As Conde Nast Traveller puts it: "In the translucent seas of the Maddalena archipelago, you're in another world. It doesn't feel like the Mediterranean here. It feels like a more rugged version of the Caribbean. Suspended between Sardinia and Corsica, this scatter of seven large islands and 55 tiny isolotti has some of the most spectacular beaches you'll find anywhere in Italy, and some of the cleanest and clearest water."
We couldn't say it better! We love Sardinia for its heavenly turquoise lagoons and La Maddalena Archipelago is for us the ultimate destination for a mindful holiday, a brilliant alternative to the noise and stress of the crowded summer vacation: there are innumerable deserted beaches only accessible by boat, inhabited islands, pristine stretches of sand, impossibly crystal clear waters, and the most spectacular land- and seascapes.
During the week we will be sailing around the 7 islands (Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, Santo Stefano, Budelli, Rizzoli, Santa Maria) and several little ‘isolotti’ that make up the Archipelago. We will be looking for the quietest spots, most idillic beaches and bluest waters.
Our itinerary is flexible: we like following the wind and see where it takes us, as sometimes planning when sailing just doesn’t work. There might be very little wind, or too much wind, the sea might be too choppy or too cold to swim in. We cannot control the weather, so we choose to give in to spontaneity and the good old yoga adage of ‘letting go’.
We discuss the day’s itinerary with our skipper in the morning, aiming to get to these beautiful spots during the course of the week:
We will be walking around the picturesque La Maddalena town and will have the option to visit Garibaldi’s house, where the Italian hero spent his last days, asking for his bed to be moved to where he could gaze at “the emerald and sapphire sea”.
George Bernard Shaw fell in love with the Kornati islands and said “On the last day of Creation God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Kornati islands out of tears, stars and breath.”
It is a fitting description of a very unique landscape, where the typically karstic terrain makes the stark whiteness of rocks drop dramatically against the deep-blue Adriatic. The 140 islands are riddled with cracks, caves, grottoes and rugged cliffs, all surrounded by crystal clear blue waters.
The majority of the 300 square km is a National Park – helping to preserve its natural beauty and tranquillity. Many will know the neighbouring Dalmatian Islands as a busy holiday spot, but we chose the Kornati islands because they are different. Stunning bays and tranquil coves allow us to enjoy quiet nights at anchor, sail mindfully across uninhabited islands and meditate on deserted beaches.
Setting sail from Split, we will visit other beautiful spots on the way, stopping for some top notch snorkelling and some Croatian tavernas at night.
Check out time is at 09:00. Transfers can be arranged for you to travel to the airport.