Sardinia is one of the Mediterranean islands richest in rare environmental beauties protected both by parks and marine protected areas. In this article you will find all the information you need to have an overview of all the parks and areas of interest in which you might like to organize an excursion or a more informal trip.
The island of Asinara
Among the most famous national parks that can be visited in the north-west there is the island of Asinara, a former prison area and now a destination for many lovers of history and nature. The environment of the island is still intact, clean, rich in forests and wildlife.
Asinara is a territory of great charm for the historical and landscape characteristics that distinguish it and is an unforgettable island for the presence of a blue sea, clear and rich in fish.
Every day the ferries transport tourists from Stintino and Porto Torres to the old villages of the island (Fornelli, Cala Reale, Cala d’Oliva), allowing you to photograph the colorful coasts.
Already on landing you can admire almost by magic, on a granite background, the large green meadows, numerous bushes of colorful euphorbia and elegant horses.
The experience on the island is also made unforgettable by the presence of white donkeys, sweet and tame, and the gray ones, more alert and attentive. Groups of mouflons move very fast between the sunny rocks.
From Fornelli there are various hiking routes by off-road vehicle, bus or train, which lead to the discovery of the dramatic prison structures and the beautiful pink beaches still untouched.
Further north you can visit the village of Cala d’Oliva once inhabited by fishermen and then, as long as the prisons were active, by police officers and their families.
Among the many attractions stand out both the Camaldolese monastery built in 1100 and which gave its name to the full reserve Cala di Sant’Andrea, and the ancients pre-nuraghic “domus de janas”.
In the stretch of sea in front of Cala Reale, the cargo of a Roman ship belonging to the IV-V century and brought to light by the Superintendence of Sassari has recently been found.
Alghero and surroundings
Even the surroundings of Alghero, a city on the west coast of Sardinia, arouse great emotions for the presence of breathtaking shows and unforgettable views.
Within its municipality you can explore the interesting Regional Natural Park of Porto Conte and the Marine Protected Area of Capo Caccia.
The whole area was defined by Jacques Cousteau as “one of the most beautiful corners of the Mediterranean” and still today it is visited by thousands of people.
Regional Natural Park of Porto Conte
The Park covers 5350 hectares and includes the Le Prigionette faunal Oasis, the Capo Caccia SCI area, Punta Giglio and the Calich Lagoon.
The territory of the Park, so vast and rich in environmental and cultural wonders, can be seen either on foot or, in the areas allowed, by car.
Currently there are numerous marked trails suitable for lovers of trekking or for those who want to have gentle walks. For those who want to admire the landscape without effort can even use the most comfortable and fun electric vehicles in the park.
The island’s exclusive vantage points and endemic sites can also be reached using simple bicycles.
The Park consists of various natural areas of great beauty such as Punta Giglio, the hills of Palmavera and Doglia and the wildlife oasis of Le Prigionette. Especially in the latter area, the Park provides the competent exclusive guides of Exploralghero which accompany visitors in every corner of the nature reserve. The experienced escorts speak various languages, including Italian for foreigners, organize food and wine events, fun activities for children and personalized itineraries.
Marine Protected Area of Capo Caccia
During the exploration of the territory you can admire very high white cliffs, such as that of Cala Barca or Capo Caccia, decorated with ancient fossils. Very close to the coast, the beautiful islands called Piana and Foradada are home to nesting species such as the Uccello delle tempeste, the Berta maggiore and the Marangone dal ciuffo. For visitors who like to sunbathe, there are beautiful crystal-clear beaches along the coast, bathed in a fresh, blue sea.
Other Parks in Sardinia
Among the other parks in Sardinia to visit there is the Arcipelago della Maddalena, which is a protected geomarine area consisting of a large set of islands.
On the island of La Maddalena we find the city, but you can also visit the other major islands of Caprera and Santa Maria.
Wonderful excursions can also be made to other parks in southern Sardinia such as the Molentargius, which includes the pond area adjacent to Cagliari, or as the Geomineral Sulcis , in the south-west of Sardinia.
An important Marine Protected Area can be found in the island of Tavolara (which includes Capo Coda Cavallo and the coast of San Teodoro) or in the Sinis with Mal di Ventre.
Flora and Fauna of Sardinia
The vegetation of the entire island is dominated by Mediterranean scrub and is composed mainly of mastic, euphorbia and dwarf palm, also known as Chamaerop humilis, but you can also admire the endemic one characterized by the Centaurea Horrida and Astragalo Terracianoi.
For animal lovers and the joy of children in the area of the Le Prigionette you can find many species of protected birds such as the griffon vulture or the peregrine falcon. The Exploralghero guides organize “small safaris” that allow the meeting of Sardinian wild boar, fallow deer, horses of the “Giara” and white donkeys.
The discovery of this precious environmental heritage is always accompanied by the wonderful scent of aromatic essences typical of the area.