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Tour Highlights

  • Challenge yourself with longer daily swim distances than other SwimTrek tours

  • 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

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

Join us on the extended long swims version of our ever-popular swimming holiday in Sardinia as we explore the beautiful waters and stunning coastlines of the islands which make up the Maddalena archipelago. Our longer swims give you a wonderful opportunity to discover even more of one of Italy’s most picturesque locations.

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 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.

In the southern part of the archipelago, the two largest islands of La 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.

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 good level of open water experience and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 7km 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


Daily Itineraries

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

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

After a short boat ride, we stop in the crystal clear waters of Cala Francese 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, 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 which takes us from la Fiumata on the west coast all the way to the south coast of the island finishing at Punta San Giorgio, right in front the wall of the Italian Navy Base of Santo Stefano. The swim includes the 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 take in the panoramic views from the island, and then complete 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, and is now a very popular location with celebrities from all over the world.

Day 4

A short boat journey takes you west for our first crossing; La Maddalena to Spargi (from Cala Francese to Cala Ferrigno). It’s a great swim as we finish at the tranquil beach of Cala Ferrigno with its amazing pristine waters. Spargi is known for its majestic rock formations and ancient shipwrecks on the seafloor. After lunch, the second swim is along the west coastline of Spargi, starting in front of the neighbouring island of Spargiotto and finishing at the beach of Cala Corsara, south of Spargi.

Day 5

We start the day with the crossing from Spargi to Budelli (from Cala Pietranera to Spiaggia dell’Obelisco). It’s a fantastic swim, with dolphins often spotted in this area. The afternoon’s swim and walk is within the remote archipelago of Santa Maria, Budelli and Razzoli islands. The swim starts from Cala Aiacciolu on the west side of Santa Maria and finishes in Cala Lunga on the west side of Razzoli. The water here could be described as more closely resembling a swimming pool as the sea 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 beautiful coastal swim from Porto Palma, just past the sailing school of Caprera, to the very south end of the island that ends with the rocky headland 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.

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

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

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and 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. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Swimming Distances

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

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 19-26˚C / 66-79˚F 24-26˚C / 75-79˚F
July 21-26˚C / 70-79˚F 28-30˚C / 82-86˚F
August 22-27˚C / 72-81˚F 29-31˚C / 84-88˚F
September 21-26˚C / 70-79˚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: 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.

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 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.

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 La Maddalena. Another option is Alghero Airport which is situated just over 100 kilometres 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

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 via Olbia

To search for available flights into Olbia Airport, please visit SkyScanner.

Olbia Airport to La Maddalena - Shared Transfer

Our partners in Sardinia, Sardegna Tours offer a transfer from Olbia Airport to your accommodation in La Maddalena which departs at 17:15 on Day 1 of the trip and takes approximately two hours. The cost of this service is €40 per person, payable locally upon departure. Please note that there must be at least three guests booked onto the service in order for it to run.

If you would like to book a place on this transfer, please email info@sardegnatours.it with your flight number and arrival time at least 48 hours prior to your arrival. Please note that your transfer will not be confirmed until you have received a written confirmation from Sardegna Tours.

If your travel plans don’t coincide with the SwimTrek transfer, please see the alternative transport options below.

Shuttle from Olbia Airport to Palau

A shuttle service from Olbia Airport to Palau is available via Shuttle Direct. The cost of this service varies depending on the number of people booked and the type of vehicle chosen and starts from approximately €25 per person. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Public Transport from Olbia Airport to Palau

Direct buses from Olbia Airport to Palau depart approximately every two hours and you can buy your tickets from the tourist 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 journey takes about one hour. For more information on this bus service, please visit: Gruppo Turmo Travel.

Ferries from Palau to Maddalena

Regular ferries depart from Palau to La 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 approximately €6-8 each way and it takes approximately 20 minutes to reach La 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 La 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, the short journey should cost approximately €15.

Practical Information

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.

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. On three nights of the trip, we welcome you to join us to eat as a group at Hotel Miralonga, while the other three nights are a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice. The average price of two-course dinner plus drinks in La Maddalena is €25-€40.

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 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 we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to Greece, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

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

  • Very well organised and enjoyable trip. Safety was obviously a priority and this was great to see. Challenging swims with a supportive crew made for a great trip! Thank you!

    Sarah G, UK - 2018