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Roberto Defraia/Getty Images

Key Info

08040 Baunei Province of Ogliastra, Italy

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Beaches, Free, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Reaching Cala Mariolu, a pebble beach segmented by large limestone rocks on Sardinia's east coast, takes some effort – but most travelers say the picturesque spot is worth the exertion. The waters that lap the shore are every shade of blue, and the tucked-away spot feels like a hidden paradise. 

Although most visitors say that this beach is truly magnificent, some say that the sheer number of beachgoers can detract from its tranquility. Several visitors recommend renting snorkeling equipment to use at a nearby, swimmable cove.

The best way to reach the beaches that hide among limestone cliffs along the Golfo di Orosei in the Tyrrhenian Sea is by boat. You can book a mini-cruise operator, such as Escursioni Cala Gonone, to take you to Cala Mariolu, as well as other popular beaches along this eastern stretch, including Cala Luna, Cala Sisine and Cala Biriola. And because there are no facilities nearby, you'll want to bring everything you require for a day at the beach, including sunscreen, water and snacks. 

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The Parco Nazionale dell'Archipelago di La Maddalena is a collection of islands scattered off Sardinia's northeastern coast. Established as a geomarine national park in 1994, the islands have been on UNESCO's World Heritage site's shortlist since 2006 for their variety of marine and plant life. But tourists tend to visit for the eye candy – the rock formations, the snow-white beaches and the blue-green Mediterranean waters.

Recent travelers said this group of islands rivals those in the Caribbean, thanks to the culture, food and beauty of the place. Others call it a paradise and gush over its crystal clear aquamarine waters.

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