Enjoy the Gulf of Orosei
Take a boat trip in this caribbean sea
From Costa Rei, in Sardinia, you can catch a bus to Tortolì and once there go to Baunei. Alternatively, go back to Cagliari from where you can join one of the many guided groups that leave to hike the Gorropu Canyon (the deepest canyon in Europe). The hike is not difficult, but it is easy to get lost so it is better to have a guide. For more information, ask the cooperative that watches over the canyon. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes and to carry plenty of water and food. Although the path is often shaded, it does get really hot in the summer season. Once you finish the hike, you will be in the area of Dorgali.
You can stop in Dorgali for a few nights, and stay at agriturismo Canales, completly immersed in the nature and with a gorgeous view over the lake Cedrino, and which offers delicious tradicional Sardinian food. It also rents kayak to tour around the lake and reach the source of Su Cologone. From Dorgali, you can reach the resort village of Cala Gonone, from where numerous boats leave daily to on a tour of the spectacular Gulf of Orosei, reaching beaches that can only be reached via boat or via a hike. There are many hotels and bed and breakfasts in Cala Gonone and there is also a camping site for travellers on a tight budget.
From Cala Gonone, you can reach Cala Fuili, from where you can start the (completely free) hike towards the beautiful Cala Luna, set of a number of movies including the recent “Swept Away” featuring Madonna.
Alternatively, you can go to Baunei and reach the plateau of Golgo (Altipiano del Golgo), where you can sleep in a wonderful hostel immersed in nature (there are room geared for any budget, including the possibility of sleeping in rustic cabins or pitching your tent). It is run by the Cooperativa Goloritzè, which is the same that organises boat trips around the Gulf of Orosei, leaving from Santa Maria Navarrese (around € 40 for the whole day, carry your own lunch), a number of guided hikes and the beautiful 7 day long hike “Selvaggio Blu” (wild blue) which takes you from beach to beach in a path across nature. You can eat in the delicious restaurant of the hostel (around €30 per person for a set menu which is enough for 2 people, actually – so be clever and order just one and share, you will not regret it and food will not be wasted). If you manage to get a tip, get the number of one of the local shepards and go have dinner at his place. It will be a rustic set meal for about €25 (including drinks), where you can fill on his production of cheese, season vegetables, culurgiones di patate (potatoes and cheese filled fresh pasta, which is a local specialty), piglet and seadas (sweet fried cheese filled pastries served hot with honey).
From Golgo plateau, you can do a number of independent and free activities, such as hikes of variable duration to one of the many lovely beaches of the area (calculate that you will be going downhill on the way there, and uphill coming back, but the time is roughly the same) such as Cala Mariolu, Cala Sisine, Cala Biriola, etc., including what I value as one of the most spectacular beaches in the world: climbing paradise Cala Goloritzé. A foothpath in the woods, which will eventually open up to reveal the most cristal clear, transparent water you can imagine. The beach is tiny, a real gem where several sources of fresh water end, making the water very cold but pleasantly refreshing on hot days.
Cala Goloritzé can only be reached via hike and is famous for its 143 meters spire hanging over the beach, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Carry plenty of water and some food, there are no services at all on the route and at the beach.
by Claudia Tavani