The island of Sant’Antioco is connected to Sardinia by a bridge, hence no need to take a boat or study time schedules. Once on the island, I recommend making a stop in the charming village of Calasetta, which has preserves its typical and unchanged traits of its Genoan and Tarbarchin (Tunesia) origins. Have a stroll in the picturesque narrow streets and admire the sea from one of the cafés on the harbour front.Calasetta is very famous for its distinctive tower, which was built around 1737. The tower was erected by the Savoy authorities to defend the channel between Sant’Antioco and the Island of San Pietro from the Saracen vessels.
The Calasetta area has numerous beaches of amazing beauty. The coast is steep and rocky to the West and low and sandy to the North-East. If you choose to spend the afternoon around Calasetta, you have the choice of several marvellous beaches such as “Spiaggiagrande”, “Porto Maggiore”, the “Salina” and “Sottotorre”.
The rocky rampart to the West is of unrivalled beauty stretching to a depth of up to 10 m and contributing to the creation of striking caves and stack formations of rocks. Have a look at one of the most beautiful places carved by the sea: the “Nido dei Passeri” (sparrows’ nest), a rocky formation which serves as a refuge to many local birds.
Influenced by the Liguria region, Sicily and North-Africa, the cuisine of Calasetta is a typical culture mix. If you decide to stay in Calasetta for lunch, try the superb dish offresh local tuna served with the “farinate di ceci” (a sort of savory pie made of chick peas) and fish soup.
From the Chia area, Sant’Antioco can be reached in approximately 1.5 hour drive. The scenic road will take you through the charming villages of Teulada, Sant’Anna Arresi and Sant’Antioco.
Castello district: the most symbolic district of Cagliari, with its wide and narrow streets, civil and religious architecture.
Stampace district: commercial suburb, with its streets animated by small artisan shops and traditional restaurants.
Marina district: commercial and multicultural neighbourhood with its narrow streets and full of traditional restaurants.
Villanova district: decorated streets with the flowering terraces and the small typical churches.
Have you made your choice? If not, why not join them all! Remember that Cagliari is less than one hour drive from your villa in the Chia area. Perfect for taking a break from the beach!
For more information check out: http://www.unisola.it/offerte-sardegna/itinerari-turistici/culturali/cagliari/quartieri-storici/?lang=eng
While in South Sardinia, I strongly recommend a visit to the well-kept town of Pula. Here you will find everything you need for your daily needs, including a selection of good restaurants, lively cafes and many shops which are open all year round.
I particularly like to sit in one of the little cafes around the “piazza”(main square) and enjoy a perfect cappucino with Italian pastries or a refreshing Sardinian sparkling wine to open my appetite. The lively square is quite sunny and particularly enjoyable in the cooler months. During the Summer, there is plenty of entertainment here for locals and visitors alike!
If you are passionate about history then you probably shouldn’t miss a visit to the archeological site of Nora, where Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans have left imposing traces.
Dominated by the Spanish Tower, Nora is located on the beautiful sea front, just outside the town of Pula (follow the signs). The atmosphere is fabulous in the late afternoon. Nearby on the beach, you will see the cute little church of St. Efisio, which plays a predominant role on May 1st, during one of the most important celebrations of South Sardinia.
Opening hours: Sommer 9,00-20,00, Winter 9,00-17,30
Entrance fee: adults € 5,50, children under 14, € 2,50
Guided tours available
It is no secret that the beaches of Sardinia are among the very best of the Mediterranean. However, not everybody knows that South Sardinia also has the largest holm oaks forest of Europe. If you are looking for an interesting excursion with family and friends, take a break from the beach and go discover the natural beauty of the Sardinian hills!
The adventure starts only a 10 minute drive from the beaches of Chia and leads through the granite mountains of Domus de Maria (900 mt) in direction Teulada. You will be astonished by the wild and pristine beauty of the holm-oaks, eucalyptus and pine trees, myrtles, strawberry-trees, heather and mastic trees in the undergrowth. If it’s your lucky day, you will even be able to observe Sardinian deers, fallow-deers and wild boars.
Drive for about 6 km to reach the farm “Agriturismo Sa Mitza e s’Orcu”, which serves local specialties to its visitors. Continue the road for another 8 km (2 of which are not asphalted) to reach the forester’s property Is Cannoneris (742 m) and the welcoming picnic area.
For the most daring, here starts the 4 km hike that leads you to the highest point of the mountain, Punta Sebera (979 m). Once arrived at the top, all your efforts will be rewarded by the spectacular panorama, which on a clear day, reaches as far out as Cagliari and Villasimius on the East and Carloforte island on the west.
If you prefer to take a guide or are looking for more adventures, check out: http://www.happytourinsardinia.it/en
When I imagine my paradise beach, I see crystal clear water with a rich undersea world, a white and fine sandy beach with soft dunes covered with juniper and myrtle in the background, a place where peace and quiet prevail.
Well, this paradise exists in South Sardinia, more precisely in Porto Zafferano (or Cala Zafferano), a really unique beach near Capo Teulada just a few kilometers away from the port of Teulada. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches of Sardinia. In fact, the beach and the entire coastal area is off limits from September 1 to May 31, as it is part of the NATO military area. However, from June 1 to August 30 Porto Zafferano can be reached by sea.
Porto Zafferano has a preserved marine wildlife due to the complete fishing ban throughout the year. This is the perfect place for snorkeling, as you will easily see many types of fish, including eels, octopus, sea urchins and more.
To see the treasures of Porto Zafferano you can either rent a small boat or a dingy in Porto Pino or Porto Tramatzu, or you can join an excursion starting daily from the port of Teulada (e.g.www.seadream.it). Book long in advance if you would like to visit in August!
There is a nice little family-run trattoria in the village of Domus de Maria, than I highly recommend: Trattoria da Angelo.
Everything here is homemade! In the kitchen, Angelo and his wife proudly prepare everyday the best of what the sea nearby can bring, while their son is front of house. There is no written menu and suggestions be made right at your table.
Their cooking style is simple, tasty and very true to the island. We usually like to start our meal with a selection of fish and seafood antipasti, such as the amazing tuna and sword fish carpaccio, raw prawns as nature created them and a few broiled mussels. Next comes the fregola (kind of coarse couscous) with clams and garlic, their fabulous spaghetti with sea urchins or the risotto alla pescatora (or fisherman’s style).
Don’t miss the catch of the day on display and ask the waiter to prepare your favorite fish either on the grill, in the oven with Vernaccia (Sardinian white wine) or Catalan style. A dry white Sardinian wine such as Vermentino will perfectly complement your fish-based meal.To conclude, why not try their homemade sebada or a refreshing sorbetto al limone (liquid lemon sorbet)?
Trattoria da Angelo is open evenings from March to mid-November. It is very popular with both locals and tourists and very often fully booked in the Summer months. So, secure your table and book early! Note: The place is in the center of the village (via Isonzo 3), but hiding a bit. Don’t hesitate to ask somebody to show you how to get there.
How about realizing your dream of riding a horse on an empty beach? Discover the wonders of the South and the beautiful white sandy beaches, get to know the scents of the Mediterranean island and its wild secret places, but this time on horseback!
Giancarlo Cabras is the friendly local horse riding teacher who organizes from 1 hour to a full day horseback excursions around Chia. Why not try something different!
His riding school is located in Chia, 45 km from Cagliari, and offers a wide range of courses for both adults and children, experts and beginners. Thanks to his qualified experience and his trusty horses, Giancarlo offers unforgettable experiences on horseback.
All you need to bring along are long pants and good walking shoes. The rest will be provided. One hour course: 25€, two hours: 45€, three hours: 60€.
Giancarlo’s homepage (in Italian only):http://www.cavalcareachia.it/index.htm
One of the best restaurants in the Chia area in South Sardinia is without doubt the Ristorante Mirage. I recommend this place for those in search of the most genuine cuisine flavors of this beautiful corner of Sardinia.
Their choice of fresh fish and seafood is just overwhelming … and their mouthwatering pasta dishes are simply heaven… if you don’t know what to choose, approach the kitchen counter and let the chef recommend you one of his extra yummy dishes! Buon appetito!
The restaurant is open:
March – April: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
22 April – 6 November: every day except Tuesday
July and August: every day except Tuesday at lunch
About Sardinia: www.sardegnaturismo.it
About Pula: www.visitpula.info
About Chia: www.chia.it; www.chiasardegna.net