Insider Tips: Planning a trip to Cala Gonone
Claudia Tavani is the mastermind behind Strictly Sardinia, a Sardinia focused blog where she shares all her knowledge about her beloved island.
What should I do on my first trip to Cala Gonone?
If you are visiting Cala Gonone for the first time, definitely go on a boat tour along the Gulf of Orosei. There are daily departures from the tourist harbor and you have a choice of larger boats that offer a hop-on hop-off service and smaller (and faster) ones that work more like a guided tour. Different tours make different stops but they all allow time at the beach to relax and snorkel. Some tours also allow time to visit one of the many caves in the gulf, such as the Sea Oxen Grotto (Grotta del Bue Marino).
What are some hidden gems to see in Cala Gonone?
Most people who visit Cala Gonone head straight to the beach, but there's actually quite a bit to see inland. Drive past Dorgali - the main small town in the area - and head to Cedrino Lake where you can kayak all the way to Su Gologone Spring. You can also visit S'Ena 'e Thomes Giants' Tomb just outside Oliena, and the nearby Sa Sedda 'e Sos Carros nuragic ruins.
How much time should I spend in Cala Gonone?
Spend at least 3 days in Cala Gonone to appreciate everything that the Gulf of Orosei has to offer. You can do a boat tour on your first day, hike to Cala Luna beach on your second day and visit the nearby archeological sites on the third day. If you have more time, you can explore more beaches in the area or hit more hiking trails too.
What is the best way to get around Cala Gonone?
Cala Gonone is really small and you won't really need a car in town. If all you want to do is hang at the beach, you can simply hop on a boat. However, you really need a car (or at least a private transfer) to get to Cala Gonone. The closest airports are Cagliari Elmas and Olbia Costa Smeralda, but getting to Cala Gonone by bus would require several changes and it would be very time-consuming. Once there, a car will be essential if you want to explore further than the beaches.
What are the best months to visit Cala Gonone?
Cala Gonone is best enjoyed in the spring and summer months - from April to the very end of September. Visit in the spring and you will be able to enjoy the hikes in the area without the heat of the summer and you may be quite lucky to have days that are warm enough to go to the beach. Summer is the best time of year to swim and snorkel.
What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Cala Gonone?
The area of Cala Gonone is famous for the many pristine and secluded beaches. There are very few that can be accessed easily - the main beach in Cala Gonone, and Cala Fuili which can be reached by car and a quick hike. That's where the road literally ends, The trailhead to Cala Luna, the most famous beach in the area, is located just off Cala Fuili beach,
Where should I stay when I visit Cala Gonone?
Most people who visit Cala Gonone decide to stay in one of the small hotels, guest houses or holiday rentals in the village so that they can easily access restaurants and shops. However, you also have the option of sleeping in a more remote "agriturismo" - working farms that have rooms and offer traditional food too. The best ones are located around Dorgali, the main town in the area.
What are 4 best tips for a person traveling to Cala Gonone?
Bring a swimsuit - even if you are traveling to Cala Gonone in the spring or early fall, you may be blessed with gorgeous, sunny and warm days perfect for swimming. Just as well, bring your hiking shoes: one of the best experiences in Cala Gonone is the hike to Cala Luna. If you are prone to seasickness, bring some Dramamine and take it around 45 minutes before your boat tour departs. Finally, do not dismiss the inland attractions, especially if you want to get away from the crowded beaches.
What should people avoid doing in Cala Gonone?
The sand in the beaches near Cala Gonone is precious, but taking sand, pebbles and shells from Sardinia beaches is forbidden and if you are caught with it (they will check at the airport or at the harbor) you will be fined. Avoid wild camping. It may be tempting to place a tent and sleep on the beach, but it is actually forbidden in Sardinia.
What are your top 5 favourite GetYourGuide experiences in Cala Gonone?
Cala Gonone: Gulf of Orosei Day Trip by Boat with Swim Stops
From Cala Gonone: Gulf of Orosei Dinghy Trip
From Cala Gonone: Gulf of Orosei Cruise to Cala Goloritzè
Cala Gonone: Cala Gonone Aquarium Entry Ticket
Exclusive dinghy with skipper
What is one thing that surprised you about Cala Gonone?
What you will love about Cala Gonone is the variety of activities on offer. Don't limit yourself to boat tours and beaches because there is so much more! Hikes archeological sites and rural experiences are definitely activities you should consider.
What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Cala Gonone?
Kids will definitely enjoy Cala Gonone Aquarium. It's open year-round and it's a fun place to visit for the family. If your children love swimming, they will definitely enjoy a boat tour too!
What is the best thing to do in Cagliari for solo travelers?
Solo travelers will definitely enjoy a boat tour to meet other people or to simply take in all the stunning views.
What is the best thing to do in Cala Gonone for couples?
For a private and romantic experience, rent a small zodiac. Pack some lunch and a cooler for a bottle of the best Sardinian vermentino, and enjoy exploring the coast at your own pace.
What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Cala Gonone?
Cala Gonone is a paradise for nature lovers. If you want to make the most of what the area has to offer, go on a hike. The hike to Cala Luna departs from Cala Fuili. The trail is easy to follow but the walk can be strenuous in bits. You can actually take a boat back to Cala Gonone if you visit in the peak months.
What are the best beaches around Cala Gonone?
Literally, every single beach near Cala Gonone is stunning. Many would tell you the best one is Cala Mariolu because of its unique sand (it's actually tiny white pebbles). However, Cala Luna is gorgeous too, with the caves along the shore; and Cala dei Gabbiani is another must-see. If you don't want to go on a boat tour, opt to visit Cala Fuili, which can be accessed by car and a short hike.