The pink beach of Budelli is one of the jewels of Sardinia, and I’m not just saying this because I’m Sardinian, but because of the number of people who come here every year to discover its pink-hued sands. Whilst it’s true that every coastline in Sardinia has something special to offer, the northeast of the island boasts the pink beach, one of the most beautiful in the world.
You can only admire the beach from a distance, however, as it’s heavily protected. Bathing is prohibited and no access at all is allowed. Its unique nature makes it one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and it’s certainly worth a visit, even if only from a distance. In this article I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the pink beach of Budelli.
I’ll start by asking you not to see these restrictions as a negative, as admiring nature while respecting it is something very beautiful in itself; we should be glad that we can see it.
HOW TO GET TO SARDINIA’S PINK BEACH
The island of Budelli is one of the pearls of the La Maddalena Archipelago, with an area of just 1.6km2, in the north of Sardinia, and with the Strait of Bonifacio on the horizon, separating Sardinia from Corsica.
The sea in this area is crystal-clear, and I’m not just saying this, but having grown up here I can tell you that the sea in Sardinia has so many different shades and aspects, but the water in the Archipelago is so dazzling that I’m sure you’ll never forget it. And to make all this even more extraordinary are the hues of the pink beach on Budelli, and many people are unaware that its pink colour is actually due to an animal, but more about that later; let’s find out how to get there first!
The only way to get to Budelli, and therefore to its famous beach, is by sea. Once you reach at low speed the buoys located approx. 70m from the shore, you have reached the island and can finally admire the pink beach from a safe distance. The shore is in fact roped off and monitored by the Guides of the La Maddalena National Park.
If you’re planning a trip to the Archipelago, I’d advise you to get to the pink beach early, as it’s one of the most popular destinations, especially in high season. There are also plenty of other wonderful spots, including the famous cove of Cala Coticcio, which many call Sardinia’s Tahiti, and little hidden coves where you can rest in the shade of the junipers.
For a tour of the Archipelago by boat or dinghy, I’d recommend the guys at Freemind experience, who’ll be able to show you the most beautiful spots and, most importantly, the most suitable ones for the wind on that particular day, with great enthusiasm and respect for the local surroundings. But if you’d like a more comprehensive visit, accompanied by an environmental guide, and a true native of La Maddelena, I would recommend Eleonora Amoroso, who has expert knowledge of the Archipelago and is sure to enthral you with her anecdotes.
Why can’t you step on the pink beach of Budelli?
People often wonder why the pink beach is closed off. Over the course of the years, it has been spoiled by mankind, resulting in it being closed off for good by the Park in 1994, allowing us just to admire it from afar. As a consequence of beach parties, sand thieves and people not respecting their surroundings, this natural beauty is now protected and sealed off.
The pink beach of Budelli is a fully protected beach, meaning that it’s forbidden to step on the sand, swim, drop anchor or pass through.
Luckily, we can still enjoy this gem of nature, from the island of Budelli or directly from the sea.
The beach of Budelli is around 1.5km long, divided into three zones: Spiaggia fi Rada di Mezzo, del Cavaliere and del Piatto.
Even from a distance its crystal-clear waters allow you to snorkel amidst the vast range of sea life.
Why is the beach of Budelli pink?
If I were you, I would take with a pinch of salt the photos going around online, showing intensely pink hues, as the shades of this beach are much softer and constantly change with the tide and the wind. The sand is extremely fine and white, streaked with various shades of pink, and do you know what causes this phenomenon?
It’s due to the Miniacina miniacea, a single-celled organism with a reddish husk, which inhabits the wonderful Posidonia oceanica seagrass. The fragments of husk have accumulated on the sand and over the course of time have made this beach the pink beach.
When to visit the La Maddalena Archipelago
The La Maddalena Archipelago is a treasure chest of biodiversity and wonder, one of the absolute must-sees on a trip to Sardinia. That’s why I’d advise you to visit not only the pink beach of Budelli but also the other beautiful islands and coves: Cala Granara, Cala Corsara, the islands of Santo Stefano and Santa Maria, Razzoli and the stunning Spargi.
For me, the best time is the period leading up to summer, between April and June, when the water is still clear and has not been invaded by mass tourism, when the temperatures are mild but suitable for a nice swim.
Leave Budelli cleaner than you found it, respect the rules and nature, and that way you’ll be helping to preserve this unique and special place, paving the way for future generations to admire it too.
If you’re looking for more ideas for your stay in Sardinia, here you’ll find lots of inspiration and tips. All that’s left for me to do now is wish you a fabulous trip!