It would be too hard to make a list with all the beaches reachable in half an hour from our bed and breakfast: there are too much, long ones or small bays that would deserve a visit. So, according to our experience, the following are the best ones, the 13 beaches that will give you a real taste of these territories, these coasts and the people that leave here.
It is the Cagliari’s beach, better, the casteddaius beach (the beach of the Cagliari’s citizens, in Sardish). 12 kilometers of white sand and shallows, starting from the characteristic Sella del Diavolo (Devil’s Saddle) to the private and relaxing Margine Rosso. Place once famous for the salt production, today is become a paradise for athletes, that run or cycle or skate the long, South Beach style, bike path, for people that would like to enjoy a chill Ichnusa (the Sardinian beer) in the front of the sea, or for naturalists. The Poetto is in fact next to the Natural Park of Molentargius, famous for its pink flamingos.
Small pebble’s bay that conquered her fame after years of traffic jam in the coastal road, because of people wants to have a picture, up to conquer the name of Painted Sea, “Mari Pintau” in Sardish. Favorite destination for snorkeling lovers, photographers, and anyone wants to enjoy her unique water’s transparency.
Long beach characteristic for the thick sand, nourished every year from the Solanas creek. From us of Eranu means “Home”. Her crystal clear water, almost emerald green, is the cozy relief after a long trip, or after a greeting to the Spanish tower, where increase the horizon maybe at sunset time, towards the Villasimius islands or the endless Golfo degli Angeli.
Porto Sa Ruxi.
Lot of people use the adjective “tropical” because of the white sand and the characteristic morphological shape: three small beaches separated by granitic rocks and nestle in the fragrant and colorful Mediterranean bush. Shielded from the Mistral (the worst Sardinian wind, the north west one), it’s the first taste of an ideal trip to the Villasimius district and the Capo Carbonara’s Marine Protected Area.
The Old Fortress.
The first “beach hunter’s” prejudice is the conviction that to discover the hidden pearl you must to struggle, not always is like that. The Old Fortress small beach is a precious cove next to the touristic harbor. But just because it’s underestimate you may appreciate the historic profile, the naturalistic opulence, maybe in one day that other beaches are too crowdy.
It is the Villasimius beach. There’s services, the relax, the postcard pictures that you can shoot climbing the path up to the Spanish tower, from where you may transmit the memory of a strip of the snow white beach, the indescribable turquoise sea, the vacation to be repeated in the future.
The beach that ends our trip in Villasimius is beautiful, famous and tiny. In addition to that, it has all the ingredients to give you an unforgettable taste of the small mining town once known as Carbonara (Villasimius today), that means the granite stone, in its natural creative shapes as in the semifinished ones, that in the past the residents dig up from the ground, to carry them with the donkeys: “molentis” in Sardish. There’s the actual beauty, the Mediterranean bush’s hillock that climb down to kiss the sea and the availability of some cozy services (a small bathhouse and a little bar-restaurant) that will pamper you during your visit.
With this beach we come in to the real Sarrabus, a south east Sardinia region that suffered in the past because of its distance from Cagliari for the lack of roads but, just for this, it preserves today a language (in Sardinia official language is Italian, but actually we spoke many different languages, from north to south, very different from Italian), an agricultural economy (known especially for the citrus fruits) and many features: the Capoferrato Cannonau D.O.C. wine, a cooperative of fishers that cook for you in their restaurant, many agritourisms, and hidden pearls like the old cave town of Monte Narba, in San Vito countryside. Just clearing the hill into his territories will gives you a taste of a different land, with different landscapes, and the impression that the Tourism is still something like a brand new thing. Cala Pira is that as well. But, fist of all, it’s a beautiful turquoise sea bay, where you may appreciate the Mediterranean bush embrace, with his cistus, Pistacia lentiscus and centuries-old junipers.
Long beach protected by a eucalyptus grove. His snow white, superfine sand, his shallow crystal clear water validate the adjective of “Caribbean”. The fascinating naturalistic context, the long distances that characterizes these territories gives you a total relax trip, and you’ll understand why all guides define his sea like one of the purest in Sardinia.
The long Costa Rei beach is one of the most representative in south Sardinia. Sea town with a lot of services, restaurants, bathhouses: an Italian style relax, with the small rent houses for the summer, a square to enjoy a cocktail after the sea time, and then a walk in the water edge, enjoying the moon dawn, to the Scoglio di Peppino, like a granitic-comma to contain his ten kilometers white-sand beach, and make yourself come back.
Cala sa Figu.
To reach this small bay you must leave your car near the Capo Ferrato pine grove, then pass his small beach and climb an half an hour path in to the Capoferrato’s Forest, maybe with a detour to the old lighthouse. Then come back and take the north path until you see the dark-red rocks dive in to the sea, like a memory of ancient geological stirrings. The near Montiferru (the conical hillock you see on your left) is actually an old volcano, and accompany you to the small beach of Cala sa Figu, where you can enjoy some privacy and an time trip in the past. In fact, you put just a diving mask and, in a few strokes, you can admire, between damsel fishes and breams, the old Romans amphoras, that the sea, two thousand years ago, set into the rocks, after a shipwreck.
For a lot of people Feraxi (pronounced Feràji) is the sea like should has to be. Kilometers and kilometers of sand, no tourism, no services, no bathhouses, just nature. You can smell the nature, you can feel it walking through the dunes, in the power of near Flumendosa, the second river in Sardinia, that gives us a river mouth with a lot of ponds. This is in fact the Naturalistic Oasis of Feraxi and Colostrai, one of the sites that the European Commission has designated specifically to protect core areas for a sub-set of species or habitat types listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives. More than two thousands of hectares of naturalistic park that border with citrus fruits fields, that exploit the river sandy soils. All of this make this beach a private corner repaired from the tourism excesses to give you an out-of-time peace.
The Torre Salinas beach gives to the guest soft gold sand, that border with a small pond, characteristic for his vegetation. The next Spanish tower can be visited and it’s characteristic for his square plant (in fact all Spanish towers in Sardinia are rounded plant), and it allows you to enjoy an unlimited landscape, in memory of the time that soldiers inspect the horizon, looking for approaching Moorish ships ready to communicate to others towers and next towns the danger of the merciless raids, with a bonfire. It will be not difficult to find a restaurant in the nearby, where enjoy the sea delicacies or the landfare recipes, places characteristic for the excellent raw materials e the spontaneous and familiar management, not yet contaminated from wild tourism.
The Photos are of Pierfranco Murgia