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Cala Mariolu picture in Sardinia
Roberto Defraia / Getty Images

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  • Beaches, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
Overall
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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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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#1 Cala Mariolu 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 ... Read more » Roberto Defraia / Getty Images

#2 Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena 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 ... Read more » Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images

#3 Capo Testa With its wind-whipped granite boulders, the rocky coves of Capo Testa on Sardinia's northern headland are almost sculptural in shape and begging to be hiked and photographed. The nearby ... Read more » Rafael Dols / Getty Images

#4 Costa Smeralda Costa Smeralda is where the jet set land when they arrive in Sardinia. The 35 miles that stretch out over the Emerald Coast are some of the most beautiful in ... Read more » Getty Images

#5 Su Nuraxi To explore the past of the mysterious Nuragic civilization, you should head to Su Nuraxi in Barumini (southern Sardinia). Although very little is known about the Nuragic people, a lot ... Read more » kparis / Getty Images

#6 Museo Archeologico Nazionale The Museo Archeologico Nazionale tells a chronological history of the island through art and artifacts. Here, you'll see bronze figurines, or bronzetti, that date back to 1800 B.C ... Read more » Alessandro Cani / Flickr

Cala Mariolu picture in Sardinia
Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena picture in Sardinia
Capo Testa picture in Sardinia
Costa Smeralda picture in Sardinia
Su Nuraxi Barumini picture in Sardinia
Museo Archeologico Nazionale picture in Sardinia
Cala Mariolu picture in Sardinia
Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena picture in Sardinia
Capo Testa picture in Sardinia
Costa Smeralda picture in Sardinia
Su Nuraxi Barumini picture in Sardinia
Museo Archeologico Nazionale picture in Sardinia

With its aquamarine waters and giant limestone outcroppings, Cala Mariolu is a secluded (not to mention gorgeous) beach. Roberto Defraia / Getty Images

Ferry over to Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena and you'll be greeted by vistas like this one.  Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images

The lighthouse and otherworldly granite formations of Capo Testa are popular subjects for photographers. Rafael Dols / Getty Images

Yachts are frequent visitors to Costa Smeralda Getty Images

Visitors can learn about the ancient yet elusive Nuraghi culture at archaeological sites like Su Nuraxi. kparis / Getty Images

Alessandro Cani / Flickr

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