Sardinia's southwest forms a rugged wedge of land that juts south of the main body of the island into the Mediterranean, its craggy coastline mitigated by some fine beaches. Forests cling to the slopes of its predominantly hilly landscape, which is densely strewn with towns, temples and fortifications founded by Phoenicians, settled by Carthaginians and occupied by Romans.
The best preserved ruins are at Tharros, strategically positioned on the southernmost tip of the Sinis peninsula and Nora, a Roman harbour town, dramatically situated on a promontory overlooking the Golfo di Cagliari. The Carthaginian remains at Sant’Antioco occupy an equally evocative location on an island joined to Sardinia’s coast by a road causeway; the isle and its neighbour San Pietro, are among the tour’s highlights. Historically, the region’s importance was due mainly to the mining of ores and minerals. Nowadays, mining is over, and the evidence of mineworks, often in a poignant state of abandon, can be seen around Arbus and Nebida, where the Pan di Zucchero outcrop sprouts dramatically out of the sea.
The costa del sud offers a highly scenic sequence of inlets punctuated by Spanish watchtowers and Chia has an almost unbroken succession of beaches, probably the best in Southern Sardinia.
Your tour starts in the Sinis peninsula, a wet area whose lagoons have attracted some of Sardinia’s most abundant bird life and are also the place to see the flat-bottomed fassonis, boats still used by the lagoons