Not far along the coast from the stunning cove and rock formations of Cala Goloritze is another Sardinian gem, Cala Mariolu. This little beach is set at the foot of plunging limestone cliffs which contrast with the stunningly clear blue water of the Gulf of Orosei. So alluring is the water here that I challenge anyone to not take a dip. Given how clear the it is no surprise this is a popular scuba diving spot and also one of the best snorkeling beaches of Sardinia.
Cala Mariolu beach itself is not made up of sand as you might expect but tiny, smooth white pebbles with just a hint of pink. It is the sunlight reflected off these that give the water here its exquisite colour. The limestone cliffs along the coast here are dotted with caves including the spectacular Grotta del Fico just around the corner.
The beach slopes quite gently and the water is shallow making it generally pretty safe for families. There are a few basic facilities including a small beach cafe which serves panini, pizza, ice cream and the likes. Getting to Cala Mariolu is a little more of a mission and involves either a considerable trek or more often a boat trip. Despite this the beach is often quite busy during the summer months - testament to how lovely this beach is.
The name of the beach comes from the local name for the monk seal, “mariolu” which means thief. This is because these cute little seals have a habit of stealing the fish out of the fishermen’s nets.
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