Giardinelli Island is not a real island. It is a peninsula united to La Maddalena by a small isthmus.
Giardinelli is a wild paradise where it is still possible to find quiet spaces within the tourist archipelago of the Maddalena. It was our refuge during our vacation.
On the eastern side of the island Giardinelli is a dirt track leading up to its famous spiaggia Testa di Polpo (Beach Head of the Octopus), which in Sardinian language is called “Capocchia du Purpu” and which owes its name to the form of A rock that is in the same beach (very recognizable by its considerable size as can be seen in the first photo).
This beach has very fine white sand and the sea is clean and crystalline like a natural pool. It is located at the end of everything we can drive by car, there is no loss! Just in front, on the other side of the sea, is the wonderful island of Cabrera.
The transparency and turquoise colors of the sea make it a charming place. It is said that this beach was sheltered a young Aga Khan Karim when he wanted to escape the already too noisy area of Porto Cervo.
Probably the Testa Testa beach is the most frequented of Giardinelli in high season (these photos are made in August), but if we go in search of other coves and neighboring beaches, in a short walk of 10 or 15 minutes maximum , we will be at ease. You get the feeling you have been waiting for our visit!
In spite of being crowded, the Testadi Polpo beach can surprise us with its wild nature, such as its brave birds, which usually come close to the bathers and allow us to make some magnificent photographs! An example video here.
Any time of day is perfect to visit the island and its beaches. In the morning we can enjoy the colors of the water, and in the afternoon of a beautiful sunset. Even if it is cloudy as you can see in these photos, the colors of the landscape are wonderful. Giardinelli invites us to stroll along its narrow dirt roads, between its typical and well-preserved Mediterranean vegetation. The smells are magnificent. It is a good incentive to make our beach day more active.
An example would be this narrow beach, which is about 400 meters before arriving at Testa di Polpo and that is to the right of the main road. There is a small parking area and from there we can access other coves that are next, following the paths between the vegetation. It’s a matter of trying! All roads have an end in another major or one of its beaches. You will certainly find a place to suit you!
Comment of the tourist: and here comes the negative part .. access. The access itself is very well indicated from the island of La Maddalena, but unfortunately, the unpaved roads that have to be transited are in very bad condition, full of holes and holes that will make us suffer from the tires of our car rental! You must drive very slowly and with caution.
Regarding the parking, you will usually find place without problems. Maybe not stuck to the same Testa di Polpo beach, but you usually find space available at the edges of the dirt track or in small spaces on the sides that we will find.
It should also be noted that the area does not have any kind of services, so we must take everything we need with us: umbrella, water, food .. And so, we will remember again the importance of good environmental practices on the beach, especially in natural spaces like this.