km: about 110
time: 1 day
panoramic spots: *****
Watching Cagliari from the sea,
preferably from its port, that still is the geographic centre of the city, go around it from the right side: after a few hundred meters, you are at the foot of the Basilica of Bonaria and its famous stairway .
Move towards the Poetto beach, one of the longest beaches in Europe.
Covering the Poetto seafront, skirt the beach and you are ready to begin your real route.
You can cover the panoramic coastal road
that stretches along the perimeter of the South-eastern coast of the Island, towards Villasimius.
Clench your teeth for the first twenty km, which are rather boring, but it is worth it: the road rises through sweet hairpin bends ovelooking the sea, among true Sardinian colours and scents.
Is Mortorius, Cala Regina, Torre delle Stelle (Tower of the Stars) and Solanas, up to Villasimius, among schist and granite reefs surrounding the beaches.
Stop 1 > VILLASIMIUS
Pop. 2,360 - 41 metres a.s.l. - 49 km from Cagliari - tourist Port.
In this extraordinary seaside resort, we suggest you go to the Spiaggia del Riso (Rice Beach), where the sand has the same consistency of rice, then to the tourist port, and finally to the beach of Porto Giunco: small pearls of a very long necklace.
The porticciolo is set like a proscenium in an amphitheatre panorama, among hills and mountains; you can arrive easily from the village moving south, and turning right at the first crossroad, grazing the Notteri pond and a small eucalyptus wood.
If you turn left before reaching it, you arrive at the beach of Porto Giunco, where you can dive in extraordinarily crystal-clear water, with the sun high in the sky until evening. The absence of hills or other natural obstacles will allow you to enjoy a unique sunset in this area.
Take advantage of the port of Villasimius for a boat trip.
Take your time to watch the Sardinian landscape from one of the 20 coastal towers on the south-eastern coast, built in order to defend the Island from the barbaric invasions at the end of the sixteenth century.
Continue your journey,
from Porto Giunco along the coast towards Costa Rey, more varied and amusing.
You can also choose an easier journey, covering the new road to Costa Rey: from Porto Giunco cross Villasimius again in all its length, along the main road, and , we enter the new road to Costa Rey towards Castiadas after leaving the crossroads for Cagliari on your left.
The two roads, the coastal and the new road, meet again a few kilometres before Costa Rey, near the coast.
Proceeding towards Costa Rey, at Santa Giusta , stop to visit the greatest nuraghe in southern Sardinia: S' Omu 'e S' Orcu (marked along the road).
Stop 2 > S'OMU 'E S'ORCU NURAGHE (the ogre's house nuraghe)
Nuraghi were built by ancient Sardinians between 1500 B.C. and 900 B.C.
S' Omu 'e S' Orcu nuraghe, located close to the sea in a defensive position, preserves the remains of a central tower and a boundary wall, including five towers, and an inner courtyard for the soldiers' lodging.
Reach Costa Rey and go beyond,
always proceeding in the same direction, towards Muravera, searching for the flamingos of Colostrai pond.
The pond is not far: the crossroad for Colostrai is on the right.
Stop 3 > POND OF COLOSTRAI
The pond of Colostrai is an immense sheet of water (approx. 110 hectares), which once was a coastal hollow.
Because of the presence of sandy dunes, the sea feeds the pond with difficulty, but, owing to these characteristics, Colostrai is a faunal oasis of great interest. The area, still completely virgin, is of extraordinary beauty, and is the ideal place for peaceful walks and photo safaris.
Head towards Muravera,
cross it completely and go beyond it, turning left for Saint Vito.
You will reach the shores of the Flumendosa at sunset: the last sunbeams collect at the foot of the Monte Lora, known as "La bella dormiente"(The beautiful sleeping woman), because its profile reminds you of a young woman.
The evocative citrus festival takes place at Muravera on a Sunday in March, for two days.
There is a parade of traditional floats (Is Traccas), that ends with dances in the public square.
Citrus are famous in the entire island: excellent jams are obtained from their industrial working on the spot.