Nora Laguna

The Nora Lagoon includes the branched system of channels and little islands that characterize the mouth of its river, the Rio Arrieras, and it is separated from the sea by the Fradis Minoris peninsula, geological formation known as the Tyrrhenian Bench, rich in fossil inclusions.

The Peninsula was used, in the Punic and Roman times, as a quarry for the extraction of material for the construction of the city of Nora, and now is covered with lush Mediterranean vegetation and other flora species typical of brackish wetlands. When walking along the Peninsula you can observe the evident traces of human labor.

The Laguna Park is home to numerous species of birds including the most representative of the coastal birdlife including the rare Audouin’s Gull, which the Laguna di Nora is the main nesting site in Italy. Amidst the shrubs of the Mediterranean maquis you will find a little cabin equipped for birdwatching. It is perfectly suited to scrutinize the flight of egrets, herons, kingfishers, the rare gull, study their characteristics and their habits, listen to their song, so different for each species.

Birdwatching can be done throughout the year and allows you to observe the birds without any disturbance or affecting them.

The park is open from June – August: from 10.00 – 20.00 (last entrance at 19:00); in September: 10:00 – 19:00 (last entrance at 18:00). Guided visits (90 minutes) take place daily at 11:30 and 17:30. From October to March open by appointment only. Entrance fee: 8,00 EUR

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Visiting the lovely area around Sant’Anna Arresi can be a very rewarding excursion for the whole family. Take a stroll through the graceful town, spend a relaxing afternoon at Porto Pino beach with the white dunes in the back, visit the caves of Is Zuddas or observe the wildlife by the lagoon of Santa Caterina

From the Chia area, Sant’Anna Arresi can be reached in 45 minutes by car. A great way to see more of this surprising island.

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Each year in the night of January 16 many bonfires are lit across whole Sardinia in honor of Saint Anthony, a leading exponent of Egyptian asceticism of the third century AC. Christians see this ancient cult as a devoted opponent of the devils and hell fire. The legend says that St. Anthony stole a glowing spark from the world of the dead to provide mankind with fire.

That night, people ask graces and miracles to the Saint in an magical setting dominated by the bonfire consuming huge piles of wood. Mixing Christian devotion and ancient pagan traditions, this rite is documented since the mid-nineteenth century, but its origins are definitely more remote. After the liturgical rites and the blessing of the fire, participants regroup around the bonfire to chat, sing, taste sweets and wine offered by the community. The fire burns all night and the shape of its smoke supposedly predicts good auspices and prophecies. This old ritual also indicates the start of the Carnival.

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What to do on a grey winter day? My suggestion is to go to the amazing market of San Benedetto in the center of Cagliari. This experience is a feast for all senses! I never can get enough of the vibrant colors and wonderful smells of all the delicious food gracefully put on display.

For me this place is magic – I recommend it to anyone keen to learn about the Sardinian culture and its food. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Ah, don’t forget! On the way out, buy some freshly fried calamaris. They are so yum!

The best time to visit this fantastic market is before 10:00 am, from Monday to Thursday. The market is located in Via Francesco Cocco Ortu and is open daily until 13.00. There are plenty of parking lots nearby. Enjoy!

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Spend a day on tour with Secrets of Sardinia and explore the very best and most spectacular beaches of the South East or South West coast of the island, as you wish.

During the drive you will witness a panoramic view of the coastline and will be able to stop at one of the bays for swimming or snorkeling. You will visit at least three different beaches during the day. Each time, you’ll be given around two hours of leisure time to explore and enjoy yourself.

If you are staying around the Chia area, why not book this tour and discover the other southern part of the island?

The tour costs 40€/person. For bookings check out:

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What to do in SouthSardinia – Sailing – Sailing Tour along the Gulf of Teulada and Cala Zaffarano

The south coast of Sardinia is an almost untouched paradise. Take this day tour on a sailing boat and discover the area around Teulada with its wild nature, numerous cliffs, crystal clear sea and almost deserted white sandy beaches. Visit Cala Zaffarano that can only be reached by boat: a beach of fine and soft sand, protected from the wind by small sand dunes where junipers and sea lilies live in loneliness and harmony. On the shore, the erosion of coral, gave to the sea unique pink reflex.

The tour starts in the new marina of Teulada at 10:30. Lunch will be served aboard and you will return at 17:00. For reservations, contact:

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What to do in SouthSardinia – Sailing – SAILING THE GULF OF CAGLIARI

Why not go for a sailing excursion to escape the heat of the beach? Feel the wind through your hair and on your skin!

The excursion starts in the port of Cagliari and the closest destination to sail to and visit is the promontory called “Sella del Diavolo”, a landmark which divides the city from the Poetto beach.

At anchor in Calamosca, Cala Fighera or Grotta dei Colombi you can enjoy the crystal clear sea for a swim, lunch or a relaxing break. The excursion will continue on the east coast, along the magnificent and about 8 km long Poetto beach. There is also the possibility to extend the tour to reach the beautiful beach of Mari Pintau (in Sardinian means painted sea).

Sailing excursions start daily from the Port of Cagliari. Price: 70€/person.
Info and booking:

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If you wander around in Sant’Antioco (San Pietro Island), in South Sardinia, why not pay a visit to the Byssus Museum?

Oh! Never heard about byssus? They are groups of strong and silky filaments, in this case, secreted by the Pinna nobilis, a saltwater clam that lives attach to the seabed. The “Sea Silk” has a long history and is even mentioned in the Bible. It was used to create and decorate gorgeous fabrics by spinning and weaving byssus.

Chiara Vigo is the only sea silk weaver master in Europe. She continues to weave byssus into all sorts of fabrics and clothing items and you can find her at the museum, where she holds workshops to demonstrate the magic of this ancient craft.

Photo: Luigi Garavaglia

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Thanks to the favorable climate, this year promises to be good and full of grapes and consequently of good wine. The harvest of the grapes takes place in September and is the culmination of a hard job: the last effort before testing the produce.

The wine-making tradition in Sardinia has an ancient past: it is thought to date back even to the Nuraghic period. Then, over the years, it has developed quite substantially, to the point that now the wine industry represents one of the most important sectors of Sardinia.

If you are staying in the Chia region, we recommend a visit to the beautiful and stylish winery Cantina Mesa. The estate comprises 70 hectares in the heart of Sulcis Iglesiente, near Sant'Anna Arresi, and is surrounded by the sea. Their production focuses on Carignano del Sulcis, Vermentino di Sardegna and Cannonau di Sardegna grape varieties, along with Chardonnay and Syrah. The winery proposes tastings and retail sales. A great opportunity to bring back home a taste of Sardinia!

For more information and the exact location, see
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If you happen to visit the fascinating city of Cagliari during your holidays, I strongly recommend a tour to the Town Hall of Cagliari. Besides the beauty of its architecture, inside you will find large decorated rooms with original and imposing furniture reminding of the past, as well as many art treasures such as works of Filippo Figari, John Marghinotti and Francesco Ciusa.

The building was built between 1899 and 1907 in Gothic Aragones style. You will notice the importance of floral designs which are typical of the Art Nouveau. Today the building is the municipal headquarters of the Sardinian capital.

The building is located on the port front (Via Roma) near the main station. Visits are possible each Saturday until the end of 2015, from 9:00 to 13:30 and from 14:00 – 19:00. Entrance is free and no appointment is needed. Definitely worth a visit!

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