The West Coast of Sardinia: the Sinis Peninsula, its Beaches and... Bottarga

Mari Ermi beach, West Sardinia, Cabras

Sardinia is known all around the world for its marvelous beaches, but few know that, apart from nature, this is a place rich of archeology and culture. It's difficult to choose best area to stay in Sardinia. But today, we'll talk of an unusual destination, the Western Coast of Sardinia, where the golden and sandy beaches roll into incredible cliffs that dive in a pure blue sea. A place for those travelers who escape the dominion of man, far away from overcrowded villages and movida.

Here the silence is broken by the roar of white waves flowing over the turquoise sea. In the sky, the spectacular choreographies of pink flamingos. On earth the melancholic beauty of old mining plants, reddened by time. 

Oristano: Things to Do

Let's start our tour from Oristano, famous for its prehistorical monuments and its food and wine specialties. The charm of Oristano is particularly visible during the horse tournament of Sa Sartiglia, which takes place every year on the last Carnival Sunday and Fat Tuesday. Women and children perform in acrobatic figures while trying to hit the star riding horses. The festival, recalling ancient Medieval rites, is destination of thousands of tourists who, together with the locals, support and encourage the knights dressed in elegant Sardinian and Spanish traditional dresses.

Sa Sartiglia celebrations in Oristano, Sardinia

Oristano is a nice village that with its culture and monuments represents the noble soul of Sardinia very well. The town played a leading role in the history of Sardinia: in the 11th century the town began to be embellished palaces, fortifications, towers and religious buildings. Visit St Christopher's Tower also known as torre di Mariano-the monument of judge Eleonora (1881), promoter of the Carta de Logu, one of the first codes of written laws in Europe. Also visit the museum Antiquarium Arborense, hosted in palazzo Parpaglia, where you will admire findings from the excavations in the punic town of Tharros, and the churches of san Francesco, in neoclassical style, and santa Clara, a rare example of Gothic style in the island. Finally, stop at the Cathedral of santa Maria Assunta (1130).

Sinis Peninsula, Cabras and the Marine Protected Area

The Sinis is a natural paradise, rich of extraordinary cultural sites. It is here that a farmer who was plowing his soil discovered the Monte'e Prama Giants: dozens and dozens of extraordinary stone colossuses dating back to 3,000 years ago that can now be seen at the Cabras museum.

Monte'e Prama Giants, Sardinia

 

The small Sinis peninsula preserves extraordinarily intact incredible natural ecosystems that make this territory really evocative in which marine and lagoon landscapes alternate with sand dunes and unique beaches. For this reason in 1997 this region was declared a Marine Protected Area, including the Mal di Ventre island and the Scoglio del Catalano (Catalan's Rock).

The Sinis peninsula beaches are really enchanting: the sand is made of transparent quartz grains which gains blue veins due to the reflection of the sky and the sea. The effect is almost blinding. Shiny and silent beaches are often separated by a dune cord from salt and ponds. The biggest one is Cabras lagoon, surrounded by other smaller ones. In these lagoons the silence becomes a pleasant noise due to the many cormorants, herons, hawks, martin fishers and pink flamingos who live and reproduce here. A special destination for birdwatchers and also for lovers of horseback riding. In fact, these land hosts a great number of horse farms.

Small villages give a special character to the Sinis: Cabras is the most famous one, renowned all around the world for its peace, its beaches (you can't miss Is Arutas beach or Mari Ermi - main image - among the best beaches in Sardinia, although less known) and... its food! 

Sinis Peninsula

Cabras Gold: Bottarga

You may have already listened to the the name of Cabras if you love Mediterranean gourmet cuisine. Inf fact, here is produced one of the most amazing foods from Italy: bottarga or fish roe.

In the fish pond of Cabras mullet fishing is still made by hand, without damaging the sea and other fishes. The fish roes are dried and salted beofre turning into a high quality Bottarga, the "Sardinian caviar", with which the chefs of the best Cabras restaurants enrich their dishes.

Read more on Bottarga and how to use in recipes, or buy this amazing ingredient  (Tuna Bottarga or Mullet Bottarga) on Sensibus. 

pasta with Bottarga

Images: Mari Ermi Beach, Sardinia, by Carlo Pelagalli, CC BY-SA 3.0 | Sa Sartiglia, by Andrea Piu, CC BY SA 2.0 | Pasta with Bottarga, by Kurman COmmunications, CC BY 2.0