Arbatax, once a quiet fishing village, is now one of the most representative places in Sardinia thanks to its position: Bellavista peninsula, on the central eastern coast of Sardinia, is an ideal place to spend the holidays with family or friends. Crystal clear sea, unspoiled nature and many things to see in Arbatax and its surroundings will make this holiday truly unforgettable.
- 10 things to see in Arbatax in a weekend
- What to see in Arbatax in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Arbatax: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Arbatax
- Plan your stay in Arbatax: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Arbatax in a weekend
1 - Rocce Rosse and Baia delle Rocce Rosse
The Red Rocks of Arbatax, also called Red rocks, are the symbol of this Sardinian town and will welcome you upon your arrival: they are located in the immediate vicinity of the tourist port and the town center, at the foot of the Bellavista hill. It is a very particular red porphyry cliff overlooking the sea, known throughout the world for its unique color.
East of port of Arbatax is the the beach of the Bay of the Red Rocks, dominated by the Red Rocks which are the very symbol of the village and which give the water a particular shade of color, tending to red. It is ideal for those who love diving into crystal clear waters, but also for those who simply want to swim and sunbathe a stone's throw from the main clubs and restaurants of Arbatax.
The final scene of Lina Wertmuller's film, Overwhelmed by an unusual destiny, was set in this suggestive scenario.
- These attractions are located about 1,5 km away from the tourist-commercial port and can be reached on foot in about 20 minutes following the "Rocce Rosse" sign. Get directions
- always accessible
2 - Capo Bellavista lighthouse
The Bellavista Lighthouse is one of the most important in Sardinia: its history dates back to the 20th century, when the Giudicato of Ogliastra controlled the territory thanks to a series of watchtowers located along the coast. For over years the lighthouse has been managed and inhabited by a former militant of the Navy and his family and still today indicates the route to passing ships.
Over the years the structure has been restored to its former glory and can be visited for a few days every year (usually in June).
- The lighthouse is located at the top of Capo Bellavista, at an altitude of 165 meters above sea level. It is connected by an asphalted road to the port of Arbatax, 3 km away. To reach it you need to follow via Lungomare and then turn onto via Ponza. Get directions
- always accessible externally, guided tours by the volunteers of the Ass. Vele Corsare of Arbatax (email@example.com) and of the students of the ITC of Tortolì. Saturday and Sunday closing at 18:30.
3 - Tower of Arbatax
The Saracen Tower of Arbatax, also called Tower of San Michele, certainly has ancient origins, since it is already mentioned in a text of 1572. Over the years and decades this important monument, which dominates the promenade of the village and which originally had a strategic and defensive function, has been renovated and subject to constant maintenance and is currently used to host events and exhibitions.
- The tower is clearly visible from the town and can be reached on foot from the port of Arbatax, which is 1,1 km away, in about 15 minutes. Get directions
- always accessible
4 - Bellavista Natural Park
Inside the huge park ofArbatax Park Resort the Bellavista Naturalistic Park is housed, where wild boars, mouflons, Sardinian sheep, donkeys, Giara horses, Sardinian cows, fallow deer, peacocks and swans live in freedom or semi - freedom. Even those who are not guests of the resort can access it thanks to guided tours that generally start at 17.30 pm.
- The park is 1,9 km from the port of Arbatax and can be reached on foot in 25 minutes or by car in less than 10 minutes. To reach it you have to follow via Porto Frailis and then turn into via Capri, where the park entrance is located. Get directions
- Guided tours departing at 17:30 pm
- € 15,00, free for Resort guests
5 - Tower of San Gemiliano
The Tower of San Gemiliano is also part of the complex of structures that in ancient times constituted the sighting and defense system of the coasts of Sardinia. Built with granite rocks, it has a slender shape that makes it immediately recognizable and that makes it one of the symbols of Arbatax. Currently the tower can be visited thanks to some metal stairs that allow you to access the casemate and the parade ground from which you can enjoy an enchanting view of the bay.
- From the port of Arbatax the San Gemiliano Tower is about 3 km away. It can be reached by car in just under 10 minutes following viale Arbatax and viale Europa or by bus line 9130 in 27 minutes. Get directions
- always accessible
6 - Archaeological area and nuraghe S'Ortali and Su Monte
The complex of S'Ortali e su Monte offers an interesting testimony of the pre-Nuragic age and the nuragic period and includes evidence of different periods and cultures. The site includes a complex nuraghe, a Giants' tomb, two menhirs, a domu de Janas and the remains of another nuraghe. Here you can understand how the daily life of the inhabitants of this area took place centuries and even millennia ago and what were their main activities, their social dynamics and their religiosity.
- From the port of Arbatax the distance is about 7 km; by car you have to reach the town of Tortolì, of which Arbatax is the seaside village; along the road that leads to the coast of Orrì there is a tourist sign indicating the archaeological park of San Salvatore. From here, take the dirt road on the right and, after about 100 meters, you will find a road that leads to the archaeological complex. Travel time by car is approximately 15 minutes. It can also be reached by bus lines 9130 and 305 in about an hour. Get directions
- April and May: 9: 00-12: 00/16: 00-19: 00
From June to September: 9: 00-12: 30/16: 00-20: 00.
October and March: 9: 00-12: 00/15: 00-18: 00
From November to February: 9: 30-13: 00/14: 00-16: 30
Closed on Mondays subject to reservation.
- full € 3,00, reduced € 1,50
7 - Lido di Orrì
This 16 km long beach is interspersed with smooth rocks and develops into beaches and small inlets; with its crystal clear waters and its fine white sand it is considered one of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in Sardinia. Behind it there is a beautiful pine forest, where the Rio Fodeddu stream emerges, which divides the Lido di Orrì into two parts: the Lido di Orrì beach and the D'Orologiu beach.
- Lido di Orrì is located on the south coast of Arbatax, about 8 kilometers from the town. From the port of Arbatax it can be reached by car in about 15 minutes following the SS125, taking via Nomintorio, then continuing on via Garibaldi and turning onto via Tirreno, which leads directly to the beach.
- always accessible
8 - Cala Moresca
Cala Moresca, located just behind the famous Rocce Rosse, is one of the most beautiful and most loved beaches of the whole Sardinia. Its name derives from the raids that the Saracen pirates (the so-called Moors) carried out on this stretch of coast. The beach of Cala Moresca is characterized by golden sand, granite rocks, dense surrounding vegetation and all the services you may want, as well as, of course, the crystalline sea of Sardinia.
- To get to Cala Moresca from the port of Arbatax you have to start from via Lungomare, immediately afterwards turn right into Piazza Colombo and continue along via Tirreno, piazza Caduti 23 Aprile and via Battery, thus arriving at the dedicated parking lots. The distance is 1,7 km, can be covered on foot in about 20 minutes. Get directions
- always accessible
9 - Beach of Cea
The beach of Cea is a long expanse of white sand dominated by a red porphyry tower, which continues in a cliff that culminates in two stacks, always red, which are located a few tens of meters from the beach. The seabed remains low and slopes gently to the open sea; for this reason it is also a beach suitable for children. But not only them will have fun here, but also surfing and underwater fishing enthusiasts.
- From the port of Arbatax, following the coastal road, take the Strada Statale Sarda towards Bari Sardo and take Via del Muflone towards the coast. After four hundred and fifty meters, a detour on a dirt road on the left leads to the part of the Cea beach which is located in the territory of Arbatax. The distance is about 15 km, which can be covered by car in 20 minutes. Get directions
- always accessible
10 - Bay of Porto Frailis
This small bay is nestled between Punta Telis and Punta San Gemiliano, which shelter it from the winds and give it the appearance of a large and peaceful pool of transparent water. Here, too, the seabed is shallow for many meters, making it perfect for children to play and have fun. There is no shortage of major services, such as a toll parking nearby, numerous refreshment points and the possibility to rent umbrellas, sunbeds and pedal boats.
- It is possible to reach the Bay of Porto Frailis from the port of Arbatax on foot, by car or with the 9130 line. The distance is about 2 km; on foot the journey time is 25 minutes, by car about 7 minutes and by public transport about 20 minutes. Get directions
- always accessible
What to see in Arbatax in one day: recommended itinerary
Morning: the morning in Arbatax can only begin with a good breakfast: we recommend the Pasticceria Caffetteria Orso Bianco (via Lungomare 56), where you can order coffee and pastries. From here you can reach the port of Arbatax and nearby Arbatax Tower, a monument that recalls how this stretch of coast of Sardinia was subject to the raids of the so-called Moors. Then you can continue to the Red Rocks Beach, true symbol of Arbatax.
Then move towards the southern part of the village, with a short walk you can reach the Head of Bellavista and its famous lighthouse, still in operation to signal the route to passing ships. If you still have time and desire you could end your morning with a visit to the Bellavista Natural Park and its animals, which can be observed in a state of freedom and semi-freedom.
Afternoon: the ideal would be a light lunch in one of the restaurants in the area, such as the Artabasar Restaurant, where you can taste fish dishes. In a place like Arbatax the day can only continue to the sea. A few steps from the restaurant is the Porto Frailis beach, which offers clear waters, a wind-sheltered shoreline and all the amenities you could wish for. For those interested, it is possible to visit the nearby one Tower of San Gemiliano, alternatively, spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.
Sera: we advise you to dine at the La Bitta seaside restaurant (via Porto Frailis), where you can taste the typical ingredients of Sardinian cuisine. Your day can be concluded with a peaceful stroll around the harbor.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at the Pasticceria Caffetteria Orso Bianco
- Torre Arbatax - always accessible for free
- Rocce Rosse di Arbatax - always accessible for free
- Capo di Bellavista - always accessible for free
- Lunch at Artabasar Restaurant
- Porto Frailis beach - always accessible for free
- Torre Saracena S. Gemiliano - always accessible for free
- Dinner at La Bitta seaside restaurant
Where to eat in Arbatax: the best restaurants
- Artabasar restaurant: restaurant with a refined atmosphere where you can taste dishes based on fresh fish.
Average price per person: from € 30,00 to € 50,00
Address and contacts: via Porto Frailis 11 (Get directions), tel: (+39) 0782651800
- La Bitta seaside restaurant: restaurant overlooking the sea where you can taste fish dishes and typical local products.
Average price per person: from € 25,00 to € 65,00
Address and contacts: Via Porto Frailis (Get directions), tel: (+39) 0782667080
- Restaurant from Lenin: restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Sardinian dishes from both sea and land. The wine list is also excellent.
Average price per person: from € 20,00 to € 40,00
Address and contacts: via Matteotti 24 (Get directions), tel: (+39) 3485445555
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Arbatax
The places of the nightlife of Arbatax are many and varied: they range from the most famous disco in the area, where you can go wild until the first light of dawn, to clubs with a refined atmosphere in which to relax and have fun thanks to DJ sets and evenings of music live. Most of Arbatax's nightlife takes place on the seafront and, especially in summer, on the beaches, which host lounge bars and beach clubs that organize happy hours by the sea, evenings with live music and events.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Arabax Disco Club: it is a disco with a unique location: it is in fact located near the suggestive Rocce Rosse. It is renowned for music, which ranges from house to commercial, and for cocktails. It is open from spring until late September and often hosts evenings with DJs and famous people / Address: piazzale Scogli Rossi (Get directions) / Facebook page
- Hakuna Matata Beach Arbatax: Hakuna Matata Beach is a bathing establishment located on Lido di Orrì Beach. This location with an ethnic flavor is frequented by young people who gather there for happy hours with DJ sets, beach parties and disco evenings with the presence of nationally and internationally renowned artists / Address: Loc. Lido di Orrì (Get directions) / Facebook page
- AcquaChiara Porto Arbatax: AcquaChiara is the right place for those who want to spend a relaxing evening in a chic setting. The location is surrounded by greenery and overlooks the Bay of Porto Frailis. Here you can participate in happy hours, DJ sets and evenings with live music / Address: via San Gemiliano, 43 (Get directions) / Facebook page
Plan your stay in Arbatax: info and useful tips
- The closest airport to Arbatax is Cagliari, which is 130 km away (about 2 hours by car), while Olbia is 160 km away (travel time: about 2,5 hours). At the airports you can find the main car rental companies while, for those who prefer to travel by public transport, the ARST company provides a daily service. From Cagliari you can take lines 103 and 305; tickets cost around 10 euros in total; from Olbia, instead, you can take lines 514, 302 and 9130 at a total cost of € 12,50.
Those arriving by ship can land at the port of Arbatax, connected to the ports of Civitavecchia and Genoa.
- Getting around: The main attractions of Arbatax can be reached on foot, while for short trips out of town it is possible to move by car or by public transport from the ARST company.
- Where to park: There is ample free parking at the Central Pier of the Port of Arbatax. There are generally paid parking lots near the main beaches.
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Baunei is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Ogliastra thanks to its beaches with transparent waters and white rocks, ideal for those who want a quiet holiday by the sea. The town is 19,3 km from Arbatax and can be reached by car in just over 20 minutes following the SS 25 Orientale Sarda road. Also in the territory of Baunei there are some beautiful caves such as the Su Meraculu cave, Grotta del Fico
The Trenino Verde dell'Ogliastra is an alternative means that allows you to discover this wonderful part of Sardinia. The Arbatax - Mandas line is considered one of the most evocative and crosses canyons, ancient bridges and glimpses of the coast. The prices, depending on the route chosen, generally range from 8 euros to 21 euros. For info and reservations you can contact the number 070 2657 622 - 612.
Other attractions around Arbatax are the localities of Ilbono, Lanusei and Arzana and various archaeological areas such as the Necropolis of Monte Terli and its Domus de Janas, the archaeological park of San Salvatore and the Roman village of San Lussurioso.