Costa Verde Sardinia: the wild charm of the island
The Costa Verde, a land of ancient geological history, is an uncontaminated paradise made of breathtaking landscapes, enchanting views and beaches of soft sand embraced by the beautiful Sardinian sea.
The Costa Verde in Sardinia is one of the most evocative places of the ancient Ichnusa, in the south-western part of the island, in the territory of Arbus, a municipality in the centre of the historical region of the Campidano.
The area, which extends about 47 kilometres from Capo Frasca in the north to the promontory of Capo Pecora in the south, is a succession of beautiful and immense beaches, majestic golden dunes and rocky coves protected by imposing cliffs carved by the waves of the blue sea.
The Costa Verde, together with Sulcis, is one of the oldest emerged lands in Europe. It owes its name to the lush vegetation surrounding the coast including mainly mastic, broom, strawberry tree, and centuries-old junipers firmly anchored to the ground but bent by the mistral in an elegant bow. Also, among the endemic species, one can observe the Juniperus oxycedrus, the Limonium sulcitanum, the Linaria Flava and the Silena Corsica.
This natural paradise, dominated by the colours and scents of unspoilt nature, is home to the Sardinian deer and the Caretta turtle, which chose the beaches of Piscinas and Scivu to spawn during the nights of June and July. Also, there are wild boars, hares, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, ravens, partridges and foxes.
In this land, there are also vast wetlands, such as the lagoon of Corru S’Ittiri, the Marceddì, and the lagoon of San Giovanni in the northernmost part of the region, on the border with the province of Oristano.
Loved by surfers and snorkelers, the Costa Verde of Sardinia has an authentic and wild soul, but it’s not only a crystal clear sea and beautiful beaches. There are also many old and imposing mining settlements, monuments of industrial archaeology, abandoned yards, tunnels and small villages that testify what in the past was one of the largest Italian and European mining basins. It’s now the centre of the Geo-mineral Historical Environmental Park of Sardinia.
Costa Verde Sardinia: the 5 most famous resorts
The main resorts of the Costa Verde, from north to south, are:
- Capo Frasca: in the municipality of Arbus, the promontory is the northernmost point of the Costa Verde. Here there are numerous watchtowers, such as Torre Frasca (or Torre Nuova) and the ruins of Nuragic villages;
- Torre dei Corsari: part of the municipality of Arbus owes its name to the imposing Tower of Flumentorgiu built in the seventeenth century as a watch post to defend the land from Barbary pirates. From the promontory, one can admire a bay with calcareous cliffs to the south and the immense beach of Is Arenas ªe s’Acqua and s’Ollastu to the north, up to the coves sheltered by the rocks, a sought-out destination by local fishermen;
- Piscinas: is one of the most evocative places in Sardinia and the whole Mediterranean, a desert of dunes reaching about 100 meters in height, made by the winds blowing from the sea. In Piscinas, there is the mining warehouse of the nearby mines of Gennamari and Ingurtosu declared a national monument by the Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage in 1985. Here, in 1978, some scenes of The Black Stallion were shot, a film directed by Carroll Ballard and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, while in 2008, the beach became the background of the video “Eroe” (the story of Luigi Delle Bicocche) by Italian rapper Caparezza.
- Scivu: is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, to the north it has the dunes of Piscinas and to the south Capo Pecora. Its name comes from a sand slide that you have to cross to get there. Near the beach, on the hill of Punta Su Nuraxi, 226 meters above sea level, there is one of the many Sardinian nuraghi: the Nuraghe Narocci (or Cancedda) protected by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities since October 2012;
- Capo Pecora: the SCI (Site of Community Importance) promontory is in the municipality of Arbus, the southernmost point of the Costa Verde and divides the homonymous beach from that of Portixeddu, which is in the municipality of Fluminimaggiore.
Costa Verde Sardinia: a short history of this natural paradise
The Costa Verde of Sardinia has been inhabited by humans since Prehistory, as demonstrated by Beniamino and Amanda, two skeletons found in S’Omu and s’Orku, which according to the age calculation with carbon-14 performed in the laboratories of the University of Arizona, are about 8,500 years old.
Alongside Beniamino and Amanda, also Amsicora was in the locality of Su Pistoccu in 2011, the oldest complete human Sardinian skeleton dating back to the period between the Neolithic and the Mesolithic, or 10,000-8,200 years ago.
The Castle of Arcuentu belonged to the Judicate of Arborea. The fortress and arsenal of the Judicate period were built on a mountain holding the same name, along with some watchtowers such as the Tower of Flumentorgiu, which testifies that the area was inhabited also during the Middle Ages.
In the nineteenth century, however, the history of the Costa Verde Della Sardegna is connected to double-wire mining for zinc extraction, lead and silver that involved mainly the centres of Montevecchio and Ingurtosu. The activities came to an end in the sixties of the twentieth century, when the industry declined and all mines closed consequentially.
More or less at the time of their closure, some areas of the island were affected by the growing phenomenon of tourism, such as Arbus. While in Gallura, Prince Karim Aga Khan IV created the Costa Smeralda near Portu Maga, between Piscinas and Campu Sali, where the first villas were built together with the first underground services absent until then. This news was reported in the popular weekly magazine La Domenica del Corriere in an article by journalist Edgarda Ferri.