The peninsula (considered an island for many) largest in the southwestern part of Sardinia, Sant'Antioco is usually not mentioned as a single holiday destination but usually positioned for an on the road itinerary in Sulcis Iglesiente. This beautiful island, connected with Sardinia through an artificial isthmus probably created by the Punic , nevertheless surprised us both for the different archaeological sites, for the some beautiful beaches and above all for the relaxed and happy air that you breathe throughout the territory. . It lives through the resources of fishing, salt and agriculture and is represented through the main city, Sant'Antioco and the beautiful villages of Calasetta , Maladroxia and Cussorgia and nearby also 2 uninhabited islets, Toro and Vacca . In Sant'Antioco to see, discover and explore the umpteenth beauty of the Sardinian territory.
What to see in Sant'Antioco
Our passage through this peninsula was quick but concentrated enough and studied in detail to guarantee a large amount of information to be included in our articles. The city name derives from the patron saint of Sardinia, an African martyr exiled to the island, to whom the basilica of Sant'Antioco is dedicated, a first stop to visit in the city. Don't miss a walk, maybe in the morning soon, on the promenade next to the marina, you will hear the roar of the seagulls before the screams of the fishermen arriving at the port. In the city, it is interesting to visit several museums such as that of the manufacturing art of fine linen. The Su Magasinu de su bin ethnographic museum and the MuMa museum which contains maritime history and traditions are also worth visiting. In Sant'Antioco you must absolutely see Calasetta , located to the north and enclosed by the beautiful charm of the port village. Why not have an aperitif in front of the Mangiabarche lighthouse , the symbol of Calasetta and which has the task of preventing the boats from getting stuck on the rocks that emerge on the water.
2) THE BEACHES IN THE AREA
As in the whole west coast, here too, the mistral wind blows strongly on the peninsula of Sant'Antioco. Sometimes it is too strong, sometimes it is light but I am sorry to say this, this annoying wind is often a relief because it contributes to the lowering of temperatures and humidity. An important element that distinguishes all the beaches of the Sant'Antioco archipelago is the incredible transparency and cleanliness of the seabed. The coast offers mainly small beaches, you get to the largest which is about 2 km. There are beaches equipped with umbrellas and deck chairs and remote beaches in some cases impossible to reach by land. (in this case we are also talking about a beach located on the Sardinian coast and not on the peninsula, the beautiful Cala Zafferano ). I will list some beach locations absolutely to see in Sant'Antioco, Coauqaddus , Le Saline and large beach with golden sand and crystal clear sea. Then there are places with sand and pebbles such as Portixeddu and the arch of kisses at Is Praneddas is absolutely worth seeing.
These beaches just mentioned are not the only ones, on the contrary, they are the most popular. Below you will see a sequence of remote beaches that can be reached by car or by trekking and which are located in the immediate vicinity of Sant'Antioco. Don't forget us travel planner we absolutely encourage the discovery of remote and off the beaten track areas, but not only that, we also recommend choosing a beach based on the weather condition (may or may not be exposed to winds), based on kind of travellers (perhaps if you are a family I would prefer to recommend a beach with services rather than a remote one that can be reached after 50 minutes of trekking) and at your needs and passions. Choosing our service will be fundamental, before and during your vacation. Enjoy the show.
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3) WHAT TO DO (OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES)
We took the peninsula of Sant'Antioco as the main hub but in our description of what to see, what to do and which beaches to note we went further south like the dunes of Porto Pino , beautiful hills of white sand. Definitely a MUST of the area. Right here, you can choose from several excursions to do both on the beach and in the sea. One that we recommend is definitely the horseback ride , perhaps at sunset, when the sky changes color and the landscape is breathtaking. Also not to be excluded is a beautiful Quad trip on the coast of the peninsula and there are still excursions by canoe or boat , perhaps sailing in the direction of Carloforte or simply around the peninsula, admiring the beauty of the jagged rocks and doing both snorkeling and diving ( highly recommended). The practice of Wind surfing and kite surfing is also very widespread, the latter has spread in recent years throughout the peninsula which among other things hosts schools and competitions at an international level.
4) HISTORY AND TRADITION
Sant'Antioco is covered with archaeological sites that derive mainly from the Punic conquests, such as the Punic Necropolis dating back to the V-III century BC which contains about 1500 tombs inside. Used from the eighth to the first century BC, an open-air area that rests on a ridge called Sa Guardia de is Pingiadas is known for the over 3000 cinerary urns, in which the ashes of stillborn or deceased children were kept. This site is called Tophet of the ancient Sulky , to testify all this we also recommend a visit to the Barreca archaeological museum (in front of the tophet) which exhibits many finds from the Phoenician, Punic and Roman times but you will also be impressed by something related to the Nuragic age. Regarding our ancestors, in the archipelago of Sant'Antioco the tombs of the giants in the locality Corona de su crabi are not to be missed, where there is also the Gruttiacqua nuraghe. In the city, on the other hand, exactly in Piazza Italia there is the Roman Fountain , an important construction of the Romans who were already aware of how this site was a source of supply for the Phoenicians.
5) TYPICAL DISHES
I was personally impressed with a typical dish of the area that I tried in a restaurant in Calasetta, it is called Pilau e Fregola , it is nothing but our Sardinian fregola with tomato and spider crab, probably the best fregola dish I have ever tasted. This also makes us understand how in this peninsula we live above all from fishing and that therefore the typical seafood dishes derive from locally caught fish of excellent quality. The Catalan lobster , despite the recipe comes from Aghero, has now become an integral part of the local culinary tradition. Not only to see, but also to taste in Sant'Antioco, like the spaghetti alla bottarga and bluefin tuna alla carlofortina, here there are in fact centuries-old tuna traps but Sardinian cuisine is also very welcome, such as lamb with local artichokes, salami and cheeses and stuffed snails for example.
A collection of our experiences on the island!
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Here is who has chosen us to organize their holiday to discover the less touristy Sardinia !