La Grotta dei Colombi (Cave of Pigeons)

La Grotta dei Colombi (Cave of Pigeons)

On the stretch of coast north of Fòrrola, the cliff suddenly becomes a sheer drop overlooking the sea, more than 300 metres high. At the foot of this striking wall, a destination for free climbers in the mood to test their skills, is the “Grotta dei Colombi”, which owes its name to a colony of pigeons who stay there throughout the year (and painstakingly share the areas facing the cliffs with a large colony of Eleonora’s Falcons, which nest on these walls).
The “Grotta dei Colombi” is only accessible by sea and in order to see the stunning majesty of the vault up close, it is necessary to sail very close to the cliff. In particularly calm seas, it is possible to climb onto the rock to reach the inside of the cave, which is 7 metres above sea level. The cave is only one of many karst cavities on the Baunesis coast. Erosion caused by rainwater that infiltrates the deeper layers of rock and erodes the limestone is responsible for the formation of this kind of cave. From the Grotta dei Colombi onwards, the coastline remains high, falling sheer into the sea, up to the promontory of Capo Monte Santu, after which it slopes down sharply until it is no higher than a few metres, then rises up again to almost 500 metres at Punta Salinas.
Along the coastline there are also a number of underwater caves, which testify to ancient geological eras in which the sea level was different from what it is now. One of these underwater caves (the entrance is 12 metres below sea level), several kilometres long, is located a few miles north of the Grotta dei Colombi, beyond Capo Monte Santu. The cave was named “Utopia” by the cave divers who discovered it in the sixties; “Utopia” was explored by a team of professionals, led by the chemist Markus Schafheutze, which arrived specially from Germany in the mid- 1990s. In the summer of 2002, during one of the explorations that took place over the years, the German cave divers discovered the existence of a room full of stalactites and stalagmites located at a depth of 80 metres below sea level. Since stalactites and stalagmites are concretions that only form in the presence of air (due to a chemical reaction of calcium bicarbonate, which turns into calcium carbonate, thereby solidifying, when it comes into contact with the atmosphere), it follows that their presence in rooms that are now flooded with seawater shows that, at one time, these caves were above sea level.


Forrola and Punta Giràdili

To the north of Pedra Longa is “Forrola” bay, dominated by the majestic “Punta Giradili”, which, at 765 metres, is one of the highest cliffs in the Mediterranean.

La Grotta dei Colombi (Cave of Pigeons)

The “Grotta dei Colombi” is only accessible by sea and in order to see the stunning majesty of the vault up close, it is necessary to sail very close to the cliff.

Cala dei Gabbiani (Seagull Cove)

‘Cala dei Gabbiani’ (Seagull Cove): this beach, about 250 metres long, owes its name to the fact that dozens of seagulls gather here every evening around sunset.

The ancient “Montes Insani”

The roughness of navigation along the cliffs of Capo Monte Santu has been known since antiquity, and many historians identify this stretch of the east coast with the ‘Insani Montes’ mentioned by numerous authors, especially in connection with tragic shipwrecks.

Cala Birìala

The beach of “Cala Birìala” (called “Birìola” by the Cala Gonone fishermen) was one of the beaches most often visited by monk seals.

Venus’ Pools

Venus’ Pools, located on the coast of Baunei, a short distance from Grotta del Fico and Cala Biriala, crystal clear water.

Portu Cuau

Portu Cuau – Baunei Coast

Grotta del Fico (Fig Tree Cave)

Sailing northwards, about a mile away from the ‘Mudaloru’ beach, is the ‘Grotta del Fico’ (Fig Cave), which opens up in the limestone cliffs, about 10 metres above sea level.

Capo Monte Santu cliffs

The promontory of Capo Monte Santu marks the southern border of the Gulf of Orosei, whose northern border is at Capo Comino.

“Ispuligedenie” – Cala Mariolu

Divided into two parts by a large rock used as a docking pier by the barges carrying tourists, it is now known by the double name of ‘Ispuligidenie – Cala Mariolu’.

Cala Goloritzé – Baunei’s coast

Cala Goloritzé, Baunei Coast: spectacular beach framed by limestone, crystal clear sea and mountains. A popular destination for excursions and climbing.

Su Meraculu Cave

Inland from Cala Sisine, about an hour’s walk from the beach, it is a very evocative cave, whose very name reveals some curious characteristics: it is called the “Grotta del Miracolo” (“Su Meraculu”, in Sardinian).

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