Spargi Island

The third biggest island in the Archipelago, the majestic Spargi stands out in very thick vegetation. You can only reach it by sea, but it is definitely worth the effort: granite rocks, dreamlike beaches, peculiar sand dunes in some of the bays, as well as a hinterland rich in the typical Mediterranean scrub.

If you get here from the west, you might get the impression of an unwelcoming place, due to the rocks overlooking the sea, without any beaches. Anyway, look past the initial impression and proceed to the east: you will enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the Archipelago, such as Cala Corsara, Cala Granara and Cala Ciaccaro. Once on the island, what leaps out is the shape of the truly bizarre rocks. The most popular ones are the ‘witch’ and the ‘bulldog’, but feel free to explore, find new ones and daydream.

A peculiar feature of the island consists of the presence of little watercourses, known as vadine, which are quite plentiful during the wet season and represent an unusual  sight for visitors. They are just like small rivers that run down to the sea and almost split the beaches to get open.

Spargi is much more than natural landscapes and stunning beaches, since it is part of Italy’s military history. As a matter of fact, on the island there are several fortifications that were built between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

Punta Zanotto, Foto: Fabio Presutti

Click here to learn more about Spargi’s fortifications.

Many rare species grow on the island, above all the spiny thrift or Armeria pungens, a true symbol of Spargi. It is valuable for the Archipelago since it is very rare in the Park, despite being quite common on Gallura’s coasts. We can find it in Cala Ciaccaro and Cala Corsara, where it blooms in late spring. Amongst the estimated 400 species identified here, we remember: the Phoenician juniper or Juniperus phoenicea), the Tree heather or Erica arborea and the Strawberry tree or Arbutus unedo. North-west of the island, you will be able to see Spargiotto and Spargiottello islets, protected by the Park since they are important sites for marine avifauna nesting. Many bird species nest their eggs here: the Audouin’s gull or Larus audouinii, the Scopoli’s shearwater or Calonectris diomedea, the Yelkouan shearwater or Puffinus, and the European storm petrel or Hydrobates pelagicus.

In 1939, a deep sea diver from La Maddalena, Lazzarino Mazza, made a great archaeological discovery at a depth of 18 m, in front of Spargi’s coastline, where Shoal Corsara stands. An ancient Roman merchant ship was brought back to light later on, in 1958, thanks to Nino Lamboglia, senior manager at Albenga’s Centro Sperimentale di Archeologia Sottomarina, and to Gianni Roghi, the journalist who had started the research campaign. Unfortunately, a second expedition in 1963 allowed to discover that many finds were missing, probably stolen by smugglers. All the rediscovered items - about 2,000 amphoras and potteries - are now kept at ‘Nino Lamboglia’ Naval Museum, in La Maddalena.


When you get here from La Maddalena, Cala Corsara beach slowly spreads and leaves visitors astonished. The water’s crystalline colour contrasts the granite rocks’ in an unforgettable experience. On the beach there is a real tourist attraction, the first ‘house’ on the island, known as tafone. We can imagine the life of ancient people, who found shelter here, through all the archaeological finds: potsherds, bowls and a fragment of tripod. For instance, we can think of the travellers moving northward, who were caught in storms and thus needed to stop on the island to wait for a safe crossing through Bonifacio Strait. Staying at the tafone was usual for a long time, from the Neolithic Age until the dawn of Nuraghic, and started again later on. Cases and munitions dating back to World War II were also found in Spargi.

Located along Spargi’s eastern coast, Cala Granara is an amazing beach, with extraordinary turquoise water. Its shallow sandy waters will leave you speechless. Behind, there are sinuous sand dunes and thick vegetation which both protect the beach and release a typical Mediterranean scent, definitely enjoyable for tourists. A rocky promontory cuts the beach in half and thus creates two small bays.

Cala Ciaccaro, foto Mirko Ugo

Originally called Cala Ciaccaro by the locals, Cala Soraya is a true paradise with copious Mediterranean scrub. Here you will see typical species such as the spiny thrift or Armeria pungens, the helichrysum and the sea daffodil. 
The bay was renamed after Soraya Esfandiary, Queen of Persia, later repudiated by her husband. Legend has it that she used to frequent Cala Gavetta and someone had thus decided to give her name to Spargi’s beach.


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