Sardinia boasts its sophisticated and cosmopolitan Costa Esmeralda, but beyond the luxurious resorts and beaches full of celebrities, there is an island of rugged landscapes, beautiful coves, four million sheep, magnificent cheeses, authentic cuisine and many places to enjoy rural life more genuinely Sardinian. Here are three ideas to discover the rural world of Sardinia and the best landscapes: tour small towns and villages, look out for some of the best coastal paths or practice agrotourism in some of the most authentic rural accommodation.

1. Walk through towns and villages  Alghero © Jose Hidalgo

15485570142 112bc90446 z

To visit the Sardinian villages and villages is to know the authentic spirit of the Mediterranean, to remember other eras, to eat well and to enjoy wonderful views. Roads and rivers make their way through the fields and mountains of the interior of Sardinia and take us to places like the following:   Castelsardo, a corner of medieval air that dominates the sea from the top, on the north coast. It is a very popular destination on day trips around the island for the magnificent views from its spectacular centro storico, a set of dark alleys and medieval buildings seemingly fused with the gray rock cliff.

In the east of the island, a corkscrew road leads to the tiny town of Ulassai. The spectacular cliffs of limestone and dolomite, or tacchi, that support Ulassai are hikers and hikers who walk to the Brunned Pranedda canyon or head 7 km to the southwest to see the Cascata Lequarci , a waterfall that rushes from almost 100 m high on a rock wall. The day can be completed with a picnic in the green surroundings of the Sanctuary of Santa Barbara, a picturesque Romanesque chapel.

Monti Ferru offers the opportunity to discover the magnificent nature of the villages of the north and the interior of the Sinis peninsula, and especially its veal and its olive oil. It is a beautiful area with almost no pollution and full of ancient forests, natural springs and small towns with market. Seneghe produces one of the best olive oils in Sardinia and the best veal on the island, and Milis is famous for its succulent and sweet oranges.

From the Costa Esmeralda, 16 km from Monte Cervo, San Pantaleo is a beautiful stone village surrounded by granite peaks. It is an encounter with the authenticity that the insipid holiday resorts of the coast no longer have. It rises behind the coast, surrounded by peaks of granite and has become a kind of refuge for artists, full of small galleries and craft shops. It is also one of the few towns in Sardinia that is organized around a piazza, with a small church at one end.

Laconi, is a mountain town, with cobbled streets that meander to a leafy wooded park. It is in the east of the island, southwest of Aritzo, where the mountains soften until you reach the broad Sarcidano plain, with some nuraghi and other mysterious historical sites. Here there is an interesting archaeological museum, the birthplace of the only saint of Sardinia and a wooded park crowned by a castle.

2. Walk along the coast  Cave of Neptune © Jose Hidalgo

15336375006 0bd2350244 z

The vertiginous Sardinian cliffs, its wild canyons and its coast full of coves deserve a walk, on foot or by bicycle. To the east of the island, Selvaggio Blu is the excursion par excellence for the most spectacular coast of Sardinia. The Selvaggio Blu has myth status: an epic seven-day, 45-km excursion along the untamed and imperious coast of the Golfo di Orosei that crosses gorges of thick forests and passes in front of strange limestone formations, caves and incredibly vertical cliffs . Both the landscape and the roads are breathtaking (literally) and have often been classified as the hardest trekking route in Italy. The path follows the diffuse and often invisible paths of the goatherds and charcoal burners, which outline cliffs that plunge into a sea of ​​unspeakable blue color. You have to be in good physical shape and have notions of climbing and abseiling. It is recommended to go with a guide, because the path is not signposted and there is no water on the road. Riviera del Corallo is a bicycle itinerary through incredible cliffs between Alghero and Bosa in search of open views. The coastal road becomes more picturesque as it moves west, passing through the discreet tourist center of Fertilia and Porto Conte, a wide bay with several hotels and simple villas. Capo Caccia is literally the end of the road, a rocky cape famous for the Grotta di Nettuno. On the way there are a couple of good beaches and interesting archaeological sites. Inland, with a flatter landscape, the traveler will find one of the best wine producers on the island, as well as several cozy and peaceful agriturismi. One of the most unforgettable experiences in Sardinia is to walk from the supernatural Altopiano del Golgo to Cala Goloritzè , a bay with incredible blue waters. At its southern end, the curious limestone figures emerge distancing themselves from the wall of the cliffs. Among them is the astonishing Monte Caroddi or the Aguglia, a stone spire of 148 m very much to the taste of climbers. Cala Luna (Cala Gonone) is a bay in the form of a half moon that rock climbers like a lot for its rugged beauty, bounded by a lush gorge, framed by cliffs pierced by caves and bathed by exquisite turquoise waters. The place is practically empty when the boats leave. Those who have a good sense of direction can continue on a demanding path without signaling to the impressive Lupiru Arch, made of stone, or Cala Sisine. The Parco di Porto Conte is one of the two regional natural parks in Sardinia. It occupies 60 km of coastline and 53.5 km 2 of an area that the French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau described as one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Its landscape includes forests, wetlands, stretches full of macchia (Mediterranean shrub) and vertiginous white cliffs; It is an important natural habitat converted into a sanctuary of 35 species of mammals and 150 species of birds. It offers great excursions, especially in the Natural Reserve Le Prigionette and the promontory that runs along the eastern flank of Porto Conte.

3. Practice Sardinian agrotourism  Ca ‘La Somara © Toprural

4014358716 3957e22515 z

To relax and discover Mediterranean life as it was, there is nothing like the agriturismo (agrotourism). Spread throughout the island, these rural houses are the definitive escape, and many of them are surrounded by oaks, olive trees or fields full of sheep. The Agriturismo Guthiddai is a bucolic whitewashed refuge at the foot of rugged mountains and surrounded by olive, fig and fruit trees. It is near Nuoro, in the East of the island, on the road to Su Gologone. In its facilities, olive oil, cannonau wine, fruits and vegetables are produced. Mediterranean in its pure state. Agriturismo Su Boschettu is another peaceful place in the agricultural heart of Sardinia, in Oristano, near the town of Lunamatrona. In this charming country house with only 5 rooms, guests are welcomed among olive groves and fruit trees. The donkeys mark the way to Agriturismo Ca ‘La Somara a quiet farm, with a quiet garden , 1 km away along the Arzachena road. It has 12 simple rooms, a multitude of peaceful corners where you can lie down in a hammock, gardens to stroll through and a spa with the most natural treatments. Vegetarian dishes, based on products from their own garden, are served in the rustic dining room. At Agriturismo Nuraghe Mannu you can contemplate Cala Gonone. It is an authentic farm in active, respectful with the environment and with only four simple rooms, a restaurant and breakfasts with bread, milk, ricotta and homemade sweets.