Boat trips Asinara

Sergio Atzori
Sergio Atzori
Table of Contents
5
(22)

Boat trips Asinara

  • Island Asinara is an island located in the North West of Sardinia and is easily accessible by boat from Stintino and Porto Torres.
  • It is part of a Marine Protected Area and therefore can only be explored in depth by catamaran or sailboat.
  • It is the second largest island in Sardinia and is known for its crystal clear sea and white donkeys.

Tariffs

Tickets for boat trips to Asinara cost between €50 and €150.

The fare varies according to the duration of the excursion, the boat used, the port of departure, the seasonality and the services offered.

Prices are indicative and not binding. Select the type of excursion you prefer to know the official price.

Boat trips for Asinara depart from Stintino, Porto Torres.

You can also find departures from Alghero and Bosa.

 

 

Usually the boat trips for Asinara leave in the morning and return around 6pm.

How to book

Booking online is a must, otherwise you risk not finding a seat. Also, online prices are often lower.

Choose the yacht, motorboat or boat you prefer from the proposals, you can see at a glance the duration, the rate and the port of departure.

On the page of each activity you can see the activities then choose your departure date and enter your details. There is no need to print the ticket, you can simply show it from your smartphone on the day of embarkation.

At least 2-3 days in advance.

Boat trips to Asinara are very popular. Especially in the high season, there is a risk of not finding a place if you book at the last second. For this reason, we recommend booking as early as possible.

Generally, trips to Asinara are made:

  • sailing
  • in a catamaran

The Asinara is part of a marine protected area, which is why motorboats have various restrictions.

The best way is therefore to choose a sailing boat or catamaran.

You will be refunded your ticket or asked to choose another date.

All boat trips require suitable marine weather conditions that can guarantee safe navigation.

For this reason, it is up to the captain - for the safety of his passengers and the boat - to decide whether or not to carry out the excursion.

Information on boat trips to Asinara

Asinara is an island rich in history and nature, so you can explore many different areas during your visit to Asinara. You can choose from several activities:

  • Guided or independent nature walks,
  • Historical visits to Asinara prisons;
  • Snorkelling in the Asinara Marine Area;
  • Scuba diving;
  • Off-road excursions;
  • Catamaran and sailing trips to the most beautiful bays in the Asinara;
  • Tours by mountain bike, pedelec and electric car

The Asinara penitentiary was active from the early 1880s and then subsequently decommissioned in 1998, making way for the Asinara National Park. The isolation of Asinara due to the presence of the prison for more than a century has contributed to making it a fascinating island shrouded in mystery on the one hand, while at the same time encouraging its preservation and making it a real natural heritage site of inestimable value.

The transition from prison to National Park took place in the late 1990s and early 21st century. The Asinara Penitentiary was finally decommissioned in 1998, gradually making way for the Asinara National Park.

L'Asinara is a National ParkThere are 3 protected areas:

  • Marine Protected Area Island Asinara;
  • Site of Community Interest Island of Asinara;
  • Special Protection Area Island Asinara.

The Park Authority is very active on the island and the results of this protection regime are tangible. On the island, the rules of the Park and the Marine Protected Area are very much felt and respected.

When you visit Asinara you can feel their presence and admire the result of their incredible conservation work. A wide range of naturalistic and scientific activities are permitted, as well as environmentally sustainable trips to protect and discover the area, and everything is well regulated. In the waters of Island Asinara, motorised navigation is only allowed in certain approach corridors, outside of which motorised propulsion is not permitted.

Walks are encouraged and well signposted, but be careful, there are portions of the territory that are not accessible because they are under a total protection regime where no transit is allowed.

You can visit Asinara on horseback, rent an electric bicycle, hire an electric car and go trekking.

Always rely on a guide or choose an organised excursion to avoid bans or penalties.

La Asinara flora is typical of the Mediterranean maquis. During land excursions it is possible to see many plant species, including cornflowers, many varieties of euphorbia, juniper and cistus. Famous is theAsinara helichrysum which is used to make many beauty products.

In the area of Cala Reale there is Farmasinara, a small shop where you can buy products made from herbs gathered on the island. Farmasinara is a project carried out to study the natural resources of the island Asinara. 

The Cala Reale shop also sells cosmetics made from donkey milk. The donkey milk used for the cosmetics comes from Sardinian donkeys, not from donkeys from Asinara because the donkeys on the island are protected. During your excursion to Asinara you can pass by the Farmasinara shop, a concentration of nature and beauty where you can find unique natural products.

La Asinara fauna is quite interesting, both in terms of introduced species and endemic species, which are therefore the subject of studies and conservation projects.

Among the birdlife specimens certainly worth mentioning are the Corsican gull, the common tern, the greater and lesser tern, the tufted cormorant, the bird of storms, the peregrine falcon and the barn owl.

The terrestrial and amphibious fauna includes several exponents of the common tortoise, Sardinian discoglossus, emerald toad, mouflon, Sardinian hare, hedgehog, wild boar, goat and, of course, the donkey.

The Asinara includes the Sardinian donkey, which has a grey coat, and the white donkey, the albino variation, whose origins have not yet been clearly identified. The most accredited hypotheses regarding the origin of the albino variation are 3:

  • import from egypt;
  • arrival on board a vessel, probably French;
  • the autochthonous origin by derivation from grey specimens.

It is certainly known to be a hereditary alteration that results in the white colouring of the coat and the pink colouring of the skin. The iris is partially pigmented in pink, generally not red. White donkeys are smaller than their grey colleagues, photophobic and rather delicate.

In the Cala Reale compendium there is theSea Observatory with the Centro Recupero Animali Marini (Marine Animals Recovery Centre), where every year many specimens of Caretta caretta, the typical Mediterranean sea turtle, are rescued.

There are also two other species of sea turtle that transit and sometimes nest in the Mediterranean Sea:

  • Dermochelis coriacea or lute turtle;
  • Chelonia midas or green turtle.

These specimens often need care because they are injured during human fishing and boating activities. The centre takes care of their care and subsequent reintroduction into the wild.

Snorkelling at Asinara is full of surprises. The species present are not surprising because of their rarity but because of their size. In just a few metres of water you can see groupers, eagle rays, salps, bream and barracudas. Scuba divers and freedivers should definitely go on a scuba dive at Asinara: an extraordinary spectacle of gigantic dimensions that is not easily forgotten.

If you want to spend several days on Asinara to do different types of excursions and explore the island to the fullest, the best way is to sleep in a bed and breakfast or hostel on Asinara. There are some interesting accommodation options on the island. The SognAsinara hostel overlooks Cala d'Oliva and has large dormitories in a building from the prison system. Also in Cala d'Oliva is the Locanda del Parco, a small, charming, recently renovated B&B, smaller in size and more exclusive in character.

The island Asinara from the late 1800s to the late 1900s was very famous for being home to an important penal colony. During this troubled time, people belonging to both the Brigate Rosse and the Anonima Sequestri and the Cosa Nostra mafia gangs were detained on the island.
Among the detainees sadly known to the Italian chronicle are Salvatore 'Toto' Riina, Raffaele Cutolo, Leoluca Bagarella, Matteo Boe; the latter is infamous for having escaped from Asinara in 1986 on board a rubber boat. In the more than 100 years of its operation, only one prisoner managed to escape, a record that has earned Asinara the nickname of Italian Alcatraz. Some of the buildings of the prison regime can now be visited, including the museum in the Central Branch of Cala D'Oliva: a leap into recent history that opens our eyes to many aspects that are often unknown or overlooked.
The prison regime on the island ranged from the agricultural penal colony to the so-called hard prison regime, including the 41BIS special. In the penal colony, prisoners were allowed to work and move around in partial autonomy as this regime allowed a certain amount of freedom and sociability. On Asinara, there was also a hard prison regime for particularly heinous crimes or mafia offences. The buildings used for this regime cannot be visited at present because they are covered by state secrecy.

Of course, there are several branches of prisons on the island. All the settlements on Asinara were used - and often created - by the prison system for the penal colony and the maximum security prison. In Cala d'Oliva at the Central Branch there is a recently opened museum where you can see the cells, common areas and work areas.

In Cala d'Oliva you can see the house - former guesthouse - where the two judges stayed in the summer of 1985. For security reasons, the two magistrates and their families were rushed from Palermo to Alghero and taken to Asinara where they wrote part of the sentences of the Maxi Trial. This story is recounted in the film Era D'Estate, filmed at Asinara. Generally it is not possible to enter the 'red brick house by the sea', but the visit from the outside is very suggestive.

Asinara is a very famous and well-known island, hosting many tourists and visitors every year. It is important to book excursions online as places are limited and without a reservation you may not find availability. A Asinara video which well describes the historical, cultural, educational and naturalistic activities on the island and The Changing of the Guard - Journey to Asinara. The video is very substantial, lasting about 27 minutes. You can watch the video before your holiday on Asinara to prepare yourself or you can watch it after you have made an excursion to the Island to savour the places you have visited.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 22

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Sergio Atzori
Sergio Atzori

Do you have questions about this article or photos to publish?
Leave your comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 

 / 

Sign in

Send Message

My favorites