A visit to Dorgali is simply soul-restoring, whether you feast on its culinary delights, tour the awe-inspiring grottos, or stroll on one of the many nearby beaches, you’re sure to feel the magic in the air. Far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the allure of this tiny village in Sardinia cannot be denied. Dorgali also has no shortage of natural beauty. Indulge your senses in the sights of the gorgeous willow trees, or the waves of the clear blue sea as they crash against the cliffs of the Orosei Gulf. You’ll feel a sense of wonder when you’re surrounded by rich, postcard-worthy scenery. This down-to-earth village is nestled between the mountains and the sea, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. It’s part of the Nuoro province in east Sardinia, the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. The area is well known for its local cuisine and artisan crafts, like leather, weaving and ceramics. Overflowing with a bounty of local treats, including meats, cheeses, olives, bread and red wine – Dorgali is an assault on all senses, where you can savor every last bite of one of Dorgali’s signature dishes, called anzelottos. These are ravioli filled with delicious fresh ricotta, meat and tomato sauce. Top it off with some fresh cheese sprinkled on top. Another dish you’ll love is Frattau Bread, or peasant food. It’s a flat bread dipped in salted water, with eggs, tomato sauce and cheese heaped on top. Dorgali also has its share of enticing entrees. You will enjoy Su Porcheddu, a suckling pig roasted with myrtle leaves and salt. For those who are seeking more of a culinary adventure, you can try Su Tattaliu, which is various organs like liver, lungs and bacon wrapped in sheep intestines, served on a skewer, or Sa Cordedda, which is roasted and braided lamb intestines.
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Where to Stay in Dorgali - Top Picks
Hotel Il Querceto
Hotel Il Querceto is quite a simplistic yet luxurious four-star hotel in Dorgali which has an excellent location and a lot more attraction than meets the eye. Situated in the midst of a beautiful park and a plethora of oak trees, the hotel offers a peaceful escape from which to access Cala Gonone bay just a short distance away. Although simplistic in detail, Hotel II Querceto is still a somewhat trendy place to stay in Dorgali with a distinctly wooden interior and contemporary art throughout. Most of this work is from local artists while the design is also typically Sardinian and carefully put together. Featuring spacious common areas with bright white and orange colors, this is also a cozy hotel where the friendly staff goes that extra mile to make guests feel comfortable and welcome. As for the rooms, they may be slightly more compact than neighboring accommodation, but the clean and concise nature is one of the hotel's highlights. You can expect all modern conveniences in this respect but then also some surprises, for most of these rooms are accompanied by a balcony with sensational panoramas of the Gennargentu Mountains. Furthermore, the fact that each bathroom has a bathtub is a bonus, after all, what better way to relax after a day exploring than to sink back into a warm bath? Finally, the restaurant at Hotel II Querceto never fails to delight visitors with a sublime mix of seafood and traditional Sardinian dishes. You may find bigger or more expensive options in the locality, but in truth, this charming hotel in Dorgali is an affordable and convenient option.
Appartamento Pierino is quite different to most hotels in Dorgali, given the very independent and self-contained nature of the accommodation. Although the property is well maintained and monitored, guests can be assured of complete privacy and quiet during their stay while the apartment also offers every modern convenience needed for a comfortable stay. Featuring comfortable a sofa and flat screen television, the living room is very homely while many of the apartments including an impressive view from the balcony or patio area. In many ways, this private outdoor area is one of the highlights of the rooms as space is in abundance and this is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast every morning. The full range of facilities is equally impressive, from the fully equipped kitchen right down to the tea making facilities and clean bed linen. With the bay of Cala Gonone and the Gennargentu Mountains just a short distance away, the apartment is ideally located to explore the surrounding region. Furthermore, the property is much more private and isolated than the hotels in Dorgali which is undoubtedly a benefit for those yearning for a quick getaway or a quiet hideaway. All considered Apartamento Pierino is an extremely comfortable apartment where contemporary design, ample space, and peaceful surroundings offer an alternative to the busy hotels and an opportunity to stay in one of the best places to stay in Dorgali.
Casa Piredda Icoré
Casa Piredda Icoré is perfectly located for a stay in Dorgali, and a stay in this family-run bed and breakfast is likely to involve an encounter with the famous hospitality in Sardinia. In fact, many online reviews are quick to point out the excellent location of the house which is rather peaceful and conveniently situated in proximity to nearby attractions. At the same time, arguably the most prominent highlight of the house is the solarium on top of the house, most often referred to as a sun terrace. Whether you spend an early morning enjoying the sunrise or an evening drink with the sunset, there are few places to stay in Dorgali which offer such an impressive feature. However, this should not take away from the stylish interior, for Casa Piredda Icoré is infused with color and intricate design at every turn. When it comes to the private bathroom, this intricacy is evident with beautiful wooden fixtures blending seamlessly with the tiles. Furthermore, these vibrant colors extend the bedroom itself, where modern furnishings and an extremely comfortable bed offer a supremely relaxing hideaway for guests. Cala Luna Beach and the stunning coastline are within easy reach of the house along with many more attractions, but the warm atmosphere and peaceful nature of this bed and breakfast in Dorgali ensure it is one of the most sought-after places to stay for a good reason.
Agriturismo Biriddo is one of the unique places to stay in Dorgali and possibly the best opportunity to gain insight into the life of locals in the area. Located in the midst of a working farm, the immediate surroundings of the accommodation are entirely natural while wide open spaces provide much-needed solitude to guests. Regarding design, the exterior of the buildings is somewhat fitting for the location, and this certainly adds to the immersive nature of the accommodation. Meanwhile, the interior is suitably minimalistic yet extremely clean and fit for purpose. That is to say; there is nothing overly extravagant about this interior but this is part of the appeal and no reflection on the very comfortable and pleasant nature of the rooms. And then there is the food, for this is where Agriturismo Biriddo stands out. Think home pastries, fresh produce, and traditional Sardinian delights; the cuisine in this Dorgali accommodation is some of the finest in the region and often the subject of five—star reviews. While it must be noted that certain wild animals such as donkeys are free to roam and share the surrounding area with guests, this is part of the experience.! Similarly, the farm is not just a unique aspect of the house but also a natural means to mix with some friendly locals. Overall, this may not be the most private place to stay but general comfort, sublime food and a strange sense of belonging ensure this is an excellent option to consider for your unique trip to Dorgali.
Things to Do in Dorgali
Grotta del Bue Marino
Sardinia is an incredible place because of its beaches and cliffs and is just as spectacular in the underground field. One example is the Grotta del Bue Marino, which is situated on the coast near Cala Gonone. Tourists can visit the cave by boat and can enter the south branch and stroll along the path, always finding themselves appreciating a famous and stunning cave in Italy. Here, you’ll come ashore and see a glorious entrance with two tall arches. You’d also be able to see stone formations on the tranquil water as you walk through the cave and pavement. There are old petroglyphs carved in the walls, underground streams, stalagmites, and stalactites. The tour ends at the beach on an underground lake that’s sustained by a combination of salt and fresh water. Your visit won’t be complete without seeing the organ room known for its incredible rock flows that bear a resemblance to organ pipes, the beaches, the room of mirrors that’s beautified by the ponds’ changing colors, and the candlestick chamber ornamented with limestone formations.
Tomba Dei Giganti S'Ena E Thomes
Located near the Nuragic archaeological center lays a pillar that’s been well-preserved during the early Sardinian period, and this is known as the Tomba Dei Giganti S'Ena E Thomes. This marvelous place is frequented by visitors as it overlooks Rio Isalle’s abundant valley and features the splendor of one of the most fascinating and captivating structures of the Middle Bronze era. The towering granite stele is the center of attention, measuring 3.65 meters tall. The lower part has a tiny hole that will take you to the ethereal world. Following the granite stele is a mortuary chamber that’s 11 meters long. People come to Tomba Dei Giganti S'Ena E Thomes because it is believed to release energy, and those who pay a visit are the ones who seek spiritual restoration or physical healing. It’s a bit further when you park along the roadside, but it’s going to be worth the visit. The location is an excellent place to watch the sunset, plus it can be truly uplifting to be on a site with only stones and a few people. Go and stretch your legs for a while here and connect with the rich history of Sardinia.
Museo Archeologico di Dorgali
Museo Archeologico di Dorgali is one of the most interesting places in Dorgali. It is situated on the main street and has been existing between the periods of the third millennium BC and the Middle Ages. If you’re looking for a place that records the different traditions and activities of people who occupied the area, this is your go-to place. This 170-square meter museum has three rooms set in sequential order. It exhibits over 50 showcases, a vast display casing, and a spot to present the numismatic collection. You also will find displays that lean against the walls and on the ground. Moreover, each room in the museum has a panel to give educational information (written in English and Italian) about the collection. What makes Museo Archeologico di Dorgali a fantastic place to visit is that it gives life to the archeological sites and splendid grottos that are found throughout the region. It’s a small place with tons of remarkable discoveries to admire.
Dorgali Restaurants - Where to Eat
Ispinigoli (Seafood, Traditional Sardinian Food)
Situated just a short distance from the enchanting caves in Ispinigoli, Ristorante Ispinigoli brings together more than fifty years of service and the finest features of non-traditional agritourism businesses. An outstanding, long-established cuisine from Barbagia is what makes them stand out as a well-known à la carte restaurant, specializing in sa seada, sos anzelottos, and porcetto arrosto. The menu has something for everyone and consists of dishes that are based on fresh fish purchased daily from local fishermen. This restaurant in Dorgali is also surrounded by orchards, fields, and vegetable gardens that give them the opportunity to offer minimalism, genuineness, and a taste that only seasonal products can deliver. With numerous awards given due to their exceptional work through the years, Ispinigoli is often the subject of leading wine and food guides and was also recognized for being one of the best restaurants in the country. In addition to producing their very own wines from the Cannonau vine, and extra virgin oil, their long list includes over 600 of the finest international and Italian labels. When it comes to attention to detail and expertise, Ristorante Ispinigoli simply will not disappoint. Their sommelier is ready to help you choose just the right accompaniment for your preferred dishes. Moreover, both the exterior and interior furnishings are enhanced by the illustrative works of worldwide and local Italian artists, including Antonio Corriga.
Il Pescatore (Seafood)
Serving succulent seafood dishes every time is one way to describe Ristorante Il Pescatore. This restaurant in Cala Gonone near Dorgali shows a lot of elegance and takes pride in the freshness of every ingredient, which includes grilled fish, seafood, crustaceans, and swordfish carpaccio for mouthwatering second courses. Ristorante Il Pescatore offers a breathtaking view of the sea as well as a modern and intimate setup. Their team includes a young staff that makes attention to detail always a top priority, ensuring that all your needs are met. This is where you’ll find the simplicity and authentic sea taste that makes you feel the difference. Featuring an exciting introduction to local delicacies, this is also one of the highest quality restaurants in Dorgali for seafood in particular. In fact, they cook without the use of sauces and cream to guarantee the freshness of every product and offer marinara cuisine where fish is the main ingredient. When it comes to location, it can be hard to beat this place, and this is especially true in the late afternoon when a gorgeous sunset accompanies an equally impressive dining experience.
Su Gologone (Italian Food, Traditional Sardinian Food)
Su Gologone is a popular restaurant near Dorgali that has been serving the best wines and delicious desserts, meats, pasta, and bread since the 1960s. Situated in Hotel Su Gologone, which is among the most bizarre hotels in Sardinia, this restaurant has gained numerous diplomas and awards that also serve as their main wall décor. Additionally, the customary interior is evident in the building walls adorned with Sardinian works of art. Su Gologone is especially popular with couples, but it’s important to note that a reservation is suggested even if you happen to be staying in the hotel. Concerning location, the restaurant is nestled in the hilly interior of Sardinia, so you’ll mostly see vegetables and meat dishes on the menu. Interestingly, this is also home to the classic Barbagia dishes which is certainly a one-of-a-kind food experience! The venue offers breathtaking views, and the individuality of the restaurant shines through on the interior. Wafting across the dining room, the aroma of roasting meat is often a startling introduction for new arrivals, and whether you opted for à la carte or buffet, the food experience is usually the same. With this in mind, meals are served in generous portions, and with the quality of food, you could say that the prices are indeed reasonable for one of the best restaurants in Dorgali.
How To Get To Dorgali
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Air: Olbia Airport is the closest airport. Bus connections with the Olbia Airport come from Deplano Autolinee E Turismo. Boat: Olbia Harbor (if arriving from Civitavecchia, Genova, Livorno, Piombino). Bus: If you’re arriving from the airport or port, you can take the ARST. Please note, you will need to get to Nuoro Bus Station first.