Sardinia offers a multitude of diverse and unique landscapes that range from towering, jagged cliffs to gentle sandy bays. The Supramonti mountain range is a must visit with unspoilt waterfalls, forests and woodlands all waiting to be explored. In this article I’ll be taking you on a tour of my favourite regional and national nature parks that are well worth a visit.
South Sardinia Nature Parks
Let’s start by discovering the nature parks of southern Sardinia.
Sette Fratelli Park is around an hour’s drive from Cagliari and takes its name, “seven brothers”, from the seven peaks of its mountains. A green oasis considered a gem by locals. The star of this park is the Sardinian deer, and you may well see this majestic animal in its natural habitat on an excursion. Make a stop at the botanical garden (also accessible for the visually impaired) in Maidoppis. While there, be sure to enjoy a picnic or a barbeque in stunning surroundings, as well as visit the archaeological sites such as the Is Concias Giant’s Tomb, just a stone’s throw away.
Remember: only light fires in authorised areas.
Monte Arcosu is the largest Mediterranean bush forest in the Mediterranean basin and also part of the gorgeous Gutturu Mannu Regional Park. It is around 20 km from Cagliari and boasts lush vegetation such as holm oak, cork oak and plants typical of the island like myrtle, rock rose and the strawberry tree. Immerse yourself in the Mediterranean bush and reconnect with nature. Visiting hours can be found on the official WWF reserve site.
In the Campidano area you’ll find the three peaks of the volcanic Monte Arci. This mountain holds a special place in Sardinian history because of its obsidian, or as they used to call it, black gold. It was traded and used to make weapons, such as the obsidian tips that you can see at Cagliari’s archaeological museum. In the town of Pau visit the only museum dedicated to obsidian in Europe and stroll the obsidian trail where the ground is covered in this incredible black glass. For the best experience go on a museum guided tour.
Nature Parks near Cagliari
If you’re in Cagliari be sure to visit the Molentargius wetlands. This is one of the most important sites in the Mediterranean basin as it’s a nesting ground for flamingos. These special birds are held dear to the city and are considered its mascots. It’s a perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and lose yourself in the local flora and fauna.
Sardinia’s Regional Parks
Besides Gutturu Mannu Park and Molentargius Park in Cagliari, Sardinia’s regional nature parks include Tepirola Park, which stretches across the municipalities of Bitti, Lodè, Posada and Torpè. There you’ll find miles of trails and unspoilt waterways. Porto Conte Park, which I described in my article 9 things to see in Alghero in every season. Porto Conte is 20 km from Alghero and is a treasure chest of rich biodiversity. Plus, it’s one of the few places where the griffon vulture still nests.
Sardinia’s National Parks
Among Sardinia’s most beautiful national parks are two wonderful and unique places with rich histories: the Maddalena Archipelago and Asinara.
The Maddalena Archipelago has always been one of the most fascinating places on the island. Not only does it have thousands of years of history but also a rich variety and uniqueness of landscape. Have you ever heard of the pink beach of Budelli for example?
Asinara is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located to the northwest of Sardinia, within easy reach by ferry from Stintino. Famous for having been a prison, today its unspoilt landscape, made up of jagged cliffs and dense Mediterranean scrub, is predominantly inhabited by albino donkeys and Asinara horses.
I highly recommend a day trip to this part of the island.
Historical and Environmental Geo-mining Park of Sardinia
Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1998 and the first mining park in the world, the Historical and Environmental Geo-mining Park of Sardinia is one of the island’s most important and unique treasures. The park’s vast and unique environmental, biological and geological features can be seen in the various mining, cultural, natural and historical sites that you can visit. To discover them all, visit the official website of the geo-mining park.
I hope you enjoyed this journey through Sardinia’s most beautiful nature parks and are planning your visit now! Sardinia has something for everyone. Need some tips on how to organise the rest of your holiday? Take a look at this treasure trove of articles so you don’t miss out on a thing and get planning today.