Sardinia’s archaeology tells the story of rich Prehistoric and Classical cultures regularly in contact with the wider Mediterranean world. Their greatest period of prosperity and architectural splendour was during the Bronze Age, when the inhabitants built thousands of Nuraghi - fortified stone towers, some surrounded by villages. Our tour takes you on an exploration of a variety of sites, building up a picture of this intriguing island society, before we move on to later Phoenician colonies and the coming of the Romans. Tombs, temples, traders and invaders on the rugged shores of this culturally and archaeologically unique Mediterranean island.
- Over 7000 well-preserved ‘nuraghi’ – fortified towers, including the World Heritage Site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini.
- Conquest and invasion at the Phoenician stronghold of Sulcis, ancient city perched on an isthmus at the very edge of the island.
- Wildly beautiful landscapes, with rich and varied flowers and wildlife.
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Cagliari and drive to Alghero.
Our first stop is the Museum at Sassari, where there are excellent collections of Nuragic and other antiquities including Neolithic figurines, ceramics and some fine bronzetti. After lunch we visit Monte d’Accoddi, an impressive Prehistoric temple site.
We visit the Nuragic settlement at Palmavera, one of the more elaborate Nuragic complexes dating to the 15th -14th century BC. Into the countryside to visit Pre-Nuragic tombs at Anghelu Ruju. Here are 36 chamber tombs, evidently in use over a long period of time, of varying form and size and containing numerous burials. Free time to wander through the shops or take an aperitivo in the delightful centre of Alghero, a very pretty harbour town.
To Santu Antine, to explore one of the most complete towers, with three internal storeys and originally a protruding parapet on the top. Continue to the nuraghe at Losa, a great two-storey tower which stands alone on an island plain. On to the hill town of Dorgali.
All day adventure in 4x4s: Morning at S’Ena e Thomes, a fine example of a megalithic chamber tomb unique to this island, having a curved facade of megaliths which suggests a backdrop for ceremonies held in an open forecourt. Continue to Su Tempiesu which consists of a single monument, a sacred well, finely built in ashlar blocks, with a superstructure in the shape of a small house. The site is reached via a winding road, heading up into the hills. We journey to the town of Orune and beyond to a wooded valley with views of a distant mountain range. Afternoon visit to Sa Sedda e Sos Carros.
Visit the Nuragic village and sacred well at Santa Cristina. We continue to the most famous and complex of all Nuragic sites, Su Nuraxi at Barumini, with a series of towers and concentric curtain walls which demonstrate a remarkably complex and sophisticated architecture from 1500 BC onwards - a highlight of our tour. South to Pula.
We spend the morning in the Archaeological Museum in the capital, Cagliari. The museum holds the most important finds from the whole island. A free afternoon to explore.
Today we visit Sant’Antioco, the modern name for the ancient Phoenician colonial settlement Sulcis. Founded in the late 8th century BC, it rapidly developed into a large and prosperous town. After lunch we visit Monte Sirai. The excavated ruins of this Phoenician settlement, dating from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, give a good idea of what a late Punic town looked like.
We visit Nora, a Phoenician trading settlement blessed with calm waters and good anchorage. The settlement was continuously occupied, rebuilt and restructured until early Medieval times. Return flight from Cagliari.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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Many of our tours can be linked together to form longer programmes. We are happy to arrange connecting flights and hotels, allowing you to spend as long as you wish exploring the ancient world... See suggestions below: