- National Archaeological Museum
- Castello Quarter (Saint Remy Bastion and Virgin Mary Cathedral)
- (free time)
- Hike to Devil’s Saddle
Overnight stay in Cagliari
- Archaeological city of Nora
- Hike along the Roman Road Pinus Village – Chia
- (lunch in restaurant)
- Spanish tower
- Chia beach
Overnight stay in Teulada
- Tomb of the Giants of Barrancu Mannu
- Domus de Janas of Montessu
- (lunch in restaurant)
- Hypogeum Village
- Byssus Museum
- Wine tour
Overnight stay in Sant'Antioco
- Archaeological area of Monte Sirai
- Big Coal Mining Museum
- (lunch in restaurant)
- Santa Barbara Cave
- Spanish tower and Cala Domestica beach
Overnight stay in Sant'Antioco
- Nuraghe Seruci
- Porto Flavia
- (lunch in restaurant)
Day 1 – 30 April (15 km)
At 9 am: Meeting with the guide and start of the group activities
We begin our tour in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, at the National Archeological Museum, the most important archaeological museum in Sardinia. Spread across four floors, it displays a wide collection of archaeological findings that retrace the history of Sardinia from prehistoric times to the Byzantine period.
Next, we will visit Castello (Casteddu ‘e Susu in the Campidanese language), the main historic district of Cagliari. Located on a hill a hundred meters above the sea, it was fortified in the thirteenth century by the Pisans after they defeated the army of the Judicatus of Càlari and destroyed their capital Santa Igia. Since, the Castello district has hosted successive rulers of Sardinia, such as the Aragonese and Piedmontese.
Castello is defined by a system of perimeter walls, towers – which include the Tower of the Elephant and San Pancrazio Tower – and bastions. Saint Remy Bastion, a symbol of the city of Cagliari, is undoubtedly the most elegant and fascinating. Accessible via a monumental staircase and surmounted by a triumphal arch, it leads to a large panoramic terrace from where you can admire the city and its splendid gulf.
While walking along the picturesque streets of the Castello Quarter, we will stop by the Saint Mary Cathedral. Originally built in the Pisan Romanesque style, it was later renovated in the Baroque and the Neo-Romanesque styles.
At the end of our mark we will reach the Devil’s Saddle for an easy hike (around 3-hour hike). Another city landmark located on the evocative promontory of Sant’Elia, it overlooks the entire gulf and Poetto beach, the quintessential beach of the citizens of Cagliari.
Day 2 – 1 May (85 km)
The second day starts at the Basso Sulcis (Lower Sulcis) and visits the ancient and evocative city of Nora, the first nuragic village to display integration between the ancient Sardinians and Phoenician merchants. Subsequently conquered first by the Carthaginians and later by the Romans, it was raised to the capital of the Roman province of Sardinia and Corsica.
Following in the footsteps of the Romans, we continue to Pinus Village, an enchanting bay from which an ancient Roman road branches off into the Mediterranean scrub. We will walk along it as far as the ancient city of Bithia – today’s Chia (around 1-hour hike).
One of the features that makes this road unique is the fact that it passes along the edge of the coast, allowing you to glimpse the turquoise sea below.
Once in Chia, we will climb to the Spanish tower, built in the 16th century to defend against Saracen attacks and, finally, stop for a few hours to enjoy its beach and sea: an immense expanse of crystalline emerald water enrobed by golden sandy dunes and lagoons where pink flamingos find convivial hospitality.
A place full of beauty and variety that has led it to be honored by Legambiente (an environmentalist association) as the most beautiful beach in Italy for two years in a row.
Day 3 – 2 May (60 km)
In the first part of the day we will focus on exploring two archaeological sites that impress both for their cultural aspect and for their dramatic settings: the Tomb of the Giants of Barrancu Mannu, one of the best preserved in Sardinia, located on a hill from which we can admire the striking mountains and valleys of the Sulcis; and the wide Domus de Janas of Montessu, one of the most important in Sardinia in terms of the number and size of tombs, set on a hill shaped like an amphitheater that commands amazing views all the way down to the sea.
From there we will continue on to Sant’Antioco to have a glimpse of a past ways of life in a hypogeum village, once a vast Punic necropolis. In the Middle Ages, hypogeums (gruttas) became refuges from Saracen raids and, up into the 1970s, the poorest families still used them as dwellings.
We will then go to meet Chiara Vigo, the last master of the byssus, the sea silk secreted by the mollusk pinna nobilis. In her workshop and museum, we will appreciate the textile crafts she makes and attend the rites that accompany the various phases necessary to get the byssus ready to be worked.
We will finish the day with a wine tour in one of the cellars of Carignano del Sulcis wine.
Day 4 – 3 May (120 km)
The second to last day of the tour begins with a visit to the archaeological area of Monte Sirai, a small plateau that carries the marks of civilizations stretching back to the Neolithic period. Some examples are the pit tombs, made by the Phoenician community, and the Carthaginian hypogea, some of which were built into pre-existing domus de janas.
The tofet, the necropolis for children, also dates from the Carthaginian period, while the sacred temple, built on a previous nuraghe, and dedicated to the goddess Astarte, dates back to the Phoenician era.
The Romans kept the buildings intact while changing their use from civilian to military purposes.
Next, we will visit the Big Coal Mining Museum, once the largest coal deposit in Italy.
In the afternoon our first attraction is the Santa Barbara Cave, one of the oldest in the world, discovered during the excavations of a tunnel in the San Giovanni mine. Rich in calcite and aragonite columns and tabular barite crystals that cover the walls, it will amaze as a masterpiece of nature.
We will complete the day at the splendid Cala Domestica, a beach in Buggerru area, where we will also visit the Spanish tower located on a promontory adjacent to the beach. Here we can enjoy the last moments of the day surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.
Day 5 – 4 May (130 km)
On the last day of the tour we will visit the complex Nuraghe Seruci, one of the largest and most evocative on the island.
Erected during the Bronze Age, for both military and religious purposes, it stands on a hill overlooking the sea, allowing us to admire the wild Sulcis coast, and catch a glimpse of the imposing sea stack Pan di Zucchero, the final surprise of the tour.
We end the tour at Porto Flavia, a once important commercial harbor where minerals from the surrounding mines were loaded for export.
The uniqueness of Porto Flavia is in the point chosen for loading the minerals onto ships, using a movable arm, from a tunnel cut into the mountain that emerges from a sheer cliff high above the sea. At first glance this choice might seem senseless. However, the imposing Pan di Zucchero sea stack, right in front of the harbor, protected the ships moored below from the waves and sea streams caused by the winds.
Yesterday, a very satisfying sight for the mineworkers and, today, for the thousands of tourists who look out from the same terrace and are enchanted by the enormous size and by the view of the sea.
At around 3 pm: end of the group activities and return to Cagliari
The price covers the following services:
- 4-night accommodation in double/twin room and breakfast at 3-star hotels at the locations listed in the tour summary;
- Lunch in restaurant on Days 2, 3, 4 and 5;
- Dinner at hotel on Day 2;
- Dinner in restaurant on Days 3 and 4;
- Activities and entrance fees for all the attractions listed in the tour summary;
- All bus transfers to the locations and attractions included in the tour;
- Airport transfer at the end of the tour on the way back to Cagliari (on request);
- English speaking guide for the whole tour;
- Emergency medical expenses, baggage and personal belongings insurance (coverage cap: 500 Euros, deductible: 50 Euros);
Price of a single supplement is 120 Euros.
- Lunch and dinner on Day 1 (allow 15-20 Euros for lunch and 20-30 Euros for dinner);
- Return transfers from the airport to the hotel;
- Tourist tax (if applicable), payable directly at the hotel;
P.N.: If you require the accommodation at the hotel on the night before the beginning of the activities (29 April), please let us know in time in order for us to make arrangements in due time.
The price of the accommodation in double/twin room, plus breakfast, at a 3-star hotel in Cagliari is 40 Euros per person;
The price of the accommodation in single room, plus breakfast, at a 3-star hotel in Cagliari is 40 Euros;
Group size: 14-18 people;
Daily activities run from around 9 am until 6 pm every day;
In the event of adverse weather conditions, attractions included in the tour can be exchanged or replaced by other attractions among those suggested by the guide;
As an active tour that includes excursions, visits to archaeological sites located on countryside terrain, and stopovers at beaches, it is recommended that guests bring appropriate clothing and footwear (e.g.: hiking shoes, waterproof jacket, bathing suit, sun protection);
No previous experience is needed to attend this tour, however we’ll be crossing some steep inclines at some point while walking and hiking, therefore a decent level of general fitness is required;
- You will be expected to maintain social distancing while doing the activities;
- Please bring hand sanitizer and face masks with you;
- Masks are not needed while hiking but please wear one in any enclosed environments, or while standing and walking in crowded areas;
- Transfers included will be in larger buses than usual to ensure a reasonable amount of space among passengers while in the vehicle;
For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website www.viaggiaresicuri.it, or contact the number 0039 06 491 115.