The Costa Verde in Sardinia between beaches and mines is the paradise of tourists who love nature and culture. In this place nature has regained control that man had stolen from it. Those who know the island will have already heard of places with exotic and strange names like Arbus, Piscinas, Scivu, Ingurtosu, Naracauli. Where beaches with immense dunes alternate with ancient mineral deposits now abandoned and, largely, Visitable. Come with me to visit what I have seen and what I show you in this VIDEO ITINERARY on my YouTube channel.
Silver lead and zinc ore deposits in the Ingurtosu area, in the municipality of Arbus, they were discovered in the thirties of the nineteenth century, but it is thanks to the investments of the French that from 1875 this territory of the Costa Verde became one of the most important mines in Europe, with over 1,500 miners, committed to extracting lead, zinc and silver. The miners, from different parts of Italy and not only from Sardinia, became 2,500 at the beginning of the twentieth century. To work in the mines they came from Sicily, Veneto, Campania. Especially after the inauguration, in 1900, of one of the most fascinating buildings in the history of this territory.. The Brassey Laveria in Naracauli, name of the ghost village in the mining area of Ingurtosu, active until the sixties of the twentieth century, which belongs to the Montevecchio complex. Today included in the Geomining Park of Sardinia. In short, the Costa Verde between beaches and mines in Sardinia is an itinerary that you will fall in love with. If you love wild nature, the contrasts of colors and lights, the immense spaces and culture is the holiday for you.
THE BEACHES OF THE COSTA VERDE: PISCINAS
These large structures can be admired along the beautiful panoramic road that crosses the valley of “Is Animas” and leading to the famous beach of Piscinas, included in 2017 among the most beautiful beaches in the world by National Geographic. We are within one of the largest sandy systems in Europe, an environment reminiscent of the desert, with the wind that constantly reshapes the profiles of the dunes up to a hundred meters high, and which extends for 7 linear km (from Scivu in the south to Pistis in the north) and for almost 3 thousand square kilometers. The dunes reach even 100 meters in height: Piscinas is one of the wildest and most unforgettable beaches in Sardinia.
In this western side, looking to Spain, Sardinia shows one of its best profiles: a wild sea, almost always on the move, but able to give great emotions. With immense dunes and crossed by olive trees, lentisks, tamarisks, rushes and junipers bent in bizarre and almost surreal poses by the Mistral wind.
If you have time and the curves do not bother you, arrive at Capo Pecora with its view overlooking the sea.
THE BEACHES OF THE COSTA VERDE: SCIVU
In the evening, it's time for breathtaking sunsets. Like those that can also be admired in Scivu, further south of Piscinas, other beach not to be missed. After walking along a road that offers sharp views between the sea and the mountains, between cistus and strawberry tree plants, you get to a place of strong contrasts. Here the living rocks of volcanic origin coexist with the golden yellow of the sand. The beach can be easily reached by some wooden walkways and the sea has the color of turquoise.
Among the other beaches of Arbus, not to be missed Marina di Arbus, Portu Maga, the wonderful Torre dei Corsari and the beach of Pistis with their dune system.
THE MINES OF THE COSTA VERDE: THE GAL WELL
The renovated construction site of Pozzo Gal, named after the administrator French who managed the mines in the twenties of the twentieth century on behalf of the Penarroya group, is one of the most interesting sites to visit. On the way to Gal well you will find the poetic remains of the Brassey Laveria in the ghost village of Naracauli and the palace once home to the Directorate of Mines, built on the model of an Austrian castle.
Today Gal well houses the multimedia museum of mining memory and was recovered thanks to an intervention of the Municipality of Arbus. In over an hour of guided hike, you will know the entrepreneurial history but also the terribly tiring one of those who worked in these plants. Plants that, although technologically advanced for that period, they were also places of suffering and illness, of wage claims and hard work two hundred meters below ground, for blend extraction, from which zinc is obtained.
THE MINES OF THE COSTA VERDE: THE MONTEVECCHIO COMPLEX
A few kilometers from the Gal Well, in Guspini, is the mining complex of Montevecchio, among the most interesting of the whole island. Here the industrial history begins in 1848, with the act of concession of the exploitation of the mines signed by the King of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto. And it ends in recent times, in 1991, with the definitive closure of the plants, after years of economic crisis. The plant, divided into the Cantieri di Levante and Ponente, has been renovated, also because it was in excellent condition at the time of closing. In addition to wells, laverie, construction and maintenance facilities, you can also visit the houses where the workers lived.
The structures can now be visited thanks to expert local guides who lead tourists and fans of industrial archeology from the executive buildings to the plants, equipped with powerful extraction machines and impressive winches, to the foundries, to the houses of the operated and to the stables for the animals used in the subsoil for the transport of minerals. Today it is one of the most important Italian museums on mining.
WHERE TO SLEEP AND WHERE TO EAT IN COSTA VERDE
- Agritourism Sa Perda Marcada, excellent starting point for the beaches of Scivu and Piscinas and for the geo mining sites. You sleep in rather spartan Sardinian style rooms and you can eat at the restaurant where everything is homemade, from ravioli to bread.
- Ristorante St. Nicholas in Buggerru: fish cuisine and not only in a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea. Well executed dishes and with a great quality-price ratio.
- If you prefer an alternative route, read also the one on Costa Smeralda low cost and Ogliastra