You are currently viewing The 10 best things to do and see in Cala Gonone and Dorgali

If you want to discover the Real Sardinia, immerse yourself in the Mediterranean maquis, smell the scent of myrtle and find yourself on small, isolated beaches in complete peace, the destination you are looking for is Cala Gonone.

Cala Gonone, part of the municipality of Dorgali, is a small seaside resort in the province of Nuoro, known for its beautiful coastline and magnificent tours that allow you to explore the Gulf of Orosei.

However, not everyone knows that Cala Gonone has many more interesting aspects.

It is considered an active tourist destination where it is possible to practice any kind of sport (such as trekking, climbing, diving, kayaking, SUP find out more about Sports to practice in Cala Gonone) surrounded by a wonderful landscape.

Cala Gonone is undoubtedly the ideal destination for those who want to experience a holiday that is the right balance between real and activities in contact with unspoilt nature.

Here are the 10 most important things to do in Cala Gonone that will make you say “I have met the real Sardinia and experienced it as a protagonist“.

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Hiking to Cala Luna 

Cala Luna is considered one of the most beautiful and uncontaminated beaches in the world and can be reached from Cala Gonone by sea or by land.  Today I will tell you the route to reach it by land.

The path starts from Cala Fuili, which can be reached on foot or by car from the centre of Cala Gonone, and it is advisable to start early in the morning, especially in the summer months, to avoid walking under the sun.

When you arrive at the square of Cala Fuili, after having admired the wonderful view, you will have to go down some hundred steps to reach sea level. At the end of the steps, you will find in front of you, on the other side of the river bed, a green ceramic plaque with the sign Cala Luna – Grotte del Bue Marino. From there you will begin an approximately 2-hour walk.

When you reach Cala Luna, enjoy the long stretch of sand surrounded by the crystal clear sea on one side and the freshwater lake on the other, or take a rest in its grottos overlooking the sea.

At the end of the day, if your spirit is too relaxed to tackle the return trek, you can return to Cala Gonone by boarding one of the many boats that depart from Cala Luna. From the port of Cala Gonone, during the summer months, there is a convenient transfer service that will take you to pick up your parked car in Cala Fuili.

Find out more about the trekking route from Cala Gonone to Cala Luna.

What to bring? Water, food (from April to October the Neulagi bar and restaurant is open), hiking shoes, towel, swimwear.
Degree of difficulty: 7/10
Duration: 1h50m

Swimming at Cala Goloritzé

What do you want to do in Cala Goloritzè: trekking, climbing, swimming or diving from the rocks of the arch

Cala Goloritzé has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, not for nothing is it also the testimonial beach for the Region of Sardinia.

It is very easy to get there by car, heading in the direction of Baunei along the scenic State Road (SS125) you will pass above the Gorropu Canyon where the deepest gorge in Europe will be visible on the right.
After a 15-20 minute drive, you will find a rest area marked Base Gorropu.

Continuing on the SS125 will be a wonderful route full of curves, formidable also for those who love motorbikes or road bikes, reaching peaks of over 1000 metres.

After passing Genna Silana, the highest point of the route, you’ll find the Ogliastra side, with plains of wild cattle grazing, no buildings and only unspoilt nature. Before entering the village of Baunei you will find a sign for Golgo of Goloritzé, follow the road and climb up hairpin bends and then descend to the Altopiano Golgo, from where you can easily park your car and start the trekking route.

What to bring? Water, food, hiking shoes, towel, swimwear.
Degree of difficulty: 6/10
Duration: 1h30m

Kayak from Cala Gonone a Cala Luna

If you want to discover the real Sardinia, immerse yourself in the Mediterranean maquis, smell the scent of Myrtle and find yourself on small, isolated beaches in complete peace, the destination you are looking for is Cala Gonone.

Cala Gonone, part of the municipality of Dorgali, is a small seaside resort in the province of Nuoro, known for its beautiful coastline and magnificent tours that allow you to explore the Gulf of Orosei.
However, not everyone knows that Cala Gonone has many more interesting aspects, it is considered an active tourist destination where it is possible to practice any kind of sport (such as trekking, climbing, diving, kayaking, SUP find out more about Sports to practice in Cala Gonone) surrounded by a wonderful landscape.

Cala Gonone is undoubtedly the ideal destination for those who want to experience a holiday that is the right balance between realx and activities in contact with unspoilt nature.

Here are the 10 most important things to do in Cala Gonone that will make you say “I have met the real Sardinia and experienced it as a protagonist”.

Cala Luna

Cala Luna is considered one of the most beautiful and uncontaminated beaches in the world and can be reached from Cala Gonone by sea or by land.  Today I will tell you the route to reach it by land.

The path starts from Cala Fuili, which can be reached on foot or by car from the centre of Cala Gonone, and it is advisable to start early in the morning, especially in the summer months, in order to avoid walking under the sun.

When you arrive at the square of Cala Fuili, after having admired the wonderful view, you will have to go down some hundred steps to reach the sea level. At the end of the steps you will find in front of you, on the other side of the river bed, a green ceramic plaque with the sign Cala Luna – Grotte del Bue Marino. From there you will begin an approximately 2-hour walk.

When you reach Cala Luna, enjoy the long stretch of sand surrounded by the crystal clear sea on one side and the freshwater lake on the other, or take a rest in its grottos overlooking the sea.

At the end of the day, if your spirit is too relaxed to tackle the return trek, you can return to Cala Gonone by boarding one of the many boats that depart from Cala Luna. From the port of Cala Gonone, during the summer months, there is a convenient transfer service that will take you to pick up your parked car in Cala Fuili.

Find out more about the trekking route from Cala Gonone to Cala Luna.

What to bring? Water, food (from April to October the Neulagi bar and restaurant is open), hiking shoes, towel, swimwear.
Degree of difficulty: 7/10
Duration: 1h50m

Cala Goloritzé

What do you want to do in Cala Goloritzè: trekking, climbing, swimming or diving from the rocks of the arch.

Cala Goloritzé has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, not for nothing is it also the testimonial beach for the Region of Sardinia.

The drive to Cala Goloritzé is very simple, heading in the direction of Baunei along the scenic Strada Statale (SS125) you will pass above the Gorropu canyon where the deepest gorge in Europe will be visible on the right.
After a 15-20 minute drive you will find a rest area marked Base Gorropu.

Continuing on the SS125 will be a wonderful route full of curves, formidable also for those who love motorbikes or road bikes, arriving at peaks over 1000 metres.

After passing Genna Silana, the highest point of the route, you’ll find the Ogliastra side, with plains of wild cattle grazing, no buildings and only unspoilt nature. Before entering the village of Baunei you will find a sign for Golgo di Goloritzé, follow the road and climb up hairpin bends and then descend to the Golgo plateau, from where you can easily park your car and start the trekking route.

What to bring? Water, food, hiking shoes, towel, swimwear.
Degree of difficulty: 6/10
Duration: 1h30m

Starting from the beach of Palmasera you go south and find the various beaches of Sos DorrolesS’Abba MeicaZiu Martine with many white pebbles and before arriving in Fuili I recommend you to see some spectacular small caves, with small stalactites and stalagmites, more than 30 metres deep, enjoying some shade under the coast is precious especially if you leave late in the morning.

Immediately after Ziu Martine and having seen the caves there will be some signalling buoys that mark the beach of Cala Fuili, a splendid beach with a canyon behind it, climbers on the various cliffs over the sea and a unique atmosphere. I recommend you continue along the path and after 10 minutes of paddling, you will find yourself in front of the Grotte del Bue Marino (Sea Ox Caves) where they take their name from the famous marine specimen of Monaca Seal present until the 1980s, after which it disappeared due to excessive anthropic pressure.

The cave is extended for more than 20 km where it is divided into several branches, the north one the first coming from Gonone, the centre and the south where you can make visits (I recommend you wear a jacket) the temperature inside is at least 10 degrees lower. Continuing south you will find the first beach named Zio Santoru where on the south side you will also find a small cave to visit with a flashlight and continue you will find the second and also considered one of the smallest coves of the Gulf of Orosei named Cala Oddoana, I recommend both to take a dip, deserves!

Continuing another 15 minutes and passing through the various tunnels of the various rocks and caves you will find yourself in front of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Cala Luna both from a naturalistic and morphological point of view.

Surely in low season is wonderful in high season is really taken by storm from the barges, so I recommend going early in the morning and in the afternoon after 5 pm, remember that to return you have to paddle from 90 to 120 minutes. If there is bad weather, such as headwind, rain and rough seas do not worry we will pick you up by boat or dinghy.

What to bring? Water, food, walking shoes, towel, swimwear.
Degree of difficulty: 7/10
Duration: 90 to 120 minutes.

Canyon Gorropu

Natural Pools Gorropu

Starting from Cala Gonone you have to take the SS125 to Baunei and after about 3 km you will find the sign for Gorropu – Tiscali. Of all the routes Gorropu is certainly one of the easiest and can be done in complete autonomy if you have some experience in trekking and have the stamina to walk for at least 90 minutes.

The Gorropu Canyon is considered to be the wildest, most fascinating, majestic and deepest in Europe. To reach it, simply arrive at the starting point “Sa Barva” where you will cross the Rio Flumineddu bridge and from there begin the mule track to Gorropu. The path is easy and intuitive, just follow the red arrows on the rocks and in 6 km you will be at the base of the Canyon. Surely in the low season and after the big rains you will find the river in flood, ideal for a splendid bath in the natural pools of limestone, a true spectacle of nature and a unique experience.

Find out more about the trekking route from Cala Gonone to the Gorropu Gorge.

What to bring? Water, food, walking shoes, a towel, swimming costume, if you see water in the river.
Degree of difficulty: 5/10
Duration: 60 to 90 minutes.

Old Tunnel

Another beautiful route to do in half a day is definitely the “Galaria Etza e Iscala Omines”. It is a very simple route, because from Cala Gonone you take the road to Dorgali and before the new tunnel you park your car in the panoramic point and walk uphill for about 15-20 minutes. Once you have passed the hairpin bend of the mule track, you will find yourself in front of the first tunnel, built in 1850, which connected Dorgali to Cala Gonone.

Leaving Galaria Etza you will find a breathtaking landscape. On the left towards South you can see the whole valley of Oddoene, among whose mountain chains stands out the Gennargentu, the highest peak in Sardinia. On the right towards the North you can continue towards Dorgali along a path with black and white rock much older dating back to Roman times, called Iscala and Omnines, held perfectly by various works of containment for stone support.

Learn more about the trekking to the Galleria Vecchia and Iscala e Omines from Cala Gonone to Dorgali

Sea excursion in the Gulf of Orosei

Surely one of the most beautiful experiences in Cala Gonone is to rent a small or large dinghy or spend a day with our skipper and see the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Sometimes we go overseas, not knowing that the real wonders are in Italy. Departing in the morning around 8:30 am we leave from the small Marina of Cala Gonone, our skipper Matteo one of the best of the island will take you to various beaches little beaten by tourists, with the possibility of sighting dolphins, to have a drink together in full relaxation and we guarantee you a unique experience, contact us for more information.

Cala Gabbiani

Mountain Bike

For mountain bike lovers, this is definitely the ideal area.
There are a number of different routes, starting with the classic tour to Buchiarta, which is very easy to reach, just go up to Dorgali, take the first hairpin bend and turn left towards Nuraghe Mannu, where you can stop at the Nuragic complex overlooking the Gulf of Orosei, a real strategic point for spotting enemy dangers. From the Nuragic complex continue south and you will find some breathtaking scenery, the first of which is Codula Fuili on the left, possible to reach also with a trekking path for experts.

Continuing along this beautiful concrete road you will pass by some sheepfolds, and then rejoin a fork that straight takes you to the forest of Ghivine while on the left sunnier you will begin the climb to Buchiarta.

It is no coincidence that I chose the verb “climb” on a mountain bike for Buchiarta since it is also one of the best areas for sport climbing in the world. Immediately after passing the mountainside, you will be faced with a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Orosei where the tip is the Capo di Monte Santo, from that point will begin a series of bends and you will find yourself in another small forest and on the left you will find the Buchiarta Climbing Crag.

Codula Fuili

Trekking till Cala Cartoe

This is the only real fine sandy beach near Cala Gonone, very easy to reach by car in 15 minutes, otherwise, it is possible to make a superlative trekking route passing through the woods of junipers, beeches, strawberry trees and pure Mediterranean scrub still uncontaminated.

In order to do this trekking route, it is possible to start walking from Cala Gonone, follow the cement road that leads to Cala Cartoe and just before the first bend starts the panoramic road that runs along the whole northern part of Cala Gonone. This route is full of climbing walls, ferratas and breathtaking views. At the end of the mule track, there will be the first indications that a path will take you to the top of Mount Irveri where you can visit a beautiful sheepfold just renovated.

The second option, and also the most interesting, is to descend towards the sea on the Cala Cartoe route, which takes about 2 hours. It will be a very interesting descent through Mediterranean scrub, volcanic rock and limestone. You will cross several boulders near the crystal clear sea and before the beautiful Cala you will find other small coves including Cartoeddu a small tongue of sand that depending on the tides you can also lie on the shore and enjoy the beach in complete privacy with your partner or family.

Continue along the path another 500 metres and you will find the beautiful beach of Cala Cartoe, with its small brackish water pond, oleanders and its small hill to the north leading to another beautiful beach called Cala Osala. In the periods between May and September there is a kiosk selling drinks, sandwiches and ice-creams which is always open.

The Nuragic complex of Tiscali

Always near the Gorropu Gorges, in the centre of the Nuorese, immediately after the bridge of the Rio Flumeneddu you take the path on the right that leads to the Nuragic complex of Tiscali. You can do the path without the help of guides, and you can get there in just over 90 minutes.

Considered as an archaeological jewel created in the ridge of a mountain, the complex of Tiscali is a complex of a very rare entity and was built in a huge sinkhole generated by the detachment of the upper surface. Surely it is considered by all historians and archaeologists the last fortress of the Nuragic populations against the Roman advance.

Mount Tiscali is located on the edge of Supramonte between the two towns of Oliena and Dorgali, between the valleys of Lanaittue Oddoene. The complex is subdivided in the North zone by 40 round huts with tholos (branches and branches) coverings, while in the South-West zone there are 30 small square-rectangular dwellings.

What to bring? Water, food, walking shoes. Degree of difficulty: 5/10
Duration: 90 minutes, approx. 8 km.

Cala Gonone Aquarium

In a few years the aquarium of Cala Gonone has become a great entity involving all the national and intercontinental public. Recommended visit during rainy days, for children and families who come for a few days. Inside there are more than 25 tanks with various marine ecosystems, of which 20 represent the seas of Sardinia and the Mediterranean and the others the Tropics and the colorful Caribbean seas. In total there are more than 300 marine species housed with a total of more than 2000 specimens.

Among the various specimens are conger eels and moray eels, typical of the area, while the larger rocks are dens for our scorpion fish and then inside the large tank we will find larger species such as snappers and amberjacks. In the largest tank is the queen, our mascot, the turtle caretta caretta. Further on there are more tanks with hungry piranhas and in the tropical areas you will find coral reefs with colourful fish.

At the end of the trail, there is a tactile pool experience, the most exciting of all. Together, young and old, you will be able to caress and become familiar with various species such as stingrays, a real floating carpet, sea urchins, starfish, hermit crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans.

The largest and most modern facility in Sardinia, expect nothing like the aquariums in Genoa and Barcelona, it was designed by architects Sebastiano Gaias and Peter Chermayeff and has a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Orosei.

Cost: adults € 12, children 4 – 12 € 6.50, children 0 – 3 free.
Duration: about 20 minutes, but you can stay as long as you wish.

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