Visit the Gulf of Orosei

Les spots

Are you in Sardinia and want to discover one of its most beautiful treasures? Discover all our tips in our article dedicated to visiting the Gulf of Orosei!

Ah, Italy, its gastronomy, its historical vestiges, its islands… The Italian boot is home to countless and varied riches! From Turin to Palermo, Italy offers an exceptional diversity of discoveries and unsuspected beauties.

Sardinia is one of those Italian wonders. The Mediterranean’s second-largest island is a fine reflection of this diversity: pretty towns, magnificent beaches and hiking trails. The Gulf of Orosei is one of these magical places in Sardinia.

This article aims to give you all the information you need to visit the Gulf of Orosei, as well as ideas for original and unforgettable excursions.

The Gulf of Orosei and its magical coves

Le golfe d'Orosei et ses criques magiques

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Lillusion

A visit to the Gulf of Orosei means discovering a little-known part of Sardinia. Far from the festive atmosphere of Olbia or Cagliari, the Gulf of Orosei is a rather quiet and restful corner of the island. It’s so quiet that you could almost walk past it without noticing the treasures it harbors.

The Gulf of Orosei is undoubtedly one of Sardinia’s most beautiful vistas. These natural wonders include its coves. Although the Gulf of Orosei boasts a dozen or so coves, only a handful of them owe their renown to the gulf. Of these, Cala Luna is the most extraordinary of all.

Only accessible by boat, it faces the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park, home to Sardinia’s highest peaks. Cala Luna is a beach of fine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise water. What makes Cala Luna so special is that part of the beach is formed by caves hollowed out by erosion. The setting is absolutely sublime, and once you’ve discovered it, you’ll never forget it.

Other coves such as Cala Goritzé, Cala Mariolu and Cala Biriola are also superb, and some are only accessible by boat.

The Gulf of Orosei, a variety of activities in an exceptional natural setting

Le golfe d'Orosei, une variété d'activités dans un cadre naturel exceptionnel

Photo credit: Shutterstock – D.Bond

To reduce the Gulf of Orosei to its coves would be to do it an injustice. After all, a visit to the Gulf of Orosei also gives you the opportunity to take part in water sports such as snorkeling and diving. However, to mention only the nautical side of things is to overlook the variety of activities on offer in the Gulf of Orosei.

First of all, take a stroll through the old town of Orosei. You’ll be transported back several centuries, and the Sardinian atmosphere is intoxicating. And the food is excellent! If you’re in good physical condition, there are some beautiful but challenging hikes waiting for you, some of them leading to coves in the middle of nowhere.

Last but not least, the Gulf of Orosei has a wealth of caves, both underwater and on land, which are easy to visit. Do you feel like it? Then pack your bags!

What to see and do on a visit to the Gulf of Orosei?

Que voir et que faire lors d'une visite du golfe d'Orosei ?

Photo credit: Shutterstock – zakaz86

The first thing to see in the Gulf of Orosei is, of course, its natural riches, starting, as we’ve just seen, with coves such as Cala Luna and sea caves such as Bue Marino. Most of which are only accessible by boat, these treasures are among Italy’s most beautiful landscapes.

A visit to the Gulf of Orosei is also an opportunity to try your hand at water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving. The seabed is rich in biodiversity, and even contains wrecks from the Second World War!

Finally, you can also discover the picturesque old town of Orosei and the seaside resort of Cala Gonone. The latter is even the starting point for hikes, many of them challenging, in the Gulf of Orosei National Park!

How to visit the Gulf of Orosei?

Boat trip in the Gulf of Orosei

Excursion en bateau

Photo credit: Shutterstock – D.Bond

  • 💰 €50 per person (€28 up to age 10), open from June to September
  • 👍 The little extra of this activity: discover the dreamy landscapes of the Gulf of Orosei

It’s hard to visit the Gulf of Orosei without taking a cruise! It can be considered one of the best and is very complete. Departure is at 10 a.m. from Orosei’s main beach. Then it’s off for 8 hours of dreamy discoveries of magical coves, cliffs and sea caves only accessible by boat!

The first anchorage point is the Bue Marino cave, famous for its superb rock formations. For those who prefer the beach, you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip right next door. The second stop is the one everyone’s been waiting for: the discovery of the Cala Luna cove. A marvellous place of white stones and photogenic caves. For some, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean.

This cruise also takes you to other coves, such as Goloritzé, Mariolu and Sisine. At each of them, you’ll have the chance to swim in crystal-clear water. Afterwards, the boat returns to square one, with stars in your eyes and memories in your head.

Snorkeling in the Gulf of Orosei

Snorkeling

Photo credit: Shutterstock – D.Bond

  • 💰 €50 per person, available from June to September
  • 👍 The little extra of this activity: the discovery of the seabed of the Gulf of Orosei for all.

Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities in the Gulf of Orosei. It has to be said that the marine biodiversity is sublime and quite accessible for those who don’t wish to dive. This excursion offers two possibilities. One is snorkeling at Cala Luna, the other in the caves. In both cases, departure from Cala Gonone is at 9.30 a.m. and, of course, all snorkeling equipment is provided.

If you choose the Cala Luna option, the excursion lasts 2h30. This is an excellent option for those wishing to admire the seabed of this marvellous cove. It’s very rich in fish and easy to observe. It’s also an ideal excursion to enjoy the riches of Cala Luna, a cove that’s been mentioned many times before.

The second option is to snorkel in the caves. This excursion lasts 3h30, 1 hour longer than the one to Cala Luna. Unlike the previous option, it’s not necessarily the fish you’re after here, but rather the amazing rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

Scuba diving in the Gulf of Orosei

Plongée sous-marine

Photo credit: Shutterstock – zakaz86

  • 💰 From €70 per person (€75 for advanced level), available all year round.
  • 👍 The little extra of this activity: the best way to discover the riches of the depths of the Gulf of Orosei.

Snorkeling not enough for you? Then try the adventure of scuba diving with this excursion! There are two options, a beginner’s dive and an advanced dive. It’s essential to choose the one that’s right for you. You can’t be at the advanced level if you’ve never done scuba diving before. Both excursions depart from Cala Gonone.

The beginners’ dive starts at 3 p.m. and lasts 3 hours. Before setting off, you’ll receive safety training as an introduction to scuba diving. You’ll be fitted out by your instructors and head out to sea! You’ll have the chance to observe the aquatic fauna and flora, and admire the Gulf of Orosei from the sea. An unforgettable experience.

The advanced dive starts at 9 a.m. and lasts 4 hours. Even if you’ve dived before, you’ll be given a few safety precautions before setting sail. On the menu, you’ll also have the opportunity to observe the marine biodiversity of the Gulf of Orosei.

The big difference with the beginner level is diving to depths of over 30 meters to admire two shipwrecks, that of the German ship KT12 and the Italian ship Nasello, both sunk during the Second World War. A magical moment!

How do I get to Sardinia to visit the Gulf of Orosei?

If you want to visit the Gulf of Orosei, of course you have to go to Sardinia! From France, you can choose between air and sea.

By plane

There are three airports in Sardinia: Olbia, Cagliari and Alghero. Olbia is the closest to the Gulf of Orosei, and is well served from France by low-cost airlines in high season. That’s a bit of a problem with flying, since, as far as we know, there are no direct flights in low season. Why not stop off in Rome after all?

Check out our partner Skyscanner to find the right combination.

By boat

The main advantage of the boat is that you can come by car to visit the Gulf of Orosei and Sardinia.

Ferries depart from Toulon, Marseille, Nice or Genoa in Italy for Porto Torres, Olbia or Cagliari. You can book your place on any ferry company on DirectFerries.

Whether you arrive by plane or by boat, you’ll then have to make your way to the town of Orosei, which can be reached by bus or car.

Are combined tours available?

Existe-t-il des visites combinées ?

Photo credit: Shutterstock -Daboost

The Gulf of Orosei comprises both the gulf itself and the national park of the same name. It is therefore possible to combine, for example, a boat cruise and a hike, although in reality this is not so easy.

You can also enjoy a dream beach like Casa Luna and visit the old town of Orosei.

Good addresses

Accommodation

When visiting the Gulf of Orosei, your choice of accommodation depends on whether or not you want to spend the night in the immediate vicinity of the national park.

If you’d rather just spend the day, there are plenty of Airbnb accommodations in Sardinia, and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for! You can also use a hotel comparator to get the best deals.

If you’d like to spend one or more nights close to the National Park and Orosei, here are two selected accommodations for you.

House in the immediate vicinity of the Gulf of Orosei National Park
Maison à proximité immédiate du parc national du golfe d'Orosei

Photo credit: Airbnb

With this pretty house in the middle of the countryside, it’s hard to imagine a more ideal location for being as close as possible to the national park. The house is as charming as they come, with simple decor and facilities for a wonderful stay.

Its countryside location gives it an adventurous feel that we love. Of course, a vehicle is required for transportation. Four people can stay together in the house.

Superb apartment in Cala Gonone
Superbe appartement à Cala Gonone

Photo credit: Airbnb

Are you a musician at heart? If so, this apartment in Cala Gonone is for you! As for the rest, the interior decoration is very attractive and the equipment is of the highest quality.

The accommodation is ideally located, close to the market and the starting point for many excursions. It can accommodate up to four guests.

Restaurants

Restaurants

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Alessio Orru

It’s hard to visit the Gulf of Orosei without trying the local food! There are no typical specialities here, but rather Sardinian and even Italian cuisine. Almost all restaurants are located in Orosei and Cala Gonone.

In Orosei, we recommend Belohorizonte, a seafood restaurant, and Pizzeria da Mario for pizza lovers. If you’re in Cala Gonone, the star pizzeria is undoubtedly Zio Pedrillo! For Italian flair and originality, the Snoopy restaurant is sure to please.

Spotlights

Les spots

Photo credit: Shutterstock – fokke baarssen

Of course, Cala Luna is THE spot to visit, see, photograph and immortalize in the Gulf of Orosei! A unique and exceptional place, a magical blend of crystal-clear water, white sand and caves.

Les spots

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Elisa Locci

The second spot is another beach, Cala Fuili, an absolutely sublime must-see!

Finally, the third spot is the region’s most famous cave, Grotta di Ispinigoli. With its giant stalagmites and stalactites, it offers a magnificent spectacle. The fact that it’s a little out of the way and inland makes it less accessible. However, if you’re travelling by car, it’s a must-see, and believe us, you won’t regret it!