Summer in Sardinia: Off the Beaten Track in Oristano

Our guest blogger Giulia Garau lives in Sardinia, Italy. Passionate about travelling, she works for a travel agency specialising in charming Sardinia Holidays. She also runs charmingitaly.com. You can reach her on FacebookTwitter and StumbleUpon.

Imagine a box containing all your wishes for your summer holidays. Sea, sun, beaches, good food, pure air and wild landscapes. Sardinia is all of these things together. Sardinia is so varied you can pick and choose the part of Sardinia to visit according to the kind of holiday you desire.

Escape the Sardinia tourists

The Oristano area is, maybe, the less touristy of the region. I personally find it very attractive: driving with your car through the inland is a true pleasure. The territory is essentially far from mass tourism, so what you will find is the genuine side of the island.

You can reach Oristano from the 3 main airports: Cagliari (82km), Alghero (149km) and Olbia (135km).

The best beach is in Is Arutas

If you love exploring beaches, you can choose a different one every day in Sardinia. Is Arutas beach (above) is my favourite: it’s known as ‘the beach of the grains of rice’ because of small grains of quartz of different shades which create a fantastic effect when illuminated by the sun. Very similar is Mari Ermi, much appreciated by windsurfers. If you have children, I suggest you either Sa Rocca Tunda beach (the seabed is vey shallow) or S’Archittu.

Try S’Archittu for its promenade…

S’Archittu has a nice promenade overlooking the beach, to enjoy both during the day and by night. There are a few bars where you can eat a refreshing gelato. In the central bar, Bar Centrale Marongiu, you can also have a light lunch or a pizza in the evening. In summer the promenade is a meeting point where you can enjoy the fresh summer nights, a drink and buying a souvenir in a “bancarella” (stand) or in the artisanal shop “Arte e Gioielli”.

Another nice promenade is the one in Oristano, precisely in Torre Grande, considered the beach of the city, which is 3km long. During the summer your can enjoy the fresh evenings by walking through the artisanal stands.

Bar centrale S’Archittu – Pizzeria, bar
09073 S’Archittu, Cuglieri (Oristano)
Via Lungomare, 32
Tel. +0039.0785.38046

…And Cabras for the fishy cuisine

A few km from Oristano is Cabras, a fishing village with a much-appreciated cuisine. Warmly suggested is the Ittiturismo (fish tourism) Sa Peschiera ‘e Mari e Pontis, where you can taste a delicious fish-based menu. You’ll find a fixed price menu for around €30. The fish is as good as directly fished from the sea to your plate, so it’s absolutely fresh!

As you’re in the area, you can’t miss visiting the Sinis Peninsula and the archaeological site of Tharros, a village founded by Phoenicians in the VIII Century B.C. After the visit, an energising swim in the clear waters of San Giovanni di Sinis, just around there, will make your day!

Sa Peschiera ‘e Mari e Pontis
Strada provinciale 6 – direction San Giovanni
09072 – Cabras (OR)
Tel: +0039.0783.39.17.74

Tharros, Cabras; tel. +39 0783 370019
Opening hours: summer 9-20:00; winter 9-17:00
Prices: € 7, guided tours are also available.

Visit the wild, wild west in San Salvatore…

About 9km from Cabras is the small village of San Salvatore. It’s a silent small village, almost desert, with a special feature: it has been the place where lots of Spaghetti Western films have been filmed in the 1950s. Sergio Leone has chosen this setting for lots of his films, because of their resemblance to landscapes of the south-west of the United States. Nowadays, although the Saloon has burned down, you can still have a stroll in the narrow streets and feel the atmosphere of the wild west towns, with low houses and typical house facades.

If you’re in the area during the first week of September, you can assist to a fascinating folk event, unique in Sardinia: the barefoot run (below). The simulacrum of San Salvatore is carried from the Church of Cabras to the rural church in the town of San Salvatore, by thousands runners, all barefoot young men wearing a light white robe.

…And feel refreshed in Baradili

At about 50km from Cabras, you will reach the small village of Baradili and the Water Park Ilidarab. Here you can spend a relaxing day and have fun with the several services offered: swimming pool, water games, Jacuzzi corner, picnic areas, sun beds and sun umbrellas.

Open from June to September
Daily, from 9. to 19:00.
Price for adult: €7
Price for young people under 25 years old: €5
Other children prices: see the official website here or contact them directly.

If you love birdwatching, bear in mind that the area of Oristano counts 6,000 hectares of pounds, which can be visited in every time of the year. The pounds of S’Ena Arrubia (in the middle of the Gulf of Oristano), of Cabras, of Sale Porcus, for example, give you the chance to observe several species like flamingos, egrets, the wild duck, and others rare birds.

HostelBookers have got loads of great hostels in Sardinia, including some in Cabras and Oristano.

Thanks to Luca Melette and emmequadro61 for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were suitable for use at the time of publication according to the Creative Commons License.

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