Your impressions of Tortolì, Ogliastra’s bustling provincial capital, depend on where you’ve arrived from. If you’ve just disembarked from the mainland you might be disappointed with the town’s mundane, modern appearance. But if you’ve just emerged from the heavy silences of the interior, you might find the cheery souvenir shops and large roadside hotels a welcome change.
Ferries from Civitavecchia, Genoa, Olbia and Cagliari arrive at Arbatax port, about 4km away down Viale Monsignor Virgilio. You can also arrange boat tours up the coast to the Golfo di Orosei from here. In summer you can catch the trenino verde from the train station in Arbatax.