The beautiful and unspoilt village of Cabras, close to Oristano and on the east coast of the glorious island of Sardinia, offers a mixture of stunning historical and cultural delights, wonderful local tradition and amazing beaches.
For lovers of ancient history there can be few places as enchanting as Cabras, and its location on the water makes it an ideal choice for a family history or romantic break.
Easily reached by car from the airports at Alghero and Cagliari, it is strongly recommended that visitors hire a car as the surrounding region is ripe for exploration by road.
Archaeological and Historical Wonders in Cabras
Sardinia is an island with a rich cultural history, and in Cabras visitors can find some of the most impressive archaeological sites in Europe.
The famous ruins of Tharros (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tharros), a settlement from Phoenician times and more than 3000 years old, is one of the most important such relics in the world and is still being excavated today.
The unique selection of ruined temples, houses and amenities offers a fascinating insight into life in those times that cannot be experienced elsewhere.
Also unique to Cabras are the mysterious ‘Giants of Mont’e Prama’ (monteprama.it), a collection of amazing stone figures, some 2.5metres tall, believed to have been created by the Nuragic people who inhabited the island thousands of years ago, and whose presence is noticed all over Sardinia in a wealth of standing stones and other structures.
The Giants are a once-seen never-forgotten experience, and will delight young and old alike. You can see the giants in the permanent exhibition in the Civic Museum of Cabras where you can also admire the archeological finds of the Sinis peninsula like the wreck of a Roman cargo ship dating back to the 1st century BC.
Cabras is also home to a number of impressive and interesting churches, plus many old buildings that make up the bulk of this charming town.
Like many Sardinian – and Italian – towns, Cabras is home to some unique local traditions. As well as honouring the town’s patron saint, Mary, on 24th of May, the town is famed for a rather unusual tradition, the ‘Corsa degli scalzi’, or Barefoot runners.
Held on the first Saturday and Sunday of September each year, this fascinating pageant involves hundreds of local men, all barefoot and dressed in a traditional white garb, running through the town carrying a statue of San Salvatore, traditionally a healer and saviour.
The Saturday evening features a spectacular feast in honour of the saint, and on Sunday the runners return through Cabras to give the statue back to the church where it belongs.
Believed to date back centuries, this wonderful traditional attracts visitors and participants from all over the island, and further afield, and is not to be missed.
The most impressive beach in Cabras is known as Is Arutas, and it is regarded as one of the finest on the island.
The beautiful sands are actually tiny grains of different coloured quartz which give the beach, which is extensive and borders clear blue waters, a beautiful shimmering quality that cannot be matched.
Along with the nearby beaches of Maimoni and Mari Ermi, the crystal beaches of Cabras make for perfect bathing and taking in the sun.
Cabras is best reached by car, and the convenience of a hire car means exploring the area around the town is simple and can be done in your own time.
From Alghero Airport, take the E25 then the SS131 for a simple drive of less than two hours through the beautiful Sardinian countryside, or if landing at Cagliari, it is an easy and enjoyable drive of little more than an hour, travelling north also on the SS131.
A historical and cultural town of great importance, Cabras is also a friendly and welcoming place for the perfect Sardinian holiday.
With many restaurants and cafes in the quaint ancient streets and a choice of bars, hotels and other attractions, this small and friendly town is a must-see stop on a visit to Sardinia.