Golfo Aranci is a town located on the north eastern side of the Italian island of Sardinia. It used to be part of the larger area of Olbia until 1979 when Golfo Aranci became an independent town.
It is believed that the name Golfo Aranci came about from a misspelling of Golfu di li Ranci (which means “Gulf of the Crabs”).
We were fortunate enough to visit during June 2013 and found it to be a beautiful yet very relaxed port town.
Golfo Aranci is set in a wonderful location with views of the islands of Isola Tavolara and Isola Molara visible from the harbour. Ferries from the Italian mainland of Livorno can reach Golfo Aranci in around four hours. There is also a slower ferry which takes around 7 hours. During our visit a Sardinian Ferry was anchored in port.
As we walked around the harbour area we found the place to be very clean, well presented and thankfully under commercialised. Golfo Aranci restaurants were visible along the promenade and one or two streets back from the promenade. A few ristorantes and bars were present with the odd pizzeria.
Golfo Aranci seemed to lack many tourist shops, which to us seemed to be quite a good thing.
A number of hotels rested by the beach front and looked as though they had great views of the waters and islands. I would happily pay for a room with a sea view here.
The beach at Golfo Aranci (Golfo Aranci spiagge) appeared to be very small but popular. A few parasols were fixed in place yet space was to some degree at a premium.
For us the main appeal of Golfo Aranci is the opportunity to take boat trips out. You could hire a boat or go on an organised outing. From our visit to the Diving Centre (easily found in the Golfo Aranci harbour) we quickly learnt that trips are available to go bird watching, whale watching, snorkelling, diving and dolphin watching.
Whilst our first visit to Golfo Aranci was brief, we were taken with the place, not just its beauty but also its simplicity. We were sure to return to Golfo Aranci again to take one of the boat trips on offer.