THE GULF OF OROSEI
The Gulf of Orosei stretches the entire coast of the Island, from Punta Nera in the north to Capo di Monte Santo in the south.
A clear geologic border divides the Gulf into two main areas, differing in both nature and landscape.
The Northern part shows a low coastal profile, with white sandy beaches and pine groves. The southern part of the Gulf of Orosei (bordered in the North by Punta Nera and South from Capo di Monte Santo), to which the village of Cala Gonone belongs, is characterized by a high chain of limestone mountains, covered with forests and Mediterranean scrub. Behind Cala Gonone, Mount Irveri protects the village from the north, dipping on one side its vertical walls in the sea, and on the other joining the chain of Monte Bardia (882 m) and Mount Tului (916 m).
This large natural amphitheatre has been isolated from the hinterland by the high ramparts of rock, which made it inaccessible for centuries. The total lack of urban settlements and coastal roads makes this coast one of the most interesting from nature’s point of view. The greatest tourist attractions in the Gulf, are definitely the beaches. Almost all are accessible only from the sea, and open on the coast between stacks and cliffs, caves and rock arches in a landscape of extraordinary beauty.
The last beach accessible by land is Cala Fuili and its gorge (codula). Squeezed between high cliffs, the dense vegetation of junipers and Mediterranean scrub gives shade and coolness to tourists and free climbers in the steep cliffs. Cala Fuili is the last beach reachable by car; continuing by foot in a two- hour trek you can reach Cala Luna following the path that goes up on the wall opposite to that of the paved road.
A fascinating experience that can be enjoyed by those of a sporting lean is the utilisation of kayaks and canoes to observe the many species of birds nesting in the coast; colonies of “Queen's Hawks”, Herring Gulls and rare Corsican Gulls.
The first wonders that can be seen sailing, after Cala Fuili beach, are the two large arched entrances of the Bue Marino Cave. Not far from the cave, you find the fine sandy beach of Ziu Santoru. Not always storms recreate the beach wiped out in winter, but if docking is possible, you can the visit the roof cave and admire the sea from a different poit of view.
A more half a mile and you reach the beach of Cala Luna: here, the limestone cliff appears perforated by six huge caves that open on the beach and ends to leave toom to the valley space that generated the sandy shore.
The wonderful sand and shingles dune joins the wall of caves to the majestic rock of Su Masongiu, spectacular - as for its height – as for the squared stone blocks that falling into the sea forming Punta Lastroni.
Right behind the sand dune, a thick oleander wood turns pink in summer months. The resurgence of the river, which until 1996 formed a lake, has almost disappeared due to a violent storm that pushed the beach back a few meters; the water holes are still found when climbing the “codula”.
After Punta Lastroni the cliff continues overlooking the sea, to another “Codula” beach called Cala Sisine. The high walls opening to be beach give this place a unique mountain look, enhanced by the forest on the walls of the gorge, with its centuries-old carob trees and holms. Unlike Cala Luna, here the stream does not emerge except during the winter floods.
All the beaches coming one after another originated by rocky or debris landslides, that the sea has smoothed off for centuries, creating dunes of tiny pebbles, which give beautiful colours in various shades of blue and green to the sea bottom.
Cala Biriola beach with its natural rock arc, towered by an immense forest, which in the past provided wood for building and coal for export. In the bush, the paths of the charcoal burners are still kept hidden and on the cliff bulge the tracks for transportation of cargo on the sailing ships.
Then Cala Mariolu appears with the two coves separated by a white rock promontory jutting at a clear blue depth.
Then Cala dei Gabbiani and its clear waters and small white rock emerging from the sea.
Cala Goloritzé is characterized by a magnificent pinnacle of rock above the beach, perfect for climbers who can enjoy the most exclusive views of the Gulf from its top. Dubbed the great arch of rock close to the beach, our cruise continues to the extreme point of Capo Monte Santu, admiring the flight of the queen's falcons, which nest on vertical walls.
The cruise ends with the visit of the last two small fjords that penetrate into the mountain offering shelter from the north wind.
Dorgali is situated 456 meters a.s.l. and has a population of 8,035 inhabitants, divided between the countryside and its maritime Cala Gonone.
The village is easily accessible from the main Sardinian towns (Cagliari, Sassari, Oristano, Olbia) by Strada Statale 131 - direction Abbasanta / Nuoro - exit Lula / Dorgali. It’s connected to Cagliari and Olbia by Strada Statale 125 (Orientale Sarda), the longest and more tortuous road of the Island, full of terrific panoramic views. Crafts, agriculture, livestock and tourism are the main economy sectors of Dorgali.
The local winery, dairy and oil mill, "carasau" bakers and the many pastry shops are the highlight of its agricultural economy, which links technological innovations to rural traditions.
Know-how and creativity can be found in specialized artisans shops creating filigree, pottery, carpets, leather, knives, wood carving: the original art pieces can be admired in the stylish shop windows overlooking the main streets of the village. Tourism helped to the preservation of many ancient crafts.
New generations of craftsmen, while respecting the traditional lines and designs, have contributed to the success of new and modern expressions of style.
A variety of prehistoric archaeological sites can be visited in the area surrounding the village.
Sea, beaches, virgin and the wild coastline are the highlights of the incredible natural selection of Cala Gonone, well-known seaside resort just 8 km away from Dorgali.