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Asinara Island is one of the favourite destinations of those who have decided to spend their holiday cruising to Sardinia. It is a natural paradise in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, so beautiful to be more than comparable with the Caribbean Sea. It is located off Stintino, in the far north-west of Sardinia. The island is more than 50 square kilometres and has a coastline of about 100 km, mainly jagged and spotted with Mediterranean maquis. For about a century it was a penal colony and high-security prison that hosted the most dangerous Italian prisoners. The island was off limits until the 2000s.

After the closure of the prison, Asinara Island was established as a National Park located in the middle of a marine protected area of 108 square km where access is totally forbidden along many of these (A main reserved zone, marked by yellow signals and buoys). Yachtspeople, however, may have their chance to spend gorgeous nights on roadsteds, but only in authorized MBM terminals, as mooring along the whole island perimeter is forbidden (i.e. also in B and C reserved zones). C reserved zone, which is, however, restricted to a short stretch of coast in the South, is the only sea area where boating (and thus also using a tender) is allowed. Furthermore, any overboard discharge from boats is forbidden.

The small Isola Piana separates Asinara Island from Sardinia. Circumnavigation is possible sailing through Passo dei Fornelli (between Asinara Island and Isola Piana) and Passo della Pelosa (between Isola Piana and the Sardinian coast). Both must be sailed very carefully due to the shallow seabed.

For those interested in stopping at the buoy and then visit the island, which is, by the way, absolutely worthwhile, 6 MBM are available in Asinara Island National Park, all of them on the eastern side of the island. Eight buoys are available at Fornelli, on the very south, then sailing the eastern coast upwards you will find 24 buoys at Cala Reale, 8 at Punta Trabuccato, 8 at Cala del Bianco and finally 5 moorings at Cala d’Oliva.

Motor boats can only access MBM at Fornelli, Cala Reale and Cala d’Oliva, and only through the dedicated access corridors. Once you have reached the area, you can (or better, you must) get in touch with the MBM manager to check mooring availability. Pay attention to flying insects: there are of all kinds and can be very annoying, even some meters far from the beach.

Once the boat is moored and you have reached the shore, there are plenty of possibilities to visit the island. Get the information you need at the tourist info points at Fornelli, Cala Reale and Cala d’Oliva. Trekking along paths, island tour train, guided excursion aboard off-road vehicles, you will be spoilt for choice! It is important to bear in mind that in summer walking unassisted in scorching temperatures may cause problems. You can use public transport to reach the island and then go for a ride with your own bicycle or rent one on site, also an e-bike. Also electric cars can be rented, to be driven only on the paved stretch from Fornelli to Cala d’Oliva. Authorized scuba diving centres offer half-day trips in the turquoise waters of Asinara Island, as well as fishing tourism experiences or visits by sea on authorized boats, always with a guide on board.

In conclusion, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy, even just for some hours, one of the most beautiful spots in the Mediterranean and also a jail that played a role in decades of events of the Italian Republic.

Osculati Srl
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