While Sardinia is spectacular from the cliffs and beaches, it's just as dramatic in the underground realm. The Grotta of the Bue Marino is a good example. Bue Marino literally means "marine ox" in reference to the monk seals that once called this cave their home. The cavern is located on the coast near Dogali, south of Orosei and north of Baunei. Take a boat from Cala Ganone, Santa Maria Navarrese, or Arbatax to arrive at the entrance of this marine cavern.

You'll disembark and find a majestic entry cavity with two towering arches. The rock formations reflect on the placid water as you walk over the gangway and into the depths of the cave. While there are more than ten kilometers of tunnels, only one kilometer is open to the public, to preserve the integrity of the delicate ecosystem. But what an amazing one kilometer you'll enjoy! You'll walk the pathway and see stalactites, stalagmites, underground streams, dramatic stone formations, ancient petroglyphs etched into the walls, culminating at the sandy beach on a subterranean lake, fed by fresh water streams that mixed with the salt water, where the monk seals used to come to breed.

It is a worthy outing, with a ferry ride or water taxi, then a half-hour tour in the underground chambers. Guides are available in English. There are kiosks in Marina di Orosei, Cala Gonone, and Arbatax for tickets, and private tour operators who offer excursions that include the grotta with other sea-borne activities.

Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!

Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Grotta del Bue Marino? Ask them here!

Address in Sardinia:

Cala Ganone.

Ph. (+39) 078 496 243.

Have a look at our holiday homes in Sardinia.