La Maddalena (in the dialect “gallurese” A Madalena) is a small town of approximately 11.000 inhabitants situated in the island of the same name that gives title to the archipelago, which itself consists of 7 principal islands: La Maddalena, connected by a bridge to Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli, apart from many small minor islands, and lies off the northwest coast of Sardinia. Founded in the XVIII century, La Maddalena lies in the south of the main island straight in front of the town of Palau, from where numerous ferries leave every day for the island.
Without a doubt this is a fascinating archipelago with magnificent natural scenery and a unique sea colour, in a specific geographical situation in the Bonifacio Strait where the wind is a constant and characteristic element, which gives form and character to these islands. In 1994, precisely for its ecological value, the Maddalena National Park , a geo-marine park, was established in order to regulate and protect the natural resources of this zone. The sea and the beaches of these islands, which grow out from granite rocks eroded by the action of the sea and the wind, constitute one of the major attractions of the archipelago. Among these one can mention the well-known pink beach of Budelli island, renowned for the pink colours of its sand, which is now protected, and to which all access by foot or by boat is prohibited. Another point of interest, this time historical, can be found on Caprera, in the Garibaldi House Museum, where the renowned Italian who unified his country spent the last years of his life.
La Maddalena offers the visitor many alternatives: whereas in the centre of the town we can find shops, handcrafts, and restaurants to savour the local delicacies, in the port one can find varying types of daily cruises to visit the marvellous coast, and it is possible to hire embarkations of different kinds, in order to get to the innumerable beaches and dreamlike coves of the Maddalena archipelago.
The port is connected to Palau, Sardinia. In the nearby island of Caprera one finds the house of Giuseppe Garibaldi (now a national museum).