Asinara Marine Park
Isola dell’Asinara, situated off the north western coast of Sardinia, is a small island within a protected marine park. It offers a wide choice of freediving excursions, from an underwater archeological site with Roman amphoras to bountiful sea life in various spots of this natural marine reserve.
- Underwater roman archeological sites
- Protected area with abundant sea life
- Easy access to fixed lines over 50m depth
- Off the beaten track destination
- Home to Italy's own Alcatraz, il Carcere dell'Asinara, an ex-prison turned museum once home to the most dangerous Mafia bosses
How to get there
- Airport: Alghero, Italy
- Taxi/bus to Porto Torres (30min)
- Embark on ferry to Cala Reale, Isola dell’Asinara (75min)
Images by kind concession of Cala d'Oliva Diving Centre.
- The Cala d'Oliva Diving Centre is located in Cala d'Oliva, on the western coast of the island of Asinara. A 2 minute walk from the hostel, it has direct access to the sea. It is well equipped for both freediving and scuba diving.
- Owner: Alessandro Masala is an Apnea Academy certified freediving instructor and a PADI scuba instructor. He is passionate about variable weight diving and recently reached -100m. He is aided by Gigi Aru and Luca Fois, both Apnea Academy freediving instructors.
- Seasonality: May to October.
- Recreational activity: Assisted fixed line sessions and recreational freediving excursions are available.
- Educational activity: Apnea Academy freediving courses are available.
Theory, Equalisation, Breathing and Relaxation workshops are available upon request.
- The Amphors of Cala Reale (Depth: 8m; Duration: 1hr): An ancient archeological site which hosts 40,000 fragments and whole amphors from Roman times. It is said that these amphors belonged to a Portughese merchant ship which sunk after crashing against the rocks in Cala Reale.
- The Groupers at Punta Sabina (Depth: 8m-25m; Duration: 2hrs): Located on the eastern coast of the island, Punta Sabina is home to countless Groupers of sizeable dimensions who hide in the crevices of granite rock which characterizes this area. The eastern and northern winds create currents that bring other non-resident species such as Snappers, Barracuda and Yellowtail Amberjacks.
- Punta dei Corvi (Depth: 13m-18m; Duration: 1hr): An easy and fun freediving excursion on a natural submerged ridge home to families of big sized Groupers and other species.
- Underwater tunnels at Punta Scorno (Depth: 8m-30m; Duration: 2hrs): The most Northern point of Sardinia, dominated by an old lighthouse perilously standing on the rocks, is a great place for a exploring the diverse underwater morphology of this coast. As one descends, the graceful and smooth contours of granite stone give way to hard and steep rock, with underwater tunnels and wide crevices. Big fish like groupers, snappers, yellowtail amberjacks and sea bream can be found.
- Poppa sa Nave (Depth: 5m-30m; Duration: 2hrs): Another spectacular spot from a morphological perspective, Poppa sa Nave is situated on the northeastern side of Asinara and is home to an underwater pinnacle that from a depth of 30m almost reaches the water surface. As in the rest of the island, many species of fish can be encountered here.
- Cala del Turco (Depth: 0m-15m; Duration: 1hr): Located between Punta Sabina and Punta dei Corvi, Cala del Turco is a beautiful cove that slices into the coastal granite rock of the eastern side of the island. The water is crystalline and due to its protected nature, it is a perfect place for freediving beginners or an easy snorkeling excursion. Following the side of the cove towards open sea, another archeological site with roman amphors is to be discovered.
- Mountain bike
- Offroad excursions
Since 1997, Isola dell’Asinara has been converted to a wildlife and marine preserve and become one of Italy’s national parks. Construction is not allowed and visiting boats can dock only in designated spots. The only accommodation available on the island is at the Sognasinara Hostel close to Cala d’Oliva, which provides comfortable beds and tasty food based on the typical Sardinian cuisine.