south coast

from Villasimius to Porto Pino

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Area Description

CAGLIARI

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The capital of Sardinia is steeped in Mediterranean atmosphere and offers everything you could want from a vacation: history and art, seashores and parks, comfort and fine cuisine.
Picturesque historical districts with sea views, elegant shopping streets and panoramic terraces, including the bastione di Santa Croce, a great place for a romantic evening after a fiery sunset. Cagliari is Sardinia’s main and most populous city, at the centre of an urban area that counts 430,000 inhabitants (150,000 of them in the capital city alone) as well as the island’s gateway port and main Mediterranean cruise liner hub. The city’s history goes back thousands of years, from pre-historic times to the reign of the Savoy. The Castello quarter sits perched on its highest hill and boasts ancient bastions that today are the heart and soul of nightlife, and picturesque streets lined by grand old homes: Palazzo Regio and Palazzo di Città, as well as the Cathedral of Santa Maria. The medieval towers - dell’Elefante and San Pancrazio - that stand guard at the entrance to the castle are well worth notice. Villanova connects to the Castle quarter via the stairway of the bastione di Saint Remy. A passionate air of religious devotion takes over the quarter every year at Easter, during Holy Week, while during the rest of the year the elegant boutiques and churches welcome you with somewhat less ado: the cloister of San Domenico, the Church of San Saturnio, and the Basilica di Nostra Signora di Bonaria, the Christian temple of Sardinia. Below Castello you’ll find the Marina quarter, which will impress you with lovely buildings and the porticos of Via Roma, including the Palazzo Civico. Settled as a village of fishermen and merchants, it is the symbol of the town’s multi-ethnicity. Here you will find the Church of Sant’Eulalia, home to precious remains from the Roman era. The Stampace quarter is the venue of the colourful yearly festival of Sant’Efisio in May, an event the entire island enjoys. Its narrow streets are home to the baroque Church of Sant’Anna. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Anfiteatro, one of Sardinia’s most important Roman ruins, and the Botanical gardens, a green oasis in the city’s centre. Just outside of town is the Castle of San Michele and Tuvixeddu, the Mediterranean’s largest Phoenician-Punic necropolis (VI-III century BCE).

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When you are ready to surround yourself with nature, you can head towards a thousand different natural attractions: the Cagliari lagoon, the Molentargius-Saline park, which you can visit on a mountain bike, to see the pink flamingos take flight, and, of course, the sea. Take a dip at Poetto, the city’s 8 km long soft sandy beach along which there is a walking trail and cycling path. Even at night, when it reveals its more glamorous side, it is a delight. You can take an excursion to Calamosca and Sella del Diavolo from Poetto. And, finally, there is the local cuisine to be enjoyed, spaghetti with bottarga (cured mullet or tuna roe) and artichokes, burrida made with catshark and walnuts, and fregula con cocciula, balls of semola with clams.




VILLASIMIUS

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Villasimius is characterised by breathtaking views and a crystalline, turquoise-blue sea. Uncontaminated habitats, healthy air and an intense perfume of myrtle, broom and lentiscus, all draw one into the area, even before disembarking from the ferry. With its 32 km of coastline, enchanting bays, and countryside bathed in green, the blue of the sea laps over unending fine, sandy beaches. An authentic paradise: from the sea-depths covered thick with lawns of posidonia, to the emerald-green turquoise surface, Villasimius has one of the most beautiful sea landscape in the world. The numerous beaches in the village vary in colour and structure, passing from an extremely fine, crystalline white to a more compact, golden sand.

 



CAPO CARBONARA

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Emerald waters and wild landscape: these are the main characteristics of the marine protected area that runs from the extreme promontory point in the south-east of Sardinia taking its name from the promontory of Capo Carbonara, in the territory of Villasimius, a long outcrop running into the sea like a sharp spear. The area covers Capo Boi and Punta Porceddus, in the tract of coastline that looks out onto the Island of Serpentara surrounding Cavoli's Island.
The area has as its backdrop the wavy and articulated perimeter of the promontory, where granite walls alternate with green pinewoods and thick vegetation.

In the centre of Capo Carbonara we find one of the most enchanting sights of the Sardinian coasts: the stretch of water of Notteri pond, separated from the sea by a thin tongue of sand, which during the winter months hosts flamingos, seagulls, shearwaters and partridges. The beaches running the length of the promontory, their shiny sand with traces of quartz, are among the most beautiful in the world: from the bays near Capo Boi to Campo Longu. Blackfish, tuna and barracuda, a tropical species which has chosen the warm waters of Sardinia as its home, can be found swimming among the granite walls in the waters depths. But the most exciting encounter can be experienced around the Serpentara Island, where wonderful dolphins cavort among the waves. In addition, in the shoal of Santa Caterina it is possible to submerge into a sea which maintains excellent visibility all year round and where the Madonna del Naufrago (The Madonna of the Shipwrecked), a statue crafted by the Sardinian sculptor Pinuccio Sciola, at a depth of around 10 metres, silently looks onto the uncontaminated microcosm.

 



SANTA MARGHERITA DI PULA

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Almost ten kilometres of soft, golden sand lapped by shallow, warmers in tones of green, with a sea that is so clear you can see right to the bottom even without diving. Santa Margherita is a pearl of southern Sardinia. Located in one of the most beautiful corners of the island, between Pula and Capo Spartivento, you can find here the famous luxury resort Forte Village home of one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. Protected by a chain of mountains, it's never too windy or too hot. The sea, with its sub-tropical microclimate normally makes the sea-temperature warmer than other parts of Sardinia.






CHIA

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A long stretch of white sand surrounded by high dunes covered with juniper trees, which, with their shapes create a particularly evocative landscape, Chia along the coast after the beach of Porto Campana. It is, with any doubts, among the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean sea: really wide and flour-like sand, and marvellous waters. Thanks to its special charm, this beach is often chosen as a natural backdrop for films and TV commercials. 

 



TUERREDDA

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Tuerredda has the right to be counted among the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia, and, according to many people, even among the top ten. White light sand, similar to talc, crystalline sea, Tuerredda is in a natural and still unspoiled scenery. The deep blue water, the green shrubs and delicate golden colour of the fine sand will make you fall in love with this natural marvel. In a cove between Capo Malfatano and Capo Spartivento, in the territory of Teulada, on the outermost point of the southwestern part of the Island, Tuerredda stretches for over half a kilometre and is quite simply a jewel with scenery resembling that of the Caribbean. Thanks to its shape, the beach is well sheltered from the Mistral, north-westerly wind and its sea is almost always calm and clear, perfect for long swims with a mask and flippers or for doing some snorkelling. 





PORTO PINO

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Cruise to Porto Pino 38°56'50.1"N 8°37'11.2"E for the night. In the southwestern part of Sardinia, in the Sulcis coast, there is a Mediterranean gem, a beautiful place very close to nature’s perfection, an environmental ecosystem in harmony between sea, dunes, vegetation and lagoons. Little coves with pink sand and crystalline waters, long, white, deserted beaches, rocks with breath-taking seabed, ponds inhabited by flamingos, and, inside, groves, vineyards, grottos, culture and culinary traditions. This is Porto Pino, in the territory of Sant’Anna Arresi, made even more beautiful, to the east, by the homonymous promontory covered in oaks, ancient juniper trees and very rare Aleppo pines – according to legend, the wood favoured by the Phoenicians to build their ships. The other side is dominated by Mediterranean scrub.The Porto Pino beach is about four kilometres long, divided in two parts by an old sea outlet for the ponds. The “first beach”, not far from the parking area, features greyish sand while the “second”, nestled between lagoon and pine grove, has white sand and meets Is Arenas Biancas, tall, white dunes in the territory of Teulada – also called Le Dune, another awe-inducing expanse, one kilometre long, of soft sandy hills that reach up to 3 metres of height.The Porto Pino coast, characterised by a shallow seabed that makes it perfect for children, is accessible to disabled people and features plenty of parking space (for campers as well) and all necessary services: rental of beach equipment, hotels and camping sites, cafés and restaurants. It is also the perfect destination for surfers all year round and much beloved by divers and fishermen. Nearby, always in the territory of the Sulcis commune, there is also the beautiful Spiaggia dei Francesi (Frenchmen’s Beach), in Porto Pinetto, a half-moon of fine white sand with shells and coral fragments that dives into the sea in shallow waters that change from emerald green to turquoise and azure.