Visiting Sardinia in August

If you love hot Mediterranean summers, you will love visiting Sardinia in August. August may be the warmest month of the year. But luckily there is a gentle sea breeze on the island. What makes it despite the heat very pleasant to do activities around Sardinia.

There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying your days on one of the many stunning long stretched beaches of Sardinia. Because August is still the high season, some beaches clubs host very fun and vibrant beach parties. Where you can dance the night away with Sardinians and people from all over the globe! If this is not your cup of tea, don’t worry as most beaches are quiet and peaceful.

A aerial view of a sardinia beach

If you are looking for some sporty activities I would recommend watersports. Sardinia has the bluest water of Europe! Because of the wind, sailing and windsurfing are perfect activities. Porto Pollo is the most famous place for this. But there are good spots and water schools all around the island.

Besides all the beach fun, Sardinia had so much more to offer. The inland is just as stunning. For me, there is not a better way to explore the inland by car. Especially in August when you want to avoid the crowds sometimes! The island is quite big so there are many hidden gems! There are thousands of stunning bays and rock formations that you will see from the road. Probably you will see some sheep along the road as well!

When you are on your road trip you can stop to explore some castles along the way. There are 82 castles in Sardinia and the castles are very cool inside and most tourists are all on the coast, so sometimes you even have the castle for you alone! (Yes, also in August.) I can also highly recommend visiting the Neptunes Grotto. It’s a spectacular cave in the North-West of Sardinia. The cave is about 9 meters deep, so in the hot summer days, it’s very pleasant to spend some time there. The temperature is just perfect.

Especially in August, you won’t be bored as there are a lot of cultural events happening. Think about markets, fairs, classical concerts, dance performances. August 15th is Ferragosto. It’s an Italian summer festival. All Italians have Holliday then and they all enjoy a day out. Sardinians but also people from the Italian mainland. On this day many parties and festivals are happening. If you want to book an activity for this day, make sure you make a reservation on time, as all things will be fully booked this day.

The last Sunday of August is maybe the most important party of the year for many Sardinians! They celebrate Sarga del Redentore, the place for the celebration is in Monte Ortobene. They celebrate the statue of Crist who is located on the top of the mountain. If you are around Nuoro and love historic Italian culture, make sure not to miss it!

So if you plan to visit Sardinia in August I’m sure you will enjoy it and not a day will be boring!

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Solo Travel In Sardinia

Several people ask whether travelling solo around Sardinia can be viable. It’s not only doable and safe for women. The Sardinian people are known for their generosity and hospitality with foreigners. 

By travelling solo you’ll have the time and freedom to make your itinerary, change it as you please, and enjoy the peace of being by yourself immersed in nature or socialising with locals. 

Sardinia is a timeless land, a place where you can discover complete relaxation and where, at the same time, you can join many activities like excursions into nature, spending days at the beach with all the comforts, guided tours of the old towns dedicated to traditional crafts. 

There are many things to try and see in Sardinia that it will take forever to name them all. The remarkable richness and diversity of this place have a strong plea for solo travellers. 

If you’re travelling alone you will have different requirements compared to a couple or a family, as already mentioned, you can plan a route with the aid of expert guides and ask advice to the locals.

Tips To Interact With The Locals

The Sardinian people speak Italian, and maybe also a local language such as Sardo which is split into four dialects. You may find that younger people are more likely to speak English, I am always meeting Sardinians that speak another European language like French or Spanish.

Anyway, a tip for communicating with Sardinians is to be confident and also to have a big smile on your face. 

Knowing some Italian words can open many doors in Sardinia. It’ll make it so much easy to break the ice, and they will be happy that you are trying to speak Italian. 

A Few Solo Itinerary Suggestions

Day at Bay of the Mimose

Spending your 1st day at the beach is a perfect way to start your holiday in Sardinia. If you select to stay in Northern Sardinia (close to Costa Smeralda, the favourite destination by VIPs), It is suggested to go to Baia delle Mimose a beach that you will love. The white beach stretches for kilometres is surrounded by junipers and the sea roses (the icon of this beach) and is crossed by the River Coghinas’ estuary. The beach provides a wide range of facilities, ranging from sunbeds and beach umbrellas, restaurants, and pedal boats rental in the surroundings, so you can stay here unless sunset and then come back to your hotel. The deep colours of this oasis are the best introduction to a better masterpiece known as Sardinia.

Mount Limbara

If you like active holidays, you will fall in love with Gallura. You can explore this place following hiking trails.

Have you ever tried to go hiking on a mountain surrounded by bizarrely shaped rocks? The 1st stage of this excursion is Monte Limbara, a granite mountainous range enclosed by 2 forests. 

One is situated on the northern slope and features a luxuriant Mediterranean scrub, because of its rich flora the forest is involved within the Sites of Community Importance. The other forest is on the southern slope and is dominated by rocks shaped by the mistral, the cold and dry wind blowing from the northwest.

The excursion is a chance to visit the eco-museum at Mount Limbara is known as Semida, a Sardinian word stands for the trail.

Works of art dots a park in the mountain heart: a metal door which is carved the word attraverso by Clara Bonfiglio, a screen of orange Plexiglas, by Monica Solinas, the iron chain that bounds the granite boulders made by Pinuccio Sciola, a thick rope stretched across the landscape realized by Giovanni Campus and the metal cage framing a big boulder by Bruno Petretto. The best example of how contemporary art can meet the natural landscape.

Discovering Aggius, A Village

Aggius Sardinia solo traveller’s holidays in Sardinia what to do when you travel solo where to stay great hotels for solo travellers in Sardinia. There’re various reasons to visit Aggius, a small village in Gallura. The first is the charm of its old homes built of granite stone, then its museums, dedicated to the local tradition, history, and culture. Aggius was awarded the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club for its attractions and tourist services.

Solo travel is a chance to customize itinerary and decide to learn a trade from a craftsman, in Aggius where you can go and join a workshop of hand-loom carpet weaving and making, a rag doll-making workshop or a cooking class devoted to the typical Sardinian bread.

The Ethnographic Museum (Meoc) Is A Real Treasure

Here’re displayed the original objects and equipment tracing the famous culture of Gallura from the XVII century to the present day. The Museum of Banditry, located in the oldest part of the village, is a thrilling journey into the phenomenon of banditry, the figure of the bandit covered an essential role in Sardinia from 16th century to 19th century, so this museum contains rare things, for example, mug-shots of the bandits, an arsenal of weaponry and the documentation about the outlaws. You must visit this place as a solo traveller, and it is guaranteed that you will never be disappointed with this place’s appeal. You will remember to travel to this place forever.

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The Eradication Of Malaria In Sardinia

Malaria is believed to have been introduced to Sardinia with the arrival of infected workers after the Carthaginian conquest of Sardinia in the 5th century BC.

The Sardinian Project & DDT

Sardinia was held hostage by Malaria until 1949 when it was eradicated by the Rockefeller Foundation. From 1946-1950 the island was sprayed with DDT, an insecticide that is now banned by most nations around the world. 

The Rockefeller Foundation wanted to use Sardinia as a test site to see if it would be possible to eradicate malaria from the rest of the Mediterranean using the same techniques. The campaign had the slogan ‘Today Sardinia, tomorrow the world’.  

The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration also funded the large scale operation. It todays terms this campaign would have cost over two billion euros, so you can imagine how ambitious this was. 

Spraying Sardinia

The chemical was sprayed everywhere in Sardinia, including inside every home, every historic site, the countryside was sprayed from above. They used 267 metric tones of DDT on Sardinia and the project involved 32,000 workers.

Even today in Sardinia, you can find the stencil markings outside houses (that haven’t been repainted since the 50s), to indicate which homes had already been sprayed.

Did it work?

The project was considered a failure by the groups involved, they had stopped the transmission of malaria, but were unable to completely eradicate the species of mosquito Anopheles. 

The species survived, but now local authorities in Sardinia would be able to control the malaria situation. The breeding areas of the Anopheles were reduced to 0.07% of what they were before the spraying. 

This meant that Sardinian’s could return to areas of the countryside that were since abandoned due to a large number of mosquitos and set the path to a brighter future. Later in 1970, the WHO declared that Sardinia was free from Malaria. 

Cases of malaria, by year, Sardinia, 1946–1952

YearNumber of cases (replapses)
194674, 641
194739, 303
194815, 121
19491, 314
19500 (44)
19519 (8)

The Eradication Of Malaria

The eradication of malaria helped Sardinia improve its public health programs and also paved the way for socio-economic development. But at a huge environmental cost that is incalculable. Some farmers accused the DTT of killing their livestock, bees and also fish. 

DDT is known to be harmful to humans, a study I read conducted 45 years after the project, found that there were no adverse health effects in the population of Sardinia. There are lots of controversy around this, as there was at the time of the spraying. Spraying on this scale will have consequences. 

Forests and Malaria

Malaria cast a large shadow over Sardinia, D.H Lawrence travelled through Sardinia in 1921, at the time nets were placed on all the trains to stop the malaria-mosquitoes. He writes ‘August and September are the danger months’ as they would breed inevitably. He was happy to enter into the woods and forests of Gennargentu where there was no malaria. 

Sardinia used to be filled with forests but many were cleared by different occupying powers. Forests were clear to produce grains to feed the empires and later for the production of Europe’s railways. When trees are taken from a landscape, it means the water will run down increasing flooding and free-standing pools of water, which is the habitat in which mosquitos breed rapidly. 

I watched a very interesting documentary which documents the campaign to eradicate malaria from Sardinia. Here it is below. It gives you a sense of the scale and the difficulties they faced to spray the whole of Sardinia 

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Why Do We Know So Little About The Nuragic Civilisation?

The Nuragic Civilization began in the early Bronze Age, around the
18th century BC; the name comes from its most characteristic monument: the “nuraghe”. Over 7,000 of these stone towers remain standing across Sardinia.

There is no written evidence left to us from this civilization, so we will never know what they called themselves, and it leaves us only to guess and theorize about how they lived. I think it’s fair to say they didn’t learn to write but had collective consciousness that allowed them to work together to build these megalithic structures.

We also have no useful testimonies from other ancient civilizations that could have visited Sardinia during the Bronze Age to document this rich civilisation. Everything has faded with time, which leaves many unanswerable mysteries that can be felt and have become part of the atmosphere of Sardinia.

There are some writings from the late Roman Age, but the Nuragic Civilisation had been extinct for several hundred centuries. All that remains are myths and legends that had gone through a millennia of Chinese whispers.

One point that history scholars seem to agree on is that the Nuragic people were descendants of people already on the island. They didn’t arrive from an already advanced civilisation, to make Sardinia their home.

This is important, it means that the Nuragic Cizilation developed over thousands of years, forming more complex forms of social organisations, as well as an understanding of agriculture, and the ability to extract and use metals. Most significant bronze, as you may have guessed. From this vague backdrop, it seems that the culture developed in isolation which would means that it developed a very unique culture, that we will never be deciphered, there may have been many insights and ideas crafted that are lost to humanity.

We can identify that there were external threats to be faced, a true test for an ancient civilisation. This leads the people to build nuraghi, which must have used incredible amounts of resources and required advanced agriculture and food storage capacity to feed builders. The megalithic stone towers were constructed on steep hills often with a remarkable vantage point. These are huge stone towers, with some single stones weighing many tones. You have to get pretty close to appreciate the scale. It’s a remarkable feat that they could have built so many, and build them in such a way that they still stand today. I don’t believe many structures built today, would last even a handful of centuries.

Some theories suggest the towers were positioned in such a way that made it possible to spread messages across the island.

For example, if an invading naval force was spotted, and sound or flag could be displayed from one tower, then relaid to another. Each tower is a node on a network spanning the length of Sardinia.

This would mobilise warriors and warn the entire population of any threats. A message of this form would be able to cross the island in a matter of minutes. Covering tens of kilometres with each tower. This would be an incredible strategic advantage in pre-historic times.

We also have to remember that most of the towers they build could be hidden, eroded or deconstructed. There could have been more than 20,000 towers at one time.

All these ideas should be taken with a pinch of salt, when a civilization doesn’t record there own culture, we are left wondering in the dark.

However, one way of understanding something about the Nuragic Civilization is to visit what remains from them. Standing inside of a nuraghe is the closest we can get to these people, and from there we can feel there power and wealth.

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