The city of Golfo Aranci is in Gallura, in Northeast Sardinia about 20 km from Olbia.
The History of Golfo Aranci
The origin of its name comes from the local dialect. Guldu means “gulf” and Ranci stands for “crabs”. Golfo Aranci developed as a fisherman village in Nuragic times, and it was only towards the end of the 1800s that this location became the formidable port we know today. In 1979, the town became independent, detaching itself from its neighbour Olbia.
The Beaches of Golfo Aranci
Among the more renowned beaches here, Cala Moresca is one of the most beautiful available. This is one of the most beautiful sea fronts of the entire Capo Figari bluff, easily reachable by car. The beach is surrounded by lush pinewood, and winds around a small, pristine bay with two sandy ravines – these include a crystal-clear sea with tones of emerald, green and turquoise.
Both ravines have shallow beds that extend further off. The environment offers an evocative landscape dominated by the pyramidic shape of Isolotto di Figarolo. Spending a beach day at the Cala Moresca ski resort means you can hike too, for instance you could walk along a path that leads to the remains of an old military battery at first. This then guides you to Faro di Marconi, an abandoned lighthouse about 342m in height. From the top of this building, you can admire the many cliffs of Golfo Aranci and Isola di Tavolara in all their glory.
About 8 km away, Sos Aranzos beach is known for its beauty and fascinating shore. This is a little cove that offers wonderful views of Isola di Tavolara and Capo Figari, located near Sos Aranzos. The beach is characterised by white beaches and granite cliffs that emerge from a crystal-clear sea. The seabed slopes downwards in an ideal way for swimming as well as a great place for young children to play in. Parking spaces are available alongside restaurants on the seafront, which is quite popular with fans of scuba diving and snorkelling.
Further north from Sos Aranzos you will find the Cala Sassari beach, a charming inlet defined by two cliffs covered by Mediterranean scrub with a clear view of Isola di Tavolara and Isolotto di Figarolo. The beach has many parking spots, bars and restaurants available, and it is easily accessible by disabled beachgoers. By heading towards Golfo Aranci again you will find Spiaggia Bianca, an expanse of fine sand with very clear waters and gorgeous landscape views along the coast up to Capo Coda Cavallo. It is an extremely popular beach in summer, especially at night when it becomes very popular to have parties here.
And finally, differently from the rest, Cala Sabina is in the North of Capo Figari. Characterised by juniper trees, very white sands and a bed that slopes into rocks clearly visible in the crystalline waters, this is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Gallura.
Sights To See In Golfo Aranci
Choosing a holiday in Golfo Aranci doesn’t just mean spending intensive relaxing days along the shore and in the shining sun, it also means being able to see many of the interesting monuments that the environment has to offer. Starting from Capo Figari towards Cala Greca, you will find Cimitero degli Inglesi (the English Graveyard), with its 13 graves, a small altar and a large box in the shape of a pyramid – the latter being just over one metre in height and topped with two juniper tree trunks in the shape of a cross.
The Golfo Aranci seafront, unveiled in 2012, is adorned by Due Vele and a group of three sounding stones by Pinuccio Sciola, the musician and sculptor known for making rocks sing. This is because his sculptures are able to make sounds when touched. Alongside this one, in Golfo Aranci we can also see a bronze statue of a mermaid which was made by sculptor Pietro Longo. This one emerges from the water twice a day to sing an auspicious song in Sardinian for any visitor who will listen.
Another unmissable sight is the Pozzo di Milis, attached to a stairway that connects it to the spring and the temple nearby. This location is known as Pozzo di Sa Testa, it traces back between 8th and 6th century b.C., when the water of the region was idolised by the local populations.
Among the other monuments worth a visit in Golfo Aranci, there is also the Chiesa della N.S. Nostra del Monte, which is carefully placed on a hill that overlooks Golfo della Marinella. This is where local religious celebrations on the first Sunday of May are held.
Sights To See Near Golfo Aranci
Very close to this area you can find Porto Rotondo, part of the municipality of Olbia. Along with Porto Cervo it is one of the most iconic locations of the Emerald Coast. In front of Golfo Aranci, you can find Isola di Tavolara, with its wild and pristine nature. It is accessible by an hour’s travel via motorboat, and it is truly fascinating especially for those who love being surrounded by nature in its purest form.
Between Olbia and Golfo Aranci you will find fascinating beaches, especially if you’re a true seaside aficionado. Pittulongu, for instance, is a very popular coast with families. Close by, you will also find a Nuragic sanctuary called Pozzo Sacro.
From Golfo Aranci, Arzachena is easy to reach. Over here you will find nuraghe known as Malchittu, Prisgione, Luchia and the Tomba dei Giganti a Li Muri. Or perhaps you could start in Palau, an easy port to Isola della Maddalena. A real paradise on earth, it is full of beaches, coves, and other places to relax, do some snorkelling or diving.