Sardinia warns against Google Maps as people keep getting lost hunting 'hidden beaches'

Tourists are being warned to avoid using Google Maps when holidaying on Italian islands after the number of beach rescues have soared.
Google Maps alone is not a reliable way to find idyllic holiday spots. Photo credit: Getty

Authorities in an Italian island are cracking down on tourists using Google Maps to find 'hidden beaches', as too many are getting lost or stuck.

The navigation app is being blamed for a spike in the number of rescues of lost visitors who often end up on dangerous cliffs and impassable narrow roads, instead of the secret paradises they seek.

Now, authorities in Sardinia are speaking out and signs are being erected that warn: "Don't follow the directions of Google Maps".

The mayor of Baunei, a Sardinian town, has told media the app is "misleading".

"Too many sedans and small cars get stuck on impassable paths, sometimes even off-road vehicles too," Mayor Salvatore Corrias said.

"All this because you follow the suggestions of Google Maps which, on our roads, are often misleading… The old paper maps are better. Or better still, use an expert local guide from our area."

Local authorities in Sardinia's east are issuing the warnings after having to rescue 144 vehicles in the past two years.

A Google Maps spokesperson told The Sun the company is aware of the app "routing some drivers down roads that can be difficult to navigate due to their terrain".

"We're currently working with the local government to resolve the issue and are investigating ways we can better alert drivers about these types of roads," the spokesperson added.