Located in the splendid Gulf of Angels, capital of the province and the region, Cagliari is the hub of nightlife and attracts thousands of people every day, thanks to its many faces: archeology, history, customs, nature and food and wine specialties which await those who visit. More than just seeing it, Cagliari should be experienced, immersing yourself in the narrow and winding streets of the historic centre, which owe their structure to Pisans, Catalans and Aragonese. From Cagliari you can easily travel to discover the coast of Southern Sardinia, with its crystal clear beaches, unspoilt natural landscapes and the typical flavours of the island .
The first itinerary will take you to discover the “many faces” of Cagliari. Like many towns that boast thousands of years of history, the City of Angels presents many traces of history. Thanks to various organisations active in tourism and speleology, the underground paths can be used to immerse yourself in the heart of the city. Leave the surface and find yourself trampling the roads built and travelled on by the Ancient Romans.
A visit to the Archaeological Museum and the National Art Gallery, located on the Castello hill, is not to be missed. Occupying several floors, the Pinacoteca offers a spectacular journey through imposing altarpieces, as well as another glimpse of the ancient Roman city of Karalis (the Roman name for Cagliari).
Leaving Piazza Arsenale and going down via Badas (called “S’Avanzada” by the locals), you come to the Public Gardens. Inside you find the Municipal Art Gallery, where the Ingrao Collection is permanently on display. Absolutely not to be missed are the works of Francesco Ciusa, as well as precious pieces that tell the story of art between the late nineteenth and the middle of the last century.
In the heart of the Stampace district is the “Saint Efisio prison” and the small church named after the patron saint. On May 1st, the day of the festival dedicated to the saint, thousands of Sardinians from all over the island parade in procession. Tradition has it that the saint was invoked by the citizens in 1656, when “Efis” (as he was affectionately called) chased away the plague that had weighed so heavily on the city.
Cagliari is art, it is history, but it is also sea, crystalline and iridescent. Stand Up Paddle (SUP) is the perfect activity to discover the coast, from Calamosca to the Poetto beach. There is an active nightlife on this promenade too, in the beach bars and the Arena Village, the heart of musical events and concerts.
Moving a little away from the Poetto, you find yourself in front of the Molentargius Natural Park. Restored in recent decades, the park is a real oasis of peace and tranquility, including areas with games for the little ones and the chance to do bird watching. Indeed, the Molentargius area is closely linked to flamingos which, every year, nest in the protected area of the park.
Along the coast road 125, amidst breathtaking views and turquoise sea, you reach the Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara, one of the most south-eastern offshoots of the island. Absolutely not to miss are the boat excursions, where you can dive into a Caribbean-like sea.
Near Capo Carbonara there are enchanting beaches, visited daily by tourists and residents. Two above all to mention are the splendid and suggestive beach of Porto Giunco, enclosed between the pond of Notteri and the Tyrrhenian Sea, and Simius beach, located in the municipality of Villasimius.
Going north, we advise you to visit the coasts of Sarrabus, a real mine of surprises. For lovers of history and diving, a visit to the wreck of Antefisse, a boat from the 1st century AD, is not to be missed. The sea facing Costa Rei, a little further north, offers unique scenarios for both diving and snorkeling in the rich marine ecosystem. Finally, don’t miss out on an excursion to Capo Ferrato, also known for the historical finds on its seabed.
The splendour and beauty will guide you to discover Pula, a small jewel on the southwest coast, as well as nearby Nora, a well-maintained archaeological site with fantastic white beaches.
Going along SS 130, also called Iglesiente, you cross the Sulcis region until you come to Cala Domestica, a wonderful hidden beach on the east coast, known for its depths and intense sea currents. Cala Domestica is sheltered and is truly a perfect place for a day to remember.
Do you love waves? Buggerru is the ideal destination for surfers. Thanks to the sea currents and its location, Buggerru offers ideal conditions for surf-lovers and attracts enthusiasts from every corner of the globe.
The Sulcis region, located in the south-east of the island, is rich in history and is quite unique.
A land known since pre-Roman times for its mines, Sulcis offers wonderful locations, such as the mines of Monteponi. Known and exploited since ancient times, the mines were used until the last century. They had a great impact and deserve to be visited, thanks also to the excellent guides and an exciting itinerary.
Sant’Antioco, an islet connected to Sardinia by a carriage bridge, is a jewel. Calasetta, the most important centre, is a pleasant village, where you can taste pilau, an indigenous dish based on fregula and fish products from its coasts. From the port of Calasetta, take the ferry and you will land on the island of San Pietro at Carloforte, its most important centre on the island. It is a small village where you can hear Carlofortino, a linguistic lineage that owes much to the Genoese, who lived on the island for centuries. Among rugged landscapes and an extremely pleasant city centre, we invite you to discover cascà, Carloforte couscous, which has its roots on the island of Tabarca, off the Tunisian coast.
Sardinia, a thousand year-old island, inhabited for many ages and with a nuraghic civilization which left important traces of its passage.
Emotions are an integral part of the spectacular Barumini site, in the heart of Marmilla.
It is a real city complex built in the Nuragic age. Discovered by Giovanni Lilliu, a key figure in Sardinian Nuragic archeology, it offers a truly suggestive dive into the past.
Finally, to stay in close contact with nature, immerse yourself in the scents of flowers and tulips, and gaze at the shades of their petals at the botanical garden of Turri, in the village of the same name, where you can enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.
Speaking of roots: have you ever heard of the Giara horse? It is a native breed of horse, smaller than average and with light hair. Its habitat, protected by the Giara di Gesturi Park, is typical of the area, with a rich presence of Mediterranean scrub and medicinal plants.
Staying in the area, we invite you to discover Sanluri and its Castle, called Eleonora D’Arborea, a judge and a symbol of the island’s medieval autonomy. Owned by Counts Villa Santa, it is the only one of the 88 Sardinian medieval castles still habitable.
Sardinia, given its peculiarity and uniqueness, offers aromas and flavours of certified excellence. To discover the typical flavours, we recommend a visit to the Serdiana Oil Museum, where you can taste “green gold”.
Still on the subject of excellent flavours, not far from the Oil Museum, stands the Argiolas winery, a wine-making centre of excellence on the island. A guided tour is not to be missed, to learn about (and taste) each phase of the transformation of the grape into a wonderful and full-bodied red wine.
A popular saying goes: “Pani, casu e binu a rasu”, or “Bread, cheese and (a glass of) wine on the side”. The Medio Campidano offers spectacular dairy products, thanks to ideal climatic conditions and an indigenous sheep breed. There are many dairies in the area, both in Serdiana itself and in nearby Dolianova, a town known for its homonymous winery.
One of the best known flavours, if not the best known flavour, of the island is myrtle liqueur, extracted from the macerated berries of the homonymous plant. We would like to introduce you to another typicality of the island.: Villacidro murgia, a yellow liqueur which has been produced since 1882 (in fact it was for this drink that the first license for the production of spirits was issued in Sardinia). With its characteristic yellow colour, Villacidro (inextricably linked to the small and pleasant town) owes its curious colour to saffron, “red gold”.
Since you are close to Villacidro, why not organise a picnic with Campidano delicacies and visit the Sa Spendula waterfall? Nature will embrace you, as you enjoy unspoilt landscapes and flavours which will take you back centuries, if not millennia.
Sa Spendula, which means “waterfall”, falls into the Coxinas River, which crosses the mountains near Villacidro before reaching the Campidano. Thanks to its “jumps”, also eulogised by D’Annunzio, today Sa Spendula is a popular destination for those who want to experience wild canyoning, or the descent of the river, with specialised guides, using cables, ropes and carabiners.
Do you want to see the island in a very unusual way? Why not try the thrill of a parachute jump? Seeing the island from above offers a remarkable spectacle, as well as a rush of adrenaline, a must during an excursion.
If you are looking for another adrenaline rush, Parco Cross Il Castello is located right in the Sardara area, and a recently created motocross track of 1770 metres awaits you if you feel like trying to beat your personal best
Last but not least, what better opportunity will you have to be able to make use of thermal springs used since Roman times? Offering history and well-being, we recommend the Sardara thermal baths, the ideal way to reinvigorate yourself.
The importance of renting a car in Cagliari
Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, the best and most practical way to reach Cagliari is undoubtedly by plane. Thanks to the many flights operated by various airlines, including low-cost companies, flying to Cagliari Elmas International Airport is often much cheaper and faster than arriving by ferry with your car in tow. Our advice is to leave your vehicles at home and rent a car from Cagliari airport, where the rates are often cheaper than in the city centre. Our car rental service offers a number of unbeatable advantages, such as transparent tariffs, only new cars, “Mini Kasko” limited comprehensive cover included in the booking, 24-hour assistance and free online guaranteed bookings. In fact, upon confirmation of your booking, not only do we not ask for any up-front payment, we also guarantee the availability of your car on arrival. It might seem obvious, but it’s not! Many travellers find themselves on foot due to misunderstandings, administrative problems or overbooking. What’s more, picking up your car from one of our offices is quick and easy, with no waiting times or never-ending lines. Our car rental procedures in Cagliari, as well as in Olbia and Alghero, take just a few minutes to complete. Where previously agreed, it’s also possible to pay for the car rental and excess without a credit card. To take advantage of our best tariffs, we recommend booking your car in advance using our Free Booking System.
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