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TRIP OVERVIEW

7 days
Classic
7km/day
Challenging

Trip Dates

2024
22 Jun - 28 Jun
Full
31 Aug - 06 Sep
1 Space
21 Sep - 27 Sep
Full
2025
24 May - 30 May
Available
28 Jun - 04 Jul
Available
20 Sep - 26 Sep
Available
2026

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Tour Highlights

  • Challenge yourself with longer daily swim distances along Sardinia's stunning coast

  • Be inspired by sunlit 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

  • Discover abundant flora and fauna as we criss-cross our way through the Maddalena Archipelago

Join us on an extended long swims version of our ever-popular swimming holiday in Sardinia. Dive into sunlit green-blue waters and discover untouched islands and hidden beaches strewn across the Maddalena archipelago. Our longer swims give you a wonderful opportunity to discover one of Italy’s most picturesque locations – a yachtie’s paradise - from water level. Leap into crystalline seas and swim along sun-drenched island coastlines, uncovering the many secrets of Mediterranean ‘Costa Smeralda,’ as well as tracing unique routes where the yachts can’t follow.

This trip features an average daily swim distance of 7km and includes a combination of coastal swims, crossings, and circumnavigations. The archipelago’s seven islands feature eye-catching pink sand beaches, dramatic cliffs that soar up abruptly from the waves and a wealth of coves and colourful karstic terrain.

In the southern part of the archipelago, the two largest islands of La Maddalena and Caprera are a perfect base for more dramatic coastal swims. Also, the more remote and uninhabited islands of Spargi, Budelli, Razzoli and Santa Maria serve as ideal venues for 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 a very suitable venue for some well-earned relaxation after our daily exertions.

If you would like to explore this part of the world, but are looking for slightly shorter swimming distances, please check out our Emerald Coast - Sardinia trip.


Who is this for?

This trip is for those who enjoy a combination of coastal swims and island-hopping and want to extend their daily swim distances a little further than on our other trips.

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance and average daily swim distance (over the course of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

The average swim distance is around 3.5km. The average daily swim distance is around 7km.

We have given this trip a ‘Challenging’ grading. These trips are for experienced open water swimmers who want to push themselves.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday (swimmers only)
  • Professional swim guides and full safety escort on all swims (swimmers only)
  • Six nights' accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (swimmers only)
  • Full ABTOT Financial Protection
  • Technique advice with video playback

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the trip
  • Evening meals
  • Drinks and additional activities


Sample Trip Itinerary

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilots will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Miralonga , La Maddalena

Start Time: 17:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Miralonga , La Maddalena

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

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. This is where the week’s plan will be discussed in detail.

Day 2

After a short boat ride, we stop in the sun-dappled waters of Cala Francese, the perfect spot for an acclimatisation swim and our first full swim of the week. After lunch, and a chance to relax, we set off on an enchanting coastal swim from the tranquil bay of Cala Francese to Bassa Trinita.

Day 3

After breakfast, we set off towards Isola Santo Stefano where we start our first swim of the day. This takes us from La Fiumata, on the west coast, all the way to the south coast of the island, finishing at Punta San Giorgio. We stop right in front of the wall of the Italian Navy Base of Santo Stefano. The swim includes a circumnavigation of the small Isola Roma, with its glorious statue dedicated to all seafarers. At the end of the swim, we head for lunch in the beautiful Cala di Vela Marina. In the afternoon, we take a short walk, which allows you to soak up panoramic views from the island, before completing our second swim south along the coastline of Sardinia, from Porto Rafael to Spiaggia La Sciumara. This is a very exclusive area of the Emerald Coast which become famous during the 1960’s through Spanish architect Rafael Neville - it is now a very popular location with celebrities arriving from all over the world.

Day 4

A short boat journey this morning takes you west for our first crossing of the week - La Maddalena to Spargi (from Cala Francese to Cala Ferrigno). It’s a great swim as we finish at the sheltered beach of Cala Ferrigno with its pristine waters. Spargi is known for its majestic rock formations and ancient shipwrecks, crumpled on the seafloor - so there’s plenty to look out for underwater. After lunch, the second swim is along the west coastline of Spargi, starting in front of the neighbouring island of Spargiotto. We then finish at the beach of Cala Corsara, south of Spargi.

Day 5

We start the day with a boat trip to the North of the Maddalena Archipelago. For the morning’s swim you’ll be undertaking small crossings and coastal swims to allow you to touch all three islands. The water here could be described as more closely resembling a swimming pool - the sea is cradled on most sides by the three islands. After lunch, you’ll explore the coast for your afternoon swim.

Day 6

It’s time to travel east to Isola Caprera - home of the General and politician Giuseppe Garibaldi. From here, we enjoy a beautiful coastal swim from Porto Palma, past the sailing school of Caprera, to the very south end of the island, which ends with the rocky headland at Punta Rossa. 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 our journey around the Maddalena archipelago.

Accommodation

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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.

Location Summary

La Maddalena

The main island of the archipelago, La Maddalena, is renowned for its beaches and rocky terrain. It has several ancient fortifications as well - perfect for exploring on hikes around the island. The main town, also called La Maddalena, has a lovely mix of cobbled streets and a vibrant sea front.

Caprera

Located less than a kilometre away from the larger island of La Maddalena, Caprera has its own unique charm. It is famous for being the home of the Italian patriot and fighter, Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was one of the fathers of Italian Independence. Great beaches adorn its eastern side.

Spargi

Spargi is home to some of the most picturesque coastlines in the archipelago. It is an island that is well worth a visit, with beautiful views of the dramatic Maddalena coast.

Budelli

Renowned for its Spiaggia Rosa (‘Pink Beach’) on the south-eastern part of the island, this natural phenomenon owes its colour to microscopic fragments of corals and shells.

Razzoli & Santa Maria

These two islands are the northernmost point of Sardinia and from here you can clearly see Corsica across the Straits of Bonifacio. It’s only 100 metres between Razzoli and Santa Maria and you can peer down at sandy seabed all the way across. These remote islands join up with Budelli on our three-island swim in a central lagoon of glittering seawater.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Challenging’ grading. These trips are for experienced open water swimmers who want to push themselves.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances Swim Distances
Cala Francese – Bassa Trinita 5½km
La Fiumata – Punta Santo Stefano 5½km Porto Rafael – La Sciumara 1½km
Maddalena - Spargi 3½km Spargiotto - Cala Corsara 3½km
Maddalena Archipelago 4km Santa Maria Cala Aiacciolu 2½km
Caprera Porto Palma – Punta Rossa 6km Circumnavigation of Isola Porco 1½km

*Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the open water is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as jellyfish, plankton, sea lice, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims and may cause some discomfort. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures and that any interactions are managed safely. If you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Distances

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

Walking Conditions

Most walks take place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces where vegetation can often be overgrown. Long trousers and appropriate walking shoes/sandals are recommended for these walks.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
May 15-21˚C / 62-68˚F 21-25˚C / 68-77˚F
June 20-24˚C / 68-75˚F 24-26˚C / 75-79˚F
July 23-26˚C / 73-79˚F 28-30˚C / 82-86˚F
September 22-25˚C / 72-77˚F 25-27˚C / 77-81˚F

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

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.

Trip Information

Group Size

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

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two support 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

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please visit our Packing List page on the website. For additional, location specific items, please see the information below.

SwimTrek will provide water and electrolytes at every location and refill your bottles.

There are no additional, specific items required for this location.

Getting There

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

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

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 La Maddalena. Another option is Alghero Airport which is situated just over 100 kilometres south-west of Palau.

Transport from Olbia Airport to Palau

There are a number of public transport options and more information can be found on the airport website: www.geasar.it/en/how-to-get-here/by-bus

DIRECT – there is a direct bus that runs from the airport to Palau once a day and takes about 1 hour.

The timetable for this bus can be found here: trasportopubblico.gruppoturmotravel.com.

Please note you may have to keep checking the page nearer the time for up to date timetables.

VIA Olbia - there are several bus options if you travel via Olbia centre. You can catch Linea 10 or Linea 2 from the airport to Olbia. More information can be found here: www.geasar.it/en/how-to-get-here/from-to-olbia. The 601 runs regularly from Olbia centre to Palau Port

Locally, transport companies also use Moovit - moovitapp.com/cagliari_e_sardegna-1262/poi/en - to display services.

TAXI – you can also find Taxi information on the airport website: geasar.it/en/how-to-get-here/taxi.

Ferries from Palau to La Maddalena

Regular ferries depart from Palau to La Maddalena throughout the day and evening and depart roughly every 30 minutes during peak season. Tickets need to be purchased at the ferry office on the harbour front before sailing. Prices are approximately €5 each way and it takes approximately 20 minutes to reach La Maddalena Harbour. Once published, up-to-date timetables can be found at: www.delcomar.it.

Maddalena Port to Hotel Miralonga

The hotel is situated 1km west of La Maddalena Harbour, a 20 minute walk through town. 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, the short journey should cost approximately €20.

Accommodation

Our accommodation for the duration of the trip is at the comfortable Hotel Miralonga. Located approximately 1km west of La Maddalena Harbour, Hotel Miralonga is just a few minutes' walk from the water. The hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant with terrace for you to enjoy dinner or a drink at the end of each day.

Our accommodation is based on twin-share rooms with en suite facilities. Standard and sea view rooms are available, as well as a limited number of single supplement rooms, all of which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

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.

Food and Drink

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price - however, dinners are at your own expense. Upon arrival, on the first night of the trip, you are welcome to join us for dinner at Hotel Miralonga. There will be further opportunities throughout the trip, to join us in eating out as a group, at locally recommended cafes and restaurants. Feel free to also explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as meals not already included in your package, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc.

In some countries, tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is done entirely at your own discretion. If you have been provided with excellent service it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek Guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek Guides but many groups like to present something to the Guides at the end of the trip.

The local currency in Italy is the Euro (€).

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

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 all EU member states, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Italy.

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and it is important that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference.

For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Here at SwimTrek, we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However, we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

There is complimentary Wi-Fi at the hotel.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit www.worldstandards.eu.


Related Trips

  • Swimming in LA Maddalena, Sardinia was one of the most glorious experiences of my life so far! I hope to do many more SwimTrek trips!

    Nancy D, USA - 2023
  • Far exceeded my expectations. Great location with a great group of people. Love it

    Nikki W, Australia - 2023
  • We were in the best hands with Francesco, Noah and Luca, and the swims grew increasingly spectacular as the week went on! I accomplished my first island crossing with zero fear, and made many new friends. This is the most rewarding type of holiday and I can't wait for my next swimming adventure.

    Rosa J, France - 2023