Tours and Main Attractions

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Coordinates: 40° 17' 9.391" N   /  9° 38' 2.850" E

In this cave there is a long column, 38 m. high connecting the vault with the base of the cave, which has very few rivals in Europe and in the world. This is the best part of the Ispinigoli cave, which can be reached through a bifurcation at the right of Km, 32,600, along  the state road nbr. 125, direction Dorgali/Orosei. It was equipped in the 70’s by the pro loco (local tourist board) with a lighting system and stairs along the stalagmites and stalactites cascades, full of very colorful shapes. It can be visited ten months a year due to its  excellent tour guide service.The two other months are open forbookings at the pro loco office. The itinerary lasts around forty-five minutes. It stars at a panoramic observatory, at the let of the entrance, where the depth of the abyss can be admired. That place was a shelter by ancient pre-historic humans. Until just some years ago it was used by goatherds, too. Its pleasant and constant temperature (approx. 15°c) makes the visit quite comfortable while descending the 280 stairs all the way down to the base of the column. It actually makes one wonder if it should not be a Guinness record. Among its particularities ,one can find the “abyss of the virgins” (l’abisso delle virgini) ,which is a deep and narrow funnel-like hole capable of connecting the underground cave branches. Its length is around 12 km. underground. Small rivers and creeks constantly cross this part of the cave , which can be accessed only by skilled speleologists. At  the base of the abyss, Phoenician necklaces made of vitreous paste have been found and they are now exhibited at the Dorgali archeological museum , as well as bone remains believed to belong to young girls. That is why after these discoveries, there appeared a legend telling that Phoenicians used to perpetrate human sacrifices in order to please and thank their gods.

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The tallest peak of the Supramonte, with its 1436 mt., allows a vision 360° of the whole territory and to glimpse the sea of the gulf of Orosei, in a “lunar” landscape that it hides botanical variety of extraordinary interest. With the off-roads it reaches the country of Oliena and subsequently crossed the place "Monte Maccione" toward “Scala Pradu”. From here it begins a circular run that will allow to reach again the off-roads after about 5 hours of excursion, through an uncontaminated area. 

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It is also possible to make an excursion to Goloritzè (the last beach of the gulf of Orosei) following the road SS 125 until Baunei, going towards the upland-plateau of the “Golgo” and finally going down to the beach by foot. This beach is without any doubt one of the most beautiful of the gulf. Afterwards you can return back to Cala Gonone by rubber dinghy visiting every one of the bays long the way, among them Mariolu, Biriola, Sisine, and Cala Luna. Journey there and back by Land Rover (walk of about 1 hour and 15 minutes to descend and 1 hour and 50 minutes to climb).

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An alternative way to visit the beach of “Cala Luna” is the one that starts from the locality “Buchi Arta”, reached by Land Rover over a scenic route. Here you can admire the characteristic folds of the goatherds, they are still used and surrounded by a rugged and uncontaminated landscape. From this point the beach can be reached by foot from “Scala s’arga”, an old path made by ancient charcoalburners, that walking from a while on the “Codula di lune” in continuous contact with a luxuriant vegetation. During a break on the beach you will have a snack with typical local products. Possibility of stop on the beach.

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Gorropu is an enormous gorge created by a tectonic movement. It was later eroded both by the water of the river “Flumineddu” and by atmospheric agents. It has cliff faces that are higher than 400 meters. The excursion starts from Dorgali, going first through the Oddoene valley. After crossing the “Sa barva” bridge the route runs along the “Flumineddu” river to the entrance of the gorge. Rich vegetation lines the sides of the road. Inside the gorge the excursion follows along a riverbed of the river that now flows underground and comes up every now and then, like for example at the spring at the entrance to the gorge. Coming back from the walk, in this place you will have a snack of packed lunch with typical local products. The path is difficult only in the final part of the gorge, but the most interesting part is at the entrance because it allows you to see the highest cliff faces in Europe.  

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Coordinates: 40° 14' 27.291" N     9° 37' 9.530" E 

Located at the foot of the slopes of the rocky promontory of Baccu Erettili and the gully of Baccu Arala which leads to Cala Sisine's nice beach. The cave is, in plan view, the shape of an upside-down "Y", and in total is 200m long. Everywhere you see weird columns and cauliflower-shaped stalagmites. From the large chamber, various smaller chambers open with elegant columns, and other strangely-shaped stalactites and stalagmites which reflect marvellously the light. 
From the cave's beauty comes its name Su Meraculu which means "the miracle" in Sardinian language. 
 

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Coordinates: 39° 48' 41.460" N     9° 29' 34.772" E 

We can show you mysterious tunnels formed millions of years ago, and the openings hidden between the tacchi of Ulassai, to discover a unique and fascinating spectacle. The Grotta Su Marmuri, many kilometres long and 35m high, is considered one of Europe's most impressive caves. Having descended the 200 steps at the entrance to the cave, the visit follows an easy path that passes an endless series of pools which often form lakes along the right wall. The concretions, whose size is in line with the rest of the cave, are fascinating, as are the enormous stalagmites and curtained flows of limestone which hang down from the walls of the cave. 

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Coordinates:  39° 59' 28.356" N     9° 41' 26.945" E 

Grotta del Fico is, in many ways, unique among the great variety of the caves present on the island, for the quality, quantity and variety of its calcareous concretions, joined together with the presence of the Monk Seal, ever present up to the end of the sixties.
The sensations felt by the speleologists who hastened to the area, toward the middle of the last century, to explore these fascinating caves, must have overcome their every expectation the moment they were suddenly faced with the seals, whose habits were subsequently studied for many years up until their disappearance.
Open towards the Golfo di Orosei, in the territory of Baunei, the cave can be reached by sea on passenger barges departing from Santa Maria Navarrese.
The presence of stalactites, stalagmites and columns, of various dimensions and colours, allow the visitor to enjoy an incomparable show, exalted by the plays of light and the transparencies created along its tunnels. Made up of two separate tunnels and connected by a long siphon to the open sea, the cave is practicable with the help of some gangways running along the fossil bed of the ancient underground river whose waters, over the millennia, created the cave.

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Coordinates: 40° 14' 27.291" N  /   9° 37' 9.530" E

These are large caves that owe their name to the Sardinian appellative of the monk seal, a 
magnificent specimen of mammal that has almost disappeared from the zone. The splendid caves of  Bue Marino are among the best known in Sardinia for their clear and crystalline water that reflect the beautiful concretions that have been raised throughout the years. In fact the place is highly suggestive and very rich of stalactites and stalagmites.
The cave develops in 2 main branches, branch north and south branch. The north branch is to be explored with speleological helmets. The northern branch of the cave, by now fossil (water has naturally abandoned it and stalactites ceased to grow), that can be visited only with an 
authorization. Some local cooperatives organise speleologist excursions into the different branches of the cave.
The tourist branch "southern branch" is the active branch where they are made visits, spread for about 7 km. Guests will visit only 1 km of it.The cave of Bue Marino known since Neolithic was frequented by people on their path that has left some carved on the walls.


1 HOUR GUIDED WALKING TOUR 
LOCATION:
The caves are 4 km away from the town of Cala gonone. 2 km away from the beach of Cala luna.
WHAT TO WEAR:
It is advisable to wear a pair of comfortable shoes, not flip flap, jacket or pull-over for the humidity

 

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At roughly 15 km from Cala Gonone lies the old Nauragic village of Tiscali which was actually built inside a large grotto. Forty of the original circular and rectangular huts can still be admired there today. The origins of the village to this day, though, remain mysterious because of the building technique and structure which were used at the time and which differ entirely from the those of the classic Nuraghe. The natural and environmental context of the village is appealing and stimulating and visits there are often combined with trekking tours.

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Just a few km from Cala Gonone stands the Nauragic village of Serra Orrios which dates back to the Middle Bronze Age (1500 – 1300 B.C.). The first archaeological excavations were carried out in 1936. The village consists of around 70 huts of circular form which were divided into what we today would call blocks and placed all around the main courtyard at the centre of which stood the all important well which provided water to the whole of the village. A great number of artefacts and other items have been found on the site which indicate the extraordinary social and economic initiative of the village.

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The nuraghe is a very well-known Sardinian symbol. It is actually its most representative monument, which recalls its millenary history . its construction is quite impressive. It can reach 20 m ,of height. The most important Nuraghes can even count 15 interconnect towers. These constructions were built by the dry-stone technique (“pietra a secco “), without any cohesive material.  So , it seems unbelievable that they have survived completely up to our times. They represent a real prehistoric architectural jewel and document the high developmental level reached by the bronze civilization. The Dorgali areas is rich I architectonic elements of the nuragic civilization ( Bronze Era), as is shown by the strong concentration of Nuraghes (40) , nuragic  villages (more than 60)and megalithic tombs (more than 30). Nuraghes are always built in strategic positions : hidden inside a cavern or in a check-position above the rivers, as well as sea-dominant .  They decorate most of the 225 sq.km, of the Dorgali’s country-side. The presence of many nuragic settlements in cala gonone  proves that the nuragic civilization was not absolutely hidden on the mountains or not open to cultural exchanges. The fact that the nuraghe arvu village was of large dimensions 8 the archeologist  taramelli counted 120 huts in the 20’s), the presence of the nuraghe favorite ( just a few meters away from the palmasera beach), as well as the presence of the Nuragheddu village and the nuraghe Mannu clearly  show, on the contrary, high demographic  growth on the Sardinian east coast during the bronze era up to the roman period. We advise visiting the nuraghe Mannu  village. It can be reached by taking the road which connects cala gonone to Dorgali. A road on the left , right after  the first hairpin bend, leads straight to the monument. A guided tour is available within the archeological site. The small one-tower nuraghe  gives a full view of the Orosei Gulf. It is surrounded by many huts excavated  during the 90’s by means of a special  programme , which combined archeological research and vacations . it made possible the discovery of  the nuragic huts which were previously  covered both by the vegetation and by square-planted roman ruins. This cultural overlap recalls the Roman colonization. In fact , roman troops occupied this village holding it both as a military outpost and as a trade center. It is documented by the seals o the ceramic finds which prove they came from the north- African roman colonies.

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The fact that Nuragic collective graves were so monumental has fed popular fantasy and beliefs. People have thought they were used by fantastic beings. Scientific  research has proved, instead  that the tradition of the Nuragic civilization was to build common burial buildings for mortal remains of the town inhabitants. A good example is the tomba dei giganti di thomes (thomes grave) which is found just 6 km away from the Serra  Orrios village on the state road nbr. 131 (s.s. 131) direction Olbia/Nuoro. The site is located at 3 km after the crossing Orosei/Nuoro.

It can be reached from the main road, equipped  with a big parking lot, where a 400 m. comfortable path stars. The granite central stele shocks  because of its height (3,65m). this is a bent border stele and it has a small gate, carved at its base, which symbolically represented the hell entrance , that is the doorway to world beyond the grave. The holy area where the funerary rites took place is bounded by a semicircular exedra made of  stone slabs driven in the mortuary room stretches for 11 motors.

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The small but gracious civic archeological museum is hosted in the primary school building, located in the Dorgali’s  main road ( via lamarmora).

In  the showcase displayed in its rooms it guards materials found in many caves and archeological sites. A collections of obsidian and silixarrow  points introduce visitors to a trip into the past.

The Neolithic fine and well decorated potteries, a bone-made idol, brassards to protect archers’ wrists, pickaxes for excavation, axes and stone blades, remains of votive food preserved inside pots found in caves show the pre-historical everyday life of those peoples.

The museum also displays show cases dedicated to the nuragic civilization , exhibiting functional steatite melting matrixes, a phallic symbol out of stone to witness the importance of the fertility cult, as well as a wide quantity of wool processing spindles.

Phoenician jewelry exhibited here was found deeper than 100m.inthe abyss of the virgins (abisso delle verigini) in the Ispinigoli cave.

Such jewelry is witness to Phoenician landing on the Sardinian coasts made by the fast ships of this mysterious people of sailors and tradesmen. Coloured vitreous paste necklaces , as well as elegant earrings give precious value to the showcase in the  second room. The visit continues with several bronze tools (a votive bell, brooches and pins, axes of raisd borders) and objects found in caves ,modeled in beautiful aesthetic shapes by calcareous erosion activity. In the third room ancient roman coins can be admired, as well as oil-lamps , a copy of the bronze diploma of the Sardinian  mercenary tunila , who used to fight for the roman empire army. At the end of the visit it is also possible to see submarine findings. The museum is open all the year.

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