You will be swimming daily around the desert coastline of Asinara mainly on the east side of the island that is sheltered by the prevalent north west winds (Maestrale). Throughout the week we will explore approximately 5 km/day of the stunning, torquise waters that surround the rugged landscape of Asinara. Itineraries will be decided by the Swimtrekking instructors that will be guiding and swimming with the group to the final destinations. Swimtrekking will provide you 6 full days of coastal swims and 1 half day of specific coaching before the start of the expedition. During the swims as part of our contribution for the protection of the environment we rescue any plastics we found in the sea.
Swimtrekking involves the use of specifically designed equipment.
Each Swimtrekker will tow a light weight, water tight barkino during swims. This is attached to the swimmer by a harness worn around the waist. Barkinos allow swimmers to carry drinking water, aqua shoes, lunch, spare equipment and anything else you will find useful for the days adventure as well as being a visible piece of safety equipment.
In addition to this, Swimtrekking will provide all guests with a mask and snorkel, fins and wetsuit. These items allow you to freely explore your underwater environment whilst giving you the personal protection required. Guests are free to bring along their own equipment.
Asinara is the second largest island in Sardinia with over 100 km of coastline to explore all from the surrounding clear turquoise blue waters. Dubbed Devils Island, it was used as a place of quarantine, a camp during World War One and a high security prison during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Asinara was founded as a national park in 1997 to protect the island and its diverse flora and fauna and the natural habitats, endangered species and largely virgin areas. With only one family resident all year round in Asinara, it’s nearest neighbouring land 25 miles away and over 80 different species of amphibians, mammals and reptiles, it truly is a place of natural beauty.
Dates of tours
July 13th – 20th; August 11th – 18th 2019
Please note: for group bookings Swimtrekking can tailor the trip to the group specific needs/requirements/dates.
About the trip
Start point: Cala d’Olivia hostel, Asinara.
Start time: July 13th and August 11th @ 12pm meet your Swimtrekking Instructors at the Cala d’Oliva hostel. Check in, packed lunch, briefing and first swim in the afternoon.
Finish point: Cala d’Olivia hostel, Asinara.
Finish time: July 20th and August 18th @ 8.30 am last breakfast and arrange your own transfer to Cala Reale for the 11 o’clock ferry to Porto Torres.
Typical day Swimtrekking
Breakfast and briefing.
Pack up your essentials for the day before heading out for the morning swim.
Short walk or take local transport to our start point for the day.
Once on the shoreline we kit up before beginning our morning adventure.
We’ll stop off in a cove for lunch, after which you have time to spend exploring the inland wilderness of Asinara.
Once lunch has settled and everyone is ready to cool off in the water again, we continue our sea adventure off in search of groupers, sting rays, barracudas, sea eagles, sea bass, morays, pinna nobilis (the largest shell in the Mediterranean sea) and much more…
We work up a final appetite with a short walk back to the hostel before having dinner on the beach or at the hostel.
Head back down to the beach to help stoke the fire as we watch the stars of the Asinara night sky appear.
Getting to Asinara
Ryan air flies to Alghero (nearest airport to Porto Torres) from London Stansted, Dublin, Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Memmingen, Eindhoven, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, Billund, Bratislava.
We would suggest catching the flight a day before and staying in a hotel in Porto Torres for the evening.
You can catch the bus from the airport for roughly €10 and buses leave twice daily. Alternatively you can catch a cab or pre-arrange a transfer. Always check the price before getting into the cab, it should cost between €60-€80 for the hour long jurney. Click here for up to date timetables and prices.
From other European destinations we suggest to fly into Rome and then get the Grimaldi Ferry from Civitavecchia to Porto Torres.
Porto Torres to Asinara: Catch the ferry from Porto Torres to Asinara. Ferries leave twice daily, cost roughly €15 for a return journey and takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Click here for up to date timetables and prices.
Asinara port to Cala d’Olivia hostel: Shuttles runs from 9.00 am to 5.30 (leaving from Cala Reale to all the main destinations on the island).
We stay 7 nights in full board accommodation at Cala d’Olivia hostel which is the only accommodation available to visitors on the island. Rooms sleep 4 – 10 people and have shared wash facilities.
A continental breakfast is served in the hostel each morning at 8:30; lunches will be a selection of sandwiches, fruit and snacks; traditional Italian dinners e.g. pasta’s, fish etc. are prepared at the hostel each evening. The kitchen can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking. The local bar in Cala d’Oliva will be open throughout the summer where you can buy things like… soft drinks, alcohol, sandwiches, cappuccino, snacks, ice creams…
Temperatures and conditions
July – Average air temperature is 25° Average sea temperature is 23° (degrees Celsius).
August – Average air temperature is 27° Average sea temperature is 24° (degrees Celsius).
Sea conditions will vary according to the weather and currents. This all adds to the experience being in open water.
What to bring
On top of your normal clothes you should bring with you:
a waterproof jacket, warm sweatshirt, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat and sun glasses.
There are no cash points on the island so be sure that you bring some money for snacks, ice creams alcohol etc. all of which can be purchased from one of the two kiosks on the island.
Each participant will tow a lightweight, water tight pack (barkino), in which they can store useful equipment for the swim, e.g. water, spare mask, cameras, clothes for when you reach land etc.
You will also be given a wetsuit, fins and a mask and snorkel to use throughout the trip.
Point of interest
The area of Fornelli can be reached from the cement road or from the sea at the wharf sharing its name. After the Welcome Center there is the former top security prison, a white building of 8,000 mq and 5 metres high. The original structure dates back to the end of 19th century and was modified several times. However, it is clear that the cells were situated along the long passages. The gardens in front of the main entrance are particularly interesting. They were created in the years 1980 and 1981 by prisoners and are enriched with flowerbeds in the shape of stars, birds and anchors.
This area of the Asinara was an important “lazzaretto” which put up the crews of the ships affected from contagious diseases. It was also used by the Savoia family during their stays on the island.
The urbanistic scheme of this complex is immediately clear: the wharf is in line with the flight of steps, the gardens and the entrance to “Palazzo Reale”, which houses the Park Head Offices and the offices of the Ministry of the Environment. The last sectors of the gardens are made up of buildings used for the cantine and for the Public Security.
Coming from Trabuccato both from the sea and the land, Cala d’Oliva seems to be like a small coastal village characterized by the white colour of ts buildings. The old part of the village is made up of small buildings with one or two floors while in the higher sector there are bigger buildings, such as: casa del Direttore, uffici della Direzione (rose-coloured), the ex Caserma Agenti, which has become the guest-house of the Park, the workshop, the joinery, the Bunker, the slaughterhouse, the dairy and the building of ex Diramazione Centrale, which has become the Center of Environmental Education.
These buildings are separated from some narrow roads. On the sides of the central street there are two rows of buildings which lead to a little square with a church.
Approximately daily swimming distance: 5 kilometers.
Program will be supervised by qualified Swimtrekking Instructors and Guides.
Swimtrekking instructors and guides will be responsible for all the camp organization and logistics.
Timing and itineraries can be modified according to the sea and weather conditions and may be cancelled.