A deep calcareous fjord that closes with a small, stupendous little beach with large glossy pebbles, embraced by steep cliffs. Cala Fico is a gem set in the northwestern coast of the San Pietro island, in the Carloforte territory, to the north of the majestic Capo Sandalo promontory, where Italy’s westernmost lighthouse stands. The beautiful cove with rocky shoreline, sheltered by a white calcareous promontory that dominates the landscape, creates a wild, uncontaminated atmosphere. The sea is clear, with beautiful colours that change from green to azure. The seabed is shallow and mostly made of rocks and pebbles, the home of several species of fish that turn any diving experience here into a documentary-level event. A veritable paradise for snorkelling and underwater fishing.

The beach is lined with bushes of Mediterranean scrub sculpted by the wind, and with uncontaminated nature with rocky ravines and cliffs, a protected oasis, created in 1991, a refuge for Eleonora’s falcons, thus named in honour of judge Eleonora d’Arborea. The Italian league for the protection of birds (LIPU) manages the beach and promotes fascinating trips to admire the falcon and other bird species that have chosen the island as privileged nesting location.

Carla Fico has plenty of parking space and restaurants. You can reach it and the other splendid coves of San Pietro, after 40 minutes by ferry from Calasetta or Portoscuso. The island, with more than 50 square kilometres of territory, is the second largest of the Sulcis archipelago, after Sant’Antioco. Rugged cliffs alternate with coves protected from the wind and bathed by crystalline sea: not far from Cala Fico, you will find the romantic atmosphere of Cala Vinagra; more to the west, across from Capo Sandalo, there is Isoletta del Corno, a popular destination for scuba diving and underwater fishing. To the south lies the symbol of San Pietro, the two rocky columns called Le Colonne, and the splendid cove La Conca. Carloforte is the only inhabited town in the island, a place whose local culture is a mixture of Ligurian and Sardinian sources. Tuna fishing has made it famous throughout the world: every year, between late May and early June, this tradition is celebrated with an international gastronomic event, Girotonno.