Sardinia's environment is particular, and its landscape offers different and varied views; mountains and massifs rise in the inner part, along with plateaux and tablelands, whereas the Campidano plain stretches in the south.
Sardinia is an ancient land and its origins go back to millions of years ago: its distance from the European continent and its geological features have created a perfect environment for endemic animal species and plants, such as the Monk seal, which is rarely sighted, and peregrine hawks, a dying species.
A characteristic phenomenon is nanism: in Sardinia
there are some species that are smaller than those living outside the Island, such as the small horses on the Giara plateau, or Sardinian deer, smaller than their European "cousins".
There are many different birds, along the coasts and on the small islands surrounding them, as well as in the inland regions; the sea is very rich in fish, shell-fish, and sea plants, in addition to turtles and dolphins.
The most common vegetation is Mediterranean maquis, evergreen bushes and shrubs (myrtle, lentisk, laurel...), which are usually 2-3 m high.
There are several holm-oaks, oaks and cork-oaks, as well as olive groves and prickly pears.
Another interesting feature is represented by ponds, especially in the southern and central part of the Island; pink flamingos stop in these areas, during their migrations between Tunis and Camargue.
Several colonies of flamingos can be seen during the summer and the winter, in the Molentargius pond (Cagliari) and in the ponds in the Oristano area.
In 1993, flamingos nested in the Molentargius pond, a noteworthy and recurring situation.
The coasts are rich in bays and caves, characterised by extraordinary rocky formations, that open up in front of the visitors' eyes: don't miss the Bue Marino and the Neptune Caves.
The Capo Caccia headland and the cliffs in Nebida and Masua overlook a crystal-clear sea.
Don't forget the natural parks (Gennargentu, Sette Fratelli, and Monte Arcosu are the most important ones), and the Tavolara Marine Preserve.
photos: from the top
Moufflon (D. Ruju)
Horses on the Giara (M. Vacca)
Griffon Vultures (D. Ruju)
Flamingo in the Molentargius pond (E. Pinna)