An unmissable itinerary among the wonders of the Gulf of Orosei: cruises, trails and attractions to be discover in the fairytale scenery of Sardinia.

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An authentic and special territory that represents a true microcosm of the historical and natural beauty of Sardinia: the Gulf of Orosei, on the east coast of the island, is a world of its own where you can admire unspoiled beaches, beautiful hidden coves, breathtaking natural landscapes and cultural places with a thousand-year history.

Explore this truly unique land with a 5-day itinerary that includes boat trips through the crystal clear waters of the Gulf, hiking along the most scenic trails of the coast, a visit to the nuragic areas of the region, relaxation on idyllic beaches and adventures in the Mediterranean scrub of the inland.

You’ll discover all the secrets of an extraordinary environment, living new experiences and exciting adventures in a truly unforgettable journey.

How to reach the Gulf of Orosei

Cala Gonone, Gulf of Orosei

The area of the Gulf of Orosei extends for over 40 km from the Supramonte plateau to Capo Comino and contains spectacular views, both thanks to the beautiful cliffs and to some of the most outstanding and pure beaches of the island, both because of the Mediterranean scrub typical of the inland areas, which culminates in the wonderful Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park.

To reach this really special territory, so distant from the classic centers of mass tourism, the best option is to rent a car in one of the main Sardinian destinations: Olbia, where the Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is located, in the north; or Cagliari, capital located in the south of the region.

In this way, we can reach on-the-road and in full autonomy the Gulf of Orosei, also having the opportunity to explore it more easily.

The two main towns along the Gulf coast are Orosei and Cala Gonone. The latter is probably the ideal place to use as a base for visiting the area, on one hand because it’s located right in the heart of the territory; on the other, because it’s well developed in terms of tourist infrastructure, while maintaining an authentic atmosphere in combination with the rhythms of the surrounding nature.

From Olbia it takes about an hour and a half to reach Cala Gonone by car, while leaving from Cagliari the trip is much longer and takes an hour more.

Once we reach our destination, however, we can finally give the official start to our 5 days in the Gulf of Orosei: a journey made of sea and relaxation, but also of walks along spectacular paths and visits to ancient and incredible historical sites. So let’s get ready to live wonderful days that will leave us thrilled and speechless!

Day 1: boat excursion to the most beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Orosei

Cruises in Cala Gonone, Gulf of Orosei

The best way to enter immediately in full harmony with the authentic soul of the Gulf of Orosei is to admire all the wonders of this spectacular landscape from the privileged perspective of the Tyrrhenian Sea and its clear waters.

Taking part to a boat excursion, you can easily explore the beautiful beaches and hidden coves of the territory: from the fabulous caves that surround the beach of Cala Luna, to the wild and unspoiled nature of Cala Goloritzé, a real piece of paradise in the southern part of the Gulf coast. Not to mention the wonderful colors of the sea near the Pools of Venus, or the incredible backdrops of that little pearl that is Cala Mariolu.

To live this unmissable and exciting experience, depart directly from the port of Cala Gonone, a few hundred meters from the center of the town: here you can board one of the elegant boats of the elegant fleet of the Nuovo Consorzio Trasporti Marittimi, which offers from over 30 years the most interesting cruises in the Gulf of Orosei.

Participate to a fascinating trip to discover the secrets of enchanting places such as the Grotta del Bue Marino, or take part in a full-day trip that will bring you to explore the most magical and hidden spots of the territory.

In the evening, enjoy one of the typical dishes of Sardinia. Mussels, shellfish or soups are really excellent, but try also the Culurgiones: they are a variety of ravioli stuffed with potatoes, pecorino cheese and mint, for a traditional recipe of the Gulf of Orosei absolutely not to be missed! 

Discover the best cruises in the Gulf of Orosei

Day 2: the coastal hiking trails and the Selvaggio Blu

Trails in the Gulf of Orosei

After having dedicated the first day to excursions on the sea, the second stage consists in walking along the many and spectacular paths of the coast to appreciate the enchanting landscapes of the territory also moving by land.

So you can drive north, pass the town of Orosei and reach the Biderosa Reserve, about 1 hour away from Cala Gonone. 

Here you can leave your vehicle at the Oasi 2 parking area and follow the path that will take you in about twenty minutes to the top of Monte Urcatu. From this hill that rises 117 meters above sea level, you will enjoy an incredible view that on one side sweeps across the northern part of the Gulf of Orosei, on the other on the green and lush nature of the inland.

In this area there are many other hiking trails, some of which require good physical training and several hours of walking. 

If you want to try a more simple and relaxing route, stop in the area of Osalla Beach Garden, not far from Orosei, and follow the path that runs along the beach to immerse yourself in a fabulous natural environment, among picturesque pedestrian bridges, hidden coves and ruins of the nuragic period (the nuraghi of Sardinia were the dwellings of the ancient local populations).

Only for those who have more time and, above all, a great hiking experience, it’s certainly worth mentioning the Selvaggio Blu, perhaps the most difficult trekking route in Italy. The path starts from Pedra Longa (further south than Cala Goloritzé, past Capo Monte Santo) and continues for about 40 km along the coast of the Gulf of Orosei, in a wild and magnificent scenery that must be crossed in more days of tiring walks and difficult climbs.

Day 3: Dorgali and the nuragic sites

Nuragic sites, Gulf of Orosei

The third stage of this 5-day itinerary in the Gulf of Orosei consists of a visit to the village of Dorgali to discover the timeless attractions of the Archaeological Museum.

The town of Dorgali is easily accessible from Cala Gonone, which is only a few kilometers away. The museum is located in the heart of this small village. Here you can find out every detail about the ancient history of the territory thanks to precise and interesting exhibitions, with a lot of precious artifacts coming from various archaeological excavations.

But do not limit yourself to the interesting halls of the museum: you also have to explore the authentic archaeological sites of the surroundings, starting from the fabulous village of Nuraghe Mannu (open between April and October), whose ruins offer not only an insight into the nuragic and roman history of the territory, but also spectacular views of the Gulf and the area adjacent to the beach of Cala Fuili.

Nuraghe Mannu is located southeast of Dorgali. If you head north, in just a few kilometers you can reach the Cave of Ispinigoli, another incredible place that, in addition to highlighting the natural beauty of the area, is the fulcrum of a series of important finds from the Nuragic, Punic and Roman periods.

Finally, if you have enough time, go to the Nuragic Village of Serra Orrios (about a quarter of an hour drive from Ispinigoli), a perfect site for those who are fond of history and ancient ruins, where you can discover how everyday life worked in a town of the nuragic civilization.

Day 4: Relax in Cala Cartoe and visit the “S'abba Frisca” Museum Park

Cala Cartoe, Gulf of Orosei

After days of excursions and walks, it can be a good idea to immerse yourself in the purest and enviable relaxation of one of the fabulous beaches of the Gulf of Orosei, to spend a day of peace and recreation between sun, sea and nature.

A beautiful and unspoiled cove that we can reach by car is Cala Cartoe. You can follow the signs for Spiaggia Cartoe from Cala Gonone: the last stretch of the road goes along a very scenic gravel road which crosses the extraordinary vegetation of the Mediterranean scrub, taking you directly to the beach.

Here you can relax for the whole day in the heart of a fantastic setting, on a strip of soft sand touched by the clear waters of the Gulf. Or, after a few hours of rest, you can retrace your steps and, along the road between Cala Gonone and Cala Cartoe, a short distance from the scenic Littu Pass, visit the "S'abba frisca” Museum Park, an excellent ethnographic museum where you can discover plants, animals, products and ancient traditions related to the territory.

To spend the evening, instead of returning immediately to Cala Gonone, head towards Orosei and take a walk in the quaint and charming old town to try one of the typical restaurants of this area.

Day 5: Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park

Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park

The area of the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park extends from the rugged, wild and fascinating inland areas of Supramonte to reach the foothills of Cala Gonone and Dorgali, undoubtedly representing one of the most beautiful places in Sardinia.

Leaving Cala Gonone, follow the SS125 towards Baunei and Santa Maria Navarrese. This road crosses a fair portion of the Park, with spectacular views of canyons and mountains: you can stop near some particularly significant places and get out of the car to immerse yourself in this incredible natural scenery.

An unmissable site, for example, is the Sa Portiscra Wildlife Area, where you can follow several paths that run through the heart of the Mediterranean maquis until you reach the archaeological area of Os Morales.

Even the westernmost area of the Park is rich in viewpoints, archaeological sites and natural areas of extraordinary charm. To reach it from Cala Gonone, however, you have to go over an hour of road, heading in the direction of Nuoro before turning towards Orgosolo and then pass the village of Pratobello

Here you will be spoiled for choice, among lakes, forests and unspoiled mountains to discover, where you will find out the most authentic soul of Sardinia.

Once returned for the last time in Cala Gonone, before the darkness of the evening comes, you have only one more thing to do: throw a last, endless look at the magnificent panorama of the Gulf that has constantly accompanied you in these days of travel, so as to carry forever in your memory all the wonders of this magical land.

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