The White donkey trail
(sentiero dell'asino bianco)

The White donkey trail
(sentiero dell'asino bianco)

Historical traces along the coast

The white donkey trail, which begins at the visitor centre of Cala Reale, takes you to the world of donkeys. These animals can easily be seen in many areas of the island, but here they are particularly trusting. They gather in small groups, often including both white and grey donkeys.

On leaving the maritime health centre, you reach the so-called “Periods”, built to house the contagious patients according to the different phases of treatment: the First Period, recently renovated for government use (canteen, Carabinieri station and public offices); the Second Period, featuring several rectangular buildings arranged symmetrically and the house of the hospital administrator – the only one located on the south side of the road; the Third Period, or Trabuccato, consisting of a prison with an inner courtyard. You may catch a glimpse of the meeting room and the telephone room. The building features a small portico as well as fences with barbed wire and glass: a legacy of a handmade yet effective security system. Other officers’ lodgings are located inland.

Near the sea are some fascinating agricultural structures: a well-preserved winery, a stable, and the coastal tower of Trabuccato with its original juniper vaults. You then reach Cala delle Barche Napoletane before going back to Cala Reale.

Trailhead: Cala Reale

Arrival: Cala Reale

Length: 7,8h km

Duration: 3 hours

Elevation gain: 24 m

Partial loop trail

The trail is not suitable for cycling

Start from the visitor centre of Cala Reale.

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Trail highlights:

The Trabuccato tower

The island's oldest tower of defence was designed by Andrea Perez, ordinary captain of the Works of the Kingdom of Sardinia. It was built in 1609 and underwent several restorations during the 18th century. The tower features a flat roof and a domed vault.
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Trabuccato

These buildings were once used for the third period of quarantine.

Cala delle Barche Napoletane

This bay is renowned for its fine white sand and turquoise water.

Find your way

Print the description

You can download the trail description in PDF format on the page dedicated to the trail, so you can print it out and take it with you during the hike.

GPX trail

After choosing the trail, download the GPX track to make sure you find your way.