SUP Adventures in San Pietro off the coast of Sardinia
Paul Hyman Explores San Pietro Island (Sardinia) by SUP
I’m just back from a visit to the Island of San Pietro off the Southwest of Sardinia. I have been checking out the coast there as we have been working on a plan with a local SUP School - SUP Adventures - to run some trips from London. We met up with the owners Mario and Diana back in early November and thought that the mix of unspoiled beaches, spectacular cliffs and sea caves would make a good setting for some early and late season paddling and for SUP Yoga.
The water temperature in early December was warm enough to wear board shorts and light thermals and to comfortably paddle barefoot. The weather varied a bit with sun and showers and quite strong winds. San Pietro is quite a small Island (a good paddler could circumnavigate the island by SUP in a long day). This makes it fairly easy to avoid the wind by paddling on the sheltered side, or to use the wind for a downwind paddle. Generally the winters there are mild by UK standards so by April when we are planning the first trip it should be typically warm and sunny.
My first paddle was around the North coast where there are many sea caves in the volcanic cliffs. You can paddle safely into most of the caves and with a head torch and helmet it would be possible to go deep into the cliffs. Even on a cloudy day the rock colours were impressive. The sea was calm in the shelter of the cliffs and in many places you could see coloured rocks 4-6m below. I lost count of the caves but there are many and sizes vary from cathedral like spaces to smaller ones with just enough space to get in to explore.
As we headed south the calm sea became a 1-2m swell and for an hour we paddled into a strong headwind. This was much more of a challenge and we were, after 4 hours of paddling, quite glad to reach our destination. Next day the wind direction had changed so we tried a downwinder on the South of the Island. This was fun and physically much easier with a 20 knot wind and gentle swell helping us along.
Good food is easy to find and as locals Mario and Diana guided us to the best restaurants and cafes. Mario grew up on the island and Diana is from Northern Italy but has lived in Sardinia for 7 + years). Seafood is naturally the local speciality but there is plenty of other good Italian food on offer and good coffee everywhere.
We stayed in the Hotel Paola on a hillside 2km from Carloforte the only town on the Island. This was a very good hotel run by a brother and sister and their mother. Very friendly, excellent food, plenty of outdoor space to chill out and to eat outside and panoramic views across the sea to Sardinia.
I’m really looking forward to our trip there at Easter. We have planned 2 trips in 2015 one at Easter and another in October in partnership with Pure Yoga Zone and Sup Adventures. The trips will include exploration of the caves, SUP Yoga, downwind paddling, SUP Ball and SUP Surfing.
We will have full information and a booking form on our website soon. You can pre register interest by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org