Maddalena archipelago

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WorldMediterraneanItalySardiniaMaddalena archipelago
Maddalena archipelago
41°14.2536′N, 9°22.6854′E Chart icon.png
lat=41_14.2536_N | lon=9_22.6854_E | zoom=11 | y
Porto Palma, a typical anchorage in the Maddalena Islands

The Maddalena archipelago, which takes its name from the principal island, La Maddalena, is a group of seven islands lying on the southern side of the Strait of Bonifacio between Corsica and Sardinia. National park status protects the islands [1] [2] from unsympathetic development and the beautiful sandy coves and cobalt blue waters surrounding the islands make them one of the most idyllic cruising grounds to be found anywhere in the Mediterranean.

The island of Maddalena has a small, 130 berth marina, Marina Cala Gavetta, but the principal pleasure of a visit to the islands is the wonderful and largely unspoilt anchorages.


See Sardinia


See Sardinia - weather.


NW Corsica: Lavezzi archipelago, Bonifacio
SE Porto Cervo
S Palau, Cannigione
SW Porto Pozzo
W Santa Teresa Gallura

See also Mediterranean Sea.


The main islands, in order of size:

  • La Maddalena -- the principal island
  • Caprera
  • Spargi
  • Santo Stefano
  • Santa Maria
  • Budelli
  • Razzoli.

The islands of Maddalena and Caprera are connected by a bridge. Only Maddalena, Caprera and S. Stefano are inhabited.


Guardia Costiera

VHF: 16
Phone: Uffici 0789730632 - 0789799351; Sala Operativa - 0789736709
Email: [email protected]
Address: Loc. Punta Chiara - 07024 La Maddalena (OT)
Working hours: Mo Tu We Th Fr 09:00-12:00, We-Th 15:00-16:30

Sede dell'Ente Parco (Parks headquarters)/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Sede_dell.27Ente_Parco_.28Parks_headquarters.29World icon.png Sede dell'Ente Parco (Parks headquarters) [[Maddalena archipelago#Sede dell'Ente Parco (Parks headquarters)|Sede dell'Ente Parco (Parks headquarters)]] 41°12.629'N, 009°24.058'E

Phone: 0789/790224
Address: via Giulio Cesare 7, La Maddalena
Working hours: Mo-Fr 9:30-12:30, also Tu Th from 15:30-17:30


There no particular dangers to be observed when approaching the islands, except for the infamous tendency of the Strait of Bonifacio to increase the prevailing wind strength by 1 or 2 Beaufort numbers in the straight and out to leeward. Detailed charts are essential, however, for navigating around and through the archipelago in view of the many rocky islets and reefs.

Warning: The islets of Bisce, Nibani, Mortorio, Le Camere and Soffi which lie at the SE of the main group of the Maddalena archipelago are included into the strict protection zones where navigation, anchoring and landing is forbidden.


All pleasure craft visiting the Maddalena archipelago are required to purchase a permit from the National Park Authority.

Permits are available for: 1 day, 7 days, 15 days, 30 days and 120 days. The permits can be bought from the park authorities, at some ports and from the authorised travel agencies. Alternatively a permit can be online with 5% discount via the Permit System.

If arriving without a permit, the (very diligent) park staff will charge the normal fee due with surcharge of extra 40%, so it is wise to make this purchase in advance.

Some areas of the park are non-entry zones, including the famous "Spiaggia Rosa" at the Budeli island. For zomes map and other brochures check the link at the bottom of park's Le brochure page.


Maddalena - panoramio (1).jpg
La Maddalena, Cala Gavetta
La Maddalena, Sardinia (Italy), c1983.jpg
Cala Gavetta in the 80s

Porto Turistico di La Maddalena

Porto Turistico di La Maddalena/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Porto_Turistico_di_La_Maddalena
Harbour icon Porto Turistico di La Maddalena [[Maddalena archipelago#Porto Turistico di La Maddalena|Porto Turistico di La Maddalena]] 41°12.685'N, 009°24.247'E

It is a municipal marina in the Cala Gavetta, the principal harbour of the archipelago on Isola Maddalena. The harbour has three floating pontoons which welcome yachts up to 12 metres (although larger yachts up to 15 metres and more have moored here without difficulty). Larger yachts, however, usually tie up on the eastern quay inside the breakwater. Depths in the harbour range from 3.0 to 6.0 metres.

Water and electricity on the pontoons. Toilets/showers in the building next to the pontoons. Slipway. Good chandlery in the town. Two hours are free.

Call on VHF channel 74. Telephone: +39 (0)789 730121 [email protected] or [email protected], hours: 08.00-20.00.

Warning: beware when entering of ferries passing en route to the commercial docks.

S shore of La Maddalena

Cala Mangiavolpe

Cala Mangiavolpe/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Mangiavolpe
Harbour icon Cala Mangiavolpe [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Mangiavolpe|Cala Mangiavolpe]] 41°12.761'N, 009°24.628'E

Situated immediately E of the Cala Gavetta, the main harbour. Two floating pontoons, privately managed. Total of 120 berths. Maximum length 18 metres. Swell from passing boats in daytime, quite quiet at night. A supermarket nearby.

  • E pontoon: Ecomar; 80 berths. VHF: 09 - 11 - 16.
- Pasquale D’Oriano, Mobile +39 338 637 8256, E-mail [email protected]
- Gianfranco Bardanzellu, Mobile +39 331 224 4335, E-mail [email protected]
  • W pontoon: Soc. Genesa srl. Reportedly more expensive than another one.
contacts: tel. 0789.731125, cell. 335.5262864 (Sig. Orecchioni).

Cala Camiciotto

Cala Camiciotto/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Camiciotto
Harbour icon Cala Camiciotto [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Camiciotto|Cala Camiciotto]] 41°12.791'N, 009°25.655'E

The harbour of Cala Camiciotto is about 1.5 miles east of Cala Gavetta, through the gap between the island of Santo Stefano and the breakwater extending south from the small island of Isola Chiesa. Eight pontoons. Total of 160 berths (supposedly 60 for yachts in transit). Maximum length 20 metres. Quay to the right of the pontoons is a military zone.

Contacts: Tel. +39 349 8145699, +39 338 2343955; [email protected].

Marina del Ponte

Marina del Ponte/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Marina_del_Ponte
Berth icon Marina del Ponte [[Maddalena archipelago#Marina del Ponte|Marina del Ponte]] 41°12.896'N, 009°26.408'E

The Marina del Ponte is situated about two miles east of Cala Gavetta next to the bridge connecting the island to Isola Caprera. Berthing on a long floating pontoon and mooring buoys. Total of 120 berths. Maximum length 25 metres.

Contact: Telephone: +39 368553858, 0789-726034. [email protected].

N shore of La Maddalena

Marina di Porto Massimo

Marina di Porto Massimo/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Marina_di_Porto_Massimo
Berth icon Marina di Porto Massimo [[Maddalena archipelago#Marina di Porto Massimo|Marina di Porto Massimo]] 41°15.4′N, 09°25.55′E

Porto Massimo is a private port on the north-east coast of Isola La Maddalena. The marina has 140 berths and can accommodate yachts up to 50 metres, although it is reported that visitors are only accepted by prior arrangement.

Telephone: +39 (0)789 734033 or E-mail for details. Depths in the marina are 3.0 to 8.0 metres.

Circolo Nautico Pescatori Dilettanti

Circolo Nautico Pescatori Dilettanti/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Circolo_Nautico_Pescatori_Dilettanti
Berth icon Circolo Nautico Pescatori Dilettanti [[Maddalena archipelago#Circolo Nautico Pescatori Dilettanti|Circolo Nautico Pescatori Dilettanti]] 41°15.383'N, 009°24.983'E

A private club located at the Stagno Torto a small inlet at the E side of the Cala Capo Ferrari on the NW side of Isola Maddalena.

140 berths at the 6 pontoons for small craft only (LOA <= 7 m).


Strictly speaking in the period from June to September overnight anchoring is not allowed in the zone from the shore up to 300 m (see this page for "Mappa/cartina della zonizzazione"). This rule though doesn't seem to be followed strictly.

See below some popular anchorages grouped by an island:

La Maddalena

Cala Spalmatore

Cala Spalmatore/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Spalmatore
Buoy icon Cala Spalmatore [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Spalmatore|Cala Spalmatore]] 41°15.041'N, 009°26.090'E

It is a lovely (but, sadly, extremely popular) natural inlet at the NE end of Isola Maddalena, which is sheltered in all except NE and E winds.

There is a long concrete pier at the SW end, the outer end of which can be used by 15-20 yachts on anchor moor. Depths here range from 1.5 to 4.0 metres. A substantial charge is made. Warning: There are submerged rocks towards the root of the pier, so care is needed when mooring.

Yachts may also pick up one of the 20 mooring buoys that have been installed for visitors, for which an equally substantial charge is made. Depths at the buoys are from 2.0 to 8.0 metres. Maximum length 30 metres.

During high season, visiting yachts are requested to call the mooring staff on VHF channel 74 in advance of arrival to be assigned a berth.

It looks like that anchorage is prohibited in the bay by the La Maddalena port authorities: Ordinanza n. 39/05 – Divieto di ancoraggio in località Spalmatore, La Maddalena (OT) (no source found).

Cala Capo Ferrari

Cala Capo Ferrari/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Capo_Ferrari
Anchorage icon Cala Capo Ferrari [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Capo Ferrari|Cala Capo Ferrari]] (Stagno Torto at some charts) 41°15.326'N, 009°24.641'E
Fringed with rocks. Anchor at 6 m, good holding, protection from mistral. At the E inlet (Stagno Torto proper) there is a private club with berths suitable motor boats only.

Cala Francese

Cala Francese/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Francese
Anchorage icon Cala Francese [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Francese|Cala Francese]] 41°13.544'N, 009°22.577'E

No protection from the prevailing westerly winds. Anchor at 4-5 m of sand and rocks.

At the SE corner of the bay there is an abandoned granite quarry, further S is located an abandoned fortress of Batteria Nido d'Aquila.


Porto Palma

Porto Palma/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Porto_Palma
Buoy icon Porto Palma [[Maddalena archipelago#Porto Palma|Porto Palma]] 41°11.372'N, 009°27.134'E

Porto Palma is one of the most beautiful anchorages in the whole archipelago. It is situated at the southern end of Caprera island, it is sheltered from all directions except south and offers idyllic mooring in turquoise water on clean white sand.

The best anchorage is on the eastern side of the bay in 5.0 - 9.0 metres. Some buoys installed by the park.

The Centro Velico Caprera (tel. 0789.738529) operates from a jetty at the head of the bay and by anchoring here you are away from the busy sailing regattas that fill the bay during the summer months.

Cala Coticcio

Cala Coticcio/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Coticcio
Buoy icon Cala Coticcio [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Coticcio|Cala Coticcio]] 41°12.95′N, 09°28.89′E

Cala Coticcio is a butterfly-shaped inlet lying on the east side of Caprera island. It is open to the south but sheltered from all other directions. Both bays are very popular during the season and the beaches are buoyed off for swimming to prevent crews going ashore from anchored boats.

Anchor in 5.0 - 10.0 metres on sand and rock. The anchorage would probably become uncomfortable and even tenable in strong winds from S round to SE.

Cala Napoletana

Cala Napoletana/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Napoletana
Anchorage icon Cala Napoletana [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Napoletana|Cala Napoletana]] 41°14.506'N, 009°27.623'E

Cala Napoletana is a small, west-facing inlet tucked inside the headland at the northern extremity of Caprera island. It is normally partly closed to pleasure craft during the summer on account of buoyed-off areas for swimming.

However, it is still possible to anchor in 4.0 -5.0 metres on sand and rock outside the buoyed areas. Shelter in the bay is no more than reasonable and winds from NW round to S would probably cause problems.

Cala Garibaldi

Cala Garibaldi/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Garibaldi
Anchorage icon Cala Garibaldi [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Garibaldi|Cala Garibaldi]] 41°13.547'N, 009°27.439'E

Cala Garibaldi is the principal anchorage of the island of Caprera. Situated on the west coast of the island, north of the causeway connecting it to Isola Maddalena, it is a natural inlet protected from all directions except north.

There are threee small islets in the bay which rejoice in the name of Isole Italiani and the best anchorage is to the SE of the southernmost island in 3.0 - 4.0 metres on sand. Beware of the numerous underwater and above water rocks in the bay, especially closer in to the shore.

There is a jetty at the southern end of the bay which can be used for embarking/disembarking crew but it is forbidden to moor there. With strong northerlies, Port Palma offers better security.

Cala Stagnali

Cala Stagnali/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Stagnali
Anchorage icon Cala Stagnali [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Stagnali|Cala Stagnali]] 41°12.101'N, 009°27.001'E

Cala Stagnate lies on the western side of Caprera island, about one mile south of the causeway between Maddalena and Caprera islands. Entrance is from the north avoiding the shallows between the rocky islet to starboard and the adjacent coast.

This cove is rather shallow, the depths there are about 3.0 metres, and really suitable only for small or shallow draught yachts. Shelter here is good from all directions except N, NW and W.

The jetty at the head of the bay was built for military purposes for the garrisons on the island and it is used these days by fishermen and boaters.

The buildings of the hamlet Stagnali ashore are dating back to the begining of the 20th century were used for military in the past. Today they house the Center of Environmental Education of La Maddalena Park.

Cala Portese

Cala Portese/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Portese
Buoy icon Cala Portese [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Portese|Cala Portese]] (Due Mari) 41°11.108'N, 009°28.009'E

Cala Portese lies on the SE side of the island. Approach is straightforward and it is exposed from NE-E. There have been mooring buoys and a buoyed swimming area but in late June 2013 there were neither.

However, the Polizia required anchoring > 100m from the shore. There has also been a 'gelati' RIB operating in the cala during the summer. Much weed but with sand patches, very busy during the day but most visitors leave in time to return to their marina berth.

Punta Rossa - Isola della Pecora

Punta Rossa - Isola della Pecora/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Punta_Rossa_-_Isola_della_Pecora
Restricted icon Punta Rossa - Isola della Pecora [[Maddalena archipelago#Punta Rossa - Isola della Pecora|Punta Rossa - Isola della Pecora]] 41°10.280'N, 009°28.932'E
Warning: Resticted zone. Navigation, anchoring, etc. is prohibited there.

San Stefano

Cala di Villamarina

Cala di Villamarina/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_di_Villamarina
Anchorage icon Cala di Villamarina [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala di Villamarina|Cala di Villamarina]] (Porto di Vela Marina) 41°11.25′N, 09°24.36′E

Cala di Villamarina is a small inlet on the southern side of Isola San Stefano. Enter down the centre of the inlet, avoiding the numerous rocky shallows on either side. Shelter here is good from all directions except W, SW and S. Some buoys installed by the park. No facilities onshore.

At the eastern slope of the cove you'd find an abandoned granite quarry with a bust of an Italian fascist activist Costanzo Ciano left unfinished there in 1943.


Cala Corsara

Cala Corsara/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Corsara
Buoy icon Cala Corsara [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Corsara|Cala Corsara]] 41°13.753'N, 009°20.570'E
A beautiful little cove, protected from the mistral, suitable for overnight stay, but the space is limited. Some buoys installed by the park.

Cala Granara

Cala Granara/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Granara
Buoy icon Cala Granara [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Granara|Cala Granara]] 41°14.038'N, 009°21.297'E

Cala Ferrigno

Cala Ferrigno/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Ferrigno
Anchorage icon Cala Ferrigno [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Ferrigno|Cala Ferrigno]] (Cala Canniccio) 41°14.677'N, 009°21.446'E
Protected from mistral, some swell in strong wind. Rocks. A pier ashore.


S of Passo Cecca di Morto

S of Passo Cecca di Morto/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#S_of_Passo_Cecca_di_Morto
Anchorage icon S of Passo Cecca di Morto [[Maddalena archipelago#S of Passo Cecca di Morto|S of Passo Cecca di Morto]] 41°17.054'N, 009°21.627'E
A popular spot well protected from mistral. Reportedly there are some mooring buoys by the park there.
Spiaggia rosa, isola di budelli, sardegna.jpg
Budelli, Spiaggia rosa

Cala di Roto

Cala di Roto/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_di_Roto
Restricted icon Cala di Roto [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala di Roto|Cala di Roto]] (Spiaggia Rosa) 41°16.681'N, 009°21.505'E

Warning: Navigation, anchoring and landing is forbidden.

The island's famous Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach) at the Cala di Roto which was featured in the film Il deserto rosso (Red Desert) by the famous Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. The beach was closed to tourism in 1998 to protect its unique ecosystem and has only recently been re-opened for carefully supervised visits on a trial basis.

Santa Maria

Passo degli Asinelli

Passo degli Asinelli/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Passo_degli_Asinelli
Buoy icon Passo degli Asinelli [[Maddalena archipelago#Passo degli Asinelli|Passo degli Asinelli]] (Porto della Madonna) 41°17.384'N, 009°21.576'E
Mooring buoys by the park.

Cala Santa Maria

Cala Santa Maria/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Santa_Maria
Buoy icon Cala Santa Maria [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Santa Maria|Cala Santa Maria]] 41°17.558'N, 009°22.356'E

A natural cove on the south side of Sant Maria island. There are numberous rocks in the entrance and a shallow patch of only 1.6 metres in the middle of the southern approach. Mooring buoys by the park.

The best approach is from the east, close in to Punta Vecchio Marino, avoiding the above-water rocks. The bay is open to the SE and any winds from SW round to NE would probably make it uncomfortable and (if sufficiently strong) untenable.

Cala Muro

Cala Muro/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Muro
Restricted icon Cala Muro [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Muro|Cala Muro]] 41°18.293'N, 009°21.643'E
Warning: There is a resticted zone between the N-most tip of Razzoli, islet of Cappiciolu at the N-most tip of Santa Maria and the Passo degli Asinelli between Razzoli and Santa Maria. Navigation, anchoring, etc. is prohibited there. This includes Cala Muro, sometimes recommended anchorage on the Internet.


Cala Lunga

Cala Lunga/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#Cala_Lunga
Buoy icon Cala Lunga [[Maddalena archipelago#Cala Lunga|Cala Lunga]] 41°17.914'N, 009°20.675'E
A long narrow inlet on the W coast of Razzoli island, sheltered from all directions except W. Approach from due west, keeping close to the southern side, where the deeper water is to be found. Mooring buoys by the park. The anchorage is very snug and only westerly winds will give any problems.


Water In the marina
Electricity In the marina
Toilets In the marina
Showers In the marina
Garbage In the marina
Fuel Eni/wiki/Maddalena_archipelago#EniFuel icon Eni [[Maddalena archipelago#Eni|Eni]] 41°12.633'N, 009°24.269'E a fuel station at the W breakwater
Bottled gas
Chandlers in Maddalena
Mobile connectivity
Vehicle rentals


Some grocery shops in town.

Eating out

There are some restaurants in town.


  • Frequent ferries by Delcomar and Maddalena Lines connect La Maddalena port with the port of Palau in Sardinia.
  • Elena Tour Navigazioni organizes daily boat tours to La Maddalena archipelago in Sardinia.
  • Exclusive Boats is a boat rental to organizes daily private boat tours to La Maddalena archipelago in Sardinia.
  • Two bus lines run around the Maddalena island and the neighboring island of Caprera wich is connected to the former by a bridge.


Maddalena - panoramio (5).jpg
La Maddalena town


Although there are traces of prehistoric occupation, the first substantial settlers were Roman, followed by Pisan and Genoan invaders, Corsican shepherds and finally 16th century Sards. The islands' strategic position have always attracted the attention of foreign powers, including the French under Napoleon Bonaparte (1793), the English under Admiral Nelson (1803), the Italians in the form of the Regia Marina Italiana (1887) and even American NATO forces (1973 - 2008). The archipelago is also famous in history as the place where the 19th century hero of Italian nationhood, Giuseppe Garibaldi, built his home (on Isola Caprera, now a museum).


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Italy.


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