Impressive cliffs plunge into the blue sea, dominated by a 19th century lighthouse. Capo Sandalo is the most westerly point of San Pietro island, in the territory of Carloforte, not far from the enchanting Cala Fico, a birdlife reserve where the Eleonora's falcon nests.You can walk down to the sea, with its green, crystalline reflections, by steep paths or a long stairway. The promontory is a series of small, rocky coves and impervious cliff faces. For a safer and more comfortable visit, a boat trip is best.
Capo Sandalo is dominated by Italy's most westerly lighthouse: a tower built in 1864 inthe centre of a two-floor building. The highest point stands 138 metres above sea level, and the lantern pierces the dark up to 28 miles from the coast, the last reassuring light for ships travelling towards Gibraltar. Inside are four, currently uninhabited apartments that were once home to the lighthouse guardians' families. To get to the lantern you will need to climb 124 steps; once at the summit, you will feel as if you are suspended between the sea and the sky.These cliffs are the unchallenged reign of the extremely rare Eleonora's falcon, originally from Madagascar, which nests on the rock faces covered in Mediterranean brush. Opposite Capo Sandalo is the islet of Corno, a destination for diving and sports fishing thanks to its abundant fish.
The promontory is one of the many coastal attractions of San Pietro, the second largest island in the Sulcis archipelago after Sant'Antioco, a 40 minute ferry ride from Calasetta or Portoscuso. Capo Sandalo is an example of the jagged coastline that plunges into the sea from dizzy heights. The arid cliff faces are interspersed with coves offering beaches sheltered from the wind: to the northwest is the panorama of Cala Vinagra; to the northeast is another splendid diving point, Tacche Bianche, with a posidonia meadow 18 metres down featuring unique, mushroom-shaped rocks; to the south are the two pillars known as Le Colonne, and the splendid cove of La Conca. After diving in the sea, dip into the culture of Carloforte. The inhabitants are descended from the coral fishers originally from Pegli, who were gifted the island by Charles Emmanuel of Savoy III in 1738, after freeing them from slavery in Tabarka. Combine culture with the pleasure of cuisine: in the homeland of tuna, from late May to early June, an internationally-renowned gastronomic event known as the Girotonno is held.