Island of Asinara
From penal colony to National Park
Asinara is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea that has not been extensively built on – as such, it remains a wilderness, home to myriad species of birds and fish.
Since 1998, it has been protected as part of the Asinara National Park with a view
to preserving the environmental value of what was, until a short time before,
a maximum-security penal colony.
The excursion starts with a bus ride from our hotel to the Tanca Manna port in Stintino; from here, we take a boat that sails across the crystal-clear water for 20 minutes before reaching the pier at Fornelli.
During the boat trip you will be able to admire the beauty of Isola Piana, a delightful small oxbow sitting between Asinara and the wonderful Pelosa beach in Stintino.
From Fornelli, our guide will lead us on a voyage of discovery around the island on the brightly coloured Asinara tourist train, which comes to a stop at the village of Cala Reale.During the train ride, you will be delighted by the extraordinary beauty
of the landscape, where numerous animals run wild, including mouflon, boar, horses and the very special albino donkeys, which constitute the island’s main attraction in terms of fauna.
In the skies above, peregrine falcons are joined by numerous species of migratory birds. The trip offers plenty of opportunities to appreciate the splendour of the landscape and the animals, take photos and examine the old prison buildings close up.
In summer, you can even take a dip in the island’s clear waters. On reaching Cala Reale, we pause for lunch (not included in the price) and for a visit to the museum hub. We then head off towards Cala d’Oliva to visit the former prison complex and the works of famed sculptor Enrico Mereu.
The excursion also includes a visit to the Austro-Hungarian charnel house,
the Tumbarino wildlife observatory (where biologists will be on hand to answer your questions) and the turtle sanctuary (where the vets will be delighted to provide you with more information).
We then return to Stintino on the boat and then by coach to the hotel.
(Coach + boat + tourist train with guide / duration: full day)