Published on: 13 December 2016 | Last updated: 23 December 2019
At a glance
Easy-ish — some very short climbs.
Almost entirely on surfaced roads (there’s a very short stretch of unsurfaced road at the Batteria Arbatucci)
Map and altitude profile
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La Maddalena national park
The ferry crossing to La Maddalena takes about 20 minutes. Allow a bit of time for loading. The main ferry company is Delcomar . The ferries run every half hour on the half-hour (Delcomar Palau-La Maddalena ferry times). A return ticket for one person and a bike was 12.90€.
After the ferry docks in the port of La Maddalena, turn right along the lungomare —note that this is made up of basalt blocks so going is a little bit rough, but you could always opt to ride on the pavement if you need to. From here follow the waterside, passing a big naval base/college for naval cadets. La Maddalena has more of the feel of a naval port town than a tourist resort. From here you to head over the narrow causeway to the island of Caprera and on towards the Museo Garibaldino on a road through a pineta (pine woodland).
There are two museums on the island. One is the Compendio Garibaldino and the other is the Memoriale di Giuseppe Garibaldi. A ticket for both costs you €10.
The Museo Garibaldino is the farm where Garibaldi lived for the last years of his life, and where he is buried, along with members of his family. The farmhouse and grounds are very attractive, but unless you have a particular interest in Garibaldi you may not find much of interest here. In fact, even if you are interested in Garibaldi there isn’t actually very much that’s informative here: there are bath chairs, and other bits and pieces.
The Memoriale di Giuseppe Garibaldi is housed in a restored fortress (the Batteria Arbatucci), built to defend the arsenal and naval base at La Maddalena. The museum itself is probably only worth visiting if you speak very good Italian, but the fortress is worth the price of entry ticket in its own is right. The views are fantastic and you can see as far as Corsica. There’s also a beautiful ride there and back.
You need to cross back over the causeway to pick up the strada panoramica around the island: turn right following the panoramica signs. Further on, when you see the second set of signs for Guardia Vecchia, bear right and then further on right again, following the signs for the Cala Francese. As you reach the top of the climb there’s is a fantastic view with the port below you and then coastal archipelago. The descent from the top of the climb down towards the Cala Francese is just superb.
Coming off the ferry when you arrive at La Maddalena, traffic is directed to the right to make a detour using the one-way system. The quickest option is probably to walk with your bike for 30 metres or so and then continue along the quayside.
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs etc
You could easily visit the La Maddalena national park from Palau, but there are plenty of places to stay on the island of La Maddalena.
The parks.it website (it/en/de/fr) has a listing for B&Bs and hotels in the La Maddalena national park (mostly in La Maddalena itself): parks.it/parco.nazionale.arcip.maddalena: where to sleep.
Find and book places to stay with Booking.com
Booking.com area page: Sardegna North
Booking.com city pages for the main towns in the area:
Arzachena | Palau | La Maddalena
About these links
If you use these links to book accommodation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.
I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirmation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.
I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the opportunity to let me know if there’s a problem.
Many properties offer free cancellation but it’s a good idea to check the conditions as these vary from property to property.
There are campsites near to Cannigione and several near Palau. There are also campsites on the Isola della Maddalena (Abbatoggia Village and the Camping Maddalena). Unfortunately there’s no campsite in Santa Teresa Gallura - the closest sites are at Porto Pozzo or 7 kilometres further on from the town.
Campsites map: FT-map-campsites-sardegna-north-coast-show map in overlay | FT-map-campsites-sardegna-north-coast-show map in new window
Transport and services
There are very few services outside La Maddalena. There’s a little roadside paninoteca (sandwich bar) on the road through in the pine woods on the Isola di Caprera (Paninoteca i Mille) and a little bar outside the Compendio Garibaldino.
Tourist information websites
- sardegnaturismo.it (it/en/de/fr/ru) is the tourist information site run by the region
Other tourism resources
- sardinianbeaches.com. Excellent English-language guide to the island’s beaches.
Places of interest
- parks.it:Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Maddalena (it/en/de/fr)
- Memoriale di Giuseppe Garibaldi
Articles in this series
- Sardegna North Coast: Introduction
- Sardegna North Coast: Part 1: Olbia to Palau
- La Maddalena national park
- Sardegna North Coast: Part 3: Palau to Castelsardo
- Sardegna North Coast: Part 4: Castelsardo to Stintino
- Sardegna North Coast: Part 5: Stintino to Alghero
Get in touch
Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.
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