Eleventh Annual Summer Interdisciplinary Conference

Activities

The general area around Cala Gonone is remarkable and offers many activities. (This section of the website will be elaborated in the future.)

General Setting in the Gulf of Orosei:

The entire coast of the Gulf of Orosei is rugged and gorgeous: Purple limestone cliffs erupt 1000 or more feet from the Mediterranean. Ravines with wild goats and boars are everywhere. At the bottom of the cliffs and ravines are isolated beaches of extreme beauty and clarity. When the sirocco wind blows, the land can smell of wild rosemary and thyme. Caves abound and some can be toured by boat.

Beaches:

(Swimming, Snorkeling, Boating, Scuba, and more)

Beaches are scattered along the Orosei Gulf. They are beautiful and spectacular, with clear blue water, cliffs and mountains as background, and easily visible coral reefs. A few are in Cala Gonone, and others are reachable by boat rides from the village, by hiking (rugged) or by car. Perhaps the most famous is Cala Luna, the setting for several films, but there are fierce debates concerning which might be the best in the Mediterranean. A sampling of the best in the area follows:

FUILI

The beach of Cala Fuili, set in along the large gulf of Orosei, has coarse, light-coloured gravel mixed with sand and pebbles and surfacing rocks. Its waters are crystal clear and of a changing blue due to the plays of light created by the sun reflecting on the seabed. Further color is provided by the green vegetation that crowns the beach and runs right to the water’s edge. Fuili is also the entry point for a canyon with many spectacular climbing areas. (Fuili was used as a setting for the film "Travolti da un insolito destino" ---Swept Away-- in the 1974 version with Mariangela Melato and Giancarlo Giannini .)

How to get there:

Cala Fuili is easily reached by going along the SS 125, turning towards Cala Gonone and entering the street Viale Bue Marino. Then go along the coast road 26 bis until the end: the beach is accessed by a series of steps cut into the rock.

Useful information and facilities:

The beach has a small car park. It is loved by climbers, scuba fishing enthusiasts and by those simply wishing to dive in its waters, perhaps with mask and flippers, to admire the underwater world rich in pleasant surprises.

CALA LUNA

The beach has course sand. Its waters are transparent and of a changing blue due to the sun reflections from the seabed and the greenery that hems the beach. It lies within steep walls of rock that hold deep caves which open onto the beach and offer shelter from the sun, if needed. (This beach also served as a movie setting both for the 1974 film "Travolti da un insolito destino" and its remake ‘Swept Away’ with Madonna that was not so well acclaimed). The beach has a bar and café, and has shallow waters, making it suitable for children to play. Pedal boats can be hired.

How to get there:

The beach is accessed by sea with pleasure boats or on the boats that depart from the port of Cala Gonone and from the beach of the Marina di Orosei; for lovers of trekking, the beach is also accessible along a difficult path, departing from Cala Fuili or Baunei.

Useful information and facilities:

The beach is much loved by those who enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and scuba fishing. Below is a view inland from the beach.

BIDDEROSA

The beach of Bidderosa embraces five coves of incredible beauty: the fifth, to the north, borders with the beach of Berchida. Its heavenly natural configuration, known for the presence of the pond of Curcurica, qualifies it for special safeguard and protection. It is entered along a path that goes into a luxuriant pinewood, enriched by eucalyptuses and junipers. The sand, of an impalpable silver colour, is adorned by evocative reddish rocks, while to its rear are luscious junipers and pines, and the scent of the wild lilies.

How to get there:

The beach is reached by going along the SS 125. On the right a grey stone forest complex is visible, the headquarters of the Forest Authorities, where it is necessary to stop for entry into the oasis.

Useful information and facilities:

Access to the beach is managed by the local tourist board of Orosei - tel. 0784 998367 -. Daily entry to the beach is allowed for a limited number of cars. Entry tickets can only be purchased at the forest station of Bidderosa on the SS 125, at the entrance to the protected oasis.

CARTOE

Cartoe has coarse, light-coloured sand, and is enclosed by rocks. The waters are a transparent blue/green. (Cartoe was another setting for the film ‘Swept Away’).

How to get there:

Cala di Cartoe is found in the municipal area of Dorgali, and is easily reached along the SS 125 main road; before the town of Dorgali, turn towards the cave of Ispinigoli (a must see) and then turn again in the locality Tinnipereddu: the beach is signposted.

Useful information and facilities:

The beach is rich in facilities: wheelchair accessible, an ample car park, cafe, refreshment points and has shallow waters that allow children to play in safety. When windy it is used by surfers and is a site for snorkeling and scuba.

SISINE

Cala Sisine opens out among the 500 meter high cliffs of the Serra Ovra that plummet vertically into the sea.  It opens from a forested gorge with centuries-old carob trees and holm oaks. Its waters a changing turquoise. It is an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba fishing.

How to get there:

It is accessed by sea with private boats or with the craft that the run between the small harbours of Cala Gonone, Arbatax and Santa Maria Navarrese. It can also be reached, with some difficulty, on foot along a signposted hiking trail.

Useful information and facilities:

The beach has a cafe and refreshments area.

MARIOLU

Cala Mariolu is in the locality of Punta Ispuligi. Its waters are of a changing blue and the beach has round, pink-coloured pebbles. The area is full of caves, one of which opens directly onto the bay, while the Grotta del Fico (Fig Tree Cave) is found quite close by, The beach has shallow waters ideal for children and is frequented by snorkelers (and can sometimes be a bit crowded).

How to get there

Cala Mariolu is accessed by sea on privately owned boats or with one of the craft that offer a daily transport service to the beaches of the Golfo di Orosei from the harbours of Cala Gonone, Arbatax and Santa Maria Navarrese. The beach is also accessible over land along a difficult hiking trail.

GOLORITZE

This is one of the most beautiful small bays of the whole Mediterranean, an authentic national monument and celebrated for its turquoise waters, and smooth marble rocks. The small beach is sprinkled with small, white pebbles. It has a spectacular setting due to the cliffs and towers, particularly the steeple of Punta Goloritzé, also called Aguglia, a must for all climbers, and the climber’s cliff of Monte Caroddi. The beach has shallow waters suitable for children. With luck one may spot an Eleonora’s falcon, a rare species that nests in the area.

How to get there:

Cala Goloritzé is accessible only by sea, from Cala Gonone and Santa Maria Navarrese. It is also possible to reach the bay along a hiking trail over the Supramonte of Baunei: it takes around an hour to descend (an hour and half to climb back up), it is simple enough and suitable for anyone used to a bit of walking.

Hiking:

There are a number of outstanding hiking opportunities accessible from Cala Gonone, both along the rim of the rugged coast, down to the beaches and back, and inland in the mountains. I will add information here about these possibilities later.

Rock Climbing:

Sardinia generally is famous for sport climbing, and the most famous, well developed and world renowned area is that around Cala Gonone. There are about 25 developed areas on the sea cliffs and in the ravines near Cala Gonone, with about 1000 bolted routes. One of the many areas of special interest is Codula Fuilli, a narrow valley outletting on the beach a bit south of Cala Gonone (see above), with many climbs of all grades that remain cool and shaded even in summer. There are a number of areas further inland in the mountains, particularly including the Supramonte areas near Oliena. At the south end of the Gulf of Orosie is Baunei and Cala Goloritze where sits the ‘do-not-miss’ climb of the famous tower Aguglia (above).

A generally useful rock climbing guidebook for Sardinia as a whole, including some areas around Cala Gonone, is Pietra di Luna: A Guide to Sport Climbing in Sardinia (available in an English edition), written by Maurizio Oviglia and published by Fabula. A newer guidebook that focuses specifically on the general Cala Gonone area is Cala Gonone Sports Climbing Guidebook - Arrampicare a Cala Gonone, by Corrodo Conca.

Water Sports (to be elaborated later):

Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Scuba Fishing, Fishing, Water Skiing, Wind Surfing, Surfing, Bungee Jumping, Canyoning, Boating, Kayaking, Pedal Boating.

Boat Tour to Blue Grotto Caves (from Cala Gonone):