Written by jo145 on 06 Sep, 2012
On our way back through Tempio Pausania we admired some fantastic rock formations. This is the main town of the Gallura region and an important centre for the cork industry. There is a wonderful pine forest here and nearby are thermal springs, as these have…Read More
On our way back through Tempio Pausania we admired some fantastic rock formations. This is the main town of the Gallura region and an important centre for the cork industry. There is a wonderful pine forest here and nearby are thermal springs, as these have diuretic properties we gave it a miss! Almost three quarters of Sardinia’s surface is covered with rock dating back to the Palaeozoic era. I am not a geologist but this would be a place of interest for them. Where layers of crystalline slate have eroded the granite emerges and this gets weathered by rain and wind and forms the most fantastic shapes I have ever seen. When the Alps were formed and there was a lot of movement and Sardinia and Corsica were thrust away from the main land, the island was so stretched and pulled and a gigantic rift emerged which runs through the entire island. I was amazed at how many woody plants were growing even at heights of around 800metres, where the soil is acid there are lots of cork oak trees and the cork products are available in local shops. Oak trees of different sorts grow all over the island, as do olive trees and fig trees and there is a lot of shrub woodland which grows up to 5 metres and is called "macchia". Although I understand we didn’t visit at the best time to see lots of flowers we did however notice heather and little rock roses and other flowers which I did not recognise. We didn’t touch the huge flowering cactus or prickly pear for obvious reasons!In the eastern half of Sardinia granite is very prominent. We decided to visit the famous Bear Rock, it is found near Capo d’Orso, there is a charge for the car park but it wasn’t expensive. The climb up to it has been made easier in a very sympathetic way and fits in well. These so called sculptures formed by weathering are called Tafoni. Some are more mushroom shaped and these are called fungo. Traditionally shepherds used the natural shelters for protection from the sun or the rain. Although it was a 200ft climb it was worth the effort even with the sun blazing down. I did not enjoy History at school but have to admit I quite like finding out about things when we are visiting places so on this holiday I found out about the Nuragic culture, named after the round towers or "nuraghi" built from huge stone blocks. This was between 1500-500BC. These were built in prominent places to deter potential aggressors. We decided to have a morning visiting several of these in the area around Arzachena. This is the historical municipal town of the sub-region Gallura. It is a fertile area and farming of cereals and vines are popular here. They are managed by the local council and you pay to visit, you can buy a ticket for each one individually or it is cheaper to buy a ticket to visit up to 5 of the tombs. It was a few euros for each one, but as it was hard to find anywhere to park for the one, they certainly had the right idea as many people drove off without stopping! We visited the Tomba dei Giganti Coddu Vecchiu – the Giants tomb, legend has it that giants with supernatural powers built the nuraghi and buried their dead there. I cannot imagine how people so long ago raised stones as large as these without mechanical devices! Another was called the Necropolis of Li Muri this had several rectangular tombs and encircled by smaller stone slabs and Tomba dei Giganti li Lolghi, an edge had been cut into the stone as was described as a masterpiece of its time. Sardinia isn't just quaint towns and fabulous beaches there is a wonderful history to explore. Close
Written by jo145 on 30 Jul, 2012
Food and wine means a lot to me on holiday and we like to try local dishes. At the local pizzeria where we stayed you could order mixed fish which was superb with crayfish, octopus and cuttle fish to name a few, the Sea…Read More
Food and wine means a lot to me on holiday and we like to try local dishes. At the local pizzeria where we stayed you could order mixed fish which was superb with crayfish, octopus and cuttle fish to name a few, the Sea Bass we had one evening was absolutely delicious. I enjoyed all the wines which we sampled, and although we brought some back it never tastes the same without the warm sun! There were all sorts of different breads, the most famous is "pane karasau" meaning become hard, it is a wafer thin round slice and the shepherds used to take this with them as it keeps for weeks. Warmed up and served with a few drops of olive oil it goes well with a glass of wine as you wait for your meal! Eating out was expensive even in the pizzeria! Pasta starter for one person and bread, selection of grilled fish and a dolce sardi (sweet of the day) plus wine, water and coffee for two was over 80 Euros, pizza started at about 6 euros. So one day we bought some of the local gnocchetti sardi which is baby pasta shells and along with a jar of tomato sauce and some ham and local cheeses I cooked dinner, a simple starter and heavenly almond cake along with some well chilled wine completed my simple meal at about an eighth of the cost! The local cheeses are very tasty and come from soft fresh cheese to the harder varieties. Supermarkets are well stocked with all produce, and we purchased some tasty savouries for lunch time. We of course sampled the delicious ice cream, it was hard which to choose, my favourite was a mocha coffee concoction, although the peach sorbet was very refreshing! It is fun asking for things in the shops and some staff helped us pronounce the names. We didn’t hear an English voice until the end of our holiday, which made us feel we really were in a foreign country. It made us try the language and everyone was so friendly and helped us with the pronunciation it was well worth the effort, a few buon journo, per favore, and grazie certainly helps. It is an expensive destination, although I accept we were in an expensive tourist area, but we did go again, because we wanted to discover a bit more of the secret of Sardinia and then sampled even more exciting restaurants.The owner of the apartments where we stayed booked restaurants for us – earning himself a commission! We sampled 14 different fish dishes at one restaurant, only small portions I hasten to add but amazing how many ways fish can be served. Another was a farmhouse restaurant in the middle of a wood, where we ate suckling pig and other delicious foods, somewhere we would never have found without directions but it was an evening to remember.It's well worth finding places where the locals eat rather than expensive touristy places. Close
Written by jo145 on 27 Jul, 2012
Where is Sardinia? If you think of Italy and can imagine where Rome is, go to the west and slightly south, across the Tyrrhenian Sea and there it is below a smaller island called Corsica which belongs to France. Sardinia is almost rectangular in shape…Read More
Where is Sardinia? If you think of Italy and can imagine where Rome is, go to the west and slightly south, across the Tyrrhenian Sea and there it is below a smaller island called Corsica which belongs to France. Sardinia is almost rectangular in shape but with a jagged coastline, and it is much bigger than I had first imagined! The coastline stretches for approximately 1,800 kilometres and the surface area is over 23,000 sq. kilometres so this review only covers a small part of this beautiful island, and that is the north and mostly the north east in the area called Gallura. It is divided into 16 sub-regions and these come under four provinces called Cagliari, Sassari, Nuoro and Oristano. Tip 1 Take a good map with you as we had problems getting away from the airport nad the map provided by the car hire firm didn’t include the Olbioa area where we landed!Tip 2 Take a phrase book with you unless you speak Italian!Checking in to the apartment was fun as not much English was spoken by the receptionist, and we had never been to Italy before! They had run out of English information sheets and so we had to try and translate the Italian version!Tip 3 Check before you go about shopping hours as we only just got shopping in time before they closed for the weekend!Tip 4 Check where you are staying if mobility is a problem as Sardinia is very hilly!On the first day after lunch and a wee siesta we set off in the car along the coast to Baia Sardinia. The many restaurants still had lots of people relaxing after a late lunch, this seemed rather like a purpose built holiday town and had lots of hotels and designer type shops, so as we wanted to discover the "real" Sardinia we continued along the coast stopping to admire the view if we could find somewhere suitable and walked around a sleepy little place called Cannigone which had lots of small boats and lovely scenery, then a trip across some barren countryside got us back safely, my map reading had improved tremendously!The Costa Smeralda literally means the Emerald coast and was transformed as a holiday paradise for people with money, by the multi millionaire Karim Aga Khan. Other developers were then allowed to build and this resulted in many holiday resorts/timeshare style areas being built. I have to say although we are not rich there were obviously people who were, but we certainly discovered a fantastic area with wonderful beaches and the sea was so clean we could see the fish swimming around us as we enjoyed the lovely warm water. Sadly although the beaches have sun beds and umbrellas, showers and even changing huts, they never seem to have a toilet, so you had to find a café with one! Porto Cervo was just a few kilometres away, and with our trusty guide book we found some parking near the beautiful and unusual shaped church. This reminded me of a new area that has been built in Malta with expensive hotels and shops and a marina full of expensive boats. The church was called Stella Maris and was the home of a beautiful painting by El Greco called Mater Dolorosa. Well we certainly enjoyed looking at the boats, seeing vans coming in and carrying trays of beautiful fresh fruits and other produce, immaculate dressed staff cleaning already clean boats for their rich owners. The Rolex yacht race was on and they were preparing to go out so it was a hive of activity. There are golf courses and tennis courts for the energetic but we found it was a place to sit and enjoy an over priced coffee and watch the world go by. Porto Cervo seen we then turned our backs on the "beautiful people" and again went to find the real Sardinia.From our apartment we could see the Isola Caprera so another day we headed north to get a better view. Along with Isola Maddalena visits can be made by ferry, but we couldn’t manage to park in Palau to check out times and suddenly found ourselves in the port and being waved on towards the boat, so like the cars in front we tried to explain we were passing through and managed to drive out the other side! Perhaps we’ll get there another time. Garibaldi lived on Caprera for some time and there is a museum which is popular with Italians. We drove on through wonderful rock formations and tree and shrub lands to Santa Teresa di Gallura, although to us it was a small town it actually was a little city and is the most northerly community in Sardinia. We visited the remains of the nuraghi and climbed up to enjoy the view, it was a pleasant town with a small beach on one side and people were all busy going about there daily lives. As it was a bit early for lunch we drove on down the west coast called the Costa Paradiso and headed for Isola Rossa. This little town had a few shops and lots of cafes and seemed a typical seaside town. The hotels were further up the hill and seemed to have steps down to the beach. Tip 5 Make sure you take water with you when driving in the country and perhaps some food as there aren’t always cafes available for lunch in the country.Tip 6 Take your swimming things and a towel as you may come across a beautiful beach. Close
Written by Praskipark on 05 Sep, 2008
For someone who isn't that keen on camping I seem to have been to a lot of sites in different places. Probably because it is one of the cheapest ways of staying in a country and seeing the world. As we were in Corsica we…Read More
For someone who isn't that keen on camping I seem to have been to a lot of sites in different places. Probably because it is one of the cheapest ways of staying in a country and seeing the world. As we were in Corsica we thought we might as well take a look at Sardinia as it was only an hour's crossing across the water. I am so glad we did as it is a very beautiful island. Sardinia is very different to Corsica, much wilder and untouched. It is a mediterrnean island with 1,800 kilometres of coastline with bays, grottoes and hidden coves. It's waters are transparent and some of the beaches are the most glorious in the world. The sand is mostly white but sometimes a shade of pink, created by the presence of millions of tiny particles of coral mixed with the sand. Inland there is a diversity of landscapes. Wild rugged mountain areas, wide luscious green valleys adorned with shrubs. Landscapes barren and windswept with strange stone monuments dispersed amongst the rocks and shrubs. These megaliti monuments belong to the mysterious nuragica civilisation which was formed at the end of the Ancient Bronze Age, around the time of 1.600 BC. The architecture formed by this culture was quite elaborate with nauraghic towers, megalithic burials and graves of the giants with some places of cult worship. Signs of other cultures are to be found throughout the island - Romans in Cagilari, the capital of Sardinia, Byzants and Spaniards, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Fenis traces in Nora very near to Cagilari.With it's cornucopia of beauty, culture, traditions and history it is a beautiful and interesting island to visit for a holiday.There are many ways to reach the island but we caught a Moby Lines ferry form Bonifacio in Corsica to Santa Teresa di Gallura which takes about one hour. We then drove north to the campsite of Baia Blu Tortuga which I am going to review for you now.Where is the Campsite?----------------------------------Camping Baia Blu La Tortuga (which I think transaltes as the bay of the blue turtle) is situated on the northern coast of Sardinia which is an island south of Italy. The nearst village is Vignola Mare which is a small coastal place 18 kms south west of Santa Teresa and 82 kms north east of Porto Torres. One side of the camp site has beaches and crystal clear water and the other side is dominated by 17,000 square kilometres of pine forest. When driving to the site I noticed how empty and uncommercialised the area seemed. The roads are wide and would be great for motor biking. You really would feel a sense of freedom here.How do I get to the campsite?-------------------------------------------Like I said we caught the ferry from Bonifacio in Corsica but there are other ferries from Corsica: -From Ajjacio to Porto Torres,From Popriano to Porto Torres.Nice and Marseille or Genoa, Livorno and PiombinoPorto Torres is approximately 82 kilometres north of Vignola Mare so you will need to hire a car. You follow the road from Porto Torres to Santa Teresa then you follow the coastal road in a SW direction for about 18kms. The campsite is on the right.Fly drive is an option.Nearest airport is at Olbia which is 82km away or Alghero - 109 kilometres away. Realistically if you are camping I don't think you would fly.Regarding buses and trains I think this would not be practical as it is in such a undeveloped area the train line doesn't exist - nearest one being at Olbia and Palau.The Site/Setting-----------------------Camping Baia Blu La Tortuga is set amongst a forest of pine trees, dwarf oaks and scented shrubs such as myrtle and serpillo. The scent is quite tantalising in a morning and afternoon when the gentle winds brush against the leaves sending these smells high in to the air.It is a medium sized site with small secluded pitches of around 80 square metres in size. All have shade and protection from the sun because of all the pine trees. Altogether I think there are about 800 pitches. The ground surface is grass, dust and gravel. There is no seperation between pitches so can be annoying sometimes especially if you are opposite a tent full of noisy Italians showing off the use of their mobile phones. I was convinced that half the time they weren't receiving calls - just strutting around and posing. It was quite amusing most of the time and I love italians as they are full of life but sometimes you do want a bit of shut eye. It has direct access to the beach which is quite shingly although the sand is golden. Facilities are good and the site is in a good position for exploring this enchanting island.Opening times----------------------Parc opens: 03/05 - 20/09/2008 Nearest Facilities--------------------------The nearest town/ village is 8 kilometres away - Vignola mare. This is extremely tiny with only a couple of bars. Bank - 10kmPost Office 10kmRestaurant----------------The restaurant opens from 15/03 and stays open until 20/10. Sardinians love food and as you can guess being near the coast the restaurant serves a selection of fish dishes. Mullet, lobster and shellfish are some of the favourites on offer. Pecorino cheese is very popular which is a cheese made from ewe's milk and has a strong taste. It is soft and slightly greenish in colour. There is also a pizzeria offering take away meals The bar is open from the 15th of March also and closes down on the 20th of October.Reception---------------Phone cards are available if you forget your mobile. There is a mail box. Currency exchange isn't available on site. The only places that change travellers cheques are called 'Bankomarts' and the nearest is 10 km from site. They open Monday - Friday until 12.30pm every day but are closed all weekend. Only 3 travellers cheques can be cashed at any one timeInternet Access available Languages spoken: English, German, French and Italian. Washing Facilities---------------------------Hot water showersSeperate washing cubicles with warm waterNormal toiletsSeperate sinks for dish washing and clothes washingWashing machines: 9, Euro 5.00 per load Clothes dryers: 2, Euro 5.00 per load Although the toilet block is okay I didn't think it was too clean. I suffered from a dose of the trots while I was there so I was in the block quite a lot. (I bet you all wanted to know that) I wouldn't say they were cleaned that regularly like some blocks on sites are. Generally I find Italian toilet facilities a bit hit and miss and I hate the fact that you have to put your loo roll and other unsightly items in an uncovered bin. Totally unhygenic especially when it is hot. Activities--------------Organised animation: Similar to animation on Fench camp sites a bit OTTActivities: Cabaret, sporting activities and tournaments, piano bar, aerobics school Children's club: On offer there is face painting and organised play activities.Entertainment--------------------Family Disco : 7 x per week. This starts from 6 June. Games room TV For the sporty types which I am not one there is:Tennis: 2 full size synthetic courts 2 X Table Tennis Football Matches Volleyball Playground Beach Volleyball Gym Archery ContestsCycle hire----------------Mountain Bikes with child seats can be hired.Prices are: Adults: Euro 46.00 per week / Euro 9.00 per day Children: Euro 46.00 per week / Euro 9.00 per day As this is agreat place for watersports equipment can be hired for windsurfing, and dinghy sailing. Diving lessons are also givenOther activities on site or close by--------------------------------------------------Various Boat tripsHorse riding: Motor boats: Scuba diving: Tennis: Water skiing: And my final thoughts are:This is an average campsite but the setting is truly outstanding. This area of Sardinia is brutally rugged and wild, like some parts of the Scottish highlands. It is an enormous island and unfortunately because we were only there for 10 days we were unable to take it all in although we did go about 150 miles south to Nuero as we had arranged to meet fellow campers who we had met in Corsica. This guy was a soldier based in Calgliari. It seemed a crazy thing to drive all that way for a picnic lunch and a beer but it was an exciting drive as the scenery was awesome. This ends my travelogue for today but seriously if any of you out there have time and the inclination to go to Sardinia then go as it is gorgeous.Summary: A camp site set in pine, sand and sparkling waters Close
Written by perrytoo on 17 Mar, 2002
A fine city, in the north Italian style, with monumental arcades along the harbour and picturesque hills rising on all sides behind the town. Just big enough to justify getting to grips with the bus system, which is frequent and efficient (77 cents for…Read More
A fine city, in the north Italian style, with monumental arcades along the harbour and picturesque hills rising on all sides behind the town. Just big enough to justify getting to grips with the bus system, which is frequent and efficient (77 cents for 90 minutes, 2.07 euro for 24 hours. Buy the ticket at a kiosk, and validate on the bus). The bus is advisable if you want to go up to the Castello district often, although the long flights of steps leading up to it in all directions are always crammed with masses of students, laden with books and cases, and seemingly impervious to the climb.
The museums in the old arsenal citadel are well worth visiting, and stay open all day. Even better are the wonderful views, from the walls, the bastions, the Buoncammino hill, and the 2 massive mediaeval towers, which are each open on one side, disclosing the wooden stairs and floors inside. No charge for admission, although opening hours are limited. Many other sights around the edges of the city are free as well, including the Roman amphitheatre. I can’t remember if I paid for the Botanic Gardens, which were well worth it if so.
The Lazaretto is a windswept quarantine hospital on the edge of the sea just behind one of Cagliari’s nastiest sink estates, beautifully converted into an exhibition centre. Don’t go alone after dark.
This is a good city to visit, wander around and as a base for other areas.
Written by UK Flower Girl on 10 Feb, 2004
Sardegna is an amazing place to view the flora and fauna. For such a small place, it is surprisingly diverse. This is due to the diversity of the land itself. Sardegna ranges from the coastal plains and marshes all the way to…Read More
Sardegna is an amazing place to view the flora and fauna. For such a small place, it is surprisingly diverse. This is due to the diversity of the land itself. Sardegna ranges from the coastal plains and marshes all the way to the highest mountain peaks.
Not only does Sardegna have your average sheep, cows, horses, and goats, but they have the more "exotic" animals such as flamingos. On several occasions, we saw pigs in the wild. They would either be rooting around on the side of the road or running down the mountainside. One set of pigs even got scared when we stopped to look at them and started running next to the car. It reminded us of the dogs that wait for cars and then chase them. We also saw a large group of flamingos near the town of Olbia. The land was marshy and there was a fence so we couldn't get a closer look at them.
Aside from tourism, the livestock industry is the mainstay of the Sardinian economy. You will see field after field of sheep, cows, and goats. Alongside the roads you will see signs for goat cheese, honey, and other miscellaneous products for sale. After a short time there, you will start to hear the bells that the animals wear around their necks.
The flora of the region was very diverse. Here are just a few things that make the flora so beautiful:
Maquis (macchia in Italian) is the very thick, shrubby vegetation that grows in Sardegna. There are such things as the strawberry tree, myrtle and cistus flowers. It is mainly a Mediterranean vegetation.
I love all of the flowers, trees, and shrubs that are so abundant. It makes the landscape diverse in color and texture. It also makes a diverse landscape for the animals that live on the island.
If you are a nature lover, you will love this aspect of Sardegna. I am not much of a "sit on the beach for a week" kind of person, so I found all of the animals and vegetation to be very interesting. I would suggest that if you are really into this kind of thing, you should purchase a book of Mediterranean vegetation so you can identify plants. There were plenty of things that I saw along the way that intrigued me and I had no idea what I was even looking at.
Sardegna is also a haven for sea life. There have been sightings of the rare monk seal, once thought to be extinct. The waters of Sardegna also harbor such things as dolphins, lobsters, coral and sea anemones, eels, and a wide range of tropical fish. Bird life is also abundant, with cormorants, seagulls, kites, and falcons commonly spotted.
You can read guidebooks and ask questions, but you really don't know how it is going to be until you get there and have the experience for yourself.
My husband and I read a couple of different guidebooks for general information and we asked around…Read More
You can read guidebooks and ask questions, but you really don't know how it is going to be until you get there and have the experience for yourself.
My husband and I read a couple of different guidebooks for general information and we asked around to anyone who had visited Sardegna. There are the general recommendations: "The roads are slow-going" and "Make sure you fill up your gas tank when you can." Nothing prepared us for what Sardegna was really like.
Road conditions and speed
There are no high-speed roads in Sardegna. Mostly, there are small mountain roads with plenty of curves. Typically, the speed limit is 50km/hour. True, you can go faster in some places, but it is about the average speed with all of those curves. It is also possible that you will find things in the road to obstruct you or cause damage to your tires. We found the road blocked by goats, sheep, cows, and plenty of rocks in the road that could easily damage a tire out in the middle of nowhere. Lastly, most of the time, speed limits are not posted. Typically, the larger roads are going to be 90km/h and the small mountain roads and in cities are going to be 50km/h.
Gas is called "benzina senza piombo" (gas without lead) and "gasolio" for diesel in Italy. It can be hard to come by. We always made sure we had at least half a tank of gas at all times. Also, make sure you always have some Euros on you: 5's, 10's and 20's. Many stations close at lunchtime for two or three hours. There are automated machines that take cash or credit cards, although we have never been able to get a card to work. So we had to rely on cash. You have to estimate how much you are going to need, because you don't get change. When you do find an attendant, will you know how to say, "Fill 'er up"? You say "il pieno" (sounds like eel pyeh-noh). Remember, too, that gas is very expensive in Europe, so be prepared to spend a big chunk of money on gas. I think gas was about 1.05 Euros per litre (which makes it around $5 a gallon).
Be careful if you are speeding around on the little roads. There will be police (polizia or carabinieri) lurking around places you wouldn't believe. You can be in the middle of nowhere and there they are! Police are also authorized to stop anyone at any time to check documents. Usually there will be more than one of them. They will hold out a sign--a red circle on a white stick--for you to stop. They will ask for car registration information and driving licence and/or passports. If everything is in order, you will be on your way in just a few minutes. We were stopped one day by the polizia as we were coming around a corner. They asked for our identification and papers for the rental car. We didn't have our passports, since some hotels will keep them upon check-in. Our car rental papers were not right (there was a copy instead of an original), but since it was a rental, they told us it was fine, we could go.
Here is a list of some of the signs you will come across as you are driving:
Stop signs are the same, they say "Stop." You will also recognize the yield signs. Another thing you will notice is that there may be missing (or just nonexistent) road signs or tourist signs. There were plenty of times that we made a turn-off to see something that was posted, never to find what we were looking for or ever see another sign after the initial sign. It can be very frustrating. We ended up giving up on a few things and just finding our way on a couple of more things. I suggest that if it is something that is important, just ask someone. If you don't know any Italian, you can usually find someone that speaks enough English to tell you the way.
If you break down, you can call 116 (like the AA or the AAA) for assistance.
If you don't get car-sick because of the mountainous roads, it is really the best way to get around the island.
There are over 7000 nuraghi in Sardegna. Once you see one, you will start noticing them everywhere. These truncated cones were built thousands of years ago (1800-500 B.C.) and there is little known about their builders.
Nuraghi are stone towers built with huge stones…Read More
There are over 7000 nuraghi in Sardegna. Once you see one, you will start noticing them everywhere. These truncated cones were built thousands of years ago (1800-500 B.C.) and there is little known about their builders.
Nuraghi are stone towers built with huge stones and no mortar. Some are simple structures with only one tower, others are more complex structures that feature side towers and connecting ramparts. These structures were used to live in and also to provide defence. There hasn't been any traces of a written language among the nuraghi, but bronze figures have been found. You can find these bronze figures in many of the archaeological museums located around Sardegna.
The simplest form of the nuraghe is a single tower. Inside are circular tiers of stone and can be more than one storey. The more complex structures will have the main tower but it will have side towers and ramparts. Some of the more complex structures can be amazingly huge.
Tiscali is one example of a large settlement. In the late 1800s, some woodcutters stumbed across a settlement in a deep chasm in Monte Tiscali. The site is partially deteriorated, but it is one of the most unique nuraghi you will find because it is deep inside a mountain. You also have quite a walk to get there. It is located on the eastern coast of Sardinia, but deep in the mountains. Once you go as far as you can by car, you still have about an hour of walking to do before you get to it. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to go here, but it seems to be one of the best nuraghi to see.
My husband and I didn't have time to make a trek to some of the larger, more popular sites (which can cost money to enter), so we decided to pursue a site that was smaller and less popular. We actually just happened upon the nuraghe that we explored. We were driving near the city of Macomer in the western central part of the island when we saw a sign for one off to the side of the road (these are the usual brown tourist signs) for nuraghe Santa Barbara. There was a small parking area and a trail that led you up a path past fields of goats, horses and cows. It took about 15-20 minutes to walk up to it. It was mostly intact with only minor deterioration. (I can't say definitely that this is true because I read that when the nuraghe is very large, it usually means that it was part of a larger structure and that there were probably smaller towers around it.) There were three rooms inside--two smaller ones and then the large room, which was very tall. There was also a staircase that brought you up to the upper levels. We were too scared to go up to the second level without a flashlight or something to light the way. We didn't know if the floor was deteriorated and felt safer to just forgo the curiosity. Recommendation: Bring a small flashlight if you want to explore!
"The name of these typical Sardinian Nuraghi derives from the word 'nurra', which means 'heap' or 'mound', but also 'cavity'. It is perhaps for this double meaning that the word has been applied to the original shape of the Nuraghi, built by laying big stones one on top of the other to create a 'hollow' which is then covered by a stone dome to form a room."--Taken from Charm in Sardinia, where you will find loads of pictures and information about nuraghi.
Opportunities abound to see a nuraghe structure. This is an important part of history in Sardegna. Make time to stop and see one - you will be glad you did. Remember that some of these structures are way off the beaten path, and plan enough time to see them sufficiently. Make sure you read some information about these structures before you go see them so you understand what you are seeing. I find it so amazing that these huge rocks were stacked up without mortar and so many of them are still standing after thousands of years.
Any good guidebook should have information about nuraghe structures. You can also ask at tourist offices or even at your hotel for recommendations.
Written by sarah date on 25 Jan, 2001
The main newspaper for Sardegna is called L’Unione Sarda and I will never again be able to see that title without smiling. One evening as my friend and I were sipping a Campari at a café in Cagliari, we struck up a conversation with…Read More
The main newspaper for Sardegna is called L’Unione Sarda and I will never again be able to see that title without smiling. One evening as my friend and I were sipping a Campari at a café in Cagliari, we struck up a conversation with the barista who wanted to know how did we like Sardegna, how did we know of the island, etc.
Six years previous, we told him, my friend’s sister had lived in Roma and during her time there, she befriended two Italian boys, one of which was born in Cagliari. Both of us had visited her then and had met this charming ‘ragazzo’ who had often spoken of Sardegna and were now speculating on his current whereabouts. The barista didn’t by any chance know the name? Of course he didn’t but he had a copy of L’Unione Sarda open on the bar, opened to the classified ads page.
He had an idea! He asked us some more details of our long lost friend and before we knew it, he was on the phone submitting a classfied: two foreign girls, looking for Corrado, our sister knew you in Roma – or something like that. He told us we had to go to the newspaper’s offices and meet with the classifieds editor to confirm the details.
We laughed and didn’t really expect anything to come out of it but since the offices were close to the old fortified part of town which we wanted to see anyway, we thought we might as well stop by. My friend ended up flirting outrageously with the admittedly handsome editor, so I amused myself by taking pictures of the old buildings perched on a cliff above the modern city and of a headless stone statue of a goddess. I even managed to set the camera up to take a picture of me filling in the head bit.
For the rest of our trip we felt obliged to buy L’Unione Sarda every day, just in case. Unsurprisingly, the ad didn’t emerge but the daily purchase had become a running joke that we couldn’t seem to drop.
A couple of weeks later we had returned to Roma and were celebrating our last night together. I was returning to London the next morning. We bought the paper and to our utter amazement, the ad was printed! At least, something that vaguely resembled our ad was there. Our names and the contact address we had given were hilariously reinvented but the gist was still tangible.
‘Oh my god, it’s him!’ I heard her say. He looked up and did a double take. There followed an understandably emotional few moments of reunion.
And of course he hadn’t seen the ad.
As crazy as it sounds, this is a true story, and it just goes to show that you never know who you might come across in your travels.
Driving up to the top left corner of the island, toward Capo Falcone, we passed through countryside that incongruously reminded me of the sweeping heartland of Scotland – wide expanses of low heather and scrub ending at the base of impressive rocky mountains. This…Read More
Driving up to the top left corner of the island, toward Capo Falcone, we passed through countryside that incongruously reminded me of the sweeping heartland of Scotland – wide expanses of low heather and scrub ending at the base of impressive rocky mountains. This is quite geographically different to the centre of the island, where the terrain becomes very dry and mountainous with a desert-like climate. Apparently remote villages exist in these mountains, one of which is rumoured to be studied by scholars because its inhabitants of a hundred or so mostly old women speak a language that is closer to Latin than any other modern language. I have not been able to find any other information validating this since leaving Sardegna, but intend to keep looking and will report back!
The region around Capo Falcone is another big tourist destination in the warm months and it’s easy to see why: perfect white sand beaches are lapped at by crystal blue water. In the distance the outline of Corsica can be made out. Beach houses and cabins line the water here, but once again, we were all alone. Wrapped up in sweaters, we still could enjoy the beauty of the area without missing the sunshine.
Further along the coast to the east, we wended up into hills and down into valleys, lush with green grass and dotted with sheep and a few cows. Stopping at a lookout over the sea above the village of Santa Teresa, we took out the remains of a picnic lunch that we had eaten most of earlier. The boat back to Italia was due to leave in a couple of hours from Olbia and I didn’t really want to take the block of pecorino cheese on board with me without refrigeration. As I unwrapped it for a few more bites, a little black kitten emerged from the bushes beside the car looking hopeful. Having a rather enormous soft spot for cats, I knelt down to give it a crumb and within seconds was surrounded by about 25 cats, at least 15 of which were practically identical in colour and features as the first one.
If you continue south down the coast from Olbia, you will be on the Emerald Coast, probably the most famous holiday area in Sardegna, boasting fantastically clear water perfect for diving, snorkeling, sailing, swimming, etc. This is also where the rich and famous flock, especially during events such as international sailing competitions. I didn’t get this far due to time restrictions but hope to do so at a future date.