San Pietro has a remarkable variety of natural environments that give it an unusual and wild appearance. From the dramatic and inaccessible cliffs on the Northwest coast, and the Aleppo pine woods and Maquis shrubland found further inland, to the salt plans located on the edge of the only town on the island, Carloforte. The island’s a haven for many types of fauna and flora and will excite and inspire anyone with a passion for nature’s beauty.
The Oasis is an important stopover and a nesting ground for many species of birds. The rarest and most important species is the Queen’s Hawk, which reproduces exclusively on cliffs overlooking the sea on islands in the Mediterranean, and in particular, on the North West coast of San Pietro island.
Many other important species stop and nest here too, and can also be observed on the inaccessible cliffs, such as the Kestrel, the Buzzard, and the Peregrine falcon. Above the limpid sea, you will also find the rare Audouins gull, the tufted Marangoni, the Yelkovan Shearwater, and the European Shag.
Among the thick and intricate shrubs of the Mediterranean scrub, a remarkable variety of small Passeriformes find refuge: the common Dartford Warbler, the Sardinian Magnanina, and the Little subalpine Warbler
The Carloforte salt ponds, which are part of the vital salt pond system of the Mediterranean, are very rich in avifauna and provide an important nesting ground, a real haven, for many species of migrating birds. Nesting species include the Audouins gull, Slender-billed gull, Black-headed gull, Yellow-legged gull, Little Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, the Little and Common Terns.
Among the species that settle in the salt-ponds are the Rosy Flamingo, the common Kingfisher, and the Grey Heron.
There are also some rare species among the reptiles and amphibians too! Such as the Coluber (a small dark coloured snake), Tunisian Chalcides, the Tyrrhenian wall lizard, the Loggerhead turtle, and Marginated and Herman’s tortoises.
The island’s interior is coloured by a Mediterranean brush, which releases the scents of rosemary, arbutus, dwarf palms, and Aleppo pines into the air. The flora is vibrant, including more than 500 different species. The vegetation of the island is mostly made up of Maquis shrubland, interrupted by full and beautiful Pinus Halepensis (the Aleppo pine) woods. Scientifically the most critical botanical forms are the twenty or so species of wild orchids and some endemic plants that are only found in very restricted areas and on islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and some only found on the island of San Pietro.
Some of the plants that you’ll find on San Pietro are The Mastic tree, Rosemary, Heather, Phillyrea, Dwarf palm, Cistus, Euphorbia, Broom, Myrtle, Strawberry, Phoenician Juniper, the rare Prickly Juniper, Thick-leaved Lesser Daisy, Rock Samphire, Seseli, Illyrian sea lily, tiny Nananthea, Blue dicks, Venus Flytrap, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Exclusive to San Pietro is the Astragalus maritimus Moris, a little herbaceous plant belonging to the Leguminous family.
GUIDED NATURE TOURS:
Wind through the different nature trails accompanied by educational instructors and learn about the island in all its environments.
GUIDED WALKING TOURS:
Walk the best trails in the company of our professional tour guides. It’s blissfully quiet here, and the air is fresh; walking tours on Isola di San Pietro are perfect for spending time with nature. Away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, you’ll experience some of the most breath-taking views in the Mediterranean, with sparkling seas for as far as the eye can see.
GUIDED PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS:
This is a fantastic opportunity to capture the island at its most spectacular. Get inspired by the fauna and flora of the island and its dramatic, colourful landscape.
HOBBY ACTIVITY CAMPS:
Summer camps for the monitoring and study of the rare Queen’s Hawk, guided tours, and environmental education. Available to visitors and volunteers throughout the season.