Between the two huge islands of Sardinia and Corsica is a small group of islands that also belong to Italy – the Maddalena Archipelago, which is made up of seven major islands that are located just off the gorgeous Costa Smeralda on Sardinia. Visitors weren't always allowed on the islands, largely because Isola Maddalena (the largest one) is a NATO base. Today, however, travelers can much more easily discover the area. The town of La Maddelana houses the vast majority of the archipelago's local residents.
The islands are included in one of Italy's 24 national parks and are also on UNESCO's tentative list as a World Heritage site. The islands' beaches are among Sardinia's loveliest.
The main visitor center for the Maddalena Archipelago is on Caprera Island in the village of Stagnali. Ferries to La Maddalena depart from Palau on Sardinia.