Known since the early twentieth century to fishermen who sailed along the coast, the Fico Cave was officially explored only in the early 1960s by the Pius XI speleological group in collaboration with the Bolognese Speleological Union. It was a great surprise when during these first explorations it was discovered that some of the last specimens of Monk Seals present along the coast had found refuge in one of the submerged siphons of the cave. The scientific studies carried out later were extremely important to provide unpublished details on the life and habits of this mysterious animal, now disappeared from Sardinia.
The Fico Cave develops on different levels, starting from 15 meters below the sea level up to about 70 meters high, for an extension of about 4 kilometers explored so far. The most recent studies have revealed new theories on the formation of the cave, assuming it is the result of a phenomenon of mixing of sea and fresh water, which would have given rise to karst erosion.
The Fico Cave was opened to the public in August 2003 by the Baunese Speleological Society, which still manages it today. At the moment about 800 meters can be visited, equipped with lights and walkways that allow walking the ancient fossil bed of the river in absolute safety and admire the suggestive siphon where, until the seventies, monk seals went to give birth to their puppies. During the entire visit, you are accompanied by expert guides who will reveal the history of the cave and its secrets, with the possibility of making the visit in English or with the help of audio guides for foreign visitors.
The entrance overlooks the sea from about 15 meters high, nestled in the limestone cliff of the Baunei coast not far from the splendid beaches of Cala Mariolu and Cala Biriala. This position means that the cave is open only in the summer and can only be reached by sea with private boats or by providing rental and shuttle services from the main ports of Santa Maria Navarrese, Arbatax, and Orosei.
4 kilometers, of which 800 meters equipped for tourism
18 °C – 64.4 °F
About 60 minutes
Tourist Port, Santa Maria Navarrese
+39 389 0643429