Sardinia is packed full of peculiarities and mysterious. Often a combination of striking nature, ancient remains, and medieval rituals, this island has it all. If you get bored of the beaches, don’t worry, there is much more to Sardinia than its mesmerizing shorelines. I have had the pleasure to explore most of the quirky and mindblowing things on this list.
The island is a minefield of obscure, and incredible easter eggs. They can remain hidden to tourists unless you get into a conversation with the locals at the bar. This list I’ve put together here, I quite extensive so I know you won’t be able to visit them throughout your holiday. But I recommend you choose a couple. It won’t leave you disappointed.
Also remember, the best things are often lurking close by. Regions will have unique celebrations — even a collection of nearby sites such as Nuraghi, caves, giants graves and much more, that will leave you stunned. So ask the local people, they would be happy to tell you about the incredible sites in their local area.
Let’s explore some of the most unusual things to see and do in Sardinia
Explore the mind-blowing rock formations at Capo Testa
3 Kilometers from Santa Teresa di Gallura, in the north-east of Sardinia.
Take a walk across these rugged rocks; the formation looks from out of this planet. For millennia the strong winds have transformed these rocks in mystical formations, you can see all sorts of shapes resembling animals, mushrooms, and even the odd face. This contorted landscape is a great place to spend your day. The Capo Testa is also home to the Valle Della Luna. There are three bays so that you can go for a swim with a view of incredible rock formations. It feels like swimming on the moon. Since the 1980s hippies have camped on the Capo Testa, using the rock formations to make shelters to sleep. They usually stay until winter, when the conditions make it difficult to stay. On the night of the full moon, they are often a party in which everyone dances around a massive fire.
This span of rocky coast is ideal for swimming, because of the shallow bays. It’s just great fun to wander around, climbing on rocks and choosing an excellent place for a picnic.
Walking down into an ancient well
Parco Archeologico Naturalistico Di Santa Cristina, Near Paulilatino, Province of Oristano
Do you want to see an ancient well that is built with such precision that it will blow your mind? It is part of a Nuragic village known as the Sanctuary of Santa Cristina in central-western Sardinia, although it may predate the Nuraghi. The well is on par with ancient sites of Peru or Egypt. The whole area is regarded as sacred A church complex was built within the village during the 11th Century. Incredible the structure of the well has remained almost unchanged over time. You can walk down the steps into the well and appreciate the incredibility precise stonework. There is a pool of water, which is illuminated by the sun by a small hole above the chamber.
The position of the well is oriented to allow sunlight in to shine on the water during the equinoxes. It aligns perfectly with the moon every 18 and a half years. The well includes an outer wall, which is shaped to represent fertility.
Visit the Wax Anatomy museum at the Universita di Cagliari
Museo Delle Cere Anatomiche, Cagliari
If you’re in Cagliari then why not visit the Wax Anatomy museum? Explore the 23 anatomical models that were painstakingly molded by famous Florentine wax model maker Clemente Susini. They were made between 1803 and 1805, and found there a way to Sardinia in 1805. These incredible models represent a detailed representation of the human body and insights into the medical knowledge of the eighteenth century. Its something very unusually to do, if it’s raining the city why not check it out. Entry is €1.50, under 5s, and over 65s go free.
Run barefoot through the village of Cabras
Corsa degli Scalzi, Cabras to San Savatore
On the first Saturday of September a group of young people dressed in white, race barefoot 7km from Cabras to the village of San Salvatore di Sinis. It is known as the Corsa degli Scalzi that has become a popular tradition in Sardinia. The tradition is from 1619 when a group of women tasked with moving a statue of the patron saint. From Cabras to San Salvatore to protect it from the invading Moors. Every year they recreate this moment as part of a nine-day religious festival. San Salvatore is a quiet village on the peninsula of Sinis that comes alive during this festival. They take the responsibility of carrying the statue of the saint in turns, typically with fourteen groups of three. Two people are carrying the saint and the other leading the way with flag. The saint is covered over during the journey to protect it from the dust coming off the road.
Swim under S’Archittu
S’Archittu is a small coastal tourist resort near Oristano
S’Achittu is a natural arched rock over the sea. It is a very romantic setting and attracts many visitors, who swim under its arch or walk along the top, and a few daring people jump into the sea. It is found in the coastal village of Montuferru, in the western coast of Sardinia. The natural bridge increase in beauty during sunset, when the light glows through the arch. It’s worth a visit if you’re nearby, it is a stunning setting and a great place to swim.
Walk around a petrified forest
La foresta pietrificata di Martis, Provience of Sassari
This forest is worth visiting if you’re nearby. It is the remains of the wood from millions of years ago. Its believed that there was a tremendous amount of force from nature, maybe a volcano, that caused the trees to disintegrate. Miraculously, the ash from this event surrounded the burned trees, becoming stone.
What remains is a collection of hollow trees or a sort of cast where the tree would have been. Inside some of the stumps, you can see the markings, and the textures showing where the tree used to be. If I’m honest, some won’t find it that interesting. But with the understanding of how they came to be. They are almost a relic from a long way into the past.
Visit an engineering masterpiece rest on the cliff edge
Laveria Lamarmora, Nebida near Iglesias
The Nebida mine is located in the far south-west of Sardinia. Its an excellent example of industrial archaeology, an engineering masterpiece that’s now a ruin. The site used to be a stone processing station. It looks over the coast of Masua, with a panoramic perspective. You can see the shoreline of Pan Di Zucchero, which is translated as Sugarloaf, so I’m sure you know you’re in for a sight. It’s an imposing sight, full of areas to explore. Over 3,000 people here in 1910, many of which working in the mines, but there’s not much-left know. Its a good piece of history leftover from the industrial revolution.
Watch this video below, so you can appreciate the scale and even the audacity of this building, as get a sense of views that are waiting for you.