The La Maddalena archipelago is a group of over 60 islands and islets in the northeastern part of Sardinia off the Costa Smeralda. It is well known for its picturesque landscapes, turquoise lagoons, and spectacular beaches.
The archipelago has been given so many names over the years. Some call it the rugged version of the Caribbean while others have dubbed it “the Maldives of Italy”. One evening while walking along the port, I stumbled upon the words “isola da amare”, which, if directly translated, means “an island to be loved”. I resonate with these words because La Maddalena is indeed one of those places that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.
La Maddalena has so many gorgeous beaches to choose from. Every day for the seven days that we stayed on the island felt like treasure hunt for the next paradise to take a dip in and dig our toes into. Here are some gems that we were able to visit:
CALA COTICCIOLocated on the eastern side of the island in Caprera, this beautiful island once stole the heart of Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general who contributed to the unification and the creation Italy—so much so that he bought the entire island, built his home here, and lived in it for 26 years until his death.Cala Coticcio is a secluded little beach, sheltered in a small cove and only accessible by sea. The water here was crystal-clear and the sand ultra-fine. All I wanted to do was dig my toes in it. Most operators that provide boat tours around the archipelago always make a point to stop here for an hour or two.
Expect crowds during peak season in the months of July and August. You can also skip the tours and just hire a private boat to drop you off and pick you up later.
SPIAHHIA DELLO STRANGOLATO
Although given a not-so-pleasant name (“Strangolato” literally means “strangled”), this little beach is a gem. We had an amazing time and fell in love with it so much that we went back the following day. I’m surprised while doing my research online no article featured it as one of the best beaches on the island.
Located on a peninsula in the northwest of the island, the road that leads to the beach is dusty and a tad tricky in terms of direction. I guess during the peak season it is almost impossible to find parking space, but it is worth the trouble because what awaits you is beautiful, crystal-clear water.
Cala Spalmatore is one of the most famous beaches of La Maddalena island. Located in the east, just a few kilometers from the town, it is popular and convenient for families travelling with kids because it also offers swimming and snorkeling facilities and rental beach beds and umbrellas ideal for uber hot summer days.
BAIA TRINITALocated in the north west of La Maddalena, Baia Trinita left me in awe of its beautiful scenery. If offered a breathtaking composition of Mediterranean vegetation and surrounding rocks and cliffs.
The shallow waters of the beach is safe and fun for the kids. Plus, a nice little cafe with a view for a quick snack or drink and a walkway to the beach made for memorable family portraits.Just opposite the beach are four jewel islets of the archipelago: Spargi, Budelli, Razzoli, and Santa Maria.
SPIAGGIA DEL CARDELLINOCardellino beach is located in the northern part of the island. I fell in love with the crystal-clear sea and its beautiful polychrome. Hues of blue and emerald green rendered it absolutely charming. Here, we enjoyed swimming in the shallow waters while spotting dozens of tiny fish.
DEL RELITTOLocated in the extreme south of Caprera Island, Del Relitto is a beautiful spot with sandy beach and crystalline water to swim in. We saw tons of tiny fish around the rocky edges of the coast. Probably my least favorite beach on this list, it was nevertheless accommodating and ideal for families with young children.On our last day in La Maddalena, we went back to Cardelino. The weather was cloudy and somber, as if the island was just as sad to bid us goodbye. We spent a few hours on the beach, reminiscing the past few days. The sea temperature dropped, the crowds on the beach dispersed, and cool winds kissing our suntanned skin. Summer was clearly paving way for a new season, and it was time for us to pack our bags and find our paths back home.
As we bid our goodbyes to the beach, I expressed my silent gratitude for time well-spent with my family and for memories that will last forever. My heart was full.
Lora By Lora.