees, la Maddalena enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, which makes it an ideal time to visit. Winters are windy and a bit cold, with temperatures ranging from 7 to 18 degrees.
Razzoli is a small islet of 1.5 km with its discreet summit culminating at an altitude of 60 m. Charming, inhabited only by the soul of its lighthouse in the far north, the island is a well-preserved natural paradise. Steep rocky landscapes constitute the majority of its rugged coastline, but a few beaches are still accessible in small coves. The island has few anchorages but is a perfect starting point for exploring the archipelago. We therefore advise you to stop at the anchorage of Cala Lunga. A paradise of rocks and translucent waters. A timeless setting for a perfect introduction to La Maddalena. Well protected from the northern and south westerly winds by the east, it offers comfort and protection for a well-deserved overnight stopover after a long route. Recently, mooring buoys have been installed. Although anchoring is allowed, we recommend to use them as the seabed is made of sand and seagrass.
Be careful, do not try to set foot on land on the eastern part of the anchorage, it is in a total conservation zone and therefore strictly prohibited for travelers.
Best anchorages on Razzoli Island
Santa Maria Island
South-east of Razzoli, separated by an arm of sea only a few meters wide the famous passo degli Asinelli, lies the picturesque island of Santa Maria. More lively and visited than its neighbor, it holds many beautiful places to stop by on your route to the south of the archipelago. Noticeably, two of the largest beaches in Maddalena (Cala Santa Maria and Cala di Fosso).Santa maria is a low relief, green paradise presenting a rocky coastline dotted with beaches and bathed in crystal-clear turquoise waters. In high season, you will need to be extra careful in this crowded navigation area with very shallow waters in some places (see map).
A stopover in the spacious and picturesque anchorage of Porto della Madonna is recommended if the absence of westerlies. Otherwise, opt for Cala Santa Maria. Offering good protection from westerly winds, Cala Santa Maria is also appreciated for its space and its ideal anchoring conditions in 5-6 meters deep sandbanks. At Cala Santa Maria and Porto della Madonna, there are also mooring buoys. You can choose to use them or drop anchor.
Best anchorages on Santa Maria Island
Continuing your journey south, you will take the Chiesa di Morto channel (beware of shallow water) to reach the island of Budelli, a few hundred meters away. Budelli has only one inhabitant. But it is better known for the beauty of its coast than for this fun fact… By stopping at the Spiaggia del Cavaliere, you will enjoy the most beautiful waters of the archipelago. Continuously cleaned by winds and currents, this shallow water area is unique in the Mediterranean. The Italian Caribbean as some like to call it! A real saltwater swimming pool not to be missed, even if it is a little overcrowded in high season. The swimming pool behind you, you can follow your journey along the west coast of the island, taking advantage of other exceptional anchorages such as Isola Budelli.
You will want to visit the overly famous Spiaggia Rosa, but for conservation purposes, it is absolutely forbidden to set a foot on land, anchor or even navigate near it. To dry your tears, here’s a video of this unreal place taken from the sky.
Best anchorages on Budelli Island
Heading south on your itinerary, you will reach the island of Spargi. Known for its pink granite coastline, it is home to some of the archipelago’s most beautiful sandy beaches. The west coast, extremely wild and subject to the recurring whims of the winds, is particularly unwelcoming. On the other side of the island, the east coast will offer you some small rocky coves and fine sandy beaches for a well-deserved rest in magical settings. From north-east to south-east, Cala Ferrigno, Cala Conneri and the famous Cala Corsara will transport you to their natural land and seascapes made of eroded rock formations and translucent waters. An authentic experience of the Maddalena Islands not to be missed.
Best anchorages on Spargi Island
Continuing your boat trip east you will come to the coastal waters of Maddalena. Main island of the archipelago, it is a perfect place to refuel, especially at the port of Cala del Mangiavolpe, and enjoy its unique landscapes by stepping foot on land.
Thick maquis, white granite coasts and sandy beaches, the spectacle sounds repetitive but you won’t get tired of it so easily. For those who would like to explore the terrestrial natural reserve, a magnificent coastal road allows you to appreciate this unusual landscape from the mainland.
When it comes to anchorages, the island is full of options to pick from. The West coast is less visited due to its exposure to the winds. That means fewer people on this part of the island which can do the trick for some of you, especially in high season.
If you go for the west-coast option, you should stop by the anchorage of Playa de Bassa Trinita which gives exclusive access to a superb white sand beach. A little higher up, the option of anchoring at Spiaggia del Morto is interesting as it is well protected from northwesterly winds by the island or islet of Abbatoggia. From these anchorages you will appreciate the natural beauty of the wild west coast with its diverse landscapes.
By following your route north, you will be able to follow the coast to the east coast and anchor in the island of Giardinelli’s waters. This small islet has a Jurassic feel and is a real natural gem of La Maddalena. In this idyllic setting, small natural white sand beaches await you in clear waters. Protected from the westerly winds, you will enjoy this exceptional location once you have carefully maneuvered in the shallow waters that surround the island.
Best anchorages on Maddalena Island
A detour by Santo Stefano if you feel like it
Before reaching the last island of the archipelago, you can make a stop by Santo Stefano south of the island of Maddalena. It is a small uninhabited islet, a real isolated natural paradise. There are very few anchorages on the exposed coasts of Santo Stefano but one place seems to offer enough protection to appreciate a stopover. Indeed, in the southeast, you will find a little piece of paradise for the night in the anchorage of Cala di Villamarina.
Best anchorages on Santo Stefano Island
The island of Giardinelli is the perfect starting point to reach the last leg of your archipelago itinerary on to the famous Isola di Caprera. The last home of Giuseppe Garibaldi presents pristine natural wonders and abounds in lush natural diversity. Pine forests mingle with the craggy granite in a majestic setting overlooking the many sandy coves of its unique coastlines.
The anchorage of Cala Garibaldi on the west coast seems to be a first stop of choice before setting out again towards the South for the famous and much appreciated anchorage of Porto Palma. Well sheltered, it is a comfortable anchorage with a dozen of mooring buoys, offering a unique setting.
A final stopover before heading to what could well be your last stop before saying goodbye to La Maddalena. Going up the east coast you will reach Cala Coticcio, an exceptional anchorage in the region. Please note that diving is prohibited and it is wise to opt for mooring on one of the many buoys accessible on the anchorage. In this magical setting, the continuous movement of currents cleans the coastal waters giving them this peculiar aspect featuring colors that shift from limpid blue to translucent green.
If the place is so well protected, and navigation so regulated, it is because it would be a shame to see such natural beauty deteriorated by unconstrained boating practices.
Landscapes of steep rock formations worked by erosion and dense vegetation,will fully inspire you with the spirit of La Maddalena. In this wild timeless landscape, the last rays of the sun draw vivid colors on the steep coastline … An exceptional sunset, ultimate appreciation of a memorable journey which is coming to an end …