TRAVEL GUIDE SARDINIA

Located in the heart of the western Mediterranean, Sardinia is characterized by a wild and preserved nature, varied landscapes of rare beauty, regional cuisine rooted in the agricultural and pastoral tradition and idyllic beaches fringed by turquoise waters. Sardinia is also a land of traditions, legends and history, and is recognized for its expertise in traditional crafts.
Costa Smeralda
Costa Smeralda is one of the best known regions of Sardinia. Its name evokes the emerald clear waters fringed by unspoiled Mediterranean scrub. A landscape of low houses and colourful granite rocks shaped by nature, perfectly integrated villages, bays revealing solitary coves with turquoise water. A dream destination offering beautiful natural landscapes, stunning beaches, archaeological sites for history lovers, fashionable places like Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo, luxury boutiques, small restaurants offering excellent regional cuisine, marinas and golf courses.
The archipelago of la Maddalena
La Maddalena archipelago consists of 7 islands, the largest being Caprera and La Maddalena. A paradise for travelers in search of tranquility and natural beauty. The charming town of La Maddalena, the only inhabited on the island, is surrounded by a generous and wild nature reflecting multicolour shades, sandy beaches ranging in colour from gold to pink, granite rocks carved by the wind, crystal clear waters and archaeological relics.
Gallura
Situated on the North-east of Sardinia, Gallura is renowned for its granite formations of the "valley della luna", its cork oak forests, its "Vermentino" wine, beaches lined with arbutus and myrtle scrubs, seaside villages such as Castelsardo and Santa Teresa di Gallura, many culinary specialties and its stone shepherds houses named "stazzi." The historic center of Aggius is one of the oldest towns in Gallura, which has preserved secular expertise in weaving, working cork, iron and granite.
Nuoro
Nuoro, the most important town in central Sardinia and Barbagia is placed on a granite plateau at the foot of Mount Ortobene. Due to its remote geographical location, the village has preserved its culture, its traditions and costumes. Top neighbourhoods were once inhabited by shepherds while the down town areas were inhabited by peasants.
Around Nuoro: To the east, a wild and mountainous lands, typical villages as Oliena surrounded by the vineyards of the famous Sardinian grape Cannonau, Orgosolo known for its beautiful murals depicting satyrs inspired by political or social events, the Nuragic village of Tiscali on the west and valleys extending to the lake of Omodeo and Macomer. Traditional festivals and carnivals of Barbagia make it a must visit destination.
The gulf of Orosei and the Ogliastra
The charming village of Orosei still reflects traces of its rural past with its old buildings still retaining ancient arches, its underground passages and palaces belonging to noble families. The historic center with its squares, the medieval buildings and baroque churches give to the city a typical Mediterranean atmosphere. Gennargentu Park, one of the wildest landscapes and most mountainous of Sardinia extends over 59,100 hectares with a peak at 1800m. A protected park sheltering isolated villages due to difficult access, unspoiled nature, fauna composed of wild cats, sheep, eagles and wild boars that will fully satisfied delight hikers, geologists and nature lovers. Ogliastra is a special place where nature still speaks with force. Between the mountains and the crystal clear sea, Santa Maria Navarrese is a pleasant seaside village famous for its beautiful ochre sandy beaches lined with pine forests. Further south along the coast stand the popular resorts of Costa Rei and Muravera.
Alghero
Mid-Sardinian, mid-Catalan, Alghero was founded in the first half of the eleventh century by the Doria, a wealthy aristocratic Genoese family. In 1353, the Catalans took possession of the city and left their mark both on the architectural and linguistic side of Alghero; the Catalan footprint remains still visible in the city walls, street names and defensive towers. The historic center with its narrow streets, its "lungomare" and various shops offer a pleasant atmosphere.
Around Alghero
Situated in the north-west cape of Sardinia, the fishing village of Stintino faces the island of Asinara inaccessible to tourists and sheltering rare species of griffon vultures, wild boar, mouflon, sea birds and white donkeys. Cape Caccia with its lighthouse perched on the tip offers spectacular views of the city of Alghero. Not to mention the university town of Sassari. Take the scenic route connecting the city of Alghero to Bosa to admire splendid views of the sea and landscapes of rare beauty. Wild pigs can be found walking on the road.
Bosa
Dominated by the Malaspina castle, Bosa is a postcard boasting colourful houses built along the river Temo, a maze of cobbled streets where you can still see women at their doorsteps weaving the net, the old Sas Conzas tanneries located on the other side of the river and its artistic crafts: gold filigree.
Around Bosa
The coastal area of Bosa is punctuated by headlands and coves while the inland is characterized by volcanic mountainous reliefs, natural reserves such as Monte Mannu or Montiferru Park, oak and pine trees forests around the village of San Leonardo de Siete Fuente, famous for its thermal waters. Many Nuraghi and "graves of giants" can be seen as well as charming villages like Cuglieri and Santu Lussurgiu, reknown for its cutlery handicrafts and manufacture of saddlery.
Oristano
Oristano, one of the largest cities of west Sardinia, is surrounded by fertile plains, lagoons, citrus cultures and marine reserve as the Sinis peninsula. The city is well known for its fish and shellfish based cuisine. One of its specialities is the "bottarga" (mullet roe), also known as the caviar of the Mediterranean, and its sweet wine "Vernaccia.
Around Oristano
Oristano region offers a wide variety of landscapes, with the Sinis Peninsula which has exceptional natural sites like the Mistras Lagoon located in Cabras and harbouring rare birds and aquatic fauna, important archaeological sites such as the ancient Phoenician city of Tharros, the site of San Giovanni di Sinis with its traditional fishing houses made of wood and reeds, alternating dunes and sandy beaches with rocks and cliffs.
The Sulcis
Carbonia Iglesias province has 23 municipalities, including two islands: the island of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco (connected to the land by an artificial isthmus) which together form the Archipelago of Sulcis. The inland boasts a landscape is of great interest, with regions such as the perfectly preserved National Park of Sulcis. An interesting industrial archeology testifies the importance of mineral deposits of lead, zinc, silver, barium and copper such as those of Ingortosu and Montevecchio now recognized UNESCO heritage. Not to miss: The historical center of Iglesias, rich in monuments and the museum of mining art, the temples of Antas in the valley of Antas, the archaeological zone of Monte Sinai with the relics of a Phoenician and Punic city, Buggerru a former mining city, the dunes of "Piscinas" and "Is Arenas", the village of Arbus famous for its production craft "of arrasoias" .
Cagliari
A privileged location in the homonymous Gulf has transformed over time the city of Cagliari in an important port. Today the city has a rich historical and artistic heritage. The castle, situated on a rocky outcrop in the beautiful fortified district of Cagliari, dominates the city. A walk in the commercial and bourgeois district of Stampace, the fishing district of Marina and finally the borough of peasants and shepherds, Villanova is worth a visit.
Around Cagliari
The region of Cagliari offers a variety of landscapes: fertile plains, mountainous reliefs, caves, natural parks like Montelargius-Saline representing a rare example of an ecosystem sitting in an urban context, archaeological sites such as Nora and beautiful beaches. A must see: the Trexenta region, dominated by a soothing landascape of hills, rivers and low lands where lie the villages of Mandas, Senorbi, Gesico, Dolianova as well as the important nuragic sites of Su Nuraxi in Barumini and Santa Vittoria in Serri and finally the Giara di Gesturi Park known for its wild horses and its natural beauty. One of the most interesting ways to explore the wealth of this region is to take the tourist train line "Trenino verde" connecting Mandas to Arbatax.

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USEFUL INFORMATION

VISIT Sardinia is mostly considered as a marine paradise. It is the Italian region with the highest percentage of marine protected areas and parks of exceptional diversity. The inland will appeal to nature lovers, hiking and culture enthusiasts while the coast will fully satisfy travelers looking for relaxation and beautiful beaches. Carnival, whose extraordinary festivities vary from city to city, should not to be missed. The population dressed up with traditional costumes for this occasion: Bestios, Buttudos, Carraios, maimones, Mamutones, Mamuzzones, Merdules, Mascheras malas, Mascari brutti ... An important folkloristic manifestation dating back to the 12th century takes place every year in the streets of Oristano during the carnival period: "Sa Sartiglia" (horse parade and tournament) as well as the amazing Carnival Samugheo with "Mamutzones".
GETTING ABOUT Sardinia's road network is very good. It's better to move around the island by car or motor bike as transports are not very present (except for the train line "trenino verde"). In some parts of Sardinia, it is not uncommon to see wild pigs, cows or goats cross the road.
GETTING THERE By plane: Olbia, Cagliari and Alghero airports
By boat: Olbia, Porto Torres, Cagliari and Arbatax harbours.