Nick, Original Traveller
Rent an inflatable rib and head over to the beautiful Maddalena Archipelago where the uninhabited islands have pink sand beaches and the water is as clear as any in the world.
Flight from London
GMT +1 hr
A relative newcomer to the world of tourism, the Maddalena Archipelago really only arrived on the travel map after the closure of a huge NATO naval base there in 2008. Thanks to this lack of historic tourism, the Maddalena Archipelago remains a beautifully unspoilt and secluded corner of Italy. With seven large islands and fifty five smaller islets dotted around, this is a wonderful spot for discovering hidden coves and perfectly pristine (and empty to boot) beaches. The water surrounding the islands is known for its clarity and purity, making the Maddalena Archipelago every snorkeller's paradise - perhaps even one of the best spots for it in Europe. It could be the Caribbean, apart from the water temperature which is fresh in spring and autumn and only really warm in the height of summer. That said it is hugely inviting, and you can snorkel in the crystal clear water and have a picnic lunch on a deserted beach.
Garibaldi lived out his days in exile on one of the archipelago's larger islands, Caprera, after helping to reunify Italy, and he couldn't have picked a better spot to put his feet up. If you fancy a bit of historical learning amidst the obligatory sun-bathing and snorkelling, there remains a house-museum on Caprera.