Did you think Sardinia was just beaches?

In search of unspoilt nature? From San Giovanni di Sinis to Bosa, the west coast offers ever-changing panoramas: sea views from impressive cliffs, beaches bordered by reassuring rocky shelters, deep fjords and natural pools. There are many roads that lead to the sea and numerous walking and cycling paths along the coast, connecting small seaside villages and hilly towns.

The hinterland

Refreshed by the mistral wind all year round, even on hot summer days, excursions to explore the hinterland promise pleasant surprises and new discoveries.

San Salvatore is a show piece in Cabras. An iconic and traditional village of the area, and a mix of the sacred and profane, the source of a wealth of stories, we recommend visiting when you can be certain to find locals there and stopping for a chat with them to discover what no tourist guide can explain.

Nurachi, Riola and Baratili, the villages closest to Cabras, at 4 and 7 and 9 kilometres away respectively, still boast fine examples of Campidanese houses constructed using unfired earthen bricks, which have retained their traditional characteristics. Nurachi has a small museum of agriculture that can be visited by reservation, and Riola is known for its excellent lavender and Vernaccia wine. The same goes for the “Dolce&Salato di Teresa” pastry shop, on the village’s main thoroughfare, which is well worth a stop on the way to Montiferru.

Towards the interior, heading towards Narbolia, Seneghe, Bonarcado, Santu Lussurgiu, San Leonardo and Cuglieri, the scenery changes, along with the architecture of the houses and villages. Local basalt from the Montiferru volcanic massif dominates, and can be seen on the exteriors of the houses of the historical centres and paving the streets and alleyways. Features and facades on grand residences that speak of the Spanish occupation sit alongside quintessentially Sardinian dwellings. Inner courtyards provide glimpses of the agricultural traditions that are upheld here. In addition to offering pure, thirst-quenching water from their natural springs, which can be a great excuse for a visit, these villages continue to cultivate traditional artisanal produce of the highest quality such as oil, bread, meat, cheese, honey and oranges, as well as tailoring, fabrics and looms, hand-forged knives and leather goods. Museums, little bookshops, tastings and guided tours can be delightful additions to a walk through the historic centres of these towns.

Did you think Sardinia was “just beaches”?