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Frazione of Tortolì
Sardinia Arbatax.jpg
Country Italy
Region Sardinia
County Municipality of Tortolì
City Tortolì
 • Total 5,000

Arbatax (Italian pronunciation: [ˈarbataks]) is the greatest hamlet (frazione) of Tortolì, Sardinia, in Italy. With almost 5,000 inhabitants, it is also the third town in its province (Ogliastra) by population, after Lanusei municipality (5,700) and Tortolì proper [1] (5,300).


The origin of the name Arbatax is uncertain, according to the tradition it would derive from the Arabic for "14th Tower" and refers, probably, to the nearby watchtower built by the Spaniards to protect the territory from the incursion of Arab pirates. [2]

The founders of Arbatax were campanian fishermen, come from the island of Ponza, located in Lazio, close to italian peninsula coasts.

The location assumed importance in the 1960's after the construction of the main Sardinian Paper Mill.


The town is situated by Tyrrhenian Sea, 5 km west of Tortolì.


The port is used by ferries from Civitavecchia and is also monopolized by the marine construction company Intermare, who build gas rigs and vessels. The marina is one of the cheapest in Sardinia and provides an excellent base for exploring the Eastern coastline.

The town is connected to Lanusei and Cagliari with a narrow gauge railway, today used for turistic purposes, owned by Ferrovie della Sardegna.

The closest airport is the Tortolì Airport, far about 4km from the town.


Today the economy is focused on tourism and industry, in Arbatax is located a factory dedicated to the building of Oil platforms, controlled by the Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem.

Mussels are farmed in the nearby lagoon and fresh fish are on sale from the fishing cooperative. The red rocks are a tutist attraction.



  1. ^ Population without hamlets
  2. ^ "Sulla presenza araba in Sardegna e sulle sue conseguenze linguistiche, si vedano però le considerazioni di V. Brugnatelli, "Un nuovo arabismo sardo". Studi Mediolatini e Volgari 28 (. 1981. 

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