There are vacations, and there are life changing journeys. I challenge anyone to go to Sardinia and come back the same person. It is impossible. The water infiltrates your soul, and a part of you will forever be floating in the brilliant blue sea, bathed in sunlight. Choosing a favorite beach among the most beautiful in the world is not easy, but for me it is Cala Mariolu in the Golfo di Orosei.
Cala Mariolu, takes its name from a story about the monk seals who once lived in the Golfo di Orosei and inhabited its many caves. As the legend goes, a fisherman had caught a fish and set it inside the cave at Cala Mariolu, but when he went to pick it up it was gone. “There’s a thief here!”, he proclaimed, which from his dialect became, “Mariolu”. Today the monk seals have departed, but conservation efforts hope to bring them back one day. How happy they must have been to call this place home!
This beach is one of the few in the area with a little beach bar offering refreshment.
Near the beach bar, the rocks form two heights of natural diving boards for adventure seekers to plunge into the glowing turquoise waters below.
From there, a short swim away, is my favorite part of Cala Mariolu, a tiny little cave. You can swim right inside, and the view is awe inspiring. The water gently laps the sand that leads back into the cave, so exploring a bit is easy. There is no joy like floating in the water inside and letting the beauty wash over you.
In the darkness of the cave the sea takes on even more brilliant shades of every color from sparkling turquoise to deep blue, purple, to lavender. Nowhere else on earth have I seen anything like it.
There will always be a piece of my soul there, and countless others, I suspect.
A line from Cuore e Ventu, a song about Sardinia reads;
“Si arrende anche la luna alla bellezza, il mare la sua splendida corazza. Conserva la sua storia nella terra. Concede un ballo solo a chi sa amarla.”
“Even the moon surrenders to her beauty, the sea its splendid armor. She preserves her history in her land. She grants a dance only to he who loves her.”
That is why we travel, is it not? To love, to dance, to surrender. To expand our horizons. To become a part of somewhere far away. To experience beauty so intense that it imprints itself on our hearts forever.
If you have been to Italy a few times, desire a break from the cities and crowds, or simply love the sea as I do, Sardegna is an island of adventure, pristine beaches, unimaginable beauty, indescribable soul.
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Blog and Photo by Lindsay Sinko
Passion for Italy Travel, USA