Keepers of the last deserted island

Where: Isola Asinara, Sardegna, Italia


2stars1star Unique in the world for its nature and history and for the more than 150 guides, teachers, restaurateurs, naturalists, professional women managers

It is one of the few magical places left in the Mediterranean, where at night you hear no other sound but the wind. To experience this, when everyone else has left, spend the night at the Sognasinara Ostello.

In the daytime, on the other hand, take a guide to show you around. Because on your own you couldn't ever distinguish between Centaury and Phoenician Juniper, or swim on fields of Posidonia, or walk in silence between the cliffs so as not to disturb the Mouflon, or discover the 9 marine species hidden in the sand
These are just some of the activities for visitors in one day at the “Asinara Protected Area National Park.".
This island - intact because it was once a maximum security prison- has maintained dozens of ecosystems and endemic species: 110 km of coastline contain a series of ridges and coves, ascents and descents among granite rocks, expanses of mastic and cornflowers, summits home of hawks and seagulls, ponds and pastures with coots, donkeys and horses, seas inhabited not just by turtles and dolphins.

When the island became a Park, girls studying to become guides, naturalists and biologists, were the first chosen here, for their professionality, and now women make up 70% of those employed.
They are of course the most enthusiastic organizers of a dozen trekking excursions, canoeing and sailing, birdwatching, fishing, diving, horse riding and cooking local cuisine at the restaurants of Cala Reale, Cala d’Oliva, and the hostel’s.
Fiorella is a naturalist, Consuelo and Anna Maria are agronomists, Paola and six other young girls do courses for children, such as sensory activities with plants, evenings under the stars, or yoga.
For young and old, there are guides specialized in ringing migrant birds, or researchers at the Wildlife Centre, at the Bird Observatory and at the Recovery Center. Kuana looks after the Dolphin Observatory, Giuliana Satta, up at the fortress- now historical museum “Remembrance Observatory”-, has opened a workshop where she creates artistic shapes and colours with glass (fin d a list on )

While Chiara laughs recounting that so many are surprised to see they still drive the 4x4, they all agree on one fact: that it is a tough and selective job, also because it takes place in isolation from the rest of the world, and with long hours.
So, you have to have a lot of initiative, be ever present, tough, confident, organized, expert, not only in plants and fossils, but also in carburetors and in tourists' ankles.
Solution? A pinch of irony and psychology. And then, they say, “an island is a community and we always help each other”.
And yet you also have some satisfaction: like when everyone recognizes that they enjoyed themselves because of your empathy, sensitivity and ability to communicate.

And finally, in September, before the wind remains the only master, there will be time for the last travelers, at the romantic evenings of the cultural festival “Thoughts and Words”.


Tags: responsible tourism,, sardinia,, women entrepreneurs in tourism

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