The village of Dorgali offers its visitors an endless variety of natural wonders. From the Canyon of Gorropu to Codula Ilune, from astonishing landscapes and cliffs beside the sea (a firm favourite with rock climbers) to the valley of Oddoene, crammed with vineyards which yield an outstanding red wine called Cannoanu.
The entire area is teeming with ravines and natural caves. One of the most popular with tourists is the “Grotte del Bue Marino”, caves, which can be reached with a short hike of around 45 minutes or by boat, from the small harbour of Cala Gonone.
Ispinigoli’s caves are set inland. With a stalagmite amongst the tallest in Europe, the caves entice visitors into this evocative world which conjures up images of Dante’s works.
Whilst nature reigns supreme in this area, mankind has also been adding its own touch since ancient times. Archaeological sites, from the oldest tombs of all such as dolmen, domus de janas (pre-Nuragic tombs), tombe di giganti (the mysterious Giant’s Graves) and nearby Nuragic villages, all bear witness to the settlements of this colourful, lively civilisation.
But those with a passion for the sea will find that Dorgali, with its maritime outpost in Cala Gonone bay, offers wonderful beaches including Cala Fuili, Ziu Martine, Cartoe and Osala. The best-known of all is Cala Luna; its crystal-clear waters teem with astonishing fauna, and whales and dolphins can also be spotted there.
If this weren’t enough, you can always let yourself be enchanted by the warm welcome of Dorgali’s industrious craftsmen and women. Its local makers have been handing artistic crafts down through the generations since ancient times. Young leather craftsmen, pâtissiers, embroiderers, weavers, potters, carpenters and knife makers are all to be found here. It is possible to visit their simple ateliers steeped in art and secrets; watch as raw materials are transformed, as if by magic, into exceptional, one-off pieces.
The people of Dorgali respect and love nature. Besides the area’s extraordinary wines , the local pastures also yield irresistible aromatic cheeses, perfect for enjoying with traditional Carasau and Moddizzosu breads, which most families still make in the home to this day.
A little literature...
"Dorgali. And suddenly, on rounding a bend on the hillside, I am faced with one of those happy villages which, when one casts one’s mind back, reappears like an open smile of the past.
In the crystal-clear air, the tinkling of a bell can be heard. The village itself has white houses which wind their way up the rocky mountainside; and that barren landscape, with two newly-planted vineyards which look as if they have just sprung out of the rocks, with its trees and blossoming geraniums, appears surrounded by a sprinkling of greenery, a sprinkling of shade and a sprinkling of joy.
Its women are amongst the most beautiful in Sardinia, and its costumes amongst the most elegant…"
From Giulio Bechi in “Caccia Grossa, scene e figure del banditismo sardo” (The Big Hunt: scenes and figures from Sardinian banditry) Milan, Fratelli Treves, 1914
Follow these links to watch beautiful videos shot in our area. Taken from the Sardinia Region’s Digital Library
Sardegna Digital Library – Le Grotte del Bue Marino
Sardegna Digital Library – Il Lago Cedrino
Sardegna Digital Library – Cala Gonone e Cala Luna
Sardegna Digital Library – La civiltà nuragica a Dorgali