Lifestyle & Travel

Dec 4, 2018

Sardinia

"Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia is a mainly mountainous region marked by the absence of high peaks, set in a vast and charming, yet bittersweet, natural environment. In fact, the presence of man hardly seems to affect this territory; great tracts of land are still preserved intact in their natural state, with some trees as old as one thousand years old inhabiting its luxuriant woods. Small desert areas and marshes are populated by deer, wild horses and rapacious birds."

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The sea dominates this regionwith its colors that migrate into the coves, along the coasts, towards the beaches and the most popular resorts. One example is the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) with Porto Cervo set as its gemstone and uniting the history and culture of ancienttraditions with a joyful and colorful nightlife. Porto Cervo was named after its enchanting cove that resembles the antlers of a deer; the Old Port is considered the best-equipped touristic port in the Mediterranean Sea. Porto Rotondo is also a famous location; it overlooks the wide Gulf of Cugnana and is full of villas and piazzas swathed by such a splendid natural environment asthis.

Those who prefer the mountains can explore the area of Gennargentu, the most extensive mountain range in Sardinia; with its peculiar landscape, it proves that the most adept painter of them all is Mother Nature herself.

This region is rich in flora and fauna, most notably, mouflons, golden eagles, Sardinian deer and several other species now threatened with extinction. Among its wonders, Sardinia offers the visitor the Nuragic complexes scattered all over the territory. These monuments are unique in the world, testifying to an ancient culture that - though it endured from the 16th to 15th Centuries B.C. still remains rather mysterious. The Nuragic constructions were built using great blocks of stone and developed around a central cone-shaped tower that communicates strength and power. These are archaeological sites where it is possible to grasp the archaic charm of ancient rituals and domestic life. Of these many constructions, the Barumini complex in the Province of Cagliari is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What to see

It is not easy to list all the amazing beauties of Sardinia. Places like San Teodoro, Santa Teresa di Gallura, Poltu Quatu, and Baia Sardinia are among the charming locations that deserve a visit.

Visiting the Maddalena Archipelago and its "seven sisters", the main islands of the archipelago, and sailing along the coast of the Maddalena National Park with its lively sea beds, perfect for scuba-diving lovers, is an incredible experience. Caprera, the second biggest Island after Maddalena, is full of pastures and pine woods, and shows its visitors the places where Garibaldi lived, including a house museum set in the midst of vegetation typical of the Mediterranean, which guards the memorabilia of the "hero of two worlds" as well as the gravesite where he and his family are buried. Sailing from Caprera to the Bocche di Bonifacio offers visitors a prime view of the strikingly beautiful Budelli Island, wild and uninhabited, with its enchanting Rosa beach, a natural masterpiece named for the pink hues of its special corals and shells.

Again, on Sardinia`s northwest coast, in front of the Natural Park of Asinara Island, is situated one of the most famous tourist resorts, Stintino, which combines the charm of a lively fishing village with high-quality accommodation facilities. This small seaside town, looks like a painting with its white houses in sharp contrast to the crystal-clear sea and light blue sky, and offers endless leisure possibilities, from golf to excursions, scuba diving, cycling and horseback riding. In front of the well-known La Pelosa Beach is the Tower of the same name, a 16th-Century Aragones estructure, one of the oldest sighting towers in Sardinia. On the central east coast of the island, in the Gulf of Orosei, are extraordinary white-sand beaches, and a wild and savage nature. Many caves and coves are the destination of tourists who are keen for unparalleled views and special experiences; Cala Biriola, Grotta Bue Marino, Cala Liberotto, Cala Goloritzè are some of those natural sceneries where time seems to stand still. Sardinia combines sea and nature with folk traditions, mysticism and curiosities, like the mysterious giant's tombs, ancient caves dug out of the ground and scattered around the region, just like the Nuragic constructions; and Domus de Janas (or the "house of witches") in Sulcis Iglesiente. These stone towers are the biggest and best-preserved megalithic monuments in Europe; the most important town with Nuragic traces is Su Nuraxi di Barumini near Cagliari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

In Cagliari, besides admiring the several colonies of flamingos in the lagoon, be sure to witness a few of the traditional festivals and fairs that take place all year-round, such as the beautiful Festival of Sant`Efisio, one of the most important religious and folklore events in Sardinia. Heading back to Oristano, a stop at the Roman archaeological site, Tharros, and its breathtaking view of the sea is well worth including on your itinerary.


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