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There is no better way to experience the stunning natural beauty and idyllic waters of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast than with this fully guided swimming holiday in one of Italy’s most picturesque locations. From gorgeous turquoise seas to stunning island coastlines, this beautiful Mediterranean destination is just waiting to be explored.

The Maddalena archipelago which forms part of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast is a small group of seven islands featuring crystal clear waters, pink sand beaches, dramatic blue cliffs rising from deep sea beds and a series of coves and rocks which offer intense colours and beautiful vistas around every corner.

The National Park, which was formed in 1994 as ‘Parco Nazionale Arcipelago di La Maddalena’, is located inside the Straits of Bonifacio between the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. The southern part of the archipelago with the two largest islands of Maddalena and Caprera are a perfect base for some dramatic coastal swims, while the more remote and uninhabited islands of Spargi, Budelli, Razzoli and Santa Maria are great venues for some challenging island-hopping swims and a short circumnavigation.

The main town of La Maddalena, a short distance from our base for the week, is a picturesque traditional Sardinian town, and an ideal venue to spend some time relaxing after our daily exertions. This trip features a variety of both coastal and island-hopping interspersed with focused swim coaching by our qualified guides.

Who is this for?

This trip is for those who enjoy a combinations of coastal swims and island-hopping and relish the opportunity to explore crystal clear waters and spectacular vistas and wildlife, both above and below the water. Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 5km prior to the start of the trip.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Sardinia, Italy
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Technique coaching and video analysis
  • Six nights accommodation
  • Six breakfasts
  • Six lunches

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Evening meals

Tour Highlights

  • Discover Sardinia's stunning natural scenery on this unforgettable swimming holiday

  • Be inspired by the island-hopping swims between the three northern islands of Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli

  • Complete a beautiful and challenging swim from the main island of Isola Maddalena to the smaller island of Isola Spargi

  • Swim down Caprera's eastern shoreline, ending at the beautiful beach of Tahiti (named after the South Pacific island)

  • Enjoy the abundant flora and fauna as we criss-cross our way around the Maddalena Archipelago

Accommodation

68fd9b0e453f589fb0b1274eb8a8eed94138dfc3 hotelmiralonga small
Hotel Miralonga

Our accommodation for the duration of the trip is at the comfortable Hotel Miralonga. Located just a few minutes walk from the water, the hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool and a bar and restaurant with terrace for you to enjoy dinner or a drink at the end of each day.

Day 1

After your arrival you will have a chance to relax before meeting in the evening at the hotel for a welcome drink and pre-trip safety briefing in which the week’s plan will be discussed in detail.

Day 2

We meet for a short walk to the crystal clear waters of Punte Tegge for an acclimatisation swim. After this, there is a coaching session where the guides will focus on open water technique and video your stroke, both above and below water, which will be reviewed later in the evening over drinks. After lunch and a chance to relax, the afternoon is given over to an enchanting coastal swim from the tranquil bay of Cala Francese to Punte Tegge.

Day 3

After a short boat ride to Isola Santo Stefano, we start on its west coast by la Fiumata and swim a round Roma Island with its glorious statue dedicated to all seafarers, finishing off in the beautiful Valtur Bay. After lunch we take a short walk, which allows you to take in the panoramic views from the island. We then swim south out of the bay past Punta San Giorgio along the coast finishing in Cala di Vela Marina.

Day 4

A short boat journey takes you west for our first crossing; La Maddalena to Spargi. It’s a great swim as we finish at the tranquil beach of Cala Canniccio underneath the island’s wooded slopes. Spargi is known for its majestic rock formations and ancient shipwrecks on the seafloor. After lunch the second swim is either around the smaller neighbouring island of Spargiotto or a coastal swim down the north west coast of Spargi finishing at Cala Piscioli.

Day 5

We start the day with the crossing from Spargi to Budelli. It’s a fantastic swim, with dolphins often spotted in this area. Following lunch, there is another opportunity for the guides to provide a further stroke analysis and technique coaching. The afternoon swim and walk is within the remote archipelago of Santa Maria, Budelli and Razzoli islands. The water here could be described as more closely resembling a swimming pool as the sea here is enclosed on most sides by the three islands.

Day 6

It’s time to travel east to Isola Caprera, the home of the General and politician Giuseppe Garibaldi. From here, we enjoy a stunning coastal swim from Spiaggia Tahiti, characterised by its fine white sand to Cala Brigantina. Following lunch we take a short walk to Batterie di Punta Rossa where you can explore the barracks and gun emplacements of this ancient fort. The afternoon is given over to a crossing and a full circumnavigation swim of Isola Porco.

Day 7

We take a leisurely morning swim in the local bay before breakfast to conclude a journey around the Maddalena archipelago.

Accommodation

68fd9b0e453f589fb0b1274eb8a8eed94138dfc3 hotelmiralonga small
Hotel Miralonga

Our accommodation for the duration of the trip is at the comfortable Hotel Miralonga. Located just a few minutes walk from the water, the hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool and a bar and restaurant with terrace for you to enjoy dinner or a drink at the end of each day.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Miralonga , La Maddalena

Start Time: 19:30 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Miralonga , La Maddalena

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Small Daypack
Swimming Googles* (x2) Waterproof Jacket
Sunhat and Sunglasses Sweater / Fleece
Waterproof Sun Cream Walking Shoes
Towel Aqua Shoes / Sandals

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers, rash vests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers, rash vest or wetsuit, we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Cala Fancese - Punta Tegge 2½km
La Fiumat - Isola Roma/Valtur Bay 1km
Valtur Bay - Cala di Vela Marina 2½km
Maddalena - Spargi 3½km
Spargi - Spargiotto 2½km
Spargi - Budelli 3½km
Santa Maria - Budelli - Razzoli 3km
Caprera Spiaggia Tahiti –Cala Brigante 3km
Circumnavigation of Isola Porco 2km

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
June 21-23˚C / 70-73˚F 24-26˚C / 75-79˚F
July 22-24˚C / 72-75˚F 28-30˚C / 82-86˚F
August 24-26˚C / 75-79˚F 29-31˚C / 84-88˚F
September 23-25˚C / 73-77˚F 26-28˚C / 79-82˚F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Walking Distances

Walk Distance
Isola Santo Stefano 1km
Cala Lunga - Faro Razzoli 2km
Batteries di Punta Rossa 1km

Note: All the walks on the islands are carried out on recognised trails and paths but can be a bit overgrown. Long trousers and walking shoes are advised. The longest walk during this trip will be 2km.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort.  Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two inflatable boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to the start of your trip is to fly into the international airport in Olbia. It lies 50km south of Palau, the gateway port to Maddalena. Another option is Alghero Airport which is situated just over 100km south-west of Palau.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We suggest that you use the following websites to search for alternative flight and ferry options for this trip.

Flights SkyScanner / Geasar

Ferries Delcomar

Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Travelling to Olbia

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Olbia are included below.

Airline Departure Airport
Air Berlin Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart
British Airways Heathrow
EasyJet Berlin, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester
EuroWings Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart
Iberia Airways Barcelona, Madrid
Meridiana Gatwick, Naples

SwimTrek Transfer from Olbia Airport

The transfer departs from Olbia Airport on Saturdays at 17.15. To book a place please inform the SwimTrek office. The cost of this service is approx. €40 per person and payable locally on departure. For the above service to run there need to be at least 3 guests booked onto this service. If your travel plans don’t coincide with the time of the private SwimTrek transfer, we advise using the following transport options.

Return transfers can be arranged on location.

Bus Transport from Olbia Airport to Palau

Direct buses depart from Olbia Airport roughly every two hours and you can buy your tickets from the tourist office information desk inside the airport. Ask at the ticket office for the Turmo Travel bus stop. Fares can also be paid on board and cost approximately €7. The bus journey takes about 1 hour. For the above service we recommend visiting Gruppo Turmo Travel prior to your departure.

Shuttle from Olbia Airport to Palau

Transportation can be arranged through Shuttle Direct. The cost varies depending on how many people share and the time of the season. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Ferries from Palau to Maddalena

Regular ferries depart from Palau to Maddalena throughout the day and evening and depart roughly every 15 minutes during peak season. Tickets need to be purchased at the Ferry Office on the harbour front before sailing. Prices are roughly €6-8 for a single journey and it takes approximately 20 minutes to reach Maddalena Harbour. Once published, up-to-date timetables can be found at: Delcomar.

Maddalena Port to Hotel Miralonga

The hotel is situated 1km west of Maddalena Harbour. We recommend catching a taxi from the harbour to the hotel (5-10 minute taxi ride). Prices of taxis can vary, however, as a guide, this journey should cost no more than approximately €15.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Our accommodation for the duration of the trip is at the comfortable Hotel Miralonga. Located just a few minutes walk from the water, the hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool and a bar and restaurant with terrace for you to enjoy dinner or a drink at the end of each day. Rooms are offered on a twin share basis, with a limited number of single supplements available.

If you would like to extend your stay in Sardinia and need to book additional nights’ accommodation before or after your trip, please contact the hotel directly via: info@miralonga.it

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price, however dinners are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip. The average price of two-course dinner plus drinks in Maddalena is €25-€30.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. The local currency in Italy is the Euro (€).

Passports and Visas

Italy is part of the European Union. Non-residents of Italy require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Italy. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Vaccinations

There are currently no essential vaccination requirements for Italy, however it is advisable to re-check this information eight weeks before you travel. You should also ensure that your immunity to tetanus and polio is up-to-date.

Tour Highlights

  • Discover Sardinia's stunning natural scenery on this unforgettable swimming holiday

  • Be inspired by the island-hopping swims between the three northern islands of Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli

  • Complete a beautiful and challenging swim from the main island of Isola Maddalena to the smaller island of Isola Spargi

  • Swim down Caprera's eastern shoreline, ending at the beautiful beach of Tahiti (named after the South Pacific island)

  • Enjoy the abundant flora and fauna as we criss-cross our way around the Maddalena Archipelago

Accommodation

68fd9b0e453f589fb0b1274eb8a8eed94138dfc3 hotelmiralonga small
Hotel Miralonga

Our accommodation for the duration of the trip is at the comfortable Hotel Miralonga. Located just a few minutes walk from the water, the hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool and a bar and restaurant with terrace for you to enjoy dinner or a drink at the end of each day.

  • I have had a wonderful week, in a terrific mixture of people in the group. We had great fun and were perfectly looked after by our guides. Could not have been any better!

    Harald R. Germany - 2016
  • Each swim brings new discoveries, new pleasures and new achievements that create lifelong memories.

    Michelle C. Australia - 2016
  • This was my first SwimTrek experience and I am really want to repeat it in other locations, it was a great great week!

    Jaime K. Argentina - 2016
  • Wondeful trip and great way to see the country & area.

    Richard M. UK - 2016
  • As on previous SwimTrek holidays, I had a fantastic week! Good swims, excellent guiding and excellent company!

    Lyn P. UK - 2016
  • A first-rate week of swimming in an outstanding location!

    Keith W. UK - 2015
  • Book now if you want a swimming adventure with all kinds of great people, and want to feel safe doing it! If you sign up for one SwimTrek - I can guarantee it won't be your last!

    Shaun W. 2015 - UK
  • Another great swimtrek experience. Can't wait for the next one!

    Melissa M. 2015 - UK
  • I've booked 4 SwimTreks this season, 2 last year! Can't imagine a European summer now without SwimTrek. Already looking to squeeze in my 5th for this year!

    Sue M. 2015 - UK
  • Fantastic time. I was worried that the swimming would become a week long race but the whole emphasis is on support and discovery rather than competition between swimmers.

    Anya R. 2015 - France
  • Holiday of a lifetime. I thought that as an average swimmer I would struggle, but everything from the pre-planning advice to the trip itself was well taken care of. Even newbie swimmers shouldn't be afraid! The guides are very encouraging and are excellent in what they do!

    Michelle M. 2014
  • I googled swimming holidays a few months back and SwimTrek was the top of the list - your website was informative and enticingÖ and the rest is history. Best thing I ever did! Ö Seriously though, the whole experience was superb. Francesco and Ricky's parting gift to us all on the last night was poignant, touching and very motivational. They, and the rest of the group made this week very special. Thank you

    Aedin C, 2014 Switzerland
  • ìI really had the most amazing time - I love swimming, I love people, I love food - all those in one trip = a very happy person who is missing the ocean terribly!î

    Karen H, 2014, UK
  • At least half of us agreed that this was the best holiday we had ever had, period.

    Dirk V. 2014
  • Best vacation imaginable This is the best vacation imaginable - rejuvenating and refreshing! Thank you!

    Scott S, October 2013, US
  • I had a really brilliant experience on my first I hope of many Swimtrek trips! The Sardinian Emerald coast was stunning and the swims were inspiring. I would definitely recommend it.

    Catherine F, June 2013, UK
  • The trip to Sardinia exceeded all expectations. It was the most perfect holiday and chance to swim in a relaxed environment which provided the time and place to improve technique and enjoyment. I felt tearful when we got off the boat for the last time :(

    Anna H, July 2012, UK
  • Fantastic guides, a great boat, wonderful swimming in crystal clear water.

    Tony C, June 2012 Australia

Tour Highlights

  • Discover Sardinia's stunning natural scenery on this unforgettable swimming holiday

  • Be inspired by the island-hopping swims between the three northern islands of Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli

  • Complete a beautiful and challenging swim from the main island of Isola Maddalena to the smaller island of Isola Spargi

  • Swim down Caprera's eastern shoreline, ending at the beautiful beach of Tahiti (named after the South Pacific island)

  • Enjoy the abundant flora and fauna as we criss-cross our way around the Maddalena Archipelago

Accommodation

68fd9b0e453f589fb0b1274eb8a8eed94138dfc3 hotelmiralonga small
Hotel Miralonga

Our accommodation for the duration of the trip is at the comfortable Hotel Miralonga. Located just a few minutes walk from the water, the hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool and a bar and restaurant with terrace for you to enjoy dinner or a drink at the end of each day.

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