The province has two capitals, the towns and comuni Tortolì (the largest comune) and Lanusei. On 6 May 2012 the regional referendums of Sardinia took place regarding the abolition of certain provinces and a variety of other matters. The suggestion of reforming or abolishing certain provinces in Sardinia was approved by the Regional Council of Sardinia on 24 May 2012. Due to this, the province of Ogliastra was ordered to form a new administrative body or be abolished on 1 March 2013, but this expiry date for constitutional changes was extended to 1 July 2013. After the regional law number 15 of 28 June 2013, the province was allowed to remain.
To the south it borders the province of Cagliari and it borders the province of Nuoro in the north. Ogliastra was founded in 2001 when the number of Sardinian provinces was doubled. It contains the river Flumendosa and the lake of Basso Flumendosa, and it also contains large massif Gennargentu. Ogliastra takes its name from the olive trees in the province, known as the olivastri. It is situated on the Tyrrhenian Sea.