Sardinia is the second biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and it has almost 1900 km of coastline. In the recent years it has been becoming a very popular tourist destination, mostly for its beautiful beaches and its crystal clear water. It is hard to count all of the beaches we have, due to the fact that most of them are very little, and it is even harder to say which one could be considered the most beautiful.
Certainly, one of the most known and beautiful beach in Sardinia is Cala Coticcio. This is also one of the smallest beaches of the island, being approximately 10 meters long. This tiny beach is located in the east side of Caprera, the second largest island of the La Maddalena Archipelago.
It must be said that is not easy to get to Cala Coticcio. There are only two ways, and in any case you have to take at least one boat ride.
Important to mention is that Cala Coticcio is a classified TA zone (strong protected area), which is supposed to guarantee maximum protection since it is an area of great naturalistic significance. For this reason, in recent years a limit of daily visitors has been established with the aim to reducing the anthropic burden of this area and for guaranteeing more respect for the ecosystem.
Therefore, if you decide to reach it by land, you can only go there if you book an authorized hiking guide, that considers the environmental well-being of this area. In order to book the excursion, you need to access the Maddalena National Park website and download the list of authorized guides. The booking has to include a payment of 3€ which is an environmental contribution to the Maddalena National Park, to support the costs of protecting and managing the sites. The same procedure applies when wanting to visit Cala Brigantina, a nearby and equally beautiful bay as it is also located within the TA area.
Whether you reach Cala Coticcio by boat or by foot, you will be amazed by the contrast between the electric blue of the water and the pale yellow colour of the granitic rocks surrounding the beach. This little gem lays embedded within soft-looking rocks. Truly emphasizing the feeling of being in a magical place.
If you decide to get here by foot, you have to take the ferry from Palau to La Maddalena island. Once you are there you can drive, cycle or take a bus to Caprera or ask to be dropped off near the Arbuticci fortress where you can also find the Memoriale di Giuseppe Garibaldi. From there starts a narrow path downhill, that leads you to Cala Coticcio. It takes about 45 minutes and it is not too hard except for a short steep passage where you need the 4×4 mode (feet and hands!)
The view when you get close to the beach it’s simply breathtaking. There are two small bays, the real Cala Coticcio is the second one and unless you choose to go in low season both the beaches will be a bit crowded. Remember to bring some water and one umbrella as there are no beach bars and neither natural shade.
The second way to reach Cala Coticcio is by boat. You can either rent one or choose to join one of the boat tours departing from Palau, La Maddalena, Cannigione, or Baia Sardinia. There are several solutions, from the big tourist boat to the more cozy private charter. We at NatourSardinia offer both private and shared boat Snorkeling tours to Cala Coticcio starting from Palau or La Maddalena.
Like in many bays of the La Maddalena National Park, the two beaches in Cala Coticcio are both closed with a buoys line at about 60 meters from the shore. It is supposed to keep the boats far from the swimming area. Since you need to swim in order to reach the beach. So one must be confident in the water. In case you are not it’s better to have at disposal floating device. Outside the buoys line the sea depth is about 5 meters, reaching 10 meters depth at the center of the bay.
Cala Coticcio is a great spot for snorkelling. Here you can swim in calm water and encounter large schools of silvery fish called Saddled sea bream. These fish are very curious. They like to move around searching for food. Just outside the bay, there is one of the most spectacular diving sites of the Archipelago of La Maddalena, where you can meet groupers, moray eels and sting rays . (If you are interested in marine life you should read our article about snorkeling in Sardinia)
If you are travelling in Sardinia and plan on exploring Cala Coticcio or the Maddalena National Park you are very welcome contact us, we will be happy to host you on board for a memorable excursion.