History and Interesting Facts of Sardinia

Sardinia is an island of the Western Mediterranean Basin, larger than Corsica and second in size only to Sicily, and surrounded by the Tyrrhenian and Sardinian Seas. Inland its territory is predominantly hilly and mountainous, however interestingly overall  the average altitude of the Island is low.

The weathering of this ancient and beautiful Island has caused the formation of many caves and grottos which add a surreal beauty to Sardinia especially from the many boat trips along the coast where they are most beautiful and awe inspiring and can which many can be entered with boats and Kayaks.

Sardinian is a haven for much wildlife and nature, the Asinara is one of the major islands of Sardinia. An unrivalled naturalistic treasure in the entire Mediterranean Sea, it has preserved the ecological habitat of over a century ago.

Vegetation cover consists mainly of hollies and Mediterranean shrub, and it preserves some typical plants unique to Sardinia, it is also an important area for the breeding of several rare wild animals, such as the painted frog (Discoglossus sardus), the shag, the European mouflon, and the Asinello bianco (white donkey), which the island itself is named after. There is only one road that connects both ends of the island. The only buildings present are the remnants of the Castellaccio (a mediaeval fortress belonged to the Doria family), interesting enough up until 1997 this island was Island was mostly untouched by humanity with the exception of a stint as a high security prison, later becoming fully protected under the wing of ‘The National Park of the Asinara’.

The Costa Smeralda located in the north-eastern part of Sardinia, in the Gallura region. Is the most famous part of the Island being that in the 1960’s Prince Karim Aga Khan bewitched by its beauty saw it as a place for where it could become a luxury holiday destination within the particularly beautiful nature of this part of the Island with its small coves and deep bays and beaches of white sand touching the crystal clear emerald green and blue water, it boasts thousands of tourists a year with nature and stunning beaches on the footsteps of some of the most luxury villas, luxury Hotels you will find anywhere in the world, not to mention the million pound yachts which frequent the ‘Porto Cervo Marina’.

The highest peak of the Island (Punta La Marmora), encircled by wide and green valleys, whereas the Monte Spada and Bruncu Spina rise in the north, where the only ski facilities of the Island are accessible in the winter season. In the Supramonte of Orgosolo and Oliena, secular woodlands still survive and the karstic spring of Su Gologone is also found. The latter is the most important on the Island, with its 300 litres of water per second. Also here is the canyon of Gorropu, the deepest in Europe with impressive cliffs over 400 m high, and the huge sinkhole of Su Suercone, inside of which a grove of secular yews can be seen.

The flora consists mainly of mountainous species, along with rare shrubs and grasses; whereas the fauna, quite rich, includes some of the most remarkable wild animals, the likes of; mouflon, boar, Sardinian wild cat, marten, weasel, and fox. Amongst the birds are the Sardinian vulture, golden eagle, common raven, and peregrine falcon.

As for caves the most impressive in all of Sardinia being ‘Cala Gonone’, and those of ‘Nettuno’ (Neptune), near Alghero beneath the rocky promontory of Cape Caccia. The ‘Grotte del Bue Marino’ (Caves of the Monk Seal) incredibly rich in concretions, including stalactites and stalagmites of different shades which,mirrored into the many pools, give rise to coloured reflections of stunning beauty. The Grotte di Nettuno (Neptune’s Caves) can be reached either by daily summer boat tours or through the ‘Escala del Cabirol’, a long staircase carved into the promontory. Inside the caves is a large salty pool, 120 m long, with huge pillars rising up to the surface formed by the joining of stalactites with stalagmites.

For the bird lovers the South of Sardinia near Cagliari is the most interesting naturalistic feature rich bird fauna in Sardinia (180 species in total) which populates these pools, with some rare species including the purple swamphen, the black-winged stilt, the marsh harrier and man others, let alone the well-known pink flamingo which nests here.

Sardinia dating back to the Prehistoric Age some 100.000 years ago is full of history and one has the sense that they are walking through history and can easily imagine being the first to find such spectacles for apparent normalness within the natural surroundings.

Starting Point by location:

  • Largest City and region In Sardinia is Cagliari with 164,249 inhabitants.The cultural centre of Sardinia with many museums, archeological sites and historical points of interest to visit.
  • Alghero is the place to visit to experience brilliant sea caves and grottos
  • Stintino a quaint village located on the top North hand corner of Sardinia sitting out on a peninsula is home to one of the most well-liked beaches in Italy being ‘Le Pelosa Beach’ where the famous tower which adorns many a postcard can be located at its foot. Its village sits around the edge of the mediterranean cooled by gentle breezes and peaceful country village setting while the local fishing boats come and go from its 2 small pontoons and small marina.
  • Costa Smeralda – The most famous holiday location in Sardinia is home to some of the most beautiful Villas you could hope to find, it is the ultimate point of Luxury on the Island nestled in amongst the some of the most beautiful unrivalled coves and beaches in Sardinia.
  • Nuoro – birthplace of the famous Sardinian poet ‘Grazia Deledda’ – there is a house museum housing objects from his life.

Things You May Not Know About Sardinia:

  • 300 days of sunshine per year
  • A truly ancient land, amongst the oldest in Europe.
  • Sardinia is famous for its wine, (white being vermentino and the red being Cannonau), its fantastic exquisite seafood dishes, rich cheeses, locally grown olive oil, its natural mostly untouched beauty, its white sprawling beaches and crystal clear mediterranean seas and its proud and often dynamic history,Nuraghe (unique ancient sites).
  • Considered by many an open museum full of archaeological sites and open air history.
  • Archaeological finds dating back up to 450,000 years
  • Sardinian has a scattering of Carthaginian and Roman ruins, Pisan churches and Spanish Baroque
  • Sardinia has upwards of 7,000 nuraghe (gigantic ancient towers) dotted sporadically across  its landscape.
  • An island where its inhabitants are renowned for their longevity
  • Sardinia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe
  • Sardinia has a sub-tropical, maritime climate. It has long, dry summers and mild winters.
  • Average summer temperature of 30 degrees
  • It is possible to swim in the beach from April until the end of October
  • The sunniest unspoilt island on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Close to 2000 km of glittering coastlines and sandy coves to explore
  • Second-biggest island in the Mediterranean
  • Unique archaeological sites called Nuraghi – Cyclopic megalithic cone-shaped fortresses dating from the middle Bronze Age, sporadically dotted all over the countryside
  • Sardinia is famous for its rocks and its land is dotted with grottos and caves both along the coast and inland
  • Highest mountain peak ranges at a height of 1834 metres
  • Full of rare medicinal and culinary herbs.
  • Sardines are named after Sardinia
  • The Sardinian language is not a dialect of Italian but a distinct branch of the Romance language family infused with (Catalan, Spanish, Phoenician, Etruscan, indigenous Nuragic) elements & is closer to Latin than Italian.
  • Sardinia is tied with the Japanese island of Okinawa for the highest rate of centenarians in the world.
  • Sardinia (unlike mainland Italy) is not volcanic.
  • The most popular time to visit Sardinia is July and August when there is an average temperature of 28.5 degrees (83F)
  • In most centres and locations in Sardinia you can undertake watersports and see archeological, Historical sites of interest