Archipelago of La Maddelena
Sir Donald Gosling, former owner of superyacht Leander G, has cruised throughout the world but returns time and again to Sardinia; here he shares some of the islands best kept secrets and the reasons why he will never tire of it.
1. Archipelago of La Maddelena
Sir Donald Gosling's first recommendation is the Archipelago of La Maddelena in the north east corner of the island. An area of outstanding beauty comprising a myriad of small islands in a protected area bedecked by hundreds of tiny, white, perfectly formed natural beaches. Entrance to and anchoring in this area is restricted and vessels have to anchor 300 metres off the coast of the main island and tender in. Permits are needed for scuba diving from the National Park Authority.
"It takes a lot of beating for its crystal water," enthuses Sir Donald. "There is the lovely island of Santa Maria, where I took Jimmy Tarbuck and his wife, just off the coast. We went by tender to the marine reserve — you are not allowed to anchor there — and it is magnificent. I even went down and fed the fish.
"I have never seen anything like it in the Mediterranean - the Med is a bit short of fish, but because this place has been protected (you are not allowed to fish of course) it was teeming! You get in the water and they take the food out of your hand — a bit like Norman Island in the BVIs."
Sir Donald and the crew of Leander G recommend trying out these particular spots:
A natural creek at the entrance to the harbour of Porto Massimo, sheltered from the westerly wind.
Beautiful white sand and deep turquoise water in a perfectly formed horse shoe bay to the northwest of Caprera, sheltered from southerly winds. Here you can bathe, fish and scuba dive with a permit.
A stunning white sand beach in the south of Caprera named after the old shipwreck of a vessel that carried black diamonds. The bay provides shelter from the prevailing westerlies, however fishing, scuba diving and navigation are forbidden, and only tendering guests to the beach for drop off and pick up is allowed.
Also known as Tahiti, one of the most beautiful calas in the archipelago is found to the northeast of Caprera. It is surrounded by rugged rocks, and has white sand and crystal clear blue water. If you want privacy we suggest you go early in the morning to enjoy this little paradise, which is sheltered from the westerly wind. Drop off and pick up only are allowed - there is no fishing, scuba diving or navigation. Cala Corsara is south of Spargi island, sheltered from the westerly winds and offering white sand inviting, clear water. Of particular note are the huge boulders which have been fashioned by the wind — there is even one known as the Head of the Witch!
Picture courtesy of crazy82/Shutterstock.com