Pula, Chia, Porto Pino, Sant Antioco and San Pietro
In the far south or southwest of Sardinia lies the Carbonia-Iglesias region. The southern part of the region is dominated by the mountain range of the Sulcis - all around are flat and expansive offshore areas as well as extensive sandy beaches.
Touristic places such as Porto Pino, Chia, Pula, the island Sant'Antioco, the island of San Pietro or the city of Carbonia and the mountains are very attractive for a holiday. The region can easily be reached because the capital Cagliari with its airport and harbour is near. The location is also ideal for the ones who like to travel off peak season. In March, April and October the region is a little warmer than northern Sardinia. In general the place is perfect for a beach holiday or if you like to go surfing and kiting. Furthermore you will find mountains and cliffs nearby. Climbers will be happy in Buggeru, which is also not far away from here.
As in many places in Sardinia, nature also prevails here. With spectacular beaches, beautiful hiking trails, diving experiences, nature reserves in the mountains and rather small villages. Going out, nightlife and shopping are not exactyl what you will find around Pula, Chia or Sant'Antioco and Porto Pino. If you feel the need for a citiy experience: The capital Cagliari is only about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours away.
Chia, Santa Margherita di Pula and Porto Pino
The beaches of Chia
All around are numerous beaches: Su Guventeddu, Porto Columbu, Cala d'Ostia, Santa Margherita di Pula, Fichi, Nora and the incomparable beaches of Chia such as Campana Dune. Chia is also a great surfing destination. Windsurfers and kite surfers as well as the ones riding the waves without a sail will feel comfortable here. However, Chia only becomes a surfer spot when the wind Scirocco is blowing from the south or when the Mistral is coming in from the west. In particular, the Scirocco brings high waves. The water around here is shallow and offers various conditions for swimming or for surfing - depending on the weather.
Behind Chia you will easily spot the mountains of the Sulcis mountain range. The dunes of Chia are protected and cannot be entered. There are many smaller houses and holiday homes in the area, but Chia is more like a collection of smaller properties - not being too close to each other. If you like to see a town or smaller city, Santa Margherita di Pula (also: Pula) is the place to be. The whole area has many camp sites, restaurants, beach bars and alike. Only off the main season you might face closed restaurants or bars. The problem of not finding a restaurant or any other infrastructure can easily be solved by going to Pula. The season is starting an the end of may and it ends in the beginning of October.
Porto Pino / Porto Botte
Porto Pino simply is like paradise. Above all you will find extended sandy beaches around here, shallow waters and incredible colours. Spiaggia delle Dune, Spiaggia dei Francesi, Spiaggia Sa Silana and many other beaches nearby make Porto Pino a perfect place for staying at the beach. You can also go on a boat tour, to a restaurant, visit an ice parlour, a bar or a café around here. Also Surfers will find Porto Pino the perfect place to stay. As the water is very clear around here, snorkeling or fishing and diving are even more popular activities in Porto Pino. There is also a larger campsite in Porto Pino.
Pula and the excavation of ancient Nora
Along the quite rural coastal area in front of the Sulcis mountains you will find the small city or village Santa Margherita di Pula, which is usually only being called Pula. Pula itself is not too big, but it offers everything you need: Restaurants, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and other important infrastructure. Very close to Pula you will find the ancient city of Nora. The place is well preserved - tours are being offered. An audio guide will lead you through it and it is being provided in several languages. So english won't be problem at all. In Pula you will furthermore find a Museum about Nora: Civico Museo Archeologico „Giovanni Patroni“. More about the ancient city of Nora and other historic places in Sardinia: Historic places and archaeological sites in Sardinia.
Sant Pietro, Sant'Antioco und das Sulcis-Gebirge
San Pietro und Sant’Antioco
The island of San Pietro (Isola di San Pietro) covers approximately 54 square kilometers and is located together with the island of Sant'Antiocoim extreme southwest Sardinia. 90% of carlofortes inhabitants live in the city of Carloforte. The rest of the island is sparsely populated. The island is close to Tunisia, the shallow water prevents to approach of the island by larger ships. It takes about half an hour to get to Carloforte by ferry. The ferries depart from Calasetta on the neighboring island San Pietro and from Portovesme. When you are around the city of Carloforte you will immediately realize the isolation of this place. The old town is a tangle of small alleyways that can be wonderfully explored as part of a walk. The dialect is different from the rest of Sardinia - the Genoese were here and syou can still hear that.
Among gourmets, the island is also well known. What the sea offers will end up on your plate and it can't be more fresh and tastful. In general, the island is rich in nature: Green hills, a varied coast with bizarre rock formations and beautiful beaches. A wonderful tour makes the LIPU nature reserve and the natural swimming pool Trogiu with rare bird species and a magnificent scenery. Or how about a visit to the Punta delle Oche, a cliff that drops abruptly to the sea and a grotto with the same name. The Grotto Punta delle Oche can only be reached by boat, it is also very exciting for divers. The Cala Lunga on San Pietro is also a popular diving spot.
The larger Island Sant’Antioco (Isola di Sant’Antioco) can be reached without making use of a ferry. A bridge connects the island with the mainland. The city of Sant’Antioco is located above a large archaeological site. Parts of it can be visited in the Basilica di Sant’Antioco. The second settlement on the island ist Calasetta where you will find the ferries to San Pietro.
Sulcis mountain range, Monte Arcosu and more
The mountain range Sulcis offers various hiking trails and a nature reserve named Monte Arcosu. Here you can go for a walk or for a longer hike. More about the mountains on Sardinia. Also the city Carbonia is nearby. Only a few kilometers or miles from Carbonia you will find the excavation or archaeological site Monte Sirai. It contains a Phoenician-Punic ancient city and near Sirri there is an archaeological site referring to neolithic times. The necropolis of Montessu near Carbonia perfectly represents the rock carved graves or tombs (Domus de Janas) in Sardinia. More about rock carved graves: Historical places).
The mine Grande Miniera di Serbariu has been rebuilt and it became a museum. It offers insights into the history of mining on Sardinia. Another place of interest is the villas Rosas in Narcau and it also shows the history of mining.
Near Santadi you will find the cave „Is Zuddas“. The dripstone cave consists of several large pillars or columns. The cave is about 1.6 kilometers / 1 mile deep, but only 500 meters can be visited. Steep cliffs, higher mountains, canyons. Many beaches, historic sites, the nature, culinary highlights and mountains as well as the proximity to the capital Cagliari make the place a very eclectic holiday region.
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