The central west coast of Sardinia is a wonderful place for a holiday. There is a lot to do in the area, places to visit and explore, as well as lesser known but equally stunning beaches. The area of Sinis, a peninsula near Oristano, is a marine protected area. It has some extraordinary landmarks of exceptional and rare beauty and interest. One of these is the beach of Is Arutas, famous for its “grains of rice” sand, made up of billions of grain-sized pieces of quartz.The tiny pieces of pink, white, green, every colour quartz, are smooth and of great beauty. Beware visitors trying to take a souvenir home with them – there is a substantial fine for those caught threatening the sustainability of this very special place.
Surfers gather at Capo Mannu, one of the best places on the island for the sport, and, while some members of the holiday party might enjoy spending their days on the water, others can visit areas of great historical and archaeological interest, such as Tharros. The city was founded by the Phoenicians around 800 A.D., then later became a Roman site. Apart from humanistic and historical value, this ancient city stands on the water’s edge, quite spectacular, especially with the sun setting behind the Corinthian columns. Sunsets on the west coast of the island are particularly beautiful, as the sun sinks to the horizon, with nothing between you but the sea.
The area of Sinis and west coast between Oristano and Bosa is of particular value because it is a lesser trodden part of the island, that nonetheless has all services and facilities for a memorable holiday. Watersports enthusiasts can rent windsurfs, sailing boats, small motor boats and other at Mandriola and Torre Grande. Depending on the season, it is also possible to go scuba diving, or have exclusive boat trips along the coast and across to the island of Mal di Ventre. Holidays here are suitable for families, couples and groups alike.
The fishing town of Cabras is another place to visit. It is home to the museum where the recently discovered Giants of Monte Prama are accommodated, and has a big lagoon with an ancient fishing tradition. Fishermen’s huts, handwoven baskets and a feeling of time standing still create a special atmosphere. The area will feel familiar to some spaghetti western film enthusiasts, as the tiny hamlet of San Salvatore di Sinis was used many times in the 1960s as an on location setting.
Beaches to visit on the Sinis peninsula, known by the locals but often a well-kept secret, include Is Arutas, Mai Moni and Sa Mesa Longa. The area is dreamy for exploring on foot, bicycle or on horseback. Wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers will delight at the salt lakes with flamingos and immensely rich birdlife, as well as finding all varieties of wild flowers and orchids, many as yet to be classified.
The Sinis Peninsula, in other countries would be fenced off, and visitors would be charged entry. It really is a privilege to experience in all its natural beauty.
Browse our list of hotels, resorts, B&Bs and find the best accommodation in the area to suit you. Places with accommodation include Cabras, Putzu Idu, Sa Rocca Tunda and Santa Caterina di Pittinuri. For golfers, there is a beautiful 18 hole course at Is Arenas. At opposite poles to the sleek course of Pevero, in Porto Cervo, mirroring the different overall atmosphere of the very distinct areas, Is Arenas is as close to nature as you can go. Natural sand dunes, as it is on the huge stretch of beach of the same name, a pine forest, views over the sea and coastline, and a course that is ideal for the passionate golfer. There is a hotel within the resort offering comforts for non-golfers and families, ensuring all holiday makers are in their element.
Many people, once they have discovered this special coast, come back regularly, even buying property here. Easily reached by car from all three airports, Cagliari, Alghero and Olbia, there really is something for every taste. Each place has its own identity, and we recommend visiting the lovely old town of Cuglieri, overlooking the coast and surrounded by mountains, famous for prized funghi and wild boar hunting, and Bosa, the characteristic old fishing town, with one of Italy’s most celebrated medieval boroughs.
Things to do:
Canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, surfing
Trekking, horse-riding, cycling
All activities connected to beach life
Mushroom and funghi hunting
Fine dining with excellent local, seasonal products
Come and find out for yourself!
For more information:
– Hotels on Sardinia’s central west coast
– Villas and apartments on Sardinia’s central west coast
– Holiday Rentals in Bosa
Press: The Independent (The Giants of Monte Prama)