The area’s coastline has granite rocks, islands and both sandy and pebble beaches surrounded by rich Mediterranean vegetation with several kinds of broom, cistus, arbutus berry trees, carob trees, Mediterranean oaks and other native species. Behind the Due Mari beach you’ll find the Stagno di Notteri, an important and beautiful wetland that is the home to migrant birds such as pink flamingos.

Diving in the waters off Capo Carbonara you’ll find a beautiful seabed of granite rock whose steep walls that can be as deep as 40m. The seascape has valleys, pinnacles, deep cracks and eroded caves where you’ll see yellow cluster anemones (Parazoanthus axinellae.) There are also large fans of red violescent sea-whip (Paramuricea clavata), sponges and ascidians or sea squirts. Large groupers and sea bream live in the cracks in the rock formed by submarine landslides where you can also find lobsters, shrimp, red snappers, Mediterranean perch and octopus. Greater amberjacks, barracuda and tuna swim through the narrow canals between the high granite walls.

Off Isola Serpentara you can spot passing loggerhead sea turtles and dolphins. A few years ago monk seals (Monachus monachus) were spotted off the Isola di Cavoli. The seabeds in the Marine Protected Area also have large meadows of aquatic plants with sea grasses such as Posidonia Oceanica and Cymodocea Nodosa that offer the perfect environment for marine organisms that can both hide in them and feed on them. Some of the most beautiful areas to dive in are the Secca dei Berni, the La Secca di S. Caterina – where you can spot groupers e sea bream in the boulders left by large submarine landslides, and the waters off the Isola di Serpentara where there are underwater archaeological sites. Fishermen from the area can take you on excursions to discover the secret spots in the Marine Protected Area and in the evening you can cook your catch aboard following local receipts.

The Marine Protected Area

Founded in 1998, the Marine Protected Area is in southeast Sardinia and covers an area of 8.598 hectares, of which 332 are a zone A integral reserve. The Park is an underwater area where the erosion of the granite rock has created an environment that is especially favourable for marine life. Its perimeter goes from Capo Boi to Punta Porceddus and includes the islands of Serpentara and Cavoli.Zone A is delineated by yellow topmarks on land and yellow buoys with flashing lights on the water.
The Marine Protected Area has areas with mooring buoys for recreational boaters; some of these buoys are special telematics ones. Procedures to update and enlarge the reserve are currently underway and soon the Marine Protected Area will be run under a new set of rules.

Useful addresses

Comune di Villasimius (Ente gestore)
piazza Gramsci, 11 – 09049 Villasimius (CA)
tel. 070/790234,
Capitaneria di Porto di Cagliari
tel. 070/605171
Campi ormeggio
numero verde 899.100.001

By Boat

Southern Sardinia has long been overlooked, even as a charter boat destination, but it’s being better and better appreciated for its surprisingly beautiful coastline and for being less crowed than the northern part of the island. Capo Carbonara – about the same distance from northern Sardinia and from the Thyrennean coast on Italy’s mainland- is an excellent base for heading out to explore from the Golfo di Cagliari to S. Antioco. This granite promontory separates the flatter lands around Campolongu and Villasimius has bright sandy beaches called Riso, Cala Carbonara and Porto Sa Ruxi also has a well-equipped marina. If you prefer to anchor in the bay there are several areas with mooring buoys in MarPark. Nearby you’ll also find the marinas around di Cagliari: Marina del Sole, Bonaria and S. Elmo, Poetto. Teulada also has a marina in a pristine environment surrounded by 40km of coastline with a series of small inlets, bays, promontories and fine sandy beaches.