Tortoli - Arbatax is without doubt one of Ogliastra’s better known centers both for its tourist attractions and for the important port of call which occupies an important role in the maritime traffic with the other Italian ports.
Furthermore, the recently opened airport, offers fast links to National and International cities. Arbatax is a typical village that used to live by fishing while today’s main source of profit is characterized by tourism. The famous red rocks that get their color from the porphyry material of which they are composed of, are the town’s symbol. In the last 20 years the splendid beaches and the proximity to the gulf of Orosei have set up a great tourist development mostly in the centre of Port Frailis which is attached to Arbatax and gives hospitality to thousand of tourists every year. As in Santa Maria Navarrese and in mainly all coast centers, also Arbatax has a Spanish tower, better known as the Saracen Tower.
The tower dominates the town and is surrounded by the perfume of an intense green pine forest and the smile of all tourists who walk along the roads that go round the port. From this point, you can see Ogliastra’s small island up to the calcareous cliffs of Baunei. Arbatax is also the terminus of the little green train railway line, a famous Sardinian tourist train that goes through the most rough and wild areas of the island. You will discover villages in which nature hasn’t been changed, where springs are still clear and pure, where bridges and homes are perfectly part of the environment and where everything is still intact in spite of the frenetic and overbuild world.
The little green train is perhaps the best way to visit Ogliastra and observe its landscapes and more. At a short distance away from Arbatax you can visit Orrì, a lovely beach with extremely fine sand and very shallow crystal waters that make it ideal for families and children. The beach is well organized with all tourist facilities such as stalls in front of the sandy shore and small seaside resorts, in which you can rent your sun bed and feel assured by the presence of a lifeguard. From May to September you can be present at celebrations that involve the small maritime village, and that are mainly related to religious feasts. Some examples of these feasts can be represented by Saint Lucia, Saint Anna and Saint Salvatore, which are celebrated respectively in May, July and September. Stella Maris is however tourists’ mostly awaited event.
During this celebration held in the first week of July, you can attend the religious procession in the sea, the traditional costume parade, fish banquets, dances and songs accompanied by the melody of the “Launeddas”. Finally, at midnight, the explosion of hundreds of fireworks gives a magic atmosphere to the starry sky. Every day you can take boats from the tourist port and visit the best beaches of the gulf of Orosei. At a short distance from the centre there is a riding school where you can go for a horse ride face to face with nature.