You will be swimming daily around the coastline of one of the most astonishing Italian archipelagos. Coastal swims will have a length of approximately 8 km per day. The swims will be in preparation of the main event of the expedition, the crossing from Corsica to Sardinia and exactly from Bonifacio (Capo Pertusato) to Santa Teresa di Gallura (Porto Quadro) for a total of 14 kilometres. Every day the Swimtrekking instructors will be suggesting the itineraries and they will assist the swimmers during their swims. Swimtrekking will provide you 6 days (5 full days and 1 half day) of coastal swims, coaching sessions and crossings in La Maddalena Archipelago including the 14 km crossing from Bonifacio to Santa Teresa di Gallura.
Each participant should bring 2 goggles, wetsuit, waterproof jacket, warm sweatshirt/jacket, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat and sun glasses. Swimtrekking will provide the swimmers with swim hat and t-shirt.
About La Maddalena
The Maddalena Archipelago National Park is situated in Sardinia’s northern and comprises chain of numerous islands. The seven predominant isles are known as the “seven sisters”: Maddalena, the most important, Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli. Here, the coast is in pristine, perfect condition (unlike the inhabited centres of Maddalena); all the islands and islets are rocky in landscape, and their particularity is tied to the fact that each island is very close to the next, while the seafloor is rather shallow. These traits, along with the chromatic variations of the sea and the extraordinarily beautiful topography and terrain, create enchanting and breathtaking scenery. The Island of Maddalena is a precious gem set within this archipelago, boasting magnificent beaches lapped by waves of crystalline water, glimmering sand, and splendid seabed. Its main town centre maintains its fishing village appearance, with the municipal building, Parochial Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, in addition to locales, restaurants and shops for every type of purchase. Beyond its naturalistic attractions, the memory of Garibaldi is kept alive on Caprera via the hero’s house-museum, highly visited by tourists. The Maddalena Archipelago Park is the ideal destination for boat excursions, and scuba-diving under the emerald and turquoise, azure and cobalt blue sea. It also comprises some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful beaches, among them the “pink beach” and Budelli Island, that owes its characteristic colour to the innumerable skeletons of tiny animals brought to its shores by the current (they are almost impossible to spot without a guide). Other standout beaches include Cala Coticciu, Brigantina and Portese on Caprera; Cala Corsara and Cala Granara on Spargi; and Cala Lunga on Razzoli. Meanwhile, the seafloor is a world unto itself, the home of countless spectacular awe-inspiring species of flora and fauna.
Dates of trip
July 20th – 26th (6 nights)
Please note: for group bookings Swimtrekking can tailor the trip to the group specific needs/requirements/dates.
About the trip
Start point: Hotel Miralonga, La Maddalena.
Start time: July 2oth @ 12 pm meet your Swimtrekking Instructors at Hotel Miralonga. Check in, packed lunch, briefing and first swim in the afternoon.
Finish point: Hotel Miralonga, La Maddalena.
Finish time: july 26th @ 10.30 am after breakfast check out from Hotel Miralonga.
Typical day Swimtrekking
Breakfast and briefing. Pack up your essentials for the day before heading out for the morning swim. Walk to the pier in front at the hotel. Meet your boat that will take you to the swim locations. Morning swim. We’ll stop off in a cove for lunch, after which you have time to spend exploring the inland if possible. Once lunch has settled and everyone is ready to cool off in the water again, we start our second swim in a different location. At the end of the second swim the boat will take us back to the hotel.
Location: Bocche di Bonifacio,
Distance: 14 kilometers according to weather conditions from Capo Pertusato (FR) to Porto Quadro (IT) or from Porto Quadro (IT) to Capo Pertusato (FR). Itinerary could also slightly change due to Italian or French cost guard decisions.
Days of crossing: We will have a window of 5 days from July 21st to July 25th. In case of bad weather conditions, alternative itinerary will be organized along the coastline.
The day of the crossing: Swim should start early morning at 7am. Different arrangements will be done locally by the instructors. The crossing will take place only with good weather conditions (neutral or favourable currents; maximum Beaufort scale 2) and if authorized by the Italian and French coast guard.
Groups: All the swimmers will take part to a non competitive swim. Therefore the instructor will form groups of maximum 5 swimmers to be assigned to 1 boat. Each group will have a different speed and swimmers will be always staying together and working as a team.
Swimmers: They will have to wear the swim hat for the crossing of the assigned group color. Swimtrekking instructors will take care of the drinks for all the swimmers during the crossing and feed them regularly every 20 minutes. Swimmers are free to prepare their personalized drinks.
Getting to La Maddalena
Ferry: from Civitavecchia, Livorno, Piombino, Genova to Olbia. The ferry companies that provide this service are; Grimaldi Lines , Moby lines , Tirrenia . Once arrived in Olbia take the public transports (bus) Arst www.arst.sardegna.it or a taxi to Palau. From Palau take the 15 minutes ride ferry to la Maddalena with Delcomar or Maddalena lines . There is also a Taxi company Sardegnatours that can take you directly to la Maddalena including the ferry ticket in the price.
Plane: you can fly to Olbia with: Easy jet , Alitalia , Meridiana ,Vueling , Air Dolomiti , Lufthansa , Swiss Air , Austrian Airlines , Air Berlin , Eurowings , Neos Air . From the airport take the public transports (bus) Arst or a taxi to Palau. From Palau take the 15 minutes ride ferry to la Maddalena with Delcomar or Maddalena lines . There is also a Taxi company Sardegnatours that can take you directly to la Maddalena including the ferry ticket in the price.
We stay at Hotel Miralonga for 6 nights with full board accommodation. This will be the ideal accommodation were to start and end our expeditions around the Archipelago of La Maddalena. Miralonga has 50 comfortable and spacious rooms, equipped with color TV, private entrance, Wi-Fi and good facilities for a relaxing holiday. The Hotel located along the coastline of La Maddalena, enjoys a splendid view of the island of Santo Stefano and is about 800 meters from the main port of the island, with large car parking, swimming pool and rooms with panoramic views.
Typical Italian breakfast is served in the hotel 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 hotel each evening. We will have 4 dinners at the Hotel and 2 dinners in town in different restaurants (La Perla Blu Restaurant and L’Avventura Restaurant). The kitchen can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking.
Temperatures and conditions
July – Average air temperature is 26° 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 several cash points on the main island of La Maddalena so you don’t need to bring to much money along with you.
Point of interest
The Most Famous Beaches of the Mediterranean
With its 180 km of coasts, the Archipelago includes some of the most famous and charming beaches of the Mediterranean: in particular, Spiaggia Rosa (the pink beach) and Spiaggia del Cavaliere in Budelli, the beaches of Cala Coticcio and of the Relict in Caprera, Cala Corsara and Cala Granara in Spargi are worth a mention. Inlets and bays are unique landscape features: they represent several natural landing stages always offering a safe shelter to the seafarers. Inlets and bays are strictly linked to the colors of the sea for which the Archipelago is famous all over the world, in particular Porto Madonna, Cala Corsara, the Beach of Cala Lunga di Razzoli, Santa Maria, Cala Coticciu. The islands of the Archipelago are the result of geological processes that began with the Hercynian orogeny in the late Paleozoic era. A series of long moments of continuity alternating with transgressive-regressive sea level cycles during the Mesozoic and Tertiary eras, combined with tectonic uplift and subsidence phenomena involving the whole region have favored marked geomorphic processes with the formation of broad leveling surface areas both above and under the current sea level, on which inselberg and thor-shaped relief, as well as terraced surface areas remain as evidence.
The 62 islands and islets forming the Archipelago cover a surface area of 5,134 ha, 15,046 ha in the sea. The National Park covers – including land and marine areas – 20,180 ha, with a coastal development of 180 kilometers. La Maddalena, mother island and capital of the homonymous Archipelago, is the Park gateway. It is the one and only inhabited island, except for the village of Stagnali in Caprera Island and the settlements of Santa Maria. Caprera: Garibaldi’s island. After La Maddalena, it is the second island of the Park for size, but it is the first one for the beauty of its coasts and beaches and for its particular flora. Budelli Island is considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean, as well as symbol of Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park, since it houses one of the most significant environmental sites of the area: Spiaggia Rosa (the pink beach). Razzoli and Santa Maria Islands are nearly united to Passo degli Asinelli. Razzoli Island lies in the northernmost section and is striking for its imposing cliffs and the shapes of its rocks, resembling Henry Moore’s sculptures. Nibani, Mortorio, Soffi and Camere are three islands situated in the south-east of the Archipelago, in front of Costa Smeralda, a few miles from Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo, an ideal destination for yachtsmen. Spargi Island is the biggest of the four minor islands of the archipelago and is famous for its eastern beaches. Of granite origins, very rich in water and vegetation, it houses several protected bird species. Cala Corsara, Cala Connari, Cala Granara, and many other inlets surrounded by big granite rocks.
As far as the seabed is concerned, the position of the Archipelago within Bocche di Bonifacio leads to a high hydrodynamism which, associated with the scarce depth of the channels and the very low tidal range, favours the great clearness of the waters with color variations going from turquoise blue to emerald, blue, and dark blue. The seabed preserves forms of granite erosion emerged during the latest glaciation 18 ka B.P. The extremely rare concurrence of such factors has led to the formation of a marine landscape which is rather unique in the world. As far as sea biocenosis is concerned, the fishing effort of the local fishermen has never represented a risk of impoverishment for the biocenosis, even if the situation has changed in the latest decades because of the considerable increase of tourist activities, the anchoring of pleasure boats, and the unrestrained sports fishing.
La Spiaggia Rosa (The Pink Beach)
Enhanced by the extraordinary chromatic effect used by Michelangelo Antonioni in his film “Deserto Rosso”, the first colour film by the maestro from Ferrara (1964), today, thanks to the safeguard rules of the Park, it is entirely protected. The Pink Beach of Budelli is called in this way for the presence of a high percentage of bioclasts (mainly consisting of skeletal fragments of Bryozoans, especially Miriapora truncata, and foraminiferans, especially Miniacina miniacea, with a pink color) in the sedimentary formation of the sands. These bioclasts originate above all in the Posidonia oceanica meadow and feed the beach thanks to the coastal drift currents and the bottom currents. After over ten years from the introduction of the safeguard rules and the preservation measures not allowing anchorages in the Posidonia meadow, the most famous beach in the world has recovered its natural colours, the colours that bewitched the filmmaker and the many tourists attracted for years from this unique beach.
The islands of La Maddalena Archipelago are scattered throughout one of the most fascinating seas of the world. Only in the mid-17th century, a small colony of shepherds coming from the nearby Corsica took possession of the archipelago, settling in particular in the mother island of La Maddalena. Till then, the islands were deserted. The only possible human presence in the archipelago dates back to the Roman military stations and to the monastery in Santa Maria Island of the mid-13th century. Interested by the incursions of the Barbary Corsairs, the islands of the archipelago had never been inhabited before the arrival of the shepherds from Corsica. In the middle of the Mediterranean and of the maritime trade, the importance of the whole archipelago has been fully acknowledged in the works by important authors, filmmakers, and protagonists of history who have left their mark on these islands, deeply influencing the whole historical life of the community of La Maddalena.
The Granite Quarries
The quality of the granite, especially in La Maddalena in loc. Cava Francese and in Santo Stefano, has given origin to an important activity leading to a top professional production, with handicrafts exported all over the world. The most ancient quarries are interested by an environmental recovery both as fas as lichen crusts and natural vegetation development are concerned, while the most recent quarries, although abandoned, have a greater impact on the landscape which could be recovered, also considering the fact that these areas are situated in the Historical Environmental Geomining Park of Sardinia, recently recognized by UNESCO.
For over two centuries, imposing sentinels of the archipelago. Authentic military architecture masterpieces, unmistakable local features. The space filled up by military structures in our territory is not the only one, although more than others it has been influenced by this presence. The central position of La Maddalena in the Mediterranean has transformed it into a military target since 1767, when the Sardinian-Piedmontese people decided to occupy it and transform it into a base for the ships of Regia Marina Sarda, which could better fight against the smugglers, against the Barbary Corsairs, and against the French in the waters of North Sardinia.
La Maddalena has been inhabited for about 230 years. These islands, situated at the edges of Bocche di Bonifacio, have been known since ancient times, as demonstrated by archaeological and mythological evidences. Among the others, it is necessary to mention the Roman ship of Spargi, a particularly significant example of the archaeological finds coming from the submerged world of the Park, but also the precious and emblematic evidence of the passage of the most important navies of the world that have sailed these waters since ancient times.
Approximately daily swimming distance: 8 kilometers.
Crossing day: Bonifacio (Capo Pertusatu) to Santa Teresa di Gallura (Porto Quadro) 14 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.