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Spiaggia Rosa: Can You Swim At The Pink Beach Of Sardinia?

Spiaggia Rosa Can You Swim At The Pink Beach Of Sardinia

There are some stunning coastlines around the world, but few come close to the natural beauty of Sardinia beaches. 

Spiaggia Rosa (literally Pink Beach), which is located in the Archipelago or La Maddalena, just off the coast of Sardinia, is truly a sight to behold. This particular beach is so famous and popular because of the pinkish hue of the sand, blended with some orange as well. 

But being such a natural beauty, restrictions have had to be put in place to protect it, which begs the question: Can you swim at the pink beach of Sardinia? And if you can’t swim, what can you do? 

All this and more will be revealed, read on to discover the truth. 

Why Is The Beach Pink?

The beach itself might look like cotton candy, but there’s nothing so candy-like or fanciful that makes the sand itself pink. The reason that this beach is so colorful is because of the crushed shells that make up the sand. 

In the ocean and coral reefs that surround the small island, there are a lot of microorganisms and shelled creatures that are orange, pink, and red. When their bodies or shells start to break down and mix with the pale white sands of the beach, you’re left with this beautiful pale shade of pink.

These microorganisms are the same that are responsible for giving flamingos (which are also abundant in Sardinia) their pink hue. 

History Of Spiaggia Rosa

Though the bean now looks well-preserved, there was a time when we nearly lost it. Due to its massive popularity, including in films like “Red Desert” by Michelangelo Antonioni, many people used to come to the beach, only to leave with a container of pink sand to keep as a souvenir. 

After years and years of this going on, the beach eventually started to experience a kind of bleaching effect on the sand.

By 1998, the Italian government had made it illegal to walk on Spiaggia Rosa, in an attempt to save its natural beauty. 

People were no longer permitted to take a single grain of sand from the beach or dip a toe in the water. 

Though these restrictions seem severe, they worked.

Today, the beach is back to its beautiful dusty pink coloring and safe from the ravages of tourists. 

Can You Swim At Spiaggia Rosa? 

Unfortunately, these restrictions are still in place today, meaning that you can’t walk along the beaches or swim in the waters. There are plenty of beaches around Sardinia that you can enjoy, but this just isn’t one of them. 

It is possible to visit and view the beach though, but only from a distance of at least 70 meters from the shoreline. 

That said, we still think that the trip to Archipelago de Maddalena and the island of Budelli anyway because the sights are absolutely breathtaking. 

How To Get To Spiaggia Rosa

As we said, the pink beach is located on the Maddalena archipelago on the island of Budelli. This area is only about 12 kilometers off the coast of mainland Sardinia and is accessible by boat. 

Though it might be possible to reach the island by swimming, it’s certainly not recommended. 


The most common way to get to the island is by using the ferry.

This option is far more affordable and reliable, however, it does also come with time restrictions and less control about how you spend your time around the beach and on the island. 

Private Boat

If you would prefer to make your own decisions about when you’d like to go to Budelli, then you could always look at hiring your own private boat.

Of course, you’d need to have a license and know what you’re doing, but it’s certainly an option. 

Alternatively, you could hire someone to take you directly to the island, but again, that would leave you reliant on somebody else. 

Guided Tour

A very popular alternative to these other options is to go on a guided tour and see everything of interest that there is to see around the island. 

We think that this is probably the best way to see the pink beach because the guides will know exactly where to take you to show off the natural beauty of the island, the hidden gems of sightseeing, and all of the best spots for you to go swimming and snorkeling. 

You can find many boat tours that are found near the port of Olbia, and for a price, you will be taken to soak in the exquisite sights that this part of the Mediterranean has to offer. 

Who Owns Spiaggia Rosa?

Over the years, Budelli has been owned by a series of private owners and Millionaires, however, as of 2016, the island was returned to the state to use it for environmental education. 

For 31 years, there was only one inhabitant of the island, a permanent caretaker by the name of Mauro Morandi.

Though nobody could deny the role that he played in maintaining the beauty and memory of the island, it was too difficult to create a contractual arrangement for his position, and he had to be evicted in 2021 after years of pressure to leave. 

Where To Stay To Visit the Pink Beach

If you would like to stay somewhere nearby to this beach, then you will need to find a resort near the north of the island.

However, you should bear in mind that because Sardinia is so small, even if you were to stay on the other side of the island, it wouldn’t take you long to get to Port Olbia. 

However, you could also stay in La Maddalena, another beautiful island in the same archipelago as Budelli. There are resorts here that are a lot closer to Spiaggia Rosa than anywhere on the main island of Sardinia. 

For example, Hotel Cala Lunga is only 7 km from the pink beach and has all the amenities of a larger resort.

This would be a fantastic base for you if you wanted to spend your holiday going between extreme relaxation, and sightseeing. 

Around La Maddalena, there are plenty of larger resorts and smaller B&Bs depending on what it is you’re looking for. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re visiting Sardinia, then you need to take at least one day out to see the stunning natural beauty of Spiaggia Rosa. The pink sands and surrounding landscape are honestly breathtaking, and you need to see it to believe it. 

Whilst it’s disappointing to not be able to enjoy the beach for a day out, it is completely understandable as a restriction – once you see it, you’ll understand the want to protect this area. 

Whilst it might not be worth visiting Sardinia just to see the beach, however, if you’re already there, then we can’t recommend this excursion enough. 

Spiaggia Rosa is one of the most stunning natural areas in the world, and you don’t want to miss it. 

Further reading: What Beach In Sardinia Has Emerald Green Water?

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