Travel around: Sardegna coast to coast

Holidays

A destination where you can make a journey of echoes, references and suggestions that last a moment to give a timeless scenario: this is Sardinia
By Sara Chiarelli
FPJ Communication & PR Manager

It has always been considered among the most beautiful islands in the world, Sardinia is not only known for its beaches with crystal clear waters, but also for the ancient history of the hinterland. As the discoveries that have followed over the years suggest, the Nuragic Civilization was complex and quite sophisticated, with a mystical impulse towards the sacred, exalted through architecture. Known by the Greeks since the Bronze Age with the name of Sandaliothim, with the meaning of "Sacred Sandalwood", in addition to the reference to the shape of the island that resembles a sandalwood, the name originates from the presence of numerous and sophisticated ancient architectural monuments: the nuraghi. With more than 8,000 specimens, the role of the nuraghi is known for their strong link with spirituality. 

 

Sardinia has many of these megaliths that show light effects between their walls and fissures during the solstices and equinoxes, whose position of the tower on earth in some cases represents the shape of the constellations.

The suggestive Sardinia, temple island, a land of pilgrimage from all over the Mediterranean, is now more than ever rich in mystery and magic.

The internal part is particularly rich in terms of the island's historical and archaeological heritage. In addition to the nuraghi, for example, if you are in the Nuorese area, it is interesting to visit the Domus de Janas, the "Case delle Fate", whose legend says that they were imaginary creatures of the Sardinian tradition, minute women with a moody disposition, a some witches and some fairies, much smaller than humans, a sort of Sardinian version of the elves.

 

If for some scholars the domus reproduce the structure of the hut villages, for others they symbolically represent a uterus, where the bodies were placed in a fetal position with weapons and tools, ready to be reborn.

Visiting the sacred wells, thanks to a light point on the ceiling, you are easily amazed to observe the basalt boulders that make up the walls and perfectly smooth steps. With about forty specimens on the island, the best preserved structure is the well of Santa Cristina, which more than any other shows the astronomical alignment of the building. The moon, every eighteen and a half years, shines through the light point of the roof and illuminates the well, just as the sun does from the staircase to each equinox, making this structure a real work of art wrapped in a mystical aura and magic. Giants' tombs are another mysterious type of tombs in ancient Sardinia. They are traditionally called so not for their size, but for the bones found inside, which in folklore were thought to be the remains of the orc's meals. Another unmissable destination is the temple of "Monte d'Accoddi", the only pyramid in the western Mediterranean and the only ziggurat in the entire Mediterranean. Built around one thousand six hundred years before the nuraghi, it is one of the most disconcerting temples on the island. The hinterland is a real journey into prehistory a few steps from the sea. A rough and rough territory, a unique history and tradition, worthy of a people proud of their roots like the Sardinian one.
Going down to the Giara area, located in central-southern Sardinia, where the famous nuraghe of Barumini stands, also called "Su Nuraxi" and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, it is possible to see a very rare species, in Italy and Europe, of wild ponies called the "Cavallini della Giara" and a park composed of cork oak woods and the multifaceted Mediterranean scrub.
Heading towards the southernmost tip, crossing entire areas of shrubs, garrigues and holm oak trees, you reach the wonderful coast of Chia. Dominated by the homonymous tower, visible from all its beaches, Chia owes its popularity to the clarity of its waters, which bathe the coast for about 6 km. In this area you can visit the archaeological area of ​​Nora, of Punic origins, considered the oldest city in Sardinia. Chia extends to Capo Spartivento, the second most southern strip of land on the island, where the spectacular Capo Spartivento Lighthouse is located, still functioning as a luxury guesthouse.
Not far away is the richest and most important city for business and economy, the regional capital and nerve center of all the main activities of the island: Cagliari. The city is dominated by the ancient Castello district, a fortified medieval hilltop district which, like a watchful eye, monitors the city from above. Located in this district, with its imposing walls, stands the Bastion of San Remy, one of the symbols of the country, from whose terrace you can admire the splendid setting of the town and the fascinating seaport.
If you are in Cagliari, the walk in the historic districts of Stampace, the merchants' quarter, the Marina, the fishermen and sailors district, and Villanova, the neighborhood of shepherds and peasants, is a must. Do not miss the Cathedral of the thirteenth century, the National Archaeological Museum which exhibits artifacts from the Nuragic age to the Byzantine era and the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria.
Among the noteworthy archaeological sites there is also the Roman Amphitheater and finally a must is a stop at Poetto, the city's beach that stretches for about 8 kilometers, starting from the panoramic promontory of La Sella del Diavolo.
 
In the south-eastern end, completely immersed in the Mediterranean scrub, the island hosts a well-known area, especially for the popular tourist resorts with crystal clear waters, with coves and long beaches with pearly white sand: Villasimius. For those who are in this area, the beaches of Porto sa Ruxi, Campus and Campulongu, the Spiaggia del Riso, so called for the "kernels" with kaleidoscopic shades that decorate the shoreline, Cala Caterina, the enchanting Porto Giunco, the wonderful Punta Molentis and the pink flamingos inhabitants of the skies that overlook the expanse of blue and clear sea of ​​the miraculous pearl of Southern Sardinia.
 
Moving north, you reach the well-known Gulf of Orosei, in central-eastern Sardinia, still one of the most beautiful corners of the island. Famous for the Caves of the Bue Marino, made up of stalactites and stalagmites that are reflected in the waters giving amazing light effects. The Gulf is home to several municipalities known for their gastronomic products, handicrafts and for the presence of archaeological areas including Tiscali and Serra Orrios, the karst area called Supramonte, the forests of Suttaterra and Ghivine on the marine slopes of Supramonte, the Cedrino river , the Gola di Su Gorroppu in the heart of Supramonte, the deepest canyon of the island and one of the deepest in Europe, and finally a spectacular seascape that houses coves of breathtaking beauty such as Cala Mariolu, Cala Sisine, Cala Goloritzè, Cala Biriola, Cala Fuili, and Cala Luna.
 
Going up towards Nuoro, the beating heart of the island's hinterland, a stop at Orgosolo and Marmoiada is a must. These traditional places in the center of the island, in Barbagia, are respectively known for the murals and for the typical carnival masks.
 
From here it is easy to head towards the east coast of the island, among the most famous areas in the world for its beaches painted in cobalt blue, light blue, cerulean blue and turquoise: the Costa Smeralda. Among the most loved places in the world, this corner of paradise hides the perfect alchemy between unspoiled nature, history, dream sea, exclusive environments, luxury resorts and boutiques of the most renowned brands.
 
Territory discovered and enhanced over time, it is today one of the most loved and sought after areas worldwide, where it is easy to cross paths with VIPs and characters from the international jet set; one cannot count the fascinating coves of this renowned area, there are many beaches with various shades of blue that surround this stretch of coast. Capo Coda Cavallo, the pearl of Gallura, in north-eastern Sardinia is unmissable; tongue of granite land that extends into a stretch of sea sheltered by the imposing island of Tavolara. The natural marine protected area of ​​Punta Coda Cavallo is composed of many inlets with cliffs and sandy beaches immersed in the Mediterranean scrub, thanks to which it is easy to be pervaded by an intense scent of myrtle.
 
If you are in the area, another unmissable stop is the beach of La Cinta, which stretches for about 5 kilometers, famous for romantic horseback riding, at sunset, surrounded by the burning orange and pink water, in front of a spectacular sunset, along an expanse of fine white sand.
 
Another beach that is worth visiting is Cala Capriccioli, with a very fine and clear sand, whose granite rocks light up red with the last rays of the day.
 
Nearby you can also relax in the wonderful turquoise waters of Cala di Volpe, famous for the moorings of the largest and most luxurious yachts on the island, or Baia Sardinia, famous for the renowned Phi Beach, club where you can have an aperitif at sunset on gigantic granite rocks that are tinged with shades of pink with dusk, or where you can have dinner a few centimeters from the water, tasting local dishes cooked by star chefs, continuing the night dancing to the notes of international DJ sets. Another area of ​​the coast where a jump is a must is Palau which, in addition to being famous for the Capo d'Orso, a granite promontory, and a natural sculpture in the shape of a bear, a symbol of the city, houses numerous beaches, including the small inlet of Porto Faro, a place of enchantment unique in the world.
 
Continuing the journey heading towards the San Teodoro area, you will be ecstatic after immersing yourself in the waters of some of the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Smeralda, where the sand seems to touch talcum powder and the long shoreline refers to exotic tropical places, such asCala Brandinchi, Lu Impostu, Puntaldia, Porto Istana and Porto Taverna.
 
After passing the town of Santa Teresa di Gallura, from which it is easy to take ferries for out-of-town excursions to the Maddalena archipelago, especially if you want to see the much sought-after Pink Beach, on the island of Budelli, or the paradisiacal Cala Coticcio , on the island of Caprera, also called Tahiti, you reach a charming medieval village: the town of Castelsardo. From the top of the Doria Castle, which dominates the city, you can admire the splendid panorama of the Gulf of Asinara, which the castle overlooks.
 
Not far away, in the countryside of the town of Martis, located in the Anglona region, there is a Paleobotanic Park created with the aim of safeguarding the suggestive petrified Carrucana forest, unique in its kind. Made up of fossil finds, the forest covers an area of about 100 square kilometers and constitutes one of the most significant paleoenvironmental and geological resources of Sardinia. Lying in the extreme north-western part of Sardinia, is Stintino, which reaching out towards Asinara, almost touching it, shows its masterpiece: the Pelosa beach. With a limpid and very low backdrop for tens of meters, with white, impalpable and dazzling sand, immersed in a quiet sea colored in all shades of blue, walking through the long stretches of water, you can access the infamous Falcone tower, part of the complex of fortified structures which, from the Middle Ages until the mid-nineteenth century, constituted the defensive, sighting and communication system of the Sardinian coastal belt.
 
Going down you reach the renowned city of Alghero, one of the symbolic cities of Sardinia for its precious and exclusive coral. The town, located on the north-western coast, still shows traces of its Catalan past, of which it has in fact preserved the use of the dialect in the Alghero variant. With an evocative historical center in Gothic style, the town houses the Cathedral of Santa Maria, Palazzo Guillot, the Church of San Francesco, the Coral Museum and a long natural inlet overlooking the emerald sea.
 
Here are the most important caves in Sardinia which are dedicated to the God Neptune, extend for about 6km and have been dug out of fresh water over millions of years.
 
Not far away, located on the north-western coast, another location with the romantic charm of the river cities, and characterized by a wealth of traditions still alive, is Bosa. The historic district of the city is made up of many colorful houses that climb the sides of the hill, dominated by the Malaspina castle, named after the Tuscan family who built it in the 12th century and which can be seen from the historic Ponte Vecchio di Bosa, considered among the 30 most beautiful bridges in Italy.
 
In the South-West area, between mountains and shrubs forged by the wind, in the wildest and most isolated Sardinia, the Costa Verde develops imposingly for a coastal extension of about 47 kilometers. A succession of pristine beaches, Piscinas, whose sand dunes are the highest in Europe and whose cliffs burst into a green sea, loved by the most reckless surfers. The sunsets along this coast are essential, where the eye is lost in the sky that turns pink.
 
Going southwards, Carloforte is very characteristic, with about 6,400 inhabitants and the only municipality on the island of S. Pietro, on the south-western coast of Sardinia. Quiet and pleasant place, surrounded by small and pretty beaches and narrow charming lanes, it is particular for the commonly spoken dialect, a variant of the Ligurian, testimony of its history, unique in Sardinia.
 
Sardinia, an island that places the viewer in a condition of continuous excitement, a territory that offers surprises and amazement for its breathtaking horizons and an unprecedented and unexplored landscape richness, yet to be discovered.
 
A land where the journey must be made slowly, savoring every detail with your eyes and all the scents of the Mediterranean scrub with your nose. A land made of sensations and perceptions. A mystical island, with a spiritual aura, sometimes magical, where you can let your skin be caressed by the wind and your gaze by the ethereal light of dawn on the horizon. A journey of echoes and references, suggestions that last a moment to give shape to a lasting scenario, imprinted in the memory of summer holidays: this is Sardinia.

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