All About Caprera
Caprera Island, Sardinia: what to see & how to move
Caprera Island, in Sardinia, where the italian hero Garibaldi spent the most beautiful years of his life, offers unique naturalistic and cultural itineraries.
Countless beaches with caribbean atmospheres (some accessible only by sea); museums; trekking itineraries; breathtaking viewpoints and historic buildings that tell of great deeds and seafaring traditions.
In this article Emerald Cruises guides you step by step to discover Caprera, jewel of the Mediterranean Sea.
Here’s what to see and how to move!
The most beautiful beaches in Caprera
Despite being small in size, the island of Caprera has over 10 beaches and coves characterized by a wild beauty that is unmatched in the world.
Among the most famous there is the Due Mari beach (in italian means “two seas”), so called for its peculiar shape.
Due Mari beach, awarded with a Blue Flag by the Foundation for environmental education (FEE), is located on the isthmus that connects Caprera with the so-called Isola Rossa.
Just 70 meters long, Due Mari beach looks like a small paradise on earth, where the Mediterranean scrub is the backdrop for granite rocks.
The low seabed is ideal for children. The color of the water varies from turquoise to deep blue, a palette of shades that distinguishes the entire Archipelago.
The famous Relitto beach, rather crowded in high season, takes its name from an old ship stranded on the shoreline, shipwrecked long ago.
This is what remains of “Trebbo” sailing ship, which sank on 22 July 1922 near the island of Biscie and finally landed on this beach under the influence of sea currents.
The sand of Relitto Beach is light cream, the sea is clear and the seabed is suitable for children.
Cala Andreani landscape is similar to Caribbean: a mix of wild nature, low, transparent sea and fine sand.
Set in the frame of the Punta Rossa promotory, it has a medium-sized semicircular bay, strategically located sheltered from strong winds.
In front of Due Mari beach, Porco island’s landscape stands out, behind it there is Cala Portese, characterized by a beach of about 200 meters composed of white and light gray sand, surrounded by rocks with pink shades, dunes and native vegetation.
The turquoise shades of the incredibly transparent sea make it one of the most popular destinations.
Cala Portese also offers the suggestive view of Mare di Fuori, which includes the eastern coast of Caprera, Mount Tejalone and the promontory of Punta Coticcio.
Cala Brigantina, at the foot of Mount Tejalone, is protected from the winds and consists of a sandy shore composed of white and golden sand, with medium grain.
Ideal for snorkelling, it offers seabed rich in aquatic fauna. The peculiar name of this beach derives from pirate raids that in the past attacked the coasts of the Archipelago of La Maddalena.
During a boat trip, Cala Brigantina is the ideal stop after Cala Coticcio, due to the short distance between the two coves.
On foot, on the other hand, it can be reached by taking a gravel road of about one kilometer which starts at the height close to Poggio Rasu fortifications.
Who has never heard of Cala Coticcio, the fantastic “Thaiti”? Among the most famous beaches of Caprera, Cala Coticcio or Thaiti, so called for its shallow and crystal clear waters of all shades of turquoise, from clear to deep, it is today considered to be one of the most beautiful natural aquariums in Italy.
It is divided into the east beach, 10 meters long, and the west beach, 16 meters long. Both bays look like pearls set between the granite rocks and the enchanting sea of Caprera.
Cala Coticcio is characterized by a wild nature, has pink granite rocks and a rich terrestrial and aquatic fauna. Visiting it, it is not uncommon to see wonderful sea birds.
Until recently, Cala Coticcio could be reached by car, following the signs for Mount Tejalone, stopping the car in a main square and continuing on foot.
The street, however, is currently closed.
For more information on the trek to Cala Coticcio it is necessary to contact the Archipelago of La Maddalena National Park.
The ideal and most comfortable alternative is to reach it with a private boat tour.
Cala Napoletana is located under Punta Galera, along the northern coast of Caprera.
Small in size, it has small tongues of sand surrounded by rocks with particular and suggestive shapes.
A destination for snorkelers, its seabed is home to a large variety of fish to admire.
From the fort visible in the photo above, the path leads to the beautiful and “secret” beach of Punta Crucitta.
Punta Crucitta beach can be easily reached by sea, aboard a comfortable Rib guided by an expert skipper.
Cala Caprarese is divided into three beaches embraced by the Mediterranean scrub.
The strong point is its wild atmosphere, also because the cove is difficult to reach on foot, if not along an impervious dirt road.
Cala Caprarese area is dangerous if you are unfamiliar with the place: it has beautiful bays hard to find.
Furthermore, given the presence of shoals, it is better to avoid landing on a sailing boat. The ideal way to reach it is the Rib, led by an expert skipper.
A short distance from Cala Garibaldi is Cala Serena, internationally elected as “the most romantic beach in the world”.
Small in size, accessible only on foot or by boat, this cove offers maximum privacy.
Uncrowded even in high season, it is the refuge of couples and small groups.
In summer, access to Cala Serena by sea is blocked by the presence of cables, to prevent the entry of boats from altering its intact nature. Only those who arrive on foot, therefore, have the luxury of enjoying all its beauty.
The House of Garibaldi in Caprera
In the house located in Caprera, Giuseppe Garibaldi lived for twenty-five years dealing with the cultivation of fields, vineyards and citrus groves.
The building that today takes the name of Compendio Garibaldino is the symbol of the frugal life of the Hero of the Two Worlds.
Here, surrounded by Caprera’s nature, Garibaldi was able to reflect and organize the great deeds that changed Italy.
Garibaldino Compendio includes the home of the Hero, in whose rooms retrace the life of Garibaldi and his family, as well as admire historical finds concerning the Expedition of the Thousand (vintage clothes and uniforms; old photographs ; memorabilia of the Hero; books etc etc …).
In the courtyard of the house there is a small cemetery where the remains of Garibaldi, his wife and children rest.
The hero’s grave made of granite is a work of art perfectly integrated into the landscape.
Caprera represented Garibaldi’s even, a refuge to live a simple and genuine life.
Garibaldi Memorial in Caprera
There is another place dedicated to the Hero of the Two Worlds in Caprera. This is the Giuseppe Garibaldi Memorial, located a few kilometers from Garibaldi Compendium.
It was set up inside the Forte Arbuticci, an ancient military fortress built under Savoia Kingdom.
The building is located in a panoramic position and offers a special point of view on the entire Archipelago.
Giuseppe Garibaldi Memorial is an innovative and captivating museum, full of multimedia equipment that allows you to live a virtual trip through the life and deeds of the Hero.
The path winds through four exhibition blocks, narrated according to a chronological path that goes from Garibaldi’s youth to the last years in Caprera.
The visitor can follow Garibaldi along the course of his existence and his human, political and military adventure, thanks to a rich illustrated graphics, multimedia environments, sound and visual suggestions and a rich selection of objects and documents.
Stagnali Museum of Caprera
The military village of Stagnali houses the Environmental Education Center, which includes the Park Museums and other structures of tourist interest.
In the military barracks renovated by the Park Authority, cultural, recreational and educational activities aimed at adults and children take place today.
Inside the village there are: the Dolphin Research Center, which carries out research and monitoring of the cetaceans of the Archipelago; the Museum of the sea and seafaring traditions, which tells the story of the men and women who inhabited the Archipelago; the Geomineralogical-naturalistic Museum, dedicated to the territory and its geological value; and the Knowledge Laboratory, an educational and environmental education space.
Trekking at Tejalone Mount & Punta Rossa Fortress
Caprera island is also the ideal place for trekking lovers.
Many paths, however, are reserved for expert hikers. For example, the path that leads to Telajone Mount, the highest peak on the island, is steep and of medium difficulty.
To undertake it, first take the paved road along the low pine forests of Caprera, in Forte Arbuticci direction.
You can park your car in the open space located at the beginning of the path and venture uphill in a dense and scenic holm oak forest.
The view is spectacular: from above you can admire the town of La Maddalena and Passo della Moneta, which connects La Maddalena to Caprera.
After passing the remains of some military barracks of the 1900s, a long granite staircase can be seen.
At the end of the staircase you are at the top of Tejalone, from which you can enjoy a panorama that sweeps up to the coast of Gallura.
Also worth visiting is the military fortress of Punta Rossa, located in an area of very high environmental value.
The trekking in this case is of low difficulty; in fact, the fortress can be easily reached from Due Mari beach.
Once you reach Due Mari beach, just park your car and go along the route that begins where the paved road ends.
Continue until you reach Punta Rossa gate. After passing the gate you reach the fortress, which looks directly onto Costa Smeralda.
How to reach Caprera and how to move
Caprera is connected to the island of La Maddalena by Passo della Moneta or Caprera bridge.
The bridge allows you to reach Caprera, its beaches and main attractions by car, bicycle or using public transport (shuttle bus).
Of course, before arriving in Caprera you must reach La Maddalena. The latter is connected to the mainland (i.e. Sardinia) by ferries departing from the port of Palau (SS).
However, the ferry is the least suitable means of transport for visiting the Archipelago.
Those who reach La Maddalena by ferry, even with a car in tow, can limit themselves to just visiting La Maddalena and some of Caprera’s attractions.
He will not be able to admire the beauty of the other pearls of the Archipelago: the islands of Spargi, Budelli, Santo Stefano, Razzoli and Santa Maria.
As part of Caprera, you will not be able to reach the beautiful beach of Thaiti or Cala Coticcio, since access to the latter is allowed only by sea.
In addition, from this year Caprera has protected its environmental integrity with quota access.
Access to cars will be limited and allowed without restrictions only to bus shuttles (for information on car access limits and shuttle timetables visit Turmotravel website).
The best way to get to Caprera, move among its enchanting coves and discover the most fascinating corners of all the islands of the Archipelago is a private boat tour.
Boat excursion to Caprera…We Love Rib!
Emerald Cruises, a travel agency specialized in daily trips in cabin Rib cabin, offers the opportunity to experience a dream tour in total privacy on board “Freedom”, rigid inflatable boat that can accommodate up to 12 people.
The service offered is private rental with skipper: reference figure to guarantee the boat’s guide but also support in choosing the itineraries, which can be completely customized.
“Freedom”, a Rib Bwa model 34 ‘FB, is equipped with every comfort: an internal cabin; a comfortable bathroom on board; awning; snack and drink service; on-board audio system to listen to your favorite music; very soft and sanitized snorkeling masks and beach towels.
Equipped with protection equipment and boarding bridge, it allows you to travel at sea without worries and with high standards of safety and transparency.
“Freedom” is equipped with a nautical flow meter: a system that monitors the costs related to fuel, offering the possibility to continue the itinerary according to your budget.
Emerald Cruises tours reach the most beautiful corners of Mediterranean Sea: Costa Smeralda; the islands of La Maddalena, Caprera; Spargi; Santa Maria; Santo Stefano and Budelli, with departures from Palau, La Maddalena or from the main ports of the Costa Smeralda (Porto Cervo; Cannigione; Poltu Quatu).
Departures and returns times, as well as the itineraries, are fully customizable.