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Top 10 things to do in Sulcis Iglesiente

Active Holidays Guide in South Western Sardinia: top 10 things to do

Sulcis Iglesiente is unique compared to the rest of Sardinia because its history is unique, a land of conquest for millennia due to its rich mineral deposits. Its landscape is marked by its own geology, so now we delight in the multicolored set of colors in the rocks that overlook its transparent sea: a marvel for the gaze and the intellect, for those who love beauty and are curious.
Here we propose 10 things to do in Sulcis Iglesiente to choose among mines, beaches, archaeological areas, nuraghi, temples, natural caves, the Sulcis islands, trekking, climbing

  1. Mines
  2. Best Beaches
  3. Archeology: Nuraghe Seruci, Monte Sirai
  4. Islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro
  5. City of Iglesias and City of Carbonia
  6. Antas Temple
  7. Natural caves of Iglesiente
  8. Via ferrata of Pan d Zucchero
  9. Experience Free Climbing
  10. One Day Trekking

1. Mines of Porto Flavia, Grotta Santa Barbara, Henry Gallery in Buggerru, The coal Mine of Carbonia, Mine of Montevecchio

Galleria Herny, Buggerru

For centuries people from all over Europe have applied their art and their capital to make the Iglesiente one of the most important mining areas in Europe. This past is still visible in the impressive industrial architectural finds, often built with local stones and, therefore, now a fascinating part of the landscape, buildings of great taste often integrated into the surrounding nature. This is why a visit to the mining sites is a must for those staying in Sulcis Iglesiente and often reserves some great surprises.
Here is the list of mines that can be visited and the links to book visits:

To visit the other mines by the sea that are not usually tourist places with a ticket entrance, we propose the Iglesiente Mines on the sea Guided Tour led by Tiziana Dedola, professional tourist guide.
Discover our tour!

2. Best beaches of Masua, Porto Paglia, Cala Domestica, San Niccolò, Capo Pecora, Piscinas

Beach of Cala Domestica

Definitely less crowded than other areas of Sardinia, the beaches of the Iglesiente are usually immersed in nature and far from inhabited centers. They offer a glance of great charm, with the beautiful cliffs that surround them.
Here the beaches of the Iglesiente a few kilometers from our B&B Pedra Rubia.

3. Archeo-tour: Nuraghe Seruci and Monte Sirai

Nuraghe Seruci

Absolutely a must see is the fascinating nuragic complex of Seruci, with an impressive central nuraghe and hundreds of huts, dating back to 3500 years ago (16th century BC). The scenery is truly breathtaking, on a hill that allows a 360 degree view of the coast of the mines. For information on guided tours and opening hours, consult facebook official page of nuraghe Seruci.

Acropolis of Monte Sirai

A few kilometers from Seruci, the Phoenician-Punic acropolis of Monte Sirai, a real ancient city of the 7th century always built on a hill overlooking the sea and the hills of Carbonia.
Here the link for visits to Monte Sirai.

Here you find the proposal of One day tour with the professional tourist guide Tiziana Dedola to Nuraghe Seruci, Monte Sirai with a break on the beautiful beach of i Porto Paglia: Archeo-Tour Nuraghe Seruci e Monte Sirai

4. Island of Sant’Antioco and Island of San Pietro, Carloforte

Bacino sacro, Area archeologica Sant’Antioco

The island of Sant’Antioco has always been connected to the mainland by a bridge, so you can easily get there by car. Here you can go to the discovery of beautiful beaches both on the east coast (recommended in case of mistral wind) and on the west coast, from which you can admire the volcanic cliffs overlooking the sea. There are also many Nuragic and Phoenician-Punic remains both in the less inhabited areas of the island and in the characteristic village of Sant’Antioco.

Here we offer a one-day guided tour of the island of Sant’Antioco, which includes important archaeological and natural sites, a visit to the historic center of the town, the Bisso museum and a visit to the underground village. The tour lasts one day, organized by Tiziana Dedola, professional tourist guide.

The island of San Pietro is a small wonder that can be reached via a ferry service, the ideal place to spend at least the all day discovering it. It is advisable to ferry with the car, or rent a scooter or an e-bike to move quickly along the 50 km of its internal roads.

Carloforte columns, Island of San Pietro

Da vedere il paesino di Carloforte, una vera chicca con il suo stile ligure e le sue strade colorate, la zona Sud con le famose colonne (ne è rimasta una sola) e il mare cristallino, la zona della Scogliera La Conca, un’insieme di grotte e pozze d’acqua salata in cui divertirsi a nuotare e tuffarsi, più a Nord Ovest il faro di Capo Sandalo con un punto panoramico mozzafiato, la spiaggia di Cala Fico, da conquistare a piedi, Cala Vinagra , infine, la zona della Punta, con la straordinaria presenza di globoidi, formazioni vulcaniche eccezionali.
Qui il link della compagnia di Traghetti: Delcomar Portovesme-Carloforte

To see the village of Carloforte, a real gem with its Ligurian style and its colorful streets, the southern area with the famous columns (only one remains) and the crystalline sea, the area of ​​the Scogliera La Conca (La Conca cliff), sea caves and salt water pools in which to have fun swimming and diving. Further North West, a must see is the Capo Sandalo lighthouse with a breathtaking panoramic point, the beach of Cala Fico, to be conquered on foot, Cala Vinagra and, last but not least, the La Punta area, with the extraordinary presence of globoids, exceptional volcanic formations.
Here the link of the ferry company: Delcomar Portovesme-Carloforte

5. City of Iglesias and city of Carbonia

Piazza La Marmora a Iglesias

The city of Iglesias is an ancient medieval town, so its history is strictly connected with the History of Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Not everyone knows that Iglesias has been founded by Conte Ugolino, a “celebrity” of Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri, it was one of the main city of the Spanish Kingdom in Sardinia, the main mining area of Sardinia.

Iglesias city center half-day Guided Tour is around the historic center of the city of Iglesias through an easy urban trekking, from the main square, along the medieval walls, to discover the most evocative historical and religious buildings, enjoying lots of curiosities and information. Led by Tiziana, professional tourist guide.

“Frammenti di vuoto”, Opera di Giò Pomodoro, Carbonia

Carbonia, which won the European Landscape Award with the “Carbonia Landscape Machine” project, is a jewel from an architectural point of view, with the center made up of monumental buildings that outline a fascinating and unusual landscape for our island.
It was founded in 1938 by Mussolini, so it presents the rationalist style typical of the cities of the time, a city with a metaphysical atmosphere, a city of contrasts and stories to tell.

Carbonia Half-day guided tour lasts 4 hours and is about the main buildings of the city center, led by Tiziana, professional tourist guide.

6. Antas Temple

The inside of the Iglesiente is as full of charm as its sea. It deserves at least a day dedicated to visiting what in the past was one of the largest forests in Sardinia, the Marganai, and to visit the fabulous Temple of Antas, an ancient Roman temple built above a Punic temple, in a sacred place for millennia also for the nuragics.

Tempio di Antas Fluminimaggiore
Temple of Antas, Fluminimaggiore

The place is highly symbolic for the history of Sardinia, because the temple was dedicated to the eponymous god of the Sardinians, the Sardus Pater, a sort of ancestral forefather. From here an easy and pleasant walk to the ancient Roman limestone quarries starts, the remains of the Nuragic village adjacent to the Temple and a centuries-old oak. Immersed in nature, you will be fascinated by the prosperity of the forest and the mysticism of the place.

The Temple of Antas is managed by a cooperative and you pay a modest ticket to enter and have an audio guide: here the website.

7. Iglesiente Natural caves: Grotta Su Mannau, Grotta San Giovanni in Domusnovas

Grotta Su Mannau, Fluminimaggiore

A few kilometers away from the Temple of Antas, reachable by car or through a one-hour trek from the temple, the amazing Su Mannau cave, a huge karst formation with an internal lake of which you can visit a part, made for tourism with ladders and handrails

The cave is a marvel for the eye, with the countless concretions that are reflected in the transparent water, it immediately welcomes in a first room dedicated in ancient times to water rites, probably of the same nuraghic people who inhabited the area of ​​the temple of Antas.

Visits to the Su Mannau cave are possible almost every day in the spring and summer months and are managed by the speleologists’ cooperative that has made the cave accessible to tourists.
Here the website with the info to visit the Su Mannau cave.

grotta san giovanni domusnovas
Cave of San Giovanni in Domusnovas

The Cave of San Giovanni in Domusnovas is a record-breaking cave, being the largest cave in the world with a carriage road (now closed to traffic) inside. Rich in spectacular concretions, it is immersed in a luxuriant natural context, on the edge of the Marganai forest.
It can be visited through a guided tour organized by the cooperative that manages this natural monument:

8. Via ferrata of Pan d Zucchero

Pan di Zucchero, the highest stack in Europe, it is the icon of the coast and not everyone knows that it can be “conquered” with an easy via ferrata, an equipped path that leads from the sea to the top.
A nice idea for a fun half day with the family or a group of friends that starts with a spectacular trip with the dinghy from the beach of Masua to the dock on the stack.

Via Ferrata su Pan di Zucchero
Via Ferrata of Pan di Zucchero, Masua

If you have never climbed a via ferrata, we offer the support of the Alpine Guide Marco Bigatti who will provide all the equipment, organization and guide you in the via ferrata in total safety. Here all the details:

9. Experience Free Climbing

Sulcis Iglesiente is also one of the free climbing paradises in Sardinia thanks to the beauty of its rock so ancient, so for those wishing to test themselves in the vertical world, it is certainly the right place to start.
Here, too, our proposal of a day with the Alpine Guide Marco Bigatti for those who are completely beginners or already have climbing experience. All the equipment will be provided and you will find yourself in breathtaking scenery in close contact with nature.

Free Climbing by the sea in Sulcis Iglesiente

Here the proposal of a Climbing Day with the Alpine Guide.

10. One day Trekking

Crossing the beautiful kilometers of Iglesiente coast on foot is a wonderful adventure. Rich in trails of various levels, the Iglesiente coast is even more beautiful if admired during a walk on its paths overlooking the sea. The interior also offers breathtaking landscapes and a luxuriant and unexpected nature.

Cala Domestica view during a trekking

The paths vary in level, from the most demanding, such as the famous Masua – Cala Domestica trek, to the easier ones, such as the Nebida – Masua trek, to longer ones such as the beautiful Capo Pecora – Scivu trek.

NOTE: To consider that the treks must be prepared by searching for the right information (such as maps and GPS tracks) and with the correct equipment (trekking shoes, technical clothing, water, etc ..). The treks are in fairly isolated places and are not always properly marked. This is why we recommend that there is always some preparation and familiarity when deciding to embark on a trek.

If you have no experience or want to enrich the trekking with the explanations of a guide, you can contact the Alpine Guide Marco Bigatti. Here the details: