It is a mysterious and interesting theme the one concerning the healing energies of Tombs of Giants in Sardinia. What is a fact, is the growing number of tourists and Sardinian people that every year visits them to treat headaches, anxiety, osteoporosis, sciatica, myopia.
A tourism of magical places that is becoming increasingly widespread in Sardinia, and that attracts the curious and passionate of the neolithic cures that are good for the soul and the body.
In some articles published in important Italian newspapers, this healing energy of the Giants' tombs was defined as neolithic radiotherapy and to feel the beneficial effects just settle on steel half an hour at a time, every morning or afternoon, all for about ten days, or, for those who practice the group therapy, stay in circle on the boulders and gradually the magnetic resonance is felt in the body.
But what is the 'rational' explanation of this energy?
Under the Earth's crust slide telluric energies and magnetic forces that make our planet an authentic 'organism'. Man, being of Mother Earth, has the faculty to interact and be very sensitive to these 'movements', and, in certain situations, to absorb them subconsciously.
Accumulators of these energies are the giants' graves, those strange constructions which cover the Sardinian territory and that we can find only in this region and nowhere else in the world, reason enough to consider them of great importance.
Who has chosen to build a temple in a certain place rather than another?
The ancient architecture is quite different from the modern one, because constructions were built not above nature, but within it, in a warm and vital embrace.
Several were the methods for the selection of places:
Often the so-called 'sensitive' chose the place where to build the sanctuary. These people with innate sensory capacity, were the druids or the 'holy men of the village'.
The neo temple, already full of the magnetic forces, was also enriched by the positive energy of inhabitants that went there to pray.
Often there was also the proximity of a water source, a fundamental element for rituals, as demonstrated by the many holy wells in Sardinia. In Gallura (the northern area of Sardinia) the nuragical sites are erected in the most of cases on places where are intense telluric forces.
The official medicine remains skeptical, but this does not prevent many people believing and getting involved by charming and interesting mysteries that Sardinia has to offer.
For a lighter meal (on the pocket too) this establishment serves up foccacia - large sandwiches. I think I would have been a bit daunted to enter alone, as it was packed to the rafters. You had to make your order first and then queue to collect it. For just 2.50 you can bag a large square with a variety of fillings, but the Milese house special was sliced fresh tomatoes, a layer of tuna, some hard-boiled eggs chopped into pieces, a few anchovies, a layer of rocket salad, a layer of thinly sliced onions and, last but by no means least, a layer of pancetta. All of these layers are seasoned with a special sauce created by Signora Maria, which is top secret!
Via Garibaldi, 11
Google map: bit.ly/TcFNDB
* BecomingSevillana is our Been there local for Seville. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/seville-local-kim.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/BecomingSevillana.jsp
She also has her own blog: becomingsevillana.blogspot.com/
Cannot recommend this hotel enough! After a mix-up with the B&B that we had booked for our honeymoon, my husband and I were left without a place to stay in Alghero on one of the busiest weekends of the high season. By chance, we walked past this place - the only hotel within the walls of Alghero old town. Luckily for us there had been a cancellation only half an hour before, and the lovely staff welcomed us in. Fantastic value (100 euros/night) considering its location in the heart of Alghero, the San Francesco is based in an old Catalan gothic monastery, abutting the church, with a spectacular cloister dating back to the 14th century where in the mornings breakfast is served. In the summer, the cloister courtyard is used for classical concerts and it's possible to sit and enjoy the music for free from the cloister balcony. The rooms are simple (much in the way the original monks' rooms would have been in fact) but it's a real gem of a hotel.
One of the most amazing sights to see if you're near Alghero, the large coastal town to the north of Sardinia, is the Grotta di Nettuno, an incredible cave network of stalactites which are tens of thousands of years old. Standing only one metre above sea level, the caves can be reached by a winding staircase of steps cut into the rock, leading you down 100 metres from the cliffs above. It costs 10 euros, but you won't regret paying for this experience once you're inside - the clever lighting and majesty of the stalactites creates an eerie subterranean environment that makes you feel like you've travelled back to the beginning of time. Guided tours run every half hour, and although these are nearly always full, the enormity of the caves and the long and winding trail through them means that you never feel too crowded by other tourists. Well worth a visit, particularly if you have kids.
With just a population of 1500 and a spattering of small hotels, the gulf of Orosei's Cala Gonone is the perfect base to explore the surrounding regions. It is so small that there is no taxi firm, so you will need a car from the closest airport, some two hours away.
The gulf's many beaches are some of the best in the world and only one is obtainable by foot, Cala Luna, the rest you will need a boat for. Stranded on a perfect beach for a couple of hours - the horror.
Gorropu gorge is the most unbelievable walk you'll ever do. It's so off the beaten track it took us 45 minutes to actually get IN to it from the path we'd enjoyed for three hours around mountainous, beautiful scenery - there are no signs. There are no roads. It was akin to a level of Tomb Raider, circa 2000.
Cala Osala to the north was a deserted kilometre of white sand perfection, mid week.
The fresh gulf fish and local Dorgali wines are something to shout about and the little delis in Cala Gonone make taking packed lunches on mega day walks/bathes a truly delicious experience.
It's the luxury package of life people pay a lot for but you don't have to pay the huge prices if you know it's there.
After enjoying the beaches and busy old town of Alghero, take the bus down the winding coastal road to Bosa and from there to Oristano. Make sure you sit on the righthand side for the best views and photos of the cliffs and beaches! Explore the alleyways and narrow cobbled streets between Bosa’s multicoloured buildings. Cross the river to gain a better perspective of the Havana-esque street next to the river. Oristano is a smart city with a stunning baroque cathedral and pleasant streets to wander around and have a coffee or gelato. The city is also a great base for visiting the famous Is Aruttas beach and the Roman site of Tharros. Bed and Breakfast Porta a Mari is a great budget option – it’s a traditional Sardinian house within walking distance of the city centre.
B&B Porta a Mari
Via Cagliari 308, 09170, Oristano
Google map: bit.ly/MAz3KG
Bus timetable for Alghero - Bosa
Bus timetable for Bosa - Oristano
Escape from the city and catch the Porto Conte/Capo Caccia bus from Alghero to the stunning Il Lazzaretto beach. Located in the Porto Conte Regional Park, the beach is sheltered by a headland on which stands a sixteenth century tower. With views across the bay towards Alghero, you can wiggle your toes in the soft white sand or cool them in the crystal-clear water while listening to the sound of the cicadas. Plus it’s only a mile along a vine- and olive-lined road from the spectacular prehistoric settlement of Nuraghe Palmavera.
Sardinia has a bit of a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous, but don’t let this put you off. Head for Alghero - fly into its airport and it’s only a euro to take the bus into town. It might not be one of the more glamorous spots on Sardinia but it has a delightful old town with well preserved bastions, excellent restaurants specialising in seafood and plenty of places to sit with a cocktail watching the sun go down. There is a working harbour and port and the town is not reliant on tourism, although it does get busy in July and August. An excellent large gently shelving sandy beach stretches the length of the bay, making it an excellent choice for families.
North west coast of Sardinia
Google map: bit.ly/QgnVWe
By far the best way to see the stunning coastline near the beach town of Cala Gonone, on the east side of Sardinia, is by kayak. My husband and I hired a couple of kayaks for a day and paddled our way to some of the area's most secluded beaches, including the idyllic Cala Luna (setting to Madonna's film Swept Away), which is only accessible by boat. A fun and self suffiicient way to view sealife such as jellyfish and the cavernous caves along the coast, not to mention a great way to introduce some exercise to a beach holiday.
Kayaks are readily available from the promenade in Cala Gonone.
Google map: bit.ly/MzlwWF
The plateau of the Giara di Gesturi stands 500 metres above the surrounding Sardinian farmland: a startling, rocky ecosystem of twisted cork oaks, scrubland and shallow lakes.
A thunderstorm was building one September evening when we first encountered the surreal terrain and we were so spooked by its sharp contrast to the rest of the island we left almost immediately.
The following morning, feeling braver in the sunshine, we returned and hired mountain bikes to explore.
We’d been warned of the feral pigs who can be rather curious of visitors, but the highlight was undoubtedly the scores of miniature wild horses we encountered – another oddity in this curious landscape.
Castelsardo is a picturesque historic town on the northern coast of Sardinia. Perched on a volcanic headland, the old town, fortified with a castle, is an interesting and enchanting place to visit. After visiting the citadel, explore the neatly packed and atmospheric streets of Castelsardo's medieval quarters. Better still stay over a night or two (any of the B&B's nestled within the castle walls would be ideal - Smorfiosa & Calarina next to the Cathedral was charming), and see the town at its best in the evening when restaurants and cafes set up tables among the stairways and doorways (the pick being La Cisterne Wine Bar - more than just a wine bar with the best food we ate in Sardinia.)
You will be familiar with the charity event of trying to squeeze as many people as possible into a Mini. Now imagine that lack of personal space but in a beach setting. What you are visualising is the renowned La Pelosa beach at the north-western tip of Sardinia. A triangle of glowing white sand set below a watchtower and surrounded by water with the clarity and colours of the Caribbean.
It is visual perfection and it is very, very popular. It is also rather small. In high summer you will find that every inch is covered by either a towel or a lounger. If there is not space to lay a towel, sun worshippers simply stand on the sand (looking very stylish as is the Italian way). If there is no space to stand on the sand they stand in the sea. It is a spectacle to behold and you must visit but unless you are planning to get there very early in the morning don’t bother bringing your towel and parasol.
La Pelosa, Stintino, Sardinia
Google map: bit.ly/QbKtHw
Avoid the usual celeb haunts and head out to the north western coast of Sardinia. We stayed in a gorgeous agriturismo set in the hills of the picturesque and unspoilt town of Bosa. Amazing beaches, beautiful town centre, great food and lovely friendly locals - it is everything you imagine Italy to be right down to the buildings the shades of ice-cream! Heaven!
A beautiful hotel situated on the south of the island, between Cagliari and Villasimius. Converted from a nineteenth-century monastery which was later adapted into a farm, the hotel still retains many of the original features, and even some wonderful old farm machines. There's a lovely pool you can relax by, if you don't fancy the 10 minute walk to the nearest beach. There's also a minature golf course, and the opportunity to go horse-riding in the nearby national park. The hotel is somewhat remote, and hiring a car is definitely recommended if you don't want to stay in the hotel for your whole stay - though, the settings are lovely enough to make you want to. We thoroughly enjoyed just sitting out with a glass of wine in the courtyard outside our room; would love to go back. If you're lucky, you may even be visited by the hotel cat, or some local kittens!
A lovely restaurant situated on the stunning coastal road that runs from Cagliari to Villasimius. Quirky features, like old bikes decorating the garden, a relaxed atmosphere, and a wide choice of mains, starters and desserts - even five or six vegetarian meals, which was a rarity in the region! The owner made us feel very welcomed, often coming over to chat and even offering to make us up some lunch himself when we turned up out of hours (it shut during the late afternoon). Prices were reasonable, about 10 euros for a main, and the quality far surpassed the other restaurants in the area charging similar prices. We liked it here so much we returned three or four times! I would fully recommend an evening or lunch spent here, sat in the garden looking out to the hills opposite, ideally with their pesto gnocci ordered (which is still the best gnocci I've ever had.)
Cafe Van Gogh, Località Baccu Mandara, 09040 Maracalagonis Cagliari, Italy
+39 070 786082
Google map: bit.ly/MRdcwH
This 8km fairytale system of underground caverns is truly magical, consisting of tunnels and rock-rooms encrusted with minerals and festooned with magnificent stalagmites and stalactites that glitter in the lamplight. They’ve been created by the rivers Placido and Rapido in their underground courses. Although the caverns delve deep into the mountain, the first cave has walkways for visitors to get up close and marvel at these natural wonders. If you want to explore further you can go in with a group of experienced cave explorers from the local speleologists’ association. Not for the claustrophobic, or if you’re afraid of the odd bat, but certainly a breathtaking experience even if you just visit the first vast cavern.
Grotte di Su Mannau s.r.l, Via Vittorio Emanuele, 3 – 09010, Fluminimaggiori
Google map: bit.ly/LV5Yxr
The best meal I've ever eaten was at Agriturismo Tuttusoni. Agriturismos are farms that offer meals and/or accommodation and help farmers diversify and keep going.There was course after course, all fresh and beautifully prepared. We went at the end of the season (late September) and were among the only people there.
This is an amazing hotel. We stayed here as part of our honeymoon touring Sardinia a couple of years ago and it was our favourite location. The rooms are quirky and individual, the views of the mountains are stunning and the food is just incredible. We went half-board and struggled to finish the four course dinners - tip - don't be tempted to gorge on the anti-pasti or pasta courses or you'll never finish the suckling pig - famous across the island and a speciality of the hotel (you can see - and smell - them roasting on the old-style open fire). We were lucky enough to watch a demonstration of pane carasau (Italian flatbread) being made on-site too. It's an amazing place and if you're a foodie it's a must.
In Sardinia, spend a morning wandering around the Bronze Age megalithic ‘nuraghi’ that dot the island. Little is known about the nuragic people or their culture although most archaeologists assume the buildings were used as religious temples, meeting halls, or military strongholds. The best example, dating from somewhere around the twelfth century BC, is Su Nuraxi Barumini. The complex includes the fortress and the village surrounding it. Walk through the village where you can see remains of stone huts and then climb down the narrow stone steps that lead to the fortress to get the real atmosphere. From the inside there are several chambers off the main tower and looking up you can see the blue sky through the dome at the top.
Carloforte is a former Genoese enclave on the tiny, remote island of San Pietro, off the main island of Sardinia, surrounded by untouched nature and blue sea. Spend the day on a beach of fine sand at 'La Bobba', swimming in crystalline water. Join one of the small boat-tours of the island, or even better hire your own and go diving. In the evening, smarten up for dinner at 'Al Tonno di Corsa', where the speciality is tuna caught with traditional methods. As an appetizer or late-night snack, eat a simple and delicious 'farinata' a Genoese chickpea flat bread sold by the slice from the pizzeria on Corso Tagliafico, the main, palm-lined avenue (by the tourist office/'Pro Loco') and eaten while promenading. The old town is beautiful, constructed on few hills and made up of small lanes winding up steps in between pastel-coloured houses. And the best is getting there! With few tourists around you'll discover a hidden treasure not even many Sardinians go to.
Fly to Cagliari with BA or easyjet, then hire a car or catch a bus to Calasetta, on the neighbouring island of Sant'Antioco (connected to the mainland by a bridge and also worth exploring) then a ferry to Carloforte.
www.sardegnaturismo.it/en/ (select Carbonia-Iglesias province, then Carloforte for a variety of information)
Via Marconi, 47
09014 Carloforte, Cagliari, Sardegna
Google map: bit.ly/p2Ixao
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com