Among the main destinations in Sardinia of the ferris from Civitavecchia, Arbatax and surroundings not only are a port of reference, but also offer a wide and different choice of both seaside resorts equipped for families and wid and unspoilt beaches for adventure lovers.

When you arrive by ferry at Arbatax you can already admire the beauty of this side of the Sardinian coast. The tourist port, placed at the feet of the lively sea small village and hill of Bellavista, is actually embedded in the suggestive Great Red Rocks, cliffs of red porphyry emerging from the sea and drawing a landscape of unparalleled beauty. It is one of the main points of attraction of the coastline. The name Arbatax means “fourteen” in Arabic, refering to the defence tower built in Spanish times, probably in 1572, that would be the fourteenth tower counting from south.

Red Rocks in Arbatax

Red Rocks in Arbatax

Like in many other areas of Sardinia, also in the surroundings of Arbatax exist different archeological areas to visit, like the Necropolis of Monte Terli, the archeological park of San Salvatore, the Roman village of San Lussurioso.

Arbatax is a hamlet of the town of Tortolì, which is only 5 km away. Tortolì is a small village with little more than 10,000 inhabitants and is the head, together with Lanusei, of the Province of Ogliastra. With only 23 villages and 50 thousand inhabitants is the less populated of Italy. In the historic center of Tortolì, besides touring amidst 18th- and 19th-century buildings, for some time now it is possible to admire an open-air contemporary art exhibition: the “Su Logu de S’Iscultura”, that is, the town of sculpture. Tortolì is also famous for the production of Grenache of Ogliastra.

Attached to the village we also find the Basin of Tortolì. To the north of it is the hamlet of Girasole, essential stop for those travelling towards the beaches in the gulf of Orosei.

To those willing to venture into the hinterland, we recommend to stop by the Tomb of giants of Pradu su Chiai, the Tomb of giants Sa Carcaredda, the small temple of Sa Carcaredda, the megaron Temple of S’Arcu ‘e Is Forrus and the Park of Santa Barbara, all of them close to Villagrande and Villanova Strisaili.


Arbatax Beach

Arbatax Beach

Back to Arbatax, beyond the promontory of Cape Bellavista are, coming from the south, some inlets. The first is Cala Moresca reachable from the port going along the pine grove and following directions. From the parking lot starts a path leading to the beach. The inlet is very quiet and, on the north side, you can admire the Red Rocks of Arbatax.  

Cape of Bellavista in Arbatax

Cape of Bellavista in Arbatax

Further to the south-west, going past Punta Frailis, you get to a square facing the horseshoe-shaped Frailis Bay. It is sheltered from the wind thanks to two hills that protect it, with an ecru sandy strand, shallow green sea and flat rocks at both sides.

Continuing south along via San Gemiliano, a road that goes through an area full of different public places, the sanctuary and the Spanish Tower of 1639 in San Gemiliano, taking any of the cross streets on the right you will get to the  Marina of San Gemiliano. Here we find a long extension of sand which is not very thin and has a light colour. It is divided among the beach of San Gemiliano, the beach of Basaùra and the beach of Sos Flores, also known as beach of the Airport, since it is precisely just before the stopover of Tortolì and Arbatax.

Further south is Lido di Orri, reachable by car leaving from the center of Tortolì and taking via Garibaldi. Then at about 500 meters on the left, going along via Tirreno for 3.5 kilometers you will be led directly to the beach. The very long and wide strand made of golden and thin sand is spaced out by dark rounded cliffs and it grows among coves and inlets. The pine grove is behind it and is also where the creek Rio Fodeddu comes from, dividing the strand in two: the Beach of S’Orologiu and the beach of Lido di Orri.

Orri Beach

Orri Beach

These are our suggestions in the area of Arbatax and Tortolì but we suggest you to venture into unknown paths and discover the many inlets along the coast. Now you only need to leave, but take a look first to the box at the bottom of the page to find information about ferries.

Enjoy your holidays!

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For information about arrival and departure times of Ferries Civitavecchia-Arbatax:


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