Day trip to La Maddalena

Discovering Sardinia's secret island

Are you getting ready for your upcoming trip to Sardinia? Grab a pen and add the island of La Maddalena to your list!

You can get to the small islet of La Maddalena in just 15 minutes by ferry from Sardinia, which makes it one of the best options for a day trip. Read on and discover the wonders of La Maddalena enclosed in just 20km2 🙃

Boats at the port of La Maddalena, Sardinia

The small port of the island of La Maddalena in Sardinia

Where is the island of La Maddalena and why should I go there?

La Maddalena is a small island located off the charming Costa Smeralda, in the north of Sardinia.

The entire archipelago of La Maddalena is made up of almost 60 islands and islets and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island of La Maddalena is the largest in the island group and one of the two inhabited islands, along with Caprera.

Known for its Caribbean-like beaches, turquoise waters and wild nature, La Maddalena can seduce anyone. Get ready to lose yourself in the cobbled alleys of its historic center, visit churches and craft shops, and admire beautiful buildings with colorful balconies.

The island is also perfect for those who love water sports and nature. Pack your snorkeling gear and hiking shoes, and get ready to discover the beautiful seabed and wild hiking trails of La Maddalena!

Explore the top experiences in La Maddalena and find out how to get there below.

Best things to do in La Maddalena in 1 day

Despite its size, the island of La Maddalena is full of interesting experiences. Nature, sea and history come together, creating an ideal destination for everyone.

Here are some tips for your 1 day trip to La Maddalena:

You can start your tour in La Maddalena from your place of arrival: the small port of Cala Gavetta. Its deep blue waters and beautiful buildings will leave you speechless! Crossing the narrow streets and traditional alleys, you will then arrive in Piazza Garibaldi main square, full of bars and shops. Why not stop for an Italian espresso or a delicious ice cream?

Cone in hand, stroll up to the baroque church of Santa Maria Maddalena and enter the upper part of the old city, where you will find the Sant'Andrea fort, perched on a granite rock. Continue your walk towards the famous Moneta district, a charming suburb where locals still speak the ancient Sardinian dialect!

If you love history and archaeology, you shouldn't miss the Nino Lamboglia museum, dedicated to the famous Roman wreck and its cargo of ancient amphorae recovered from the seabed of La Maddalena Archipelago.

And what about beaches? Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about them. The truth is that La Maddalena has plenty of dreamy beaches. Cala Francese, Cala Spalmatore and Punta Tegge are among the best!

Tip: if you have time, you should also visit the nearby island of Caprera, connected to La Maddalena via a bridge.

The turquoise waters of Cala Francese beach in La Maddalena

The beautiful beach of Cala Francese and its granite rocks

How to get to the island of La Maddalena?

You can get to La Maddalena by taking the ferry from the port of Palau, a small town in the province of Sassari. Palau is the main port for trips to the La Maddalena Archipelago, and is located 24km from Santa Teresa Gallura.

If you want to travel to Sardinia by ferry from the Italian mainland, you should know that the closest port to Palau is Golfo Aranci. If you are traveling from Savona to Golfo Aranci or from Livorno to Golfo Aranci, you only need to drive for less than 1 hour to the port of Palau and then take the ferry to La Maddalena.

Discover all the info on the Palau - La Maddalena ferry route below:

Ferries to La Maddalena from Palau

Ferry connections from the port of Palau to the island of La Maddalena are active all year round

The route is operated by the ferries of Delcomar, Maddalena Lines and Ensamar, and it’s only a 15-min crossing to the port of Cala Gavetta in La Maddalena. Ferries depart every 30-60 minutes throughout the day.

As for tickets, fares start at €3.70. Bear in mind prices change depending on the day, the schedules and the type of vehicle you might want to board with. Also, keep in mind that the La Maddalena Municipal Disembarkation Tax (€2.50) is added to the cost of the ticket.

As for ferry discounts, there are cheaper tickets for groups on the Palau - La Maddalena crossing. Plus, you can get on board with your pet for a small fee.

You can buy your tickets to La Maddalena from Palau on the operator websites or directly at the port. Prices are the same and the only difference is that the ticket you purchase online will be an open one (without a specific time or date).

Ferry sailing from the port of Palau to the coast of La Maddalena

Ferry traveling from Palau to the island of La Maddalena

It does sound compelling, doesn’t it? Now all you need to do is book a ferry to Sardinia with Ferryhopper and organize your 1-day trip to La Maddalena! Have a look at the updated ferry schedules to/from Italy and book your tickets at no additional cost.