Boat Tour of Caprera Island with Natour Sardinia
When we decided to visit Sardinia, there was no question that one of our must stop places was in the north east part of the island to the Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park, also known as the La Maddalena Archipelago. There are seven major islands that make up this area – La Maddalena, Caprera, Budelli, Santa Stefano, Santa Maria, Spargi, and Razzoli – and there are many smaller islands surrounding the area. What makes this part of the country so special is the stunning crystal clear water – so much that it does not even look real.
Of the islands that make up the La Maddalena Archipelago, there are two accessible by ferry then car/scooter/bike – La Maddalena and Caprera. The other islands (as well as some spots on Caprera) require boat access. I knew off the top that we would definitely want some time to visit by boat. For our three days in this area, I planned to allocate them by:
- Day 1: Boat to explore the islands of La Maddalena
- Day 2: Boat to explore the island of Caprera
- Day 3: Ferry/scooter to explore the island of La Maddalena
I wanted to make sure we found a good company to take us on these boat excursions. While people visiting charter their own boat or go with a private guide, those are quite expensive options in the peak season and we do not know how to operate a boat. I also did not want a giant boat that dropped off a boat load of people and overcrowded a spot. Through my searching, I found Natour Sardinia – a small family run company that focuses on eco-friendly tourism operating with small boats that have a ten person maximum. This company also offered both tours of La Maddalena Islands and Caprera for full days to explore everything.
We met at the office in downtown Palau then headed to the dock for our day ahead – to say we were excited was an understatement!
Caprera Island Boat Tour
The Caprera Island boat tour covered the area to the east of La Maddalena Island where the island of Caprera lies.
The reason I wanted to do this boat tour was to be able to experience the famous Cala Coticcio (Little Tahiti). There are only two ways to visit this beach:
- A boat tour that anchors and allows guests to swim to the beach (boats cannot get close to the beach – you have to swim if you want to visit the beach)
- A guided tour with a National Park Guide that takes two groups of people a day hiking to the beach. Reservations are required as space is very limited and the walk is a bit rocky.
For me, the decision for the boat was an easy one. It guaranteed our visit without battling a larger group visiting this popular location. Since we did a different boat tour the day before with Natour Sardinia, I knew we were going to have a great day.
This boat tour covered the area in between La Maddalena Island and Caprera island, as well as touring around Caprera island itself. After introductions and an overview of what to expect for the day, we pushed off and we headed into the open sea. Our route took us between La Maddalena and Caprera Islands as we made our way north.
While I could not follow the location of our first stop, my guess is we were in the north west part of Caprera Island. We were taken to a seculded and goregous inlet where we spent quite a bit of time exploring. The water was incredibly clear and we were able to swim to the beach. Our guide instructed us that climbing the rocks would reward an amazing view and he was not wrong. The entire group loved this stop!
The next stop was nearby at Cala Napoletana for a brief stop to take a swim. Kevin opted to try his luck at paddle boarding which was entertaining to watch to say the least. While we have paddle boarded several times in the past, this was an inflatable one that was shorter so the center of gravity was a bit different that we were used to.
We spent some time sailing around the north east side of the island which contains huge cliff and rock formation. We passed by the Batteria di Candeo which is a fortress builtin to the rocks – so camouflaged that you were never notice it if it was not pointed out.
After making it around to the east side of Caprera Island, our guide anchored in a secluded inlet for lunch. A quick swim was followed by lunch which included Pane Carasau, raw vegetables, grapes, pecorino cheese, salumi, Vermentino wine, and cookies.
Our last stop was the grand finale – the reason we were all in this boat – Cala Coticcio (aka Tahiti). We approached navigating through the parked boats to secure our spot, the guide anchored, and we were off. The view from the boat was stunning and we could not wait to get onto the sand. We were permitted onto the beach but not onto the rocks. We could see the last group of people leaving the beach who were with the national park guide so we were going to have the beach to ourselves – well timed Natour Sardinia.
It was a bit of a swim from the boat (meters) so I was happy to be confident in my snorkel abilities. This spot had by far the most marine life in the two days we snorkeled and I read later that it is the best spots in the La Maddalena Achipelago for snorkeling.
We spent a ton of time here enjoying the views, the unbelievably clear water, taking photos from every vantage point, and just enjoying being here. This was definitely one of those “pinch me” moments – how does this exist in the world? We were incredibly lucky to be here.
Our group made it back onto the boat and our guide surprised Kevin with a cake and Prosecco where he was serenaded by the entire boat for his happy birthday. It was so thoughtful and made this trip extra special.
We were blown away by how amazing this day was – honestly this is absolutely the best way to explore Caprera Island and the La Maddalena Islands Archipelago. The area is simply stunning and nothing like we have ever seen. And we loved our day with Natour Sardinia – not only do we highly recommend them, but we booked a second tour with them. What an unbelievable part of the world tucked away in Sardinia.