Cala Gonone is a picturesque seaside town on the central east coast of Sardinia, offering an ideal blend of sunny beaches, scenic landscapes and excellent attractions for your Italy holiday in 2019. Located 56 kilometres to the east of the famous Costa Esmeralda, Cala Gonone is a useful base from which to explore the beautiful surrounding area. The closest town is Dorgali, located slightly further inland and nestled amidst spectacular mountains, offering trekking trails with wonderful views. Nearby, you’ll find the landmark of Tiscali and the stunning gorge of Su Gorropu, as well as a number of lovely tranquil little beaches lining the coast. In Cala Gonone you’re also within easy reach of Ispinigoli Caves and the picturesque Cala Cartoe Beach, Osalla Beach at Dorgali, Cala Sisine Beach at Baunei, and Su Petrosu Beach at Orosei. The town is well-equipped to welcome tourists, with a selection of restaurants and bars, while at the harbour boats take holidaymakers along the coast to the bays and beaches in the nearby area.
Cala Gonone is famous for its marine grottoes, the best-known of which is the Grotta del Bue Marino, a radiant attraction with spectacular sculptures of natural origin. The town itself is focssed on the lengthy promenade, with a variety of laid-back restaurants and bars, and a thin stretch of sand. At either end of the sand you’ll find a wide beach, with an easy 10-minute stroll between them. The beaches are one of the major draws of Cala Gonone, giving you ample opportunity to stroll on the sand, lounge in the sun or paddle in the warm waters. The shore here has a gentle descent into the sea, making it ideal for those with young children, more mature holidaymakers and those with limited mobility. Further afield, you’ll find a number of picturesque sandy coves that are well worth exploring, including the Cala Fuili, just three kilometres south of Cala Gonone. Here you’ll find a set of steps cut into the rock leading down to a pebbled beach and a patch of rough sand, with crystal clear waters that are popular with snorkelers and scuba divers.
One of the best aspects of Cala Gonone – and there are more than a few – is the wonderful gastronomy of the wider Sardinia area. We’re all familiar with the staples of popular Italian cuisine, including pizza, pasta and salad, but Cala Gonone is an ideal place to try all the wonderful dishes of the Sardinia region at their best. Sardinia is traditionally a shepherd region, which is reflected in its gastronomy. Some of the staple dishes here include spit-roasted or grilled meats, breads, salami, olives and cheeses, with simple yet intense flavours. You’re unlikely to see a ketchup bottle out on the table in many restaurants, as the delicious taste accents speak for themselves. While you’re on holiday in Cala Gonone, you’ll start thinking of garnishing food in a new way, shirking the ketchup and mustard-based condiments that are popular in Western food for simple olive oil and fresh locally-sourced herbs. The jewel in the crown of Sardinian cuisine is their local produce, with some of the finest local breads being pane carasau, spianata and faine, and popular cheeses being pecorino romano and soft ricotta.
The laid-back vibe and family-friendly attractions of Cala Gonone make it ideal for reconnecting as a family and spending some quality time together. Cala Gonone beach ticks all the boxes for a family-friendly destination for those on a shoestring budget, with white-sand and pebble beaches, plenty of great beach amenities and calm, clear waters for snorkelling and swimming. Along the seafront promenade, you’ll find plenty of family-oriented trattorias and a number of activities that will keep all the family entertained, including daily boat excursions to the beautiful Bue Marino Caves, Cala Fuili and Cala Luna. Other excellent family attractions within easy reach of Cala Gonone include the Cala Cartoe beach, Ispinigoli Caves and Osalla Beach at the nearby town of Dorgali.
Action & Adventure
With its low-key atmosphere and traditional Sardinian way of life, you may be surprised to learn that Cala Gonone is considered a hidden gem by extreme sports enthusiasts. Thanks to the wonderful weather and naturally beautiful landscape, Cala Gonone is an ideal venue for almost all types of sport. The sea surrounding Cala Gonone has crystal-clear waters that are popular with divers of all skill levels, whether you’re looking to take your first diving lesson or are a seasoned diving enthusiast. The other distinctive feature of Cala Gonone’s coastline is the steep cliffs, which are wildly popular with fans of free climbing and other climbing enthusiasts. Around Cala Gonone, you’ll also find mountains, setting the scene for numerous other sports including trekking, mountain biking, climbing and bungee jumping. If you’re looking to enjoy more low-to-moderate intensity sports, there are plenty of sporting venues and clubs around Cala Gonone that offer tennis, golf, go-karting, football and volleyball. You’ll also find facilities for canoeing and fishing, as well as plenty of places to hire equipment for windsurfing and waterskiing.
The best beach in the Cala Gonone area is Cala Luna beach, a crescent of bright white sand that’s popular with the locals and tourists alike. Backed by tall limestone cliffs, Cala Luna is a relatively secluded beach with crystal clear waters and is very popular with free climbers thanks to its soaring backdrop. With a restaurant to the back of the beach and a lifeguard on duty, Cala Luna is a good choice of beach for holidaying families with young children, more mature holidaymakers and those with limited mobility. Another excellent local beach is the Cala Sisine, a fantastic tranquil beach with large pebbles that’s excellent for sitting and watching the sea, sunbathing or taking a stroll along the shore. Cala Biriola is something of a hidden gem in Cala Gonone and is situated around the corner of the coastline from Cala Sisine. The warm-toned sand has a smattering of white pebbles and the waters here are some of the clearest in the area, making them ideal for snorkelling and paddling about in the shallows. Cala Mariolu is a small strip of sand and pebbles nestled amidst huge rocks. The terrain here is dramatic, making it ideal for beach photography or sketching.
As in most of Sardinia, the nightlife in Cala Gonone is very laid-back. The nightlife in Cala Gonone has a traditional feel, shunning loud music and clubbing for quiet nights out in comfortable surroundings. Italians are renowned for spending most of their evenings eating, drinking wine and socialising, with many locals congregating on terraces in the town centre, at one of the restaurants along the promenade or at a café on the sidewalk. The relaxed atmosphere of the nightlife here makes Cala Gonone an ideal choice for families, more mature holidaymakers and couples looking to enjoy romantic meals without having to shout over music. If you’re craving a more vibrant nightlife scene, you can head to Alghero or Cagliari close by, which have far more options for bar-hopping and dancing well into the night.
Cala Gonone is undoubtedly one of the most romantic of the Sardinian holiday destinations, offering plenty of secluded beach havens, romantic restaurants and intimate bars to get you in the mood for love. Whether you’re newlyweds looking to get your marriage off to a romantic start on honeymoon or are celebrating many happy years together, Cala Gonone is a wonderful place to toast your relationship and connect as a couple. The natural beauty of the area makes Cala Gonone a fuss-free setting for romance. Around Cala Gonone you’ll find a number of relatively secluded beaches that are perfect for taking long strolls hand-in-hand, sipping cocktails under the sun or enjoying an intimate picnic on the beach. Some of the most romantic beaches include the Cala Mariolu, Cala Gabbiani and Is Putzu, with dramatic cliff backdrops that shade you from the sun and create a naturally romantic ambience. In the surrounding area, you’ll find Porto Cervo, a romantic destination for living in the fast lane and an upmarket shopping destination, ideal for treating your partner to some special jewellery or clothes.