About Golfo Aranci
Just a few kilometers southeast of the most famous and luxurious beach hotels in Costa Smeralda – in Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo – you’ll find Golfo Aranci (The Gulf of Oranges). Golfo Aranci is a great and much cheaper alternative to experience all the goodness that northeast Sardinia offers, especially if you’re into fishing, scuba diving, and spotting dolphins instead of celebrities. Initially, Golfo Aranci used to be a village of fishermen. Still, with the rise of the popularity of Costa Smeralda, tourism has flourished here, too, albeit on a much smaller scale. Originally named Figari – given the abundance of fig trees in this area – Golfo Aranci offers a wide variety of ways to spend your Sardinian vacation: apartments, hotels, and beach resorts in all price ranges are available. Many seafood restaurants and shops offering local products and coral souvenirs are also available here. The recently opened “La Dolce Vita” shopping promenade features cozy boutiques. Getting to Golfo Aranci from Olbia takes a short 18-kilometer drive. The ride is a lifetime experience in itself, as the road leading to Golfo Aranci is very scenic, offering panoramic views of Isola Tavolara and its sun-streaked aquamarine waters, with enchanting beaches such as Cala di Sassari, Cala Sabina, and Spiaggia Bianca acting as mere teasers to a magnificent Sardinian holiday.
Golfo Aranci Map
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Where to Stay in Golfo Aranci - Our Top Picks
Hotel Villa Margherita
Hotel Villa Margherita is a boutique hotel located on the waterfront next to the Tyrrhenian Sea. This 4-star hotel in Golfo Aranci also promises fine food, friendly staff, comfortable rooms, and unrivaled ocean views. Rooms are spacious and bright, each with a sea view. You can choose from many types of suites, and while it’s possible to customize the experience with things like a jacuzzi instead of a box shower, all rooms feature a mini bar, safe, air-con, Wi-Fi, and television. Aside from these furnishings, the ocean views and the sound of the waves create a great sense of relaxation. The Grill Restaurant receives fantastic reviews online and offers a lineup of Sardinian dishes. Seafood and fish dominate the menu, as you might expect, and the freshness of ingredients is always a priority for accommodation in Golfo Aranci. Having a restaurant on-site is a convenience that can make this hotel an excellent option for those looking to unwind because it allows them to relax instead of having to venture out in search of meals. Either way, the food is outstanding and rounds off an already world-class experience.
Hotel Resort & Spa Baia Caddinas
Baia Caddinas is a great place to stay in Golfo Aranci and is popular with families and couples. This hotel has received several awards in recent years for the “Top hotel in Sardinia,” Aside from the comfortable rooms, you will also find a fantastic restaurant and full-service Spa on location. The variety of rooms at Bahia Caddinas caters to groups of any size, but there are also 2-person rooms designed especially for couples. Featuring air-con, a safe, a mini-bar, and room service, the rooms have everything one might need in terms of convenience. Most rooms also have a bath and a balcony with stunning ocean views - a marvelous sight in the mornings! For those who want to keep active during their stay, there is a gym at the hotel, but most guests seem to opt instead for the Spa and Wellness center. This is probably one of the best places to stay in Golfo Aranci because services extend to beauty treatment, not just a typical massage menu. But Baia Caddinas is just as famous for food as anything else, and the restaurant has truly mastered the art of grilled seafood. That said, there is a menu with Italian and Mediterranean food and even a few international dishes.
Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro
Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel in Golfo Aranci was explicitly designed for couples who want to experience more luxury on their trip to Sardinia. A private pool, stunning rooms, and easy access to a sandy beach ensure guests are always connected to the waves that roll in from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Rooms at this accommodation in Golfo Aranci have an almost luminous aesthetic and a timeless yet modern style. You can expect more than forty square meters of space and beautiful furnishings. The bathrooms are incredibly spacious, and not every hotel in the area includes a bathtub which can make all the difference. While the different suites vary in luxury, each room has uninterrupted ocean views. Guests at the Gabbiano Azzurro hotel have all-day access to a sizeable top-floor terrace which is perfect for sunbathing. This is also the location of a 23-square-meter pool, and the whirlpool system never fails to delight guests! As for other things to do, the hotel provides a “massage and relax” service and a unique experience that enables guests to enjoy a private dinner on the beach below.
Hotel Castello is situated directly on one of the most beautiful beaches in Golfo Aranci, ensuring a sea breeze and stunning views of crystal-blue waters. With 44 rooms, this hotel in Golfo Aranci is neither too big nor too small and still features a range of spaces that vary in size. This means you can choose between cozy two-person rooms for couples and larger suites for families with children. The decor is bright and colorful, which helps create a sense of freshness or renewal, and you can expect all modern conveniences. In terms of comfort, this hotel does live up to expectations. Hotel Castello also features an all-day bar with drinks/snacks and a breakfast service comprising everything from croissants and cereals to cheese, yogurts, and cold meats. As for every other meal, the hotel has a partner restaurant that is a brief walk away and specializes in seafood and Sardinian dishes. The outdoor veranda makes this a charming place to eat, as it helps guests feel part of the surrounding area while they eat. As already mentioned, Hotel Castello is located directly on Terra Spiaggia, which enables it to stand out among the other accommodation in Golfo Aranci. After all, location is hugely important, leaving guests with little to no reason to leave this stunning resort searching for whatever else they might want!
Things to Do in Golfo Aranci
One of the top things to do in Golfo Aranci is to go dolphin watching. The village is one of few places in Sardinia where you can easily do this. Bottlenose dolphins frequently can be found in relatively large numbers near the sea bream and sea bass fishing grounds, a few hundred meters off the coast of Figarolo island. To go dolphin watching in Golfo Aranci, you can head over to Spiaggia Baracconi, where you’ll likely spot them a few hundred meters off the coast. But you really should go on an eco-friendly dolphin-watching boat trip with a guide that knows fascinating facts about dolphin traits and habits. These are available year-round, weather and sea conditions permitting. You can observe the curious creatures in their natural habitat; boat trips are organized so you won’t disturb their activities. Swimming with the dolphins is therefore not allowed. Boat trips can be booked at the Centro Immersioni Figarolo, on Via Giovanni da Verrazzano and at the Alpha Diving Center on Piazzetta dei Pescatori.
Go Scuba Diving
Also popular with visitors is the wide range of water sports, enabling visitors to experience firsthand the beautiful, warm crystal clear waters of the Golfo Aranci shores. At the Alpha Diving Center, there are opportunities to make arrangements for exploring the underwater world of Golfo Aranci. Mare Fun Boat Tours offers various watersport activities to stay active. At this rental agency, you can arrange whatever suits you. You do not have to be part of a tour; you can also arrange an activity independently. At CDS Diving & Marine Services, you can arrange water sports activities like paddle boarding or canoeing. La Franata, located on the Capo Figaro peninsula, is an excellent spot for advanced scuba divers. It is an almost vertical cliff that ends in the sea and continues for a few meters until it descends to the bottom. This spot is not for beginners, and it’s a good idea to check weather reports before diving at La Franata.
Go Mountain Biking
Mountain biking in Golfo Aranci can be done from the village’s roundabout. If you head to Cala Sabina, you’ll end up on a path that takes you along the coastline from Cala Sabina to the foot of Monte Ruju. Once you’re back on the main road, you can choose whether to go back on the asphalt, continue to Monte Ruju or head back to the village. The ride is easy, especially on windless days or with winds coming from the South. The bike ride will take you about 2 hours to complete. The scenery is spectacular! Mountain bikes are available for rent at the Figarolo Diving Center (Centro Immersioni Figarolo) on Via Giovanni da Verrazzano.
Explore Capo Figari
If you’d like to explore the area, one of the things to do in Golfo Aranci is visit Capo Figari. It has a lovely little beach called Cala Moresca. The surroundings of Capo Figari are great for hiking too, either for the novice or for the experienced. Nature is just beautiful here. If you’re up for it, you can climb to the top of the peninsula and explore Stazione Radio Guglielmo Marconi, a former naval fortress built in 1890. It is here where Guglielmo Marconi, often credited as the inventor of the radio, experimented with sending long-distance radio signals in the summer of 1932. It’s a 3-kilometer hike. Once you’ve made it to the 342-meter-high summit, the far-reaching views of the islets of Figarolo, Tavolara, and the entire Gulf of Marinella are priceless. Bring a camera if you can.
La Dolce Vita is a brand-new shopping street that completes the modern and trendy promenade of Golfo Aranci. Italian top model and actress Claudia Galanti in August of 2016 officially opened it. The new promenade remains open until the end of October, daily from 10 AM to 10 PM. The new shopping mall overlooks the sea and features many kiosks where you can buy products from top Italian brands such as La Martina, Kocca, James Goldstein, Elena, and Silvia.
More Places to Visit Near Golfo Aranci
Golfo Aranci Restaurants - Where to Eat
Terza Spiaggia (Seafood)🏠 snc, Via degli Asfodeli, Golfo Aranci, Sardegna, 07020, Italy.
📱 Telephone: +39 351 532 6140
La Terza Spiaggia restaurant in Golfo Aranci is one of the best-known eateries in town, primarily due to its location. It overlooks white powdered sands and takes in stunning ocean views, which never fails to impress locals and tourists. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, and all ingredients are fresh - some directly from the sea. The enticement of crudità, fritto di paranza and grigliata mista draws in the crowd and simplicity is key to the success of this restaurant in Golfo Aranci. For instance, many online reviews swear by the delicate sea bream, while others glow about the calamari filled with cucumber and tomato. While they don’t go overboard with the menu, it would seem the Terza Spiaggia provides plenty of flavor-filled options. As always, you will find a selection of delicate desserts for after dinner, and what about the wine? Terza Spiaggia is arguably the most idyllic spot in the bay to enjoy a glass of vino with some good company and breathtaking views at sunset!
La Terrazza Su Figarolo (Seafood, Italian Food)🏠 2, Via Sabina, Golfo Aranci, Sardegna, 07020, Italy.
📱 Telephone: +39 335 743 2244
Looking for a unique experience and authentic restaurant in Golfo Aranci? La Terrazza su Figarolo is a local restaurant with one of the best views in town. That is to say, and many visitors are surprised to find this is a family-run restaurant that uses the family home kitchen to cook all meals! The family tries to share their passion for food at La Terrazza Su Figarolo by mixing influences from old Roman times with the landscape of Sardinia. Products and ingredients are sourced locally through farms and wineries, while all seafood comes directly from the sea before your eyes. Gluten-free options are also possible on request, and the seafood consists of many options, including fish, prawns, monkfish, and prawns. That being said, this restaurant in Golfo Aranci has just as much to taste from the land, with cheese, zucchini, and melanzana finding their way onto the menu. And then there’s the pasta and local wine which completes the menu for this fine eatery on the coast of Sardinia. As if that’s not enough, there is often music during dinner and a piano which adds to the ambiance. La Terrazza Su Figarolo may have come from humble beginnings, but this dining experience is one of the best in the bay!
Blu Restaurant (Italian Food, Traditional Sardinian Food)🏠 Via dei Gabbiani, Golfo Aranci, Sardegna, 07020, Italy.
📱 Telephone: +39 392 9586866
Blù Restaurant has an excellent reputation for authentic local dishes and Sardinian recipes, which have been handed down throughout the years. Located at the heart of this beautiful bay, Blu restaurant also makes the most of the plentiful fish and seafood on its doorstep. The seating areas overlook the bay of Golfo Aranci and provide the perfect setting for an evening meal when the lights come on across the water. This setting is also one of the most inviting in the area, featuring bright draped curtains and ample space. Online reviews also point to the attentive staff and service with a smile, but then there’s the food… La fregula, le Lorighittas, and I Filindeus all feature, and the pasta, loaves of bread, and delicacies help develop a fantastic Sardinian feel. Presentation is another way the restaurant excels, and if one were to describe the experience, one might say that Blu offers a modern take on classic Italian food.
Lo Scorfano Allegro (Seafood)🏠 21, Via C. Colombo, Golfo Aranci, Sardegna, 07020, Italy.
📱 Telephone: +39 333 137 6530
Lo Scorfano Allegro is a restaurant that features one of the most incredible locations you will ever find at an eatery in Sardinia. Situated right next to the beach and overlooking the bay, this is arguably one of the most relaxing places to enjoy a taste of Sardinia and the local seafood. From shrimp pie to a side with local honey, the menu is filled with exciting options from which to choose. Whether pasta with scorpion fish or a delightful grilled seabream, each dish is made with great care and intention. Meanwhile, the black chocolate and pistachio semifreddo is an example of mouthwatering desserts that lie in waiting for after dinner. This high quality also extends to Lo Scorfano Allegro staff, who always seems to be on hand with a pleasant and helpful attitude. Reviews often cite this friendly nature and the reasonable prices, which help this stand out among the other great places to eat in Golfo Aranci. This restaurant is worth the visit with fine food, friendly service, and such an exciting setting.
Golfo Aranci Nightlife
Gintoneria, Cocktail Bar Clipper
Gintoneria is home to arguably the largest selection of gins that you will find amidst Golfo Aranci nightlife. With more than one hundred different labels to choose from, there is literally a different taste with every gin and tonic and the gin brands come from all over the world. Paulo the barman is well-known for his professionalism and friendliness, and his skills allow for a wide range of cocktails, including Margherita’s, Long Island, and other popular drinks. Most visitors to Gintoneria point to the “retro” styled interior and a marine-style room that feels both modern and fresh. There is no loud music or party atmosphere but a relaxing ambiance for some quiet drinks in the evening. If you’re unsure what to order, Paulo also takes delight in making suggestions and explaining the nature of each glass on the menu. This cocktail bar might not be a place to dance the night away, but it is an ideal spot to sample Golfo Aranci nightlife and some of the best gins in the world!
Cafe Marconi might be a coffee shop, but this is also a popular place to experience some Golfo Aranci nightlife. Although the venue is relatively small, there is enough space between tables so as not to feel crowded, and this size also contributes to the cozy atmosphere you will find in the evenings. You can also take advantage of the menu at Cafe Marconi because they serve a long lineup of cakes and snacks. That said, most evening visitors come for the cafe’s wine, gin, cocktails, and many signature drinks. Cafe Marconi has arguably one of the most prominent wines, spirits, and cocktails in Golfo Aranci and is an excellent venue to enjoy them. The interior feels bright and fresh, and a covered outdoor terrace is trendy on a warm evening. As with most bars in Golfo Aranci, you can expect friendly staff and a warm atmosphere regardless of the weather.
S’Incantu Wine Bar
S’Incantu wine bar is located at the heart of the Golfo Aranci nightlife, and this small bar is popular with locals and visitors alike. You will also find music in this venue which is usually a nice mix of American jazz and blues. Many online reviews express delight in the reasonably priced selection of drinks. While many visitors seem to walk past the front of this little bar, it’s often the case that they then step through the side entrance. This says a lot about S’Incantu Wine Bar because once it grabs your attention, it’s the kind of place that grows on you. Featuring a somewhat bare and almost rustic interior, S’Incantu Wine Bar gives off a local vibe, but there is also a bright outdoor terrace with umbrellas for shade. As for the menu, the bar has a fantastic selection of wine and craft beers and cocktails. If feeling peckish, there are snacks and appetizers, and most customers seem especially pleased with the reasonable prices, which are not always guaranteed on a night out in Golfo Aranci!
How To Get To Golfo Aranci
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The nearest airport to Golfo Aranci is Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, located about 14 kilometers south-west of the seaside village. To get to your destination via the fastest route by car, first follow the Strada Statale 125 once you've left the airport. After about 7 kilometers, head east on the Strada Provinciale 16. This road will guide you to Baia Caddinas and Golfo Aranci. The total trip shouldn’t take you longer than about 25 minutes.