Carloforte is a charming port town on San Pietro Island, offering a picturesque waterfront, delicious seafood, and a welcoming atmosphere for sailors to enjoy during their Sardinian adventure.
Starting its life as a fishing town on the island of San Pietro just south of Sardinia, Carloforte was founded by 30 families of coral fishermen who gave the name after (Carloforte – Charles’ Fort) after the King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia who granted them permission to settle here. Today it’s famous among the community for its beaches, remote location and history.
The main activities these days are tourism and some fishing, though the tuna fisheries are now a thing of the past and the former processing plant is now a museum. There is also a strong a strong tradition of wooden boatbuilding with lots of local craftsmen producing fishing or sailing boats that can be seen in the harbor. Travel & Arrival
The only way to get to this small island is by ferry which makes 30-40 minutes trips from Calasetta to the south east or Portosscuso in Sardinia to the north east, the closest land to the island, actually an island in itself. Arriving here could prove problematic, but once you’re here, you’re group will enjoy the wonderful scenery and quiet atmosphere. Avant & Apres Sail
Apart from the very colorful town of Carloforte which still retains much of its 19th century architecture, visible right from the harbor, you’ll find that the whole island of San Pietro is perfect for those trips due to the mostly wild landscapes. You’ll also find some Punic and Roman temples and settlement remnant scattered around the backcountry.
There is also some high ground, the Guardia dei Mori, with the old abandoned lighthouse which is worth visiting at least once with your friends, as the view from here is said to be one of the best in Sardinia.
The cuisine in Carloforte is famous for its Arab influences which blend perfect with the Sardinian cuisine in flavors and smells that are among the most memorable in Mediterranean cuisine. The guest can enjoy dishes such as pasta cu pestu – fish and pasta, or tuna and musciamme, capon which is served with marinated tomatoes, olive oil, basil and chickpea flour. Among the Arabic influences you’ll find couscous as well as some condiments. Events & Actions
For such a small town, you’ll find that Carloforte has a wide assortment of events, but most are food related, so gourmands should really think twice when booking their trip. The last week in April is dedicated to one of the local specialities – the couscous tabarkino, when numerous servings are organized (during that time extra ferries travel to the island). The Girotonno is a famous celebration of all seafood that lasts from the 29th of May to the 1sty of June.
Some cultural events that groups can attend include the international music, cinema, theater and dance festival from August until September and the Creuza de Ma film festival which features film screenings and concerts in September.
One-week Sailing Itinerary from Carloforte, Sardinia
Day 1: Carloforte to Portoscuso
Embark on your unforgettable yacht charter adventure from Carloforte, a charming port town on the island of San Pietro. Set sail for the nearby Portoscuso, located just 10 nautical miles away on the southwestern coast of Sardinia. Spend a few hours in the serene Porto Vesme bay, perfect for a refreshing swim or a relaxing sunbathing session. In the evening, enjoy the cozy atmosphere of Portoscuso, renowned for its delicious seafood and picturesque waterfront.
Day 2: Portoscuso to Sant'Antioco
Leave Portoscuso behind and sail along the coast to the island of Sant'Antioco, about 18 nautical miles away. On the way, stop at the stunning Cala Lunga bay, a hidden gem with crystal-clear waters ideal for snorkeling or paddleboarding. Moor your yacht charter in Sant'Antioco's marina and discover the island's rich history, archaeological sites, and charming town center.
Day 3: Sant'Antioco to Teulada
Set sail from Sant'Antioco and head north along Sardinia's southern coastline to Teulada, approximately 25 nautical miles away. Stop at the pristine Tuerredda beach, a popular spot for its turquoise waters and soft white sands. Anchor your yacht charter in Teulada's harbor, where you can enjoy a delicious Italian meal and explore the quaint village at your leisure.
Day 4: Teulada to Cagliari
Depart from Teulada and continue northward to Cagliari, Sardinia's capital city and main port, located about 20 nautical miles away. En route, drop anchor at the captivating Mari Pintau beach, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations. Upon arrival in Cagliari, indulge in the city's vibrant nightlife, rich history, and diverse culinary scene.
Day 5: Cagliari to Villasimius
Leave Cagliari behind and head east towards Villasimius, a popular seaside resort town approximately 25 nautical miles away. Stop at the magnificent Cala Pira beach, where you can swim, snorkel or simply relax on the white sandy shore. Moor your yacht charter in the modern Villasimius marina, and enjoy an evening of delicious local cuisine and live music.
Day 6: Villasimius to Calasetta
Set sail from Villasimius and cruise along the southeastern coast of Sardinia to Calasetta, a charming town located about 45 nautical miles away. On your journey, take a break at the breathtaking Porto Giunco bay, a popular spot for its crystal-clear waters and lush green surroundings. In Calasetta, admire the town's unique architecture and sample some of the island's finest seafood dishes.
Day 7: Calasetta to Carloforte
On the final day of your yacht charter adventure, set sail from Calasetta back to Carloforte, a journey of approximately 15 nautical miles. Take the time to explore more of the stunning coastline along the way, stopping at the picturesque Spiaggia di Sottotorre for a final swim or sunbathing session. As you return to Carloforte, bid farewell to your yacht and crew, taking with you unforgettable memories of your Sardinian sailing adventure.
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What makes Carloforte a unique sailing destination?
Carloforte is a charming fishing town located on the Isola di San Pietro, off the southwestern coast of Sardinia, Italy. Known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and untouched natural beauty, Carloforte makes for a perfect sailing destination. Its rich history of Genoese, Piedmontese, Ligurian, and Sardinian influences is evident in the local culture, architecture, and cuisine.
What are the marina facilities available in Carloforte?
Carloforte Marina is well-equipped to accommodate sailors. It offers over 250 berths for boats up to 40 meters long. Services include water and electricity supplies, Wi-Fi, fuel bunkering, waste collection, boat maintenance and repair services, weather forecast service, and 24-hour security. Proximity to town means easy access to groceries, restaurants, and other amenities.
What are some recommended anchorages near Carloforte?
Sailors can find excellent anchorages around the Island of San Pietro. Cala Fico and Cala Vinagra offer sheltered spots with incredible views. Remember to respect the marine protection regulations as some areas are preserved for their ecological importance.
What are must-visit attractions in and around Carloforte?
Carloforte's Old Town is a must-visit with its charming streets and historical buildings. Don't miss the Church of San Carlo Borromeo and Piazza Carlo Emanuele. The island's beautiful beaches such as La Caletta, Girin and Guidi are great for relaxation. For nature lovers, the cliffs of Capo Sandalo and the Saltworks of Carloforte offer amazing sights.
What water activities can I enjoy in Carloforte?
Besides sailing, Carloforte offers excellent spots for snorkeling and diving due to its clear waters and rich marine life. You can also enjoy fishing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Boat tours are available to explore the stunning coastline and hidden caves.
What are some local dishes I should try in Carloforte?
The local cuisine in Carloforte is a blend of Ligurian and Sardinian influences. Be sure to try "Casca", a unique dish made with tuna heart and lungs, and "Pesto Carlufortinu", a variant of pesto made with dried tomatoes. Other specialties include "Farinata", a chickpea pancake, and "Tonno Alla Carlofortina", a tuna dish with tomatoes and capers.
Are there any sailing events or regattas in Carloforte?
Yes, Carloforte hosts the annual "Girotonno" in May or June, a significant event combining gastronomy, music, and sailing, centered around the island's historic tuna fishing tradition. It includes a series of sailing regattas that attract international participants.
Any tips for sailing around Carloforte?
The sailing season runs from April to October, with July and August being the busiest months. The winds are predominantly from the northwest (Mistral) and can be quite strong. Ensure to check weather conditions before setting sail. The area around Isola di San Pietro is a marine protected area, so be aware of the restrictions and respect the local ecology.