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La Maddalena Archipelago National Park

La Maddalena Archipelago is located in the north-east of Sardinia in the municipality of La Maddalena, near the Bocche di Bonifacio: it consists of a galaxy of islands, islets, rocks and reefs.

Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena (La Maddalena Archipelago National Park) is the first national park in Sardinia, the only one in Italy consisting of the entire territory of a single municipality. It is a geo-marine park that covers an area - between land and sea - of about 18000 hectares (5134 hectares of land surface and 13000 hectares of sea surface) and 180 kilometres of coastline. In the Archipelago you will find some of the most famous and suggestive beaches in the Mediterranean, such as: the Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach), the Cavaliere beach on the island of Budelli, the beaches of Cala Cuticciu, Cala Napoletana and del Relitto in Caprera, Cala Corsara and Cala Granara in Spargi. Suggestive in the island of La Maddalena are Bassa Trinita, with its white sand dunes, Monti dà Rena or the cliffs of Punta Tegge.

The National Park encompasses the entire marine area of the La Maddalena Archipelago and also includes the land area, i.e. all the islands and islets belonging to the territory of the municipality of La Maddalena. This National Park, also represents a significant part of the territory of the Italian State and Sardinia in the soon-to-be established Bocche di Bonifacio International Marine Park, for the realisation of which the Park Authority has been cooperating for over ten years with the Corsican environmental protection agencies.

In diving within the Archipelago, regulated by the Park Authority, invertebrates protected by international conventions and directives can be encountered. Of particular note are the Nacchera (Pinna nobilis) and the Patella ferruginea, relatively large molluscs, species that are in danger of disappearing due to indiscriminate harvesting. As far as the ichthyofauna is concerned, the area is among the most interesting in the entire Mediterranean due to the presence of resident populations of brown groupers (Epinephelus marginatus) and croakers (Sciaena umbra). Large marine mammals and large cartilaginous fish are also frequently sighted in the Park's waters. Occasionally, the waters of the Archipelago provide us with sightings of large sea mammals, such as minke whales (Balaenoptera physalus), sperm whales (Physeter catodon), not forgetting bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), coastal dolphins that are frequently spotted in the Archipelago, and sea turtles (Caretta caretta) resting on the surface of the water.

The plants are those typical of the Mediterranean coastal strip, represented by a scrub dominated by juniper, strawberry tree, phillyrea, lentisk, myrtle, heather, calycotome, cistus and euphorbia. Among the reptiles, there are populations of species that are endemic to the Sardo-Corso system (Archeolacerta bedriagae, Algyroides fitzingeri) or are partly endangered worldwide (Phillodactylus europaeus, Testudo hermanii robertensis, Testudo marginata).

There are several species of seabirds nesting in the archipelago, such as the Corsican seagull (Larus audouinii), the only endemic seagull species in the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean subspecies of the Marangone dal ciuffo (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), whose populations within the area represent 1% and 3% of the world's population respectively.

La Maddalena Archipelago National Park is part of the RE.TRA.PARC. project, (REteTRAnsfrontaliera diPARChi), in which it participates together with the Asinara National Park, the Porto Conte Regional Park and the Office de l'Environnement de la Corse, with the Province of Sassari playing the coordinating role.


You can only visit the Park if accompanied by an environmental hiking guide (GAE - specialised professional profiles) and therefore all the trails present.

The TA areas of Cala Brigantina and Cala Coticcio are classified as areas of significant natural interest requiring high protection, and are therefore not freely accessible, but can be visited accompanied by an environmental excursion guide. There are sanctions in case of infringement of these regulations. Guides can be contacted from the list established by the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park by clicking on this LINK.

Each visitor is obliged, after booking their excursion and agreeing the cost of the excursion with the private guide, to pay a contribution of € 3.00 to the National Park. The ticket is to be understood as an environmental contribution, the use of which is intended to support the costs of site protection and management. Children up to 12 years of age are exempt from paying the ticket.
The payment of the contribution of € 3,00 must be made exclusively through the national platform pagoPA Paga il ticket  with the reason for payment: "Excursion Cala Coticcio" or "Excursion Cala Brigantina", indicating the day and time. 
It will be necessary for you to keep a copy of the payment made, so that you can later show it to the control staff before the excursion.

The cost of the excursion, which is to be agreed with the guide, does not include the contribution of € 3.00, which must be paid to the Park Authority.

Within the Park area, recreational boating, sport fishing, scuba diving and economic activities at sea are only permitted subject to specific authorisations. These may be issued free of charge or against payment of fees. Their collection is one of the most important sources of funding for the Park Authority. Thanks to it, the Park can guarantee the regular fulfilment of its founding mission, through activities of promotion, environmental education and awareness, as well as control over the nautical flows accessing the waters of the Archipelago. Moreover, thanks to it, the Park finances the realisation of studies and the provision of useful services for visitors such as:

  • CEA: Centro di educazione ambientale

  • Geo-mineralogical Museum

  • Sea Museum

  • Knowledge Lab

  • Dolphin Research Centre.

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