Wow - what beaches!!
Trip Start Apr 17, 2009
58Trip End May 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
Cala Gonone is a very isolated seaside town in a valley surrounded by very high and very rugged mountains. There is only one small road into the town coming over the mountains from the interior of Sardinia. The coastline here was just spectacular. This was the most beautiful place we had seen yet on our trip. Cala Gonone is a nice town built above the sea and this completely isolated area of the coast stretches 15 miles in either direction without another coastal town. The only way to go up and down the coast here is by boat or by hiking trail. There's no coastal road here because it is too rugged for building one.
We stayed in a great, chic, little hotel called Bue Marino (named for the enormous seafront cave nearby). Our hotel was very hip and stylish and located on the waterfront. It had a good rooftop restaurant and waterfront bar. There were also other nice little cafes and beaches nearby. We saw many excursion companies that would take you out along the coast by boat to visit the numerous beautiful, hidden beaches surrounded by the emerald green and turquoise waters of the coast.
We heard that you could rent your own small boat and head out along the coast on your own. We decided that would be more interesting than being with a lot of tourist on a big boat. So, we rented a boat and headed out. This was GREAT!!!!!! We went several miles down the coast along the sheer granite cliffs. The water color and visibility here was stunning. You could easily see coral heads 50+ feet below you and they looked like you could touch them. We found a great white pebble beach and made it our base for the day. A French couple eventually boated up and joined us on the beach. We swam, had a picnic lunch, and burned ourselves in the sun.
The next day we were going to rent a boat again but decided we were too sunburned to spend the day at our private beach. So, we hiked several miles down the coast to another beach. It was a long, hot, and difficult hike. Many cliffs and loose rocks. It took two hours to get to the beach and then we had some water and hiked back to town! UGH!
After our hiking experience we were ready to go boating again and that is what we did the next day- back out on the boat in the early morning and another perfect day at our private beach down the coast.
Our time in Sardinia is winding down and we left Cala Gonone to drive south along the coast to Cagliari to catch our flight tomorrow to Milan Italy. Along the way we stopped in the seaside town of Santa Maria Navarrese to see an olive tree that is over 2,000 years old. A ship was wrecked here in 1026 and the survivors sought shelter under this olive tree that was already 1,000 years old at that time! It was the oldest living thing that either John or Rich have ever seen and it was unfathomable to think of all the history that has taken place while that tree has been alive. By the way, it is still healthy and thriving at 2,000 years of age and will most likely be here many, many years after we are all gone.
We also stopped at a small hillside town called Posada and enjoyed walking along the huge strip of deserted white sand beach there. It was a nice town and one that we wish we had time to explore a bit better.
We arrived safely in Cagliari and have had the most amazing dinner at a seafront restaurant. We had asked for a restaurant suggestion and the lady at the hotel said it was good. We went in and they sat us down at a table and started bringing out platters of food. They never asked us what we wanted and they spoke no English. They brought out roasted snails, grilled vegetables, cured ham and sausages, flat bread, cheeses, fresh tomatoes, and then roasted pork and stewed lamb- oh I forgot the bowl of ravioli and the bowl of risotto they served us as well. YUM!
We have had a great time in Sardinia and ready to head to Milan, Italy and then on to Greece.
Special Note about Sardinia- we really enjoyed being able to walk safely around the cities and towns at night while in Sardinia. There is still very little crime here and you can walk anywhere at night without having to worry about being pick pocketed or mugged. The locals are very proud of this and also very worried that things will change. We hope they can keep things in check because it really makes it a special place to visit.