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Sardinia by Campervan: The Countryside

Although most people visit Sardinia for the beautiful beaches, the countryside is a patchwork of rugged mountains and lush forests, offering a stunning backdrop to the ancient ruins and traditional villages scattered across the island. The Gennargentu massif marks the landscape, the island's highest point, and the serene flow of the Tirso and Flumendosa rivers cut across the island. This diverse terrain supports a variety of flora and fauna, including the unique mouflon sheep. The Sardinian countryside offers many activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Hiking through the mountainous landscapes, such as the Gola Su Gorropu, provides breathtaking views and challenging trails. Venturing into the countryside can also be a great way to escape the heat on the coast.


OUR 47 DAY SARDINIA TRAVEL ROUTE


Over the course of April and May 2024, we embarked on a 47-day journey across Sardinia in our campervan. These months are part of the 'shoulder season', and aside from the end of May, the island was largely free of tourists. During this time, we encountered a wide range of weather conditions, from bitterly cold temperatures in the single digits to sunny days with temperatures soaring into the mid-30s.


This post is part of our Sardinia series and deals with the inland section (part 2) of our journey:


⬇️ MORE SARDINIA POSTS: ⬇️

For more information about Sardinia, the best time to visit plus what to see and do visit our


We continue our journey after we left Sassari in Part 1 (The Northern Region)

Sardinia by Campervan

Semestene

1 May 2024 • 18°

Every now and then one stumbles upon a real gem of a camper stop and Semestene was definitely one of these! With bad weather on the horizon, we searched for the driest area nearby. Semestene just happened to have an official free motorhome area, so we headed there. We had a very restless night with winds shaking the van throughout the night but the views out over the valley almost made up for it. In fact, it was such a lovely spot that we simply had to stay an extra night to appreciate the peaceful panoramic views in good weather too! The rolling green hills dotted with yellow flowers and roaming sheep were rather mesmerising. The little village was completely deserted but quaint, nonetheless.


It was also time for another new Sardinian dish - Culurgiones: pasta "dumplings" filled with potato, pecorino cheese and mint and served with copious gratings of more pecorino! DELICIOUS! PS: Sardinia is world famous for its pecorino cheese.


⬇️ TRY YOUR HAND AT COOKING AUTHENTIC SARDINIAN MEALS ⬇️


Churches of Pozzomaggiore

3 May 2024 • 19°

The small church of San Nicola di Trullas is just off the country road between Semestene and Pozzomaggiore. The church was built by the Athen family of Pozzomaggiore, who donated it to the Camaldolese monks in 1113. The building is well-preserved and stands alongside the remaining foundations of the once-adjacent convent.

I noticed the Church of San Costantino on Google Maps due to the strange dirt oval that surrounds it. Built at the beginning of the twentieth century in neo-Romanesque and Byzantine Art Nouveau style, it is dedicated to Constantine the Great. What makes it more interesting is that during the festival of Saint Constantine (L'Ardia di San Costantino), on the 6th & 7th of July each year, a horseback procession leads to the church and then a horse race takes place around the church! We brought Milli to race but unfortunately, the entrance was closed!



Terme Romane di Fordongianus

9 May 2024 • 22°

We headed inland to visit one of the best preserved Roman archaeological sites in Sardinia, the Roman thermal baths of Fordongianus (Terme Romane di Fordongianus). Located on the bank of the Tirso River, there are still springs from which water flows, reaching temperatures of up to 54 °C. The water in the ancient Roman baths is far too hot to even dip one's toes into, but the hot spring water also flows into the adjacent river, where it mixes with the cold river water in small stone pools of varying temperatures in which one can “bathe”. It all looks a lot more idealistic than it actually is - the hot water is a little too hot, the cold water is a little too cold and the stones in the river don’t make for the most comfortable seat! Nonetheless, it was fun to sit and soak up this wonder of nature.


We always appreciate when a small town like this has created a space dedicated to campers which is even free out of season. It should be noted that these “Sosta Camper” areas in Italy are not intended to be campsites! They are rest areas for campers which may or may not also have services. This was a small green area just a short walk away from the Roman Baths. Even more exciting was the never-ending flowing hot water just outside the sosta area which included a hand washing station - what a treat to be able to do some laundry like this!


⬇️It's critical to have your own wheels around Sardinia to reach the best spots!⬇️


Nuraghe Genna Maria

11 May 2024 • 27°

Looking to escape the coast for the weekend, we discovered the Nuraghe Genna Maria just outside the village of Villanovaforru, which also happened to have a parking area suitable for overnighting. We had been wanting to visit a Nuraghe, but to be honest, with so many to choose from it’s difficult to pick one!

Sardinia Nuraghe Genna Maria

The “Nuraghe” is the main type of ancient megalithic edifice found in Sardinia. Constructed during the Nuragic Age between 1900 and 730 BC, today it has become the symbol of Sardinia and its distinctive culture known as the Nuragic civilisation. More than 7000 nuraghes have been found scattered across Sardinia yet archaeologists believe that originally there may well have been more than 10 000.


Nuraghe Genna Maria is located on the top of a Marmilla hill. It is a complex type of nuraghe, made up of an original central tower about 10m tall and built in the Middle Bronze Age. Four more towers of about 6m tall were later added. One of the four towers was subsequently destroyed during the construction of the hexagonal-shaped outer wall and the development of a new village in the Early Iron Age. The artist's impressions of what the site may once have looked like are really impressive. It cost just 4 EUR pp to visit the site and it was incredible to walk amongst such history.


It was a treat dinner of fennel risotto with salmon fillet and a Pinot Chardonnay Spumante with sunset from our very simple parking!



WHERE TO STAY IN THE WEST OF SARDINIA

Not everyone travels by motorhome or camper, and if you are looking for accommodation in this region of Sardinia, we can make some suggestions:


ORISTANO & THE WEST COAST

Offering a mix of historical sites and access to beautiful, less crowded beaches on the Sinis Peninsula. Great for a more relaxed and authentic Sardinian experience. Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • Hostel Rodia - This budget-friendly option offers clean and comfortable rooms with basic amenities. It's located in a peaceful area, close to the town centre and attractions such as the Cathedral of Oristano and the Tower of St. Christophoros.

  • Hotel Mistral - Another affordable option, Hotel Mistral provides cozy accommodations with a friendly atmosphere. It's conveniently located near the historic center and within walking distance to local shops and restaurants.

Mid-Range:

  • Mariano IV Palace Hotel - This hotel offers spacious and well-appointed rooms with modern amenities. It's situated in the heart of Oristano, making it easy to explore the city's main attractions and enjoy the local dining scene.

Mariano IV Palace Hotel


  • Hotel Duomo - Located in a historic building near Oristano's cathedral, Hotel Duomo combines traditional charm with modern comforts. Guests can enjoy stylish rooms, a central location, and a delicious breakfast.

Luxury:

  • Aquae Sinis Albergo Diffuso - This luxury hotel offers a unique experience with its "albergo diffuso" concept, where rooms are spread across different historic buildings in the village of Cabras, near Oristano. The hotel features elegant accommodations, a spa, and a fine dining restaurant, all set in a charming and tranquil environment.

  • Is Benas Country Lodge - Situated a short drive from Oristano, this luxury lodge provides upscale accommodations in a serene countryside setting. Guests can enjoy beautifully designed rooms, a swimming pool, gourmet dining, and easy access to nearby beaches and nature reserves.

Is Benas Country Lodge


BOSA

A picturesque town with colourful houses along the Temo River, offering a slower pace and a glimpse into traditional Sardinian life. Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • Bosa Guest House - Another affordable option, Bosa Guest House provides cozy accommodations with modern amenities. It's conveniently located near the town center, offering easy access to local shops, restaurants, and the riverfront.

Mid-Range:

  • Palazzo Pischedda - This mid-range hotel is housed in a beautiful historic building and offers stylish rooms with a blend of traditional and modern decor. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the Temo River and Bosa Castle from the hotel, as well as a delicious breakfast and an on-site restaurant.

  • Corte Fiorita Albergo Diffuso - Located in the heart of Bosa's old town, this charming hotel features rooms spread across different historic buildings, providing a unique and authentic experience. The accommodations are well-appointed and the location is ideal for exploring Bosa's narrow streets and colorful houses.

Luxury:

  • Hotel Sa Pischedda - Offering luxurious accommodations with elegant furnishings and modern amenities, Hotel Sa Pischedda is situated along the river, providing beautiful views and a serene atmosphere. The hotel also features an excellent restaurant, a terrace, and easy access to Bosa's attractions.

  • Villa Asfodeli - Located a short drive from Bosa in the village of Tresnuraghes, this luxury boutique hotel offers upscale rooms and suites in a beautifully restored villa. Guests can relax in the lush gardens, swim in the outdoor pool, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the sea.



⬇️ MORE SARDINIA POSTS: ⬇️

See more with our complete Sardinia destination guide!⬇️



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