ISLAND OF CARLOFORTE
a one day trip to discover its beauties
length> 16 MG
time> one day
panoramic views> *****
The Island of San Pietro or Carloforte (CA) is separated from Sardinia by a short stretch of water. We took the ferry to get there.
The ferry can be taken from Calasetta on the peninsula of Sant'Antioco or from Portoscuso. Both ports are an easy hours drive from Cagliari. Take the SS 130. We left the car in the port and took the ferry.
Davide was the skipper that Carloforte Sail Charter assigned to us today. He was waiting for us at Carloforte in the small fishermen's port which is to the right of the tourist port where his sailing boat Matita was moored. The appointment was for 10.00 am.
He informed us that the weather was good and that we could go diving, visit the beaches and see the cliffs.
He informed us that we would be a real crew, he said "You will be sailors! Not idle tourists!"
So we sailed north and passed between the L' Isola Piana and la Punta where we saw the tuna plant and the Tacche Bianche, cliff formations of light coloured tufa which alternate with the trachyte and plunge into the sea.
- first stop: Cave with the hole
We arrived at the first stop in front of a cave that is open to the sky and which could only be reached by swimming; we returned to the boat and using the motor continued our journey for 15 minutes.
- second stop: Grotta delle Oche (Cave of the geese).
If we had organized ourselves in time we could have gone diving for 30 minutes and dived to a depth of 25 meters.
Tacking close to the wind, as Davide called it, we arrived at the beautiful Cala Vinagra.
- third stop: Cala Vinagra
almost a fiord with a little island, a good lee said our skipper, so in this shelter we decided to have our lunch.
After lunch we sailed for another 30' and Davide informed us that we were entering the area of the Queen's Falcon (Falco Eleonorae) and the light house, from Cala Fico to Capo Sandalo, the sheer cliffs tower above us. This is the real oasis of Carloforte, the best place to observe the falcons which are protected by the experts of LIPU.
A half an hour sailing with the spinnaker, very exciting, and we reached the beach of Cala dello Spalmatore, the only beach on the west coast. Brilliant white sand, a camping site and a beach side kiosk combine to create an enchanting atmosphere.
After another 30' sailing we arrived at an even more beautiful natural wonder: Cala della Mezzaluna. This is a natural amphitheatre and seeing it from the boat, its name seemed to be particularly apt as we took in the spectacular view and noted the numerous sea caves. While we return to the port we saw two equally beautiful beaches: The Bobba and the Guidi, both of which have kiosks.
Back in port
Once we have moored Davide suggested a sailors shower, cold water on the quay and we prepared to go shopping, have an aperitif and a walk through the small town of Carloforte. It is certainly worth the effort. We said good by to Davide and thanked him for the trip, its uniqueness and its intensity. We asked him to recommend a typical restaurant where we could enjoy the local fish specialities.
We finished the day waiting for the ferry, which we had booked following Davide's advice. The midnight ferry had come to take us back home.
- Sardinia Point's advice
If you want to get to know the western coast better, spend the night on board or in the area. NB. Carloforte is famous for its tuna, which is considered to be the best in the world.
- Sardinia Point's advice
From the 29th of June, for three days, the Island of San Pietro has its annual festival. A procession winds its way through the historic centre to the port and continues on the sea in the boats of the tuna fishermen.
Carloforte Sail Charter
località Guardia Mori 09014 Carloforte (Ca)
tel 0781 850103, 3472733268
Photos Efisio Pinna