Known to be one of the best beaches of Gallura, in northwestern Sardinia, Cala Brandinchi is an extremely popular cove set between Olbia, the getaway to Costa Smeralda, and San Teodoro, a small town that is a favorite of both local and international tourists.
The beach is quite narrow and can get overwhelmingly crowded during the summer months. Furthermore, although the beach is public and access is free, visiting can be less than budget friendly (more about this in a bit). Yet, if you are planning your Sardinian holidays in the area, you should make it a point to go. You will find clear, incredibly shallow waters and powdery white sand.
I have recently visited Cala Brandinchi during a trip to northeastern Sardinia and thought I’d share everything you should know before you go – so you can have a relaxing day in the sun.
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Everything You Must Know About Cala Brandinchi Beach
It’s a limited access beach
As of June 2022, less than 1500 visitors are allowed every day at Cala Brandinchi, and you will have to book your visit in advance via the site San Teodoro Spiagge – you can find it here. There is a €2 fee to pay per visitor – it is free if you are staying in one of the places in San Teodoro.
Cala Brandinchi Beach
Locally known as Tahiti, Cala Brandinchi is located in Capo Coda Cavallo, around 10 km (6.2 miles) from San Teodoro and 23 km (14.3 miles) from Olbia.
According to history, this is the place where Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian unification hero, stopped on 17 October 1867 as he escaped from Caprera, in the Maddalena Archipelago, on his way to Rome.
The beach is surrounded by a forest of Mediterranean pine trees inhabited by cicadas – whose singing will be the soundtrack of your day while there! Behind it, small sand dunes protect the beach from the strongest winds. Emerging from the waters, rock formations are the perfect living environment for several marine species – which means this is a great place for snorkeling.
As soon as you set foot on Cala Brandinchi, you will be welcomed by impressive views of the nearby Tavolara island.
While this isn’t the smallest beach in Sardinia (it’s 750 meters long: that’s 2,460 feet), it’s actually quite narrow – which means that it can easily get too crowded.
Children love Cala Brandinchi – and so do parents who hardly have to worry about them, as the water at this Sardinian beach is incredibly shallow and the bay is so protected that there hardly are currents.
The beach is equipped with a couple of kiosks, a pier where boats can dock, a few places where you can rent umbrellas and sun-beds (expect to pay €45 for two sun-beds and an umbrella, plus a €5 supplement for the first row) and a couple of places to rent SUP, paddle boats etc. There are two chemical toilets at the very entrance of the beach, free to use.
To book your umbrella and sun-beds at Cala Brandinchi call +39 339 133 1653.
Unfortunately Cala Brandinchi does not have disabled access.
How To Get To Cala Brandinchi
You can easily get to Cala Brandinchi from Olbia, San Teodoro and nearby villages by car, bike and even by bus.
FROM OLBIA – The only way to get to Cala Brandinchi from Olbia is by car. While you have a few options to get there, the best / quickest road is SS125, southbound. It will take you around 30 minutes to get there. Make sure to drive slowly as you get closer to the beach as there is only a small brown sign right at the intersection: you will find the road to Cala Brandinchi to your left.
FROM SAN TEODORO – You will have to drive along SS125, northbound, until you reach the intersection. You also have the option of biking to the beach – though keep in mind traffic can be quite hectic during the peak season. Alternatively, hop on the “Beach Bus” that connects San Teodoro to the local beaches between June and September. A roundtrip ticket costs €5 and there are rides approximately every 1.5 hours.
You can check the bus timetable here. The site is in Italian, but it is quite self explanatory. Keep in mind that the bus stop is about 1.2 km (0.75 miles) from the beach.
If you drive to the beach, you will find a large parking lot – it serves both Cala Brandinchi and Lu Impostu beach. It’s actually very expensive – €2 per hour, or €20 for the entire day. Grab a ticket at the barrier and place it in your car, fully visible just in case of check-ups. Pay the attendant on the way out, right by the barrier.
Other Useful Information
Here is some more information that will help you make the most of your day at Cala Brandinchi Beach.
ARRIVE EARLY – Plan to arrive no later than 9:00 am as the parking lot gets full and once there is no more parking space, you won’t be able to stay. Cala Brandinchi is very narrow, and there isn’t much space available to place your umbrella and lay down your towel. Renting sun-beds and umbrellas may be a good (yet expensive) idea to overcome this issue, though don’t expect to have a lot more space.
DON’T TAKE SAND – Stealing sand, shells, pebbles and stones is illegal in Sardinia and should you get caught with it, you’ll be subjected to a fine. Similarly, avoid walking on the sand dunes: they are protected. Read more about Sardinian sand theft here.
BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS – Cala Brandinchi gets crowded during the summer months. We locals are used to this, however, make sure to look around and acknowledge your neighbors before laying down your towel or placing your umbrella – leaving enough room to walk is good manners! Avoid ball games that may disturb others and make sure your kids don’t dig deep holes where people are walking as they may fall in them!
PICK UP YOUR GARBAGE – There are garbage bins scattered along the beach, for small trash. Bring any larger items home with you to properly dispose of it and remember that recycling is compulsory in Sardinia.
Other Nearby Beaches
LU IMPOSTU – Cala Brandinchi sister’s beach from which it is separated by by Capo Capicciolu, it is easily reached on foot and sharing the same parking lot. The landscape is actually very similar, though water at Lu Impostu is a bit deeper.
LA CINTA – One of the most famous beaches in San Teodoro, it’s lined with gorgeous sand dunes.
PORTO TAVERNA – Another great beach near San Teodoro, it offers the most beautiful views of Tavolara island. The beach is equipped with kiosks and small restaurants; places to rent umbrellas, sun bed and and other equipment, and has clear shallow waters.
Where To Stay Near Cala Brandinchi
The easiest access point to Cala Brandinchi is San Teodoro, where you’ll find plenty of excellent accommodation options. For best deals, make sure to book your stay well in advance. For more information, click here.
For more budget friendly accommodation options and for more of a local feel, consider staying in Olbia. To see what’s available, click here.
Spending your holidays in Sardinia? Make sure to read my other posts:
- The Best Beaches In Sardinia
- The Ultimate Guide To Tavolara Island
- A Short Guide To Costa Smeralda
- A Quick Guide To Olbia
- A Quick Guide To La Pelosa, Stintino
- A Useful Guide To Cala Goloritzé
- A Quick Guide To Cala Sisine