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If you are looking for Italy’s best beaches, and in fact some of the best in the world, look no further than Sardinia.
“Questa terra è un altra cosa. Incantevole spazio intorno e distanza da viaggiare, nulla di finite, nulla di definitive. È come la libertà stessa.”
“This land is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel, nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself.” from Sea and Sardinia by D. H. Lawrence
I invite you to come with me on the most glorious boat ride this world has to offer.
We make our way to the port of Arbatax on the east coast of Sardegna to meet our captain, Sergio. As the red faraglioni rocks of Arbatax emerge, we begin to see the wonder of the wild coast. Selvaggio, they say in Italian.
“Bob Marley! Sardegna Bob Marley!!” Sergio exclaims as he turns up the lively music. His boat dances toward the most beautiful water on Earth.
As the Golfo di Ogliastra meets the Golfo di Orosei every person onboard lets out a collective gasp and the water transforms from deep blue into bright, sparkling turquoise.
The boat pulls into Cala dei Gabbiani “Seagulls’ Beach”, our first beach of the day, where we have two hours to swim, sun and explore. When they return to collect us we are greeted with a traditional Aperol spritz to enjoy as we take in the scenery on our way to the next stop.
Sergio is wonderful. He tells us how high the rocks shoot out of the sea, about the hiking trails where adventure seekers appear as ants above us, and how the area was once home for monk seals.
Our next stop, Grotta del Fico, or Cave of the Fig, is a cool refreshment. The cave used to be a habitat for the seals. It is fascinating inside, watery and cool, but the highlight is the view from the opening after 30 minutes in the darkness of the cave. The colors take our breath away.
Back onboard, the chef has prepared a delicious lunch with fresh fish, fresh salad, great pasta, and all the Vermentino wine we care to drink. We dine in a cove of emerald green. Once we finish our lunch we dive into the beckoning water to our heart’s content.
Cala Mariolu is our next stop. This lovely beach is known to be one of the best in the world. Taking its name from a story about the monk seals who used to inhabit it, Cala Mariolu glows with aqua light.
Adventure seekers can dive from the rocks and swim inside the tiny cave.
We are handed a glass of sangria as we embark one last time on our now beloved boat and watch what is sure to be everyone’s new favorite beach disappear into the horizon.
Soon, Cala Goloritze, emerges, its famous rocks rising high into the sky and framing another of the world’s best beaches in artistic perfection. This beach was recently featured on Travel Channel’s Best Top Secret Beaches.
As we return to Arbatax, we notice countless seagulls following the boat.
Our chef, with a bucket of fragments from lunch begins hand feeding them, and they gracefully swoop down, gently take a fish from his fingertips, and once again soar above the island they call home. La liberta stessa; freedom itself.
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By Lindsay Sinko,
Passion For Italy Travel, USA