The contrast between the brilliant colours of the sea, the warm granite rocks and the golden sand instils a sense of contemplation in the presence of the beauty and power of nature. Small and pristine, secluded and peaceful, the marvellous Cala Spinosa occupies the northern part of the rugged promontory of Capo Testa, not far from the legendary lighthouse that stands guard over of the Bocche di Bonifacio, four kilometres (along provincial road SP90) from the town of Santa Teresa Gallura, a popular tourist destination.
The setting is impelling and majestic: the cove is set between high rocky walls that plunge straight into the sea, sheltering it from the wind and surrounded by fragrant Mediterranean essences. Its short and narrow beach is made up of delicate, medium grain, golden sand, interspersed with pebbles and rocks, all of it embraced by tuff walls and brown sandstone boulders. Alongside it, cliffs sculpted by time and weather protect two other splendid little coves. The water here is almost always calm, with turquoise, blue and emerald green hues and indescribable transparency, ideal for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. The shallow water is mainly rocky, full of little ravines in which fish and other marine fauna find their home and shelter. Don't forget to bring your mask and fins!
The cove was the setting for a 1972 science fiction film called A for Andromeda. To get there you have to go down a steep and torturous (but not impossibly so) trail worn into the tuff. It starts at the parking lot of Capo Testa to the right of the only snack bar there, and will take you about 20 minutes to complete. As the name indicates, the not-so-easy access ensures that it is never crowded, even in the height of summer. You can reach the beach easily by boat as well. Nearby is an ancient granite quarry, proof that the area had been colonised by the Romans since the Republican Era. The ancient colony’s port, Tibula, seems to have been somewhere near there.
Cala Spinosa is only one of the hidden gems of the many marvels of Capo Testa. Along the isthmus that links the peninsula-promontory to land are two other gorgeous beaches: Rena di Ponente and Rena di Levante. From the western (Ponente) beach you can get all the way to zia Colomba beach. On the western side is the stunning Cala Lunga - Valle della Luna where hidden coves are set between walls of granite. The sea is the undisputed star of the entire area around Santa Teresa, a town founded in 1808 on a promontory on the northern coastline of Sardinia by King Vittorio Emanuele I of Savoy. It lies on the curvy course of two inlets: to the east Porto Longone, to the west the bay of Rena Bianca, an expanse of bright super-fine sand just a few steps from the town’s main square. There are other lovely beaches around the village to enjoy: the wide La Marmorata, the picturesque Cala Sambuco, the evocative Cala Balcaccia and Santa Reparata, perfect for diving enthusiasts. Heading towards Palau you will find the granite pools of Valle dell'Erica, the surfing haven of Porto Liscia-Sciumara, and the enchanting peace and quiet of Conca Verde. Among the historic and prehistoric landmarks not to be missed are the Batteria Ferrero, the ruins of fortifications dating to the Second World War, and the Lu Brandali Nuragic site.