A Guide to La Maddalena Islands | Alternative to Sardinia

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Europe, Italy, Travel Bucket Lists

Are you looking for a luscious summer vacation inspiration? Well, you are in the right blog! We are going to look closer into a stunning and off-the-radar island in Italy. Thus, you might have guessed, it looks similar to Sardinia with its gorgeous turquoise waters and sunny weather. Nestled off the northern coast of Italy, you will find a glimmering hidden gem that certainly doesn’t get the attention it deserves. However, it is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing vacation in the sunny coast of Italy. Yes, this is La Maddalena Islands!

If you are traveling to Sardinia, make sure to put La Maddalena Islands in your bucket list. Thus, you have to reserve at least four more days for your Italian adventure if you decided to visit the untouched islands. In this guide, we will show you how to get the best out of La Maddalena. Also, we will show you the essential things you need to know about the islands. So, buckle up and get ready to plan a fabulous vacation with your travel buddies!

La Maddalena Islands Sardinia Guide – Summary

  1. Getting There
  2. What to See
  3. Where to Stay
  4. When to Visit
  5. The Best Beaches in La Maddalena

Getting There

Visit La Maddalena boat tour how to get there
Reach La Maddalena by ferry from Palau

From Cagliari, it is possible to get to the islands either by car or with the use of public transportation. To get there via public transport, you will have to take a train from Cagliari to Olbia, after which you’ll catch a bus from Olbia to the port in Palau. Because the island of Sardinia isn’t very big, this trip will take you about 4.5 hours in total. Of course, you can either enjoy Olbia or Palau by staying there the night before taking the ferry to La Maddalena. The ferry from Palau to La Maddalena goes every hour and takes about fifteen minutes. The entire trip will cost you about 45 euros.

If you choose to rent a car from Cagliari, the trip is around 300 kilometers and will take you approximately 3.5 hours. Here, you’ll also take the ferry with your vehicle from Palau.

What to see

La Maddalena islands in Italy Sardinia
Enjoy Italian cocktails

The best thing to treat yourself to when in La Maddalena is to take an archipelago boat tour. The cost is around 50 euros for an adult, but well worth it. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the Sardinian sun while spotting all the beautiful islands of the area. Departures for these tours are from Palau. The beautiful rocky shorelines and crystal clear waters will make you want to jump right in!

Other things to do in La Maddalena include:

  • Discover the life of Giuseppe Garibaldi at Isola Caprera (you can even find a beach in his name on the islands- Garibaldi Beach)
  • Explore the National Park, Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago di La Maddalena
  • Indulge in Italian cocktails at Taverna Baro
  • Take a 1 euro bus to the stunning Bassa Trinità Beach

Of course, take time to enjoy the Italian-Mediterranean cuisine in the many restaurants of La Maddalena, naturally paired with a glass of wine.

Where to stay

Waves crashing against rocks on the beaches of La Maddalena
The beaches are never far away

Accommodation in La Maddalena is plenty, and you can be sure to find a place to fit your budget. Most accommodations are situated around the capital area, but it makes for a perfect base to set off on your day’s adventures.

  • Budget stay: AHR Residence Leonis La Maddalena (70 euros/night)
  • Middle-class stay: Hotel Miralonga (180 euros/night)
  • High-end stay: Hotel Villa Del Parco (220 euros/night)

Prices are for two guests. In general, the island is quite expensive when it comes to accommodation, but prices in terms of transportation and food are considered quite average.

When to visit

The hottest months in the islands are from July to September. However, the ideal months for weather are actually in the shoulder seasons, from April to July or September to November. If you’re traveling on a budget, the cheapest month for travel is in December. You’ll find that in general, the weather on the islands is quite good throughout the year, the lowest temperatures being about 13 degrees in January.

The best beaches in La Maddalena

colorful Sunset in La Maddalena
Enjoy a sunset on the beaches of La Maddalena

When we talk about beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, we won’t left out beaches. Thus, beaches are the main deal about La Maddalena Islands. Beautiful beaches are everywhere on the islands, but undoubtedly there are several best beaches to visit. Get ready to put on your swimsuit and spend the days under the sun in these best beaches in La Maddalena!

  • Cala Francese (a secluded getaway)
  • Spiaggia Testa di Polpo (beautiful rock structures)
  • Spiaggia di Cala Spalmatore (ideal for snorkeling)
  • Cala Coticcio (this one requires a bit of a hike, so bring your sneakers!)

This islands in Sardinia is sure a real deal! The pristine beaches, glimmering turquoise waters, and stunning landscapes are something you shouldn’t miss. So, do you want to plan your next summer vacation to Italy? We have a great idea for you!

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