Trip to Sardinia: Castelsardo, Santa Teresa di Gallura, Maddalena Archipelago, Caprera Island, Pelosa Beach, Rock of the Elephant, Village of Bosa, Nuraghi at Santu Antine, and Alghero.
The Caribbean of Europe
Sardinia is known as the Caribbean of Europe due to its white sand beaches. Indeed, the beaches in Sardinia are sandy, white, clean and crystalline and are somewhat reminiscent of the beaches of the Philippines. However, in my opinion, the beaches are a little overrated perhaps because I have seen better or am used to seeing this type of beach in the Philippines. Also, I was disappointed with the Sardinian cuisine which is not up to par with the Sicilian one or the rest of Southern Italy.
After a year and seven months from our last flight, the question remained whether to stay in Italy or finally leave for abroad. For a whole series of uncertainties due to the covid that leaves us no respite after two years, we have chosen to go to Sardinia, also because the island was already in our shortlist of national travels.
At the airport it was a bit traumatic and we were confused because of the new rules for entering and exiting the airport. Plus, our Ryanair plane has never been cleaner.
Once in Alghero, in Sardinia, we went to our car rental companions to pick up our car and move to Lu Bagnu, in the municipality of Castelsardo.
Santa Teresa di Gallura
We were finally ready for our fantastic trips!
First stop: the wonderful town of Santa Teresa di Gallura, in the province of Sassari. It is a characteristic village that stands on a promontory in the northern extremity of Sardinia, overlooking the Strait of Bonifacio. The sea is the undisputed star of Santa Teresa Gallura, a village of about five thousand inhabitants, which multiply in the summer with the arrival of tens of thousands of tourists.
King Vittorio Emanuele I of Savoy founded it in 1808, renaming a place called Longosardo (or Longone) with the name of his wife Maria Teresa, a privileged ‘window’ towards the cliffs of Bonifacio.
Despite the uncertain weather conditions, we left to visit the Maddalena Archipelago Park. In the stretch of sea between Sardinia and Corsica known as Strait of Bonifacio, there is a galaxy of islands and islets surrounded by the turquoise sea: one of the most evocative landscapes in the world which is under special protection due to its naturalistic value.
To reach the archipelago it is necessary to take a ferry from Palau. Not having much time available, we visited the two main islands of Maddalena and Caprera, connected to each other by a road that can be traveled by car.
As soon as we arrived in Caprera, we stopped for lunch in a pine forest at a place called “I Mille“. Fair prices and super food!
After lunch, we went to the beautiful Shipwreck Beach in Caprera: turquoise sea and rich in marine fauna.
The hero of two worlds, Giuseppe Garibaldi, after meeting King Vittorio Emanuele II on October 26, 1860, gave him sovereignty over the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. He then accompanied the king to Naples on 7 November and, the following day, withdrew to the island of Caprera, refusing to accept any reward for his services.
Tour of Maddalena
After passing La Maddalena, we took a tour by car along the coast and stopping in some of the most enchanting corners to admire the landscape and its colors.
The beautiful Cala Francese, where wild boars are the hosts, is located in the southern part of the island of La Maddalena. In front of the beach the crystalline turquoise sea, the sandy bottom with some rocks. Behind a dense vegetation of Mediterranean scrub. The beach is very suggestive as it is characterized by a granite quarry that worked until the period of the Second World War, which was later closed due to excessive transport costs.
Not far from Castelsardo is the famous Pelosa beach. It is a tropical paradise in the Mediterranean: one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe extends into the extreme north-western tip of Sardinia, in the Gulf of Asinara.
Stintino from a fishing village has become a renowned tourist resort also and above all thanks to this masterpiece of nature.
It is a beach where access is limited. During the high season it is essential to book paid access to the beach through a dedicated website.
Finally one day to discover Castelsardo. It is an enchanting medieval village, located in Northern Sardinia. Castelsardo’s naturalistic beauties, splendid inlets, typical products, craftsmanship, and characteristic port make it one of Sardinia the best destination. Furthermore, Castelsardo has a lower cost to spend the holidays and offers a not too touristy atmosphere.
The Elephant Rock of Castelsardo is a large trachytic and andesitic boulder, with a strong rust color. It is considerably eroded by atmospheric agents that have given it the singular appearance of a seated pachyderm. The rock is located in Multeddu, at km 4.3 of the SS 134 that connects Castelsardo to Sedini. Originally the boulder was part of the rocky complex of Monte Castellazzu from which it detached by rolling downstream.
Village of Bosa
On the west coast of Sardinia, in the province of Oristano, stands one of the most picturesque villages in Italy, dominated by a medieval castle, with its multicolored houses along the mouth of the Temo river which divides it in two with sinuous shapes. The first indelible image of Bosa is the historic district of sa Costa, made up of colorful houses that climb the slopes of the Serravalle hill, dominated by the Malaspina castle, dating back to the 12th century and within walking distance.
Bosa is also famous for its carnival, one of the most characteristic and populated in Sardinia. It is a very characteristic village where we spent a beautiful day walking through the streets of the historic center and tasting Sardinian food in a characteristic restaurant along the Temo river.
The Valley of the Nuraghi
In Logudoro (Torralba), in the northwestern part of Sardinia, we visited one of the most significant pieces of evidence left to us by the Nuragic civilization. It is an architectural gem and the most impressive in the Valley of the Nuraghi, one of the areas with the greatest concentration of prehistoric buildings in Sardinia.
Santu Antine is located in the center of the Cabu Abbas plain, in the territory of Torralba, and was built between the Middle Bronze Age (16th century) and the Iron Age (9th century BC). It is very large and is made of huge, perfectly shaped basalt blocks which gradually get smaller from the base towards the top of the building. Its masonry is entirely of dry stone. Its central tower is 17 meters high and has a diameter of 15 meters. It originally had three floors and is protected by a trilobed bastion (with three towers).
They have been able to endure thousands of years, thanks to the Nuragic people’s skills in the art of building.
Alghero: “The Catalana”
Before our flight back to Sicily, we visited Alghero. The “Catalana”, as it is also known, is a historic city in the far north of the west coast of Sardinia and the capital of the Coral Riviera, about 90 kilometers long. Since it keeps intact the influences of the Catalan domination, also known as Barceloneta.
By number of inhabitants (44 thousand) it is the fifth Sardinian city. It is one of its most loved places. Alghero offers exciting walks, red roofs that touch the sky, and splendid natural inlet overlooking the emerald sea.
Sardinia is among the most beautiful Italian regions. The extent of the island is such that it was not possible for us to fully discover it. There are still so many intact places where nature dominates and the sea is fabulously blue… In fact, the road infrastructure in Sardinia is not at all suitable for its territory. Maybe next time!