Immersed in the most unspoilt nature, Hotel Ispinigoli is the ideal departure point for discovering the marvels of our region, a natural gym for visitors seeking an active holiday. For detailed information about the activities you can try in this area, go to the section Excursions.
The charm of the Orosei Gulf
Sardinia’s fabulous scenery, with splendid beaches and magnificent rock faces plunging into the sea, finds its maximum expression in the heart of the island’s east coast, the Gulf of Orosei.
The gulf is divided into two parts which are very different in character: the northern side is at sea level and consists of five kilometres of sand and extensive pine forests that stretch to the north end (Punta Nera); while the southern side consists of the edge of the Supramonte massif, also known as Supramonte marino, with cliffs extending as far as Capo Monte Santo.
Dorgali lies at the centre of the gulf, and from here the beaches of Cala Osalla and Cala Cartoe can be easily reached, within a few kilometres of Hotel Ispinigoli and particularly recommended for families, thanks to their shallow slope, fine sand and extensive natural parking. Cala Gonone, in the municipality of Dorgali, is a strategic starting point for the renowned little coves to the south, which can be reached by boat, including Cala Luna, Cala Mariolu and Cala Goloritzè.
The unparalleled natural beauty and diversity of the sea bed make these some of the island’s most popular destinations for lovers of snorkelling and diving, or simply those in search of genuine contact with nature. Meanwhile the enormous variety of life in the sea, on land and in the air is a true natural laboratory for animal watchers.
Guests at the hotel can take advantage of our partnership with Blu and Green Best, an association of expert and highly qualified excursion guides who will give you a unique and in-depth view of the coast and the Supramonte, an unforgettable and thrilling experience.
Book now for your excursion; guests staying at the hotel save 5.00€ per person.
The magic of Supramonte
The Supramonte, predominantly characterised by limestone rock, is a completely unique landscape which lies between the sub-regions of Baronia, Ogliastra and Barbagia and offers numerous possibilities for trekking and hiking.
The Dorgali area, together with Baunei, Urzulei, Orgosolo and Oliena, make up the Supramonte of Barbagia and Ogliastra, famous for the Gennargentu massif and protected by numerous environmental projects. Some of Sardinia's loveliest and most authentic iconic places are Punta La Marmora, known as "the roof of Sardinia", Nuraghe Mereu and the holm oak of Badde Tureddu, listed among the world's 100 greatest trees.
The limestone rock gives the landscape an extraordinary monumental character, embellished by limestone pinnacles and stacks which make it a harsh and seemingly impenetrable place, and preserve it from outside influence. It was the mountain shepherds who discovered, kept and handed down the secrets of routes and passages which, over time, the local population has promoted and made into spectacular trekking routes, like the celebrated Selvaggio Blu.
This area boasts countless natural sites worth a visit: the Gorroppu Canyon, the gorges of Fuili and Cala Luna, the paths linking ancient mountain shepherds’ huts and the remarkable natural stone arches, like Sutta Terra. All these will leave visitors with unforgettable memories of their Sardinian holiday.
Thanks to our collaboration with the expert guides at Blu & Green Best, hotel guests can explore the Supramonte and the Gennargentu Park in a very special in-depth way and in complete safety, for an unforgettable experience.
Book now for your excursion; guests staying at the hotel save 5.00€ per person.
Thousands of years of history and culture
The Dorgali area offers an immensely important archaeological heritage: there are numerous places of interest scattered over the area, many of them well-signposted and easy to access.
First and foremost is the Nuragic village of Serra Orrios: extremely well-preserved, this place allows visitors to admire one of the most remarkable examples of Nuragic Sardinia; it includes a village-sanctuary with around eighty huts, two Megaron temples and two megalithic burial sites. Less famous and harder to reach are the village of Neulè, not far from Serra Orrios, and the village of Nuraghe Arvu in the upper part of Cala Gonone, still within the Dorgali municipality.
The famous Nuragic village of Tiscali, inside the enormous limestone doline of the same name, is the destination of many tourists every year and the culmination of a two-hour walk through a fascinating ecosystem of flora and fauna. Other significant archaeological sites are the nuraghi scattered throughout the area, including the Nuraghe Mannu, considered by archaeologists as an important strategic place for its spectacular views over the Gulf of Orosei.
A little further away from the town we find the tomb of giants S’Ena e Thomes, considered one of the most imposing, remarkable and well-preserved in the island and located just 6 km from the village of Serra Orrios. The dimensions of the slabs and stones explain the choice of name, Tomb of Giants, given to Nuragic funeral monuments. At S’Ena e Thomes the corridor is also preserved practically intact, with stone slabs set horizontally along the side walls.
The town of Dorgali is also home to the Archaeological Museum, which houses, classifies and gives detailed descriptions of numerous finds from all the sites in the area, enabling the visitor to gain a greater understanding of the lifestyle and activities of our ancestors.
The limestone symphony underground
The karst system of the Dorgali and Cala Gonone area is packed with fascinating caves and interconnected chambers.
The system that includes the Cave of Bue Marino, at the heart of the Orosei Gulf, has earned the Italian record for the largest cave system (70 km) with the recent discovery of the latest underwater cleft, which connects the cave with Su Palu, Monte Logos and Su Molente.
The Bue Marino caves can be reaches from the port of Cala Gonone by the boats or inflatable dinghies which offer mini-cruises along the coast; it is easy to come across magnificent cliffs and other caves such as the ones in Cala Luna.
A stone’s throw from our hotel in Dorgali, you’ll find the Ispinigoli Cave, with a wealth of limestone accretions dating back thousands of years and featuring Europe’s second-largest stalactite-stalagmite, approximately 38 metres high. The enormous cavern astounds visitors with its symphony of sinuous chiaroscuro, a sight not to be forgotten in a hurry.
Once a year the cave becomes the prestigious stage for local and island choirs, who take advantage of the unparalleled acoustics and the fabulous atmosphere for their concerts.
Tradition and art
Dorgalese handcrafts are among the best-known and valued in Sardinia, and include the principal manufacturing activities such as weaving, wood carving and filigree work, ceramics and knives. The skills and artistic ability needed for these have been preserved over time, thanks to the expert artisans who have handed down their knowledge and passion to new generations.
Creativity and skill still find maximum expression in Dorgali today; they are a tangible presence in the artisans’ workshops and boutiques that line the town’s main streets. You’ll be spoilt for choice: jewellery in gold filigree, Sardinian rugs in either knotted wool or woven matting, ceramic plates and jugs, knives, leather wallets and backpacks known as “tascheddas”.
The town of Dorgali boasts artists of the calibre of Salvatore Fancello, an internationally-known ceramicist in the first half of the twentieth century, to whom a Museum is dedicated. In 2016 an exhibition of 30 of his major works - including some previously unseen - was held to mark the centenary of his birth.
Another important Dorgali legacy is preserved by the town’s goldsmiths who, though they may bring an innovative and personal touch to their creations, do not betray the uniquely typical art of filigree and continue to make exquisite old-style items from the finest gold filaments: the classic buttons typical of traditional costume, the fede sarda or Sardinian wedding ring, and singular silver amulets depicting people and animals.
Not forgetting the celebrated Dorgali rugs, made by the ancient technique of knotting, similar to Oriental methods, a style used in very few other places in Sardinia. The fusion of traditional methods with modern tastes has led to products that are appropriate to today’s market demands and which acquire value with time; essential items for furnishing a home.
Today, artists and craftsmen and women continue their traditional activities, bringing prestige to their town, which is embellished with splendid panels, paintings and mosaics representing scenes of everyday life, thus enriching the urban environment of the old town.
Ispinigoli is a partner of Cala Gonone Holiday, the portal where you can discover what to see in Cala Gonone and Dorgali.