Arbatax

Sardinia, Italy

Arbatax is a marine fraction of the municipality of Tortolì and is located along the eastern coast of Sardinia. On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about must-see places, beaches, local delicacies, ferries to Arbatax and book your tickets with just a few clicks!

Take a look at our tips for your dreamy vacation in Arbatax and discover useful information about its port:

Panoramic view of the Gulf of Orosei, Sardinia

The breathtaking view of the Gulf of Orosei in Sardinia 

Vacation in Arbatax

Arbatax is a charming seaside town, best known for its suggestive position on the slopes of Capo Bellavista. When Italians hear of Arbatax, one thing comes to mind; the magnificent Red Rocks (Rocce Rosse) by the sea, pointing to the horizon.

Tip: plan your visit to Arbatax during August when the Rocce Rosse Blues music festival takes place and get ready to be enchanted with its soothing notes.

Also, Arbatax is great for nature lovers as it is full of greenery and hiking trails. Among breathtaking landscapes, between cliffs and mesmerizing coves, it is a destination for relaxation. It combines heavenly beaches and stunning scenery, ideal for a weekend trip with families and friends. 

You can visit Arbatax and the entire area of Ogliastra throughout the year. Its mild temperatures allow you to move around the town with ease and comfort during both summer and winter! So, are you ready to go?

How to get to Arbatax

Arbatax is connected with more ports on the island of Sardinia, as well as the Italian peninsula. The fastest way to get to Arbatax by sea from the mainland is from Civitavecchia, thanks to the weekly connections active all year round. Civitavecchia is located less than 1 hour from Rome, so you can easily reach its port from all over Italy.

It is also easy to reach Arbatax from other places in Sardinia (Cagliari and Nuoro) by car or bus. You can reach Cagliari by car in less than 2 hours or take a bus to Tortolì station. You can also take a bus directly from the city of Nuoro and arrive in Arbatax in 2,5 hours.

Alternatively, you can reach Arbatax by plane. The closest airport is in Cagliari, located 130km from the town of Arbatax, offering both national and international flights.

The coast of Arbatax and its red rocks near the port

The rugged coast of Arbatax near the port 

What to do in Arbatax

There are plenty of things to do in Arbatax, starting from the magnificent port area. The imposing Red Rocks located near the port will give you a warm welcome! The cliffs of red porphyry emerging from the crystal clear waters create a natural postcard scenery, so better get your camera ready!

However, the Red Rocks is not the only worthy attraction of Arbatax. The town is rich in natural wonders, so trekking and hiking lovers can indulge themselves in breathtaking views. The whole area is also known for its archaeological sites and the Necropolis of Monte Terli.

We are all about museums and ancient parks, aren’t we? Now let’s skip to the one thing that makes Arbatax stand out! The whole region is surrounded by the most heavenly beaches in Sardinia.

Prepare your backpack, take the boat and leave for a day trip to the stunning coves of the Gulf of Orosei from the port of Arbatax. Don’t forget your mask and snorkel as they are important for diving into the majestic underwater world!

Beaches in Arbatax

Arbatax is a stretch of coast full of heavenly beaches, ideal for those looking to strike the happy medium between social life and relaxation.

Here are our 7 favorite beaches in Arbatax:

  1. Rocce Rosse: it’s one of the most popular beaches of Arbatax, located near the port. The reddish cliffs contrast with the emerald waters composing an awe-inspiring landscape! So, if you’re a diving lover or enjoy relaxing by the beach while having beach bars and restaurants at a close distance, that is your spot!
  2. Cala Moresca: you can find this mesmerizing beach south of Capo Bellavista. It’s a quiet cove surrounded by dense greenery and granite rocks, ideal for snorkelers. Once in the parking lot, you will follow a path leading to a staircase overlooking the beach. Here, you can find various services, including umbrellas, sunbeds, and pedal boat rentals.
  3. Lido di Orrì: it’s an almost 16km long beach made up of a series of semi-desert inlets. Considered among the most beautiful coves in Sardinia, it consists of sugary sand and turquoise waters. Strong winds love it and so do the surfers and kitesurfers. There are also umbrellas, sunbeds and a small bar with cool drinks and snacks, ideal after taking a dive.
  4. Baia di Porto Frailis: this small cove is located about 5km from Tortolì and is the place to be if you are up for tranquility and relaxation. Fine sand, transparent, shallow waters and the sweet sound of the waves splashing on the coastline make it perfect for a getaway day trip. Near the beach, there are parking lots and various spots for renting sun loungers, umbrellas and canoes.
  5. Il Golfetto: the beach is also known as Cala Ginepro. This white-sand cove is surrounded by Mediterranean scrub and deep, blue waters. The small pine forest behind the beach creates a perfect shade offering you the best shield from the hot sun. There are also wooden tables to enjoy your lunch in total relaxation next to the sea.
  6. San Gemiliano: the beach of San Gemiliano is well-sheltered from the wind with white sand and turquoise, shallow waters. A part of the beach is equipped and you can also rent pedal boats. Behind it, you can find a famous tourist village and various places to enjoy an aperitif!
  7. Cea: it’s located about 12km from Tortolì. The cove is covered by golden sand ending in the rocks of Punta Niedda. The beach is partly equipped and surrounded mainly by greenery. A few meters from the shore, you can see the impressive Scoglius Arrubius stacks of red porphyry emerge from the sea.

The crystal clear waters and red rocks of Cea beach

The Red Rocks emerging from the turquoise Cea beach

Sightseeing in Arbatax

The Arbatax area and the whole Tortolì area offer dreamy beaches and some natural beauties and remains of the past to admire.

Among the most beautiful attractions to discover in Arbatax we recommend:

  • The Saracenic Tower of Arbatax, dominating the promenade of the village
  • The Bellavista Natural Park, hosting various species of animals in the wild 
  • The Tower of San Gemiliano, dating back to medieval times with an enchanting view across the bay
  • The archaeological complex of S’Ortali e su Monte, with the magnificent, megalithic edifice named nuraghe
  • The Roman village of San Lussurioso
  • The Bellavista Lighthouse, built in the 17th century and one of the most famous lighthouses in Sardinia

The Capo Bellavista lighthouse in Arbatax

 The Capo Bellavista lighthouse near the center of Arbatax

Nightlife in Arbatax

Arbatax has a lively nightlife for every taste. You can find most of the clubs near the waterfront area. In addition, there are several beach bars organizing events and live music nights throughout the year. 

Enjoy an aperitif by the sea in total relaxation or go dancing in the disco and have fun until the first light of dawn! The Arbatax Disco Club. It’s one of the most idyllic places for a drink offering a breathtaking view of the Red Rocks.

Food in Arbatax

The cuisine of Arbatax is simple and tasty with intense flavors! Seafood is a prominent feature of Italy’s regional coastal cuisines. However, meat and ricotta cheese are also ingredients of the local recipes that go hand in hand with a glass of Cannonau wine.

Here are some of the most delicious local delicacies to try during your stay in Arbatax:

  • burrida (seafood soup)
  • pasta con bottarga (spaghetti with fish roe sac)
  • culurgiones (pasta stuffed with potato, pecorino cheese and mint)
  • agnello allo spiedo (spit-roasted leg of lamb)
  • porcetto (roasted suckling piglet)
  • coccoi prena (stuffed with pecorino, mint and potato)
  • pardulas (ricotta-based tartlets)
  • red wine Cannonau

The typical pardulas sweets of Arbatax

The delicious pardulas sweets with ricotta and lemon 

What to visit around Arbatax

If you decide to stay a few more days in Arbatax, we suggest you visit the area of Ogliastra. Embedded between the Tyrrhenian sea and the mountains of Gennargentu in the heart of eastern Sardinia, the area of Ogliastra boasts a wild landscape surrounded by unspoiled nature.

Also, you can’t miss a visit to the mesmerizing town of Baunei, which is situated about 20km from Arbatax. In addition to its heavenly beaches, you can discover the famous caves of Grotta del Fico and Su Meraculu. Before you leave the eastern part of Sardinia, have a little road trip and explore the picturesque villages of Ilbono, Lanusei and Arzana.

Tips

Here are 4 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Arbatax:

  1. If you want a quieter vacation with less crowded beaches, you should visit Arbatax in September.
  2. In Sardinia, it may not always be sweltering in summer due to the mistral. So before you go, it’s better to grab a sweatshirt and put it in your suitcase!
  3. Arbatax and Sardinia could be quite expensive in the high season. However, by booking well in advance, you can save money and have a wider choice of accommodation.
  4. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a day trip by boat to the dreamy bays of Cala Mariolu and Cala Luna.

Useful information for Arbatax

Arbatax offers its visitors various things to do and see. Most restaurants and shops are located in the center of the town. Despite the fact that most tourist activities operate during the summer, Arbatax offers various services. 

Regarding your accommodation in Arbatax, we recommend that you opt for the downtown area as it’s full of alternatives between hotels, pensions, guest houses and Bed & Breakfasts. However, finding something near the port is preferable if you intend to leave by ferry the following day. 

Alternatively, you can find accommodation with lower prices in the area of ​​Torre di Bari, 20 minutes from Arbatax. If you like camping you can find some campsites near the beaches of Lido di Orrì, Il Golfetto and Cea. Among the best family-friendly areas to stay near Arbatax are Porto Frailis and San Gemiliano, offering various services. 

As for health care in Arbatax, there is only one pharmacy located on the seafront. The tourist medical guard service is situated in Tortolì and is active throughout the summer in case of any emergency. However, the closest hospital is ASL 4 in Lanusei

Important phone numbers for your stay in Arbatax

Here are some useful contacts to keep within reach during your trip to Arbatax:

  • Arbatax Police Station: +390782622644
  • Arbatax Port Authority: +390782667093/667878
  • Municipality of Tortolì: +390782600700
  • ARST urban transport bus: +390784294173
  • Emergency medical service: +390782667072
  • European emergency number: 112 

Transportation in Arbatax

In Arbatax, you can easily get around on foot or by bus. Most of the streets are pedestrian, making it easy to explore the town quickly. The main attractions are located in the port area. However, if you want to explore the surroundings, it is advisable to travel by car. You can board your vehicle on the ferry or rent a car as soon as you reach the town.

The bus network is very efficient and you can easily move around Tortolì. For short trips outside the town, you can also use the public transport of the ARST company. From Tortolì station, several buses leave daily for Arbatax, taking about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tip: the ARST regional railways allow you to explore all the amazing places in Sardinia with the Green Train, also known as “Trenino Verde”. The route from Arbatax to Mandas is a fascinating ride! It’s a 62km long route that crosses bridges and passes through canyons while glimpsing the coast.

The Green Train of the Arbatax-Mandas line at the station

The famous Green Train preparing for departure

The port of Arbatax

The port of Arbatax is a very important tourist port in Sardinia, welcoming many visitors annually. The ferry pier is located near the town offering various services such as bars, restaurants and a supermarket.

If you wish to travel to Tortolì, there is a city bus stop next to the port. However, before leaving for Tortolì, visit the imposing Saracenic Tower and the magnificent Red Rocks of Arbatax located very close to the port.

Arbatax ferry: schedules and tickets

Being one of the most important ports in Sardinia, Arbatax is a very popular destination, especially during the summer. However, you can reach this beautiful tourist resort all year round thanks to the ferry connections with the port of Civitavecchia.

The ferry routes from Civitavecchia to Arbatax are operated twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) by the company Grimaldi Lines. The crossing takes about 9 hours and the departures are usually in the evening.

Tip: we recommend that you book a cabin for a comfortable trip. There are different types of accommodation, such as cabins specially designed for disabled people and pets.

Boats at the small port of Arbatax

Anchored boats at the port of Arbatax

Where to book ferry tickets to Arbatax online?

On Ferryhopper, you can find all connections to Arbatax, compare prices and companies, departure times and book your ferry tickets online with ease. Find all the routes available on our Map of ferries and get ready to dive into the crystalline sea of Ogliastra and Sardinia!

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Arbatax has direct ferry connections with 1 ports :

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