Marine Protected Area

Already known for the wonders of its hinterland and the remarkable beauty of its coastline, Sardinia captivates visitors above all for the undisputed excellence of its marine waters, the heart of the Mediterranean's uncontaminated richness.

On the regional territory there are no less than 133,000 hectares of sea considered Protected Marine Areas, or MPAs, i.e. biomes and ecosystems with unique characteristics that deserve to be protected and preserved at all costs for their precious specificity.

At present, there are six Marine Protected Areas, each with its own indistinguishable charm and specificity: the Sinis Peninsula, which includes Isola Mal di Ventre, Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo, Capo Caccia and Isola Piana, Capo Carbonara, Isola dell'Asinara and Capo Testa - Punta Falcone.

Each of these places is a biodiversity reserve that is home to various endangered species and fauna of admirable beauty, such as the characteristic pink flamingos, which are safeguarded with restrictions of various kinds, including a ban on fishing and building restrictions, to protect the precarious balance of the seabed and all its inhabitants, both plant and animal.

Also of inestimable value are the geological features, due to the peculiar combination of typical mountain landscapes with the marine environment, which make the area an important destination for scientific research as well. Organized dives are the best opportunity to explore the seabed in search of the expanses of red coral and underwater meadows of many protected algae.

Visiting a Marine Protected Area is a pleasant experience that is difficult to forget, not only for the unspoilt beauty it offers, but also to learn about the history and culture of the people who have inhabited it for centuries and the legends that this fortunate exchange between man and nature has given birth to over time.

An encounter, this one, that sensitizes the visitor to a more conscious environmental education and teaches the importance of collectively caring for the heritage of the sea.

Protected Marine Area of Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo
The Protected Marine Area of Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo consists of 70 km of coast in Olbia’s territory. The reserve, born in 1997, hosts nests of numerous marine birds’ colonies and along its arduous islands exist more than 700 varieties of rare flowers. Tavolara island, of ancient pisan dominance, offers extraordinary diving excursions for enthusiasts.
Protected Marine Area of Capo Caccia

Located in Alghero’s territory, the Protected Marine Area of Capo Caccia counts important refuges for marine turtles and little cetacean safeguard. It is characterized by majestic cliffs of calcareous origin that overcome the sea and include Piana, Foradada islands and minor cliffs. Among these, the famous Nettunos’ cavern is reachable, hidden between unpolluted inlets.

Protected Marine Area of Sinis Peninsula
Including Mal di Ventre island and Catalano’s Cliff, the Protected Marine Area of Sinis Peninsula is located in the open sea of Cabra’s district. It is known for hosting underwater meadows of posidonia oceanica and a unique variety of seaweeds on the underwater rocks. Often hit by wind gustings, it is not unusual to admire groups of dolphins.
Protected Marine Area of Capo Carbonara
Established along the sud-eastern coast of Sardinia, the Protected Marine Area of Capo Carbonara takes its name from the ancient place name of Villasimius. Regardless of the absolute prohibition of deep-sea fishing and strong limitations to immersions, it is possible to admire numerous wrecks of historical interest that lie in the depths, due to local aggressive storms.
Protected Asinara Island
The Protected Asinara Island is located around the island from which it takes its name, in the past known for jail buildings. Today, however, it is a preservation site for rare marine species, like Patella ferruginea, Lithophyllum lichenoides and Pinna nobilis. Becoming also a National Park, brags an Environmental Education Centre at Cala d’Oliva.
Protected Marine Area of Capo Testa and Punta Falcone
The most recent Protected Marine Area among the ones established (2018) extends in a vast area between Capo Testa and Punta Falcone. The variegated coast consists of a complex and bitter morphology and it is of notable geological interest for the presence of granitic and basaltic layers that proceed in the depths. The presence of red coral and different species of pelagic birds has to be pointed out.

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