10 must-sees in Sardinia
Ten new things and places not to be missed
Sardinia is the island that in summer becomes the most exclusive place on the planet. Thanks to the international jet setters that come here to enjoy fine sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and transparent seabeds. But apart from the beautiful corners of the Costa Smeralda, what are the ten new must-sees?
- The pearls of the Gulf of Orosei
If you think that heaven on earth does not exist, you are wrong. The Eden is hidden, at the Gulf of Orosei, with three breathtaking coves: Cala Sisine, Cala Goloritzè, and Cala Mariolu. It is impossible to describe them with words, but we will try. Three joined coves dominated by high cliffs overlooking the sea, framed by the fragrant Mediterranean scrub and distinguished by its turquoise water that changes color during the day. Cala Goloritzè is particularly the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean and the world, characterized by a rock arch that juts out into the sea and a 143-meter spire overlooking it. Truly a daydream.
The most important archaeological site in Sardinia is undoubtedly Su Nuraxi di Barumini, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site in 1997.
The famous fortified structures were, inherited from the Nuragic populations. A settlement consisting of a seventeenth-century BCE Nuraghe, a bastion of four corner towers plus a central one, and a village inhabited from the thirteenth to the sixth century BCE, developed around the Nuraghe. The complex extends into Marmilla, in central-southern Sardinia, and tells the story of the millenary civilization that inhabited the area between the Bronze Age and the third century. A.D. Su Nuraxi, with its 18 meters, surrounded by an enclosure consisting of four side towers joined by walls, enchants visitors. Crossing the remains of the village, you can reconstruct the habits and customs of ancient people.
- The house of Grazia Deledda
The first Italian woman to receive the Nobel Prize was from Nuoro Sardinia: Grazia Deledda (1871-1936). The Sardinian Athens, as Nuoro is commonly called, in honor of the many writers and artists to whom it gave birth, was the city to which Deledda dedicated her most beautiful works. Reeds in the wind, The mother, The ways of evil, Ash and Elias Portulu led her in a short time to the Olympus of the greats of world literature. In the historic central district, called Santu Predu, it is possible to visit the house museum which, still houses documents, books, films, and display cases with personal items that tell the most significant stages in the life of the literary icon, the pride of Sardinia.
Have you ever dreamed of visiting the tiniest kingdom in the world? This place is called Tavolara and is a six-kilometer limestone island that emerges from the sea and is located a few kilometers from Olbia. At the end of the eighteenth century, Giuseppe Bertoloni of Genoese origin moved with his family to this island until 1836. Then the king of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto of Savoy, crowned him king of Tavolara. Today the island is a popular tourist destination, and it has maintained its wild character as if it guarded the true essence of Sardinia. Within the island, you will find restaurants and a bar (all overlooking the sea). As the typical small cemetery with the tombs of the Bartoloni family. Which today manage all of the activities of the island. A magical place that you will carry forever in your heart once visited.
- Asinara National Park
The albino donkeys kingdom, also known as Asinara, is a small island from the northwest of Sardinia. It has become famous in recent years for being one of the maximum-security prisons for mafia crimes. Today it is an unmissable destination for all those who love nature. You will find coves with fine white sand and crystal clear waters, luxuriant vegetation that houses rare species. Cala d’Arena is the most beautiful beach on the island, located in the northern part. During winter, it is divided by a stream and houses a sixteenth-century tower behind it.
Sardinia is a small continent, you know why? The answer is simple for those who know it well. Here you can find an extraordinary variety of landscapes that are home to tree species and native animals. It will surprise many to know that Sardinia has the largest natural desert in Europe. Found in Piscinas, the southwestern part of the island, in the Costa Verde area, just below Oristano. The desert stretches up to five square kilometers in length, with dunes reaching one hundred meters high. This stretch of sand slopes down to the sea and, as a result, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, especially at sunset, when it is worth staying to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.
- Santa Cristina well
The holiest place on the island: this is the well of Santa Cristina, located in the territory of Paulilatino, in the province of Oristano. What makes it magical is the vestibule which follows the staircase formed by 24 steps. Which then narrows down as it approaches the chamber containing the actual well-formed by a circular cell covered by a vaulted ogival dome, high almost 7 meters. The steps with architraves create an extraordinary upside-down staircase effect.
According to the most accredited studies, it used to be a structure created for the water cults. According to other theories, an astronomical observatory allowing to scrutinize and measure celestial motions. A series of events that occur at certain times of the year seem to confirm this theory.
During the equinoxes, the sun perfectly illuminates the bottom of the well. Penetrating through the stairwell and then reflecting on the water. Even more extraordinary and mysterious is the phenomenon concerning the moon: every 18 years and six months, when the moon reaches its maximum height, its light passes through the opening on the top of the well. Furthermore, the ratio between the base and the dome height coincides, with a small margin of error, to astronomical geometry. Proving the Nuragic studied astronomy and were not so primitive.
- Carnival of the Mamuthones
A traditional ritual in Nuoro that takes place at the end of August, organized on the occasion of the Sagra del Redentore, celebrated for over a century. Here you can admire the most beautiful Carnival masks on the island altogether. The Mamuthones, the Mamoiada masks (Nuoro), parade alongside the Issohadores masters. The Mamuthones present themselves with carved pearwood masks, sheepskins, and about 30 kg of cowbells on their shoulders. They move in an orderly procession, with a cadenced step useful for shaking the cowbells, like a dance or a danced procession as a well-known ethnologist once defined it. Among the hypotheses of interpretation, some speak of a totemic rite of subjugation of the ox, a ritual procession made by the Nuragic to propitiate good harvests, or a Dionysian rite. However, seeing the Mamuthones performance is one of the most evocative and exciting shows ever seen, which takes us back centuries when man and nature were one.
- San Pietro and Carloforte
San Pietro is a land that gathers most of its inhabitants in Carloforte. A strip of land in the southwestern of Sardinia, capable of surprising toward the beauty of its cliffs and the sea it overlooks, often hit by strong gusts of mistral wind that return it in all its impetuosity. The town of Carloforte is a Genoese enclave, and the local dialect testifies to this. The architecture also recalls that of the Ligurian coast, with its elegant buildings overlooking the seafront, making them earned a presence in the ranking of one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. A must-visit, to see another face of Sardinia.
- Capo Spartivento
Finally, you cannot fail to visit Capo Spartivento. Guarding the extreme south of Sardinia is one of the oldest island lighthouses, built in 1850.
It is still intact and reached from the beach of Baia Chia, through a dirt road that is four kilometers long. The lighthouse is a luxury resort for a few guests who want to get away from the city chaos. Here you will enjoy the silence of nature, with the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks and the scents of the Mediterranean scrub carried by the Mistral wind. And at night, your gaze is lost in front of the immense starry sky, once in a lifetime experience!
Enjoy Sardinia, the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean, with Sardinia Ferries and Seafy Wi-Fi onboard.