Known to be one of the best beaches of Southern Sardinia, Cala Cipolla is an extremely popular cove close to Chia and the popular tourist destination of Pula, a small town that is a favorite of both local and international tourists, and at easy driving distance from Sardinia’s capital Cagliari.
As this is a rather small cove, it can get incredibly crowded during the peak summer months – and especially during the weekend – to the point that many avoid it altogether and prefer going only at the very beginning of the season, at the end of May, or in September. Some actually visit during the spring or winter months, as this is a good starting point for several coastal hikes.
However, if you are planning on visiting Southern Sardinia during the peak summer months and are staying in the area of Chia or Pula, you should definitely consider going as it’s a really beautiful place! You’ll be treated to fine, white sand; shallow waters perfect for children; and thick Mediterraean vegetation.
I have recently visited Cala Cipolla during the weekend and was hardly put off by the crowds, so I thought I’d share everything you should know before you go and give you a few tips for a perfect day in the sun.
Everything You Need To Know About Cala Cipolla Beach
Cala Cipolla Beach
One of the most scenic beaches of the area of Chia, Cala Cipolla is located in the municipality of Domus de Maria. This 200 meters (about 220 yards) beach is surrounded by thick Mediterranean vegetation – with shrub and pine trees that are the perfect living environment for cicadas; and surmounted by rock formations that separate it from Su Giudeu beach to the west.
The rock formations actually make it an ideal place for snorkeling – bring your snorkel gear if you want to spot some local marine life! Furthermore, as this is a bay, it is naturally sheltered from the wind and a perfect place to stop when the wind blows in Chia, making other beaches in the area not enjoyable.
As this is a rather small beach, it can get incredibly crowded – though this hardly takes away from its beauty.
Located on the beach you will find a kiosk serving plain sandwiches, drinks, ice-cream and coffee. The kiosk also rents out sun-beds for just €5 per day, but there is only a limited number available so make sure to claim yours as soon as you arrive (you will have to carry it to the actual beach yourself). There also is a chemical toilet, close to where the kiosk is located. Small garbage bins are located close to the kiosk, and you’ll find larger ones inside the parking lot.
Unfortunately Cala Cipolla does not have disabled access: the trail to get to the beach departs right outside the parking lot and goes up a hill and through the forest and it is not suitable to people with mobility issues. Another thing to note is that there’s no lifeguard on duty.
East of the beach and easily reached on a short walk you will find Capo Spartivento (Spartivento Cape), surmounted by a lighthouse and from where you can enjoy a gorgeous coastal view. Continue walking east along the trail and you will get to Su Cordolinu island and Cala del Morto beach.
How to get to Cala Cipolla
The beach is found 56 km (34.8 miles) east and about one hour drive from Cagliari. To get there from Cagliari or Pula you will have to drive along SS 195. After about 45 minutes drive you will find a sign pointing you towards Chia beach, to your left. Follow the road until the very end (it looks like it is ending at some point, but it simply turns into a dirt road) until you reach the last parking lot. Parking costs €7 per day.
From the parking lot, you will have to walk up a hill and then follow the trail that will take you to the beach.
Other Useful Information
Here is some more information that will help you make the most of your day at Cala Cipolla Beach.
ARRIVE EARLY – The beach can get incredibly crowded. Arriving early will ensure you a good spot, with a better view.
RESPECT THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT – Stealing sand, shells, pebbles and stones is forbidden in Sardinia and if you are caught with it, you may get a fine. Make sure to read my post about Sardinian sand theft here.
AVOID BALL GAMES WHEN CROWDED – The beach gets crowded during the summer months. While we all enjoy a ball game at the beach, this is hardly a good idea when the beach is crowded – you may end up hitting a child!
BE POLITE – Have a look around and acknowledge your neighbors before placing your umbrella or laying your towel! It’s good manners to leave some room for people to walk around, even when the beach is crowded.
DON’T LEAVE GARBAGE – Small garbage bins are found close to the kiosk, while larger (recycling ones) are inside the parking lot. Simply, don’t leave garbage on the beach.
Other Nearby Beaches
SU GIUDEU – Probably the most famous of all beaches in Chia, this long, golden sand beach is characterized by shallow, incredibly clear waters and sand dunes (it’s forbidden to walk on them!) and a small island right in front of it that can be easily reached and explored (you will need rock shoes for that). It’s fully equipped in case you are too lazy to bring your own stuff.
TUERREDDA – Further east, this small, beautiful beach only allows a limited number of people. The best way of ensuring yourself a spot at the beach is by calling one of the two kiosks and book yourself an umbrella and sun-bed. But beware: you have to do that at least a week in advance!
CALA ANTONIAREDDU – One of the best hidden gems in the area, this small secluded cove is reached via a short walk from the parking lot of La Pinnetta. There’s nothing in the way of services, so make sure you bring whatever you need for the day.
Make sure to also read my posts A Guide To Tuerredda Beach and The Best Beaches In Chia.
Where To Stay Near Cala Cipolla
The best starting point to access Cala Cipolla is Chia, where you will find plenty of excellent accommodation options. You can find a selection of places to stay in Chia here.
If you have the budget to splurge, you may want to book yourself a room at Faro di Spartivento, mere minutes from the beach – it’s one of the best boutique hotels in Sardinia. You can view it here.
Spending your holidays in Sardinia? Make sure to read my other posts:
- The Best Beaches In Sardinia
- The Best Beaches Near Cagliari
- The Best Hikes In Sardinia
- A Short Guide To Is Arenas Biancas