The beautiful island of Sardinia is home to many historic sites, not least the famous Nuraghi, wonderful and unique megalithic structures that are remnants of the Nuragic civilisation, a people who occupied the island between 1900 and 730BC.
These amazing constructions represent a mysterious and important culture that once thrived solely on Sardinia, and while there are many thousands of them remaining, no true knowledge has come about as to their original use.
Suggestions include religious buildings or dwellings, and many of the major examples exist in strategically important places. There are three Nuraghi which are considered the most important, and it is highly recommended that visitors hire a car to travel to each of these completely unique edifices.
Su Nuraxi has the unique distinction of being included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, and is an extremely important example. The site includes not just the nuraghe but the remains of a once-important settlement, and lies to the town of Barumini. It is thought that this example was originally intended as a fortress as it lies in a strategic position.
Su Nuraxi is best approached by car from the airport at Cagliari. A journey of less than one hour depending on traffic, visitors should take the SS131 heading north from the airport, following for Serrenti, then the SS197 to Su Nuraxi, a journey just short of 60km.
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Dating from the 14th century BC, the important archaeological site at Nuraghe Palmavera is another of the most impressive of the Nuraghi. Located close to Alghero and easily reached from the local airport by hire car, it is a spectacular combination of a typical cone-shaped tower and surrounding buildings, and occupies a very beautiful spot that is delight to experience.
Less than 10km by road, visitors should follow the SP44 south from Alghero airport, head west on SS291 until reaching the SS127, which leads all the way to the site, a journey of around 15minutes.
The third suggested must-see nuraghe is the Nuraghe Losa, a wonderful settlement close to the town of Abbasanta, and best reached by road from Alghero airport. It is a unique example with an external surrounding wall that encompasses the entire complex, and is set in quite spectacular surroundings.
From the airport, hire car drivers should take the SS291 and join the SS131 at Sassari. From there, remain on the SS131 for the remainder of the beautiful route through the Sardinian countryside until reaching the Nuraghe Losa, a journey of little more than 110km and approximately one and a half hours.
Sardinia’s Nuraghi are synonymous with the island’s culture, and travelling between them allows visitors to enjoy some of the wonderful and picturesque towns and villages on the island.
With many featuring quaint cafes and restaurants and remaining unspoilt, the charm of this glorious island is best experienced via a flexible itinerary thanks to a hire car. Take your time to explore the many wonders of Sardinia by road, and enjoy it to the full.