The variety and the particularity of Ogliastra lie in the perfect mix between the enchanting beauty of its beaches and seacliffs and the mountainous hinterland of the Gennargentu mountains. Of major interest are the underwater caves and grottoes that are to be found cut into the Baunei Coast: Fico (Fig) grotto, the grotto of Su Murmuri and the grotto of Su Meraculu.
Fico Grotto has been cut out of the limestone cliffs in the Gulf of Orosei, and are situated 7 metres above sea-level. Until the 1980s, the cave remained the last home of the monk seal. It was here that the mammal, through numerous siphons connected to the sea, came to reproduce on the beaches inside the cave. The grotto is also important for its wondeful variety of stalactites and stalagmites.
The grotto of Su Marmuri is in Ulussai, and is 35 metres high and 1 kilometre long. It is considered one of the most important caves in Europe for its ‘art in the making’ as the limestone deposits are still in the process of formation even now. After descending the 200 stairs leading to the cave, it is possible to admire two small underground lakes and several imposing rooms characterised by very high ceilings.
The grotto of Su Meraculu is in the territory of Baunei, and has the shape of an upside “y”. It has an average height of between 4 and 6 metres and has been explored up to a depth of 200 metres. Its Sardinian name, which means “the miracle”, derives from the beauty of the limestone formations which capture and reflect the light in such a way as to immerse the visitor in a mystical and suggestive atmosphere.