While we were sitting on a catamaran just off the coast of San Teodoro, this happened…
While we were sitting on a catamaran just off the coast of San Teodoro, this happened…
A Magical Morning at Spiaggia La Cinta
On a late September morning in 2022, we were lucky enough to be on a catamaran in the calm waters of Spiaggia La Cinta, near San Teodoro.
The sun came up at around 5:30.
Still restless after a wobbly night, we got up at 5:00. Nature treated us to quite a spectacle. We started taking pictures while the waters were still calm and dark.
Slowly, the rising sun set the sky on fire. As sunrise progressed, the dark silhouettes of a few sailing boats became visible. The rocky giant named Isola Tavolara slowly awakened and revealed more details.
Here are some photos from our magical morning:
06:35 AM – First Light!
With the first light breaching the horizon, the still waters of Spiaggia La Cinta helped showcase the sense of early morning peace that can be found here. Located on the northeastern coast, Spiaggia La Cinta is a fine stretch of beach with the ocean on one side and green hills on the other.
While many visitors come here for the beach and water sports, or even horseback riding, sitting offshore on a catamaran offered a completely different experience that left us far away from all the crowds and activity.
06:38 AM – Sunrise
Sunrise is a special time when the veil between light and dark is thin, and the world can start anew.
This particular morning, the natural beauty of Sardinia helped amplify this newness as warm light blesses the surrounding nature.
We had unobstructed views of La Cinta, and the shades of gold, pink, and orange reflecting on the water never failed to provide an unforgettable scene that seemed to change every second.
07:12 AM – The View from a Catamaran
Yachting is one of the best ways to experience Sardinia, as you can access many coves and hidden spots along the coastline. Aside from the convenience of getting around, it’s easy to relax on a catamaran or yacht and embrace the calm waters off the coast of Spiaggia La Cinta.
That said, many of these boats come with a high level of luxury, and some will even have onboard chefs, cooking facilities, and very comfortable dining options, at the very least.
Make sure you check out these catamaran trips at GetYourGuide. These go to Isola Maddalena and the archipelago and can be anywhere between a few hours to a full day.
You won’t regret it!
07:16 – AM Drinking in the Nature of Sardinia
Sardinia is a paradise for nature lovers and the perfect place to escape the noise. There are rolling green landscapes and rocky mountains inland and then striking rugged cliffs next to golden beaches and turquoise water along the coast.
Sardinia is also home to various nature reserves with diverse native fauna and flora. It also only takes a little to feel immersed in nature, which is true when you are on a catamaran as the sun rises!
07:20 AM – Isola Tavolara Awakens
Isola Tavolara is an awe-inspiring sight from any angle. Stretching for 5km, this island is essentially a limestone massif with sharp cliffs, and it rises more than 550 meters into the blue skies.
As the sun lights up the face of Isola Tavolara, we witness one of the most spectacular sights.
07:20 AM – Rainbows and Coffee
As we sipped our first-morning coffee, we were treated to a rainbow.
We’re already looking forward to spending more time on a catamaran for our next trip…
Sardinia is an important stopover point for migratory birds between Europe and Africa. The island is home to a variety of species, including pink flamingos.
Sardinia is an important stopover point for migratory birds between Europe and Africa. The island is home to a variety of species, including the European bee-eater, barn swallow, common swift, European robin, and common nightingale.
The southern part of the island, especially the area surrounding Cagliari, is particularly known for its large colony of flamingos, which can be observed in lagoons such as Molentargius-Saline.
Here’s an overview of the best places to see flamingos in Sardinia, along with a few guided tours you can book safely in advance.
Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park
In Cagliari, you can see flamingos in the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park.
It covers an area of over 1600 hectares and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including a large colony of flamingos. The park includes a network of walking and cycling paths that allow visitors to explore the area and observe the wildlife, including numerous species of waterfowl, herons, and waders.
Parco Naturale Molentargius Saline also features a visitor center that provides information about the park’s ecosystem and the importance of protecting the wetland habitats that support migratory birds. Overall, Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park is a unique and beautiful destination for nature lovers visiting the island.
Book a Segway Tour to See Flamingos
This tour offers a great opportunity to see flamingos in Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park.
On a Segway!
The tour starts from the Port of Cagliari and takes you on a scenic bike ride along the Palafitta channel before reaching the park. The park is home to the fascinating remains of the Old City of Salt, which has played a vital role in the local economy for centuries.
During your adventure, you can observe the beautiful pink flamingos that inhabit the fresh and saltwater basins within the park. This exceptional area also features a unique collection of plants and animals. You will also have a chance to take a pleasant break and enjoy a coffee in the park midway through the tour.
Stagno di Cagliari is located near the airport in the capital city of Cagliari.
It is a popular spot for birdwatching, particularly in the summer months when flamingos can be seen feeding in the lagoon’s shallow waters. The area is also home to a variety of other migratory bird species, such as marsh harriers and black-winged stilts. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by bike, using the trails that wind through the surrounding natural park. The lagoon is an important habitat for a range of wildlife and is protected by local conservation efforts.
Book a Private Sightseeing Tour and Spot Flamingos
On this guided tour, you’ll embark on a private 4-hour guided tour to discover the charms of Sardinia’s capital city. Begin your journey along the bustling Via Roma, where vibrant porticoes shade busy shoppers. Then, hop into your private minivan for a scenic drive to the 6-mile stretch of sandy beach at Poetto, extending into the Balearic Sea.
Marvel at the pink flamingos dancing on the salt ponds at Stagno di Cagliari before stopping at the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria, a Roman Catholic shrine to the Virgin Mary. Next, it’s time for a walking tour of Cagliari’s medieval quarters. You’ll enter through the historic gates in front of the National Archaeological Museum, showcasing fine exhibits that recount the early Sardinian civilizations.
Stagno di Notteri is a lagoon that’s also located in the south of Sardinia, near the town of Villasimius.
The lagoon is a popular destination for birdwatching, with a particular highlight being its flamingo population. In the summer months, visitors can see flocks of flamingos wading in the shallow waters of the lagoon, feeding on brine shrimp and blue-green algae.
The Notteri lagoon is also home to a variety of other bird species, including the black-winged stilt and the little egret. Visitors can explore the area on foot using the network of trails that wind through the surrounding nature reserve, making Stagno di Notteri a must-visit destination for nature lovers visiting Sardinia.
Book a Villasimius Beach Tour to Meet your Pink Friends
On this guided tour, you will leave from the center of Cagliari to head towards the coast road that will take you to Villasimius.
Along the way, you will see the famous Devil’s Saddle and pink flamingos in the Molentargius Lagoon in Parco Naturale Molentargius Saline.
Continuing, you will be able to admire breathtaking views and take unique photos.
Stagno di San Teodoro is a lagoon located in the northeast of Sardinia, near the town of San Teodoro.
It is a popular spot for birdwatching, particularly in the spring and summer months when numerous migratory bird species, including the flamingo, can be seen feeding in the lagoon’s shallow waters. The lagoon is surrounded by marshes, reeds, and woodlands that provide a habitat for other wildlife, including otters and weasels. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the lagoon or explore the area on foot using the network of trails that wind through the surrounding nature reserve.
The best place to spot flamingos in Oristano is at “Stagno di Cabras,” a protected wetland area just a few kilometers from the city center. Stagno di Cabras is home to a large population of flamingos, and it is an excellent place to watch these beautiful birds in their natural habitat.
The wetland’s shallow waters, mudflats, and salt pans provide the perfect feeding and breeding ground for flamingos, attracting thousands yearly. Visitors can watch these graceful birds wading in the waters, fishing for small crustaceans and invertebrates, or resting on the shorelines.
The best time to see flamingos in Oristano is during their breeding season, which runs from April to September. During this period, the flamingos perform their spectacular courtship dance, which involves synchronized head movements, wing flapping, and trumpet-like calls.
It’s a sight to behold!
The best time to visit Stagno di Cabras in the early morning or late afternoon, when the light is soft, and the birds are most active. Binoculars or a spotting scope can also be handy for a closer look at these magnificent creatures. In addition to flamingos, visitors can spot other bird species like herons, egrets, and cormorants, making Oristano another excellent destination for bird-watching enthusiasts.
In northwest Sardinia, you can see flamingos in Stintino.
Besides Spiaggia La Pelosa, one of the most famous attractions in the Stintino is the Saline di Stintino, a saltwater lagoon just a few kilometers from the town center. This lagoon is home to a large population of pink flamingos, often seen wading in the shallow waters or flying overhead.
To get to the Saline di Stintino, you can take the SP34 road that leads from Stintino to Porto Torres. Along the way, you will see signs indicating the direction to the lagoon. Once you arrive at the lagoon, you can park your car and take a walk along the shore to see the flamingos up close.
A Few Things to Know about Flamingos
The average migration distance for flamingos from their breeding grounds in Africa to Sardinia is approximately 1,400 kilometers (870 miles). The duration of the migration can vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, food availability, and stopovers along the way. It can take several days or even weeks for flamingos to complete their migration, with some individuals traveling at an average speed of 60 km/h (37 mph).
Don’t be Dumb
Flamingos are wild birds, and their movements can be unpredictable. Please suppress the urge to get closer to the flamingos and keep a safe distance. You do not want to disturb their delicate eating and resting patterns. It is recommended to check with local tourism offices or birdwatching groups to find the best places to see them at the time of your visit.
On Being Pink
Although flamingos are born with grey feathers, they gradually develop their iconic pink hue in the wild due to ingesting a pigment called canthaxanthin. This dye is obtained from their diet of brine shrimp and blue-green algae. The palest of the species can make their feathers a brighter pink by preening.
How they Hunt
In the wild, flamingos hunt in packs, often flocking together in their thousands in the search for food around lakes and ponds. Feeding in large groups helps to create a more efficient feeding environment, as they can stir up more mud and access a greater number of food sources.
How they Eat
If you could look underwater when flamingos dip their heads under the water to eat, you would see how the long-legged, long-necked pink birds eat their food underwater and upside down thanks to the shape of their beaks!
On One Leg
The reason why flamingos frequently stand on one leg is not entirely clear, though one theory suggests that it may help them regulate their body temperature. It is essential for young flamingos to learn this behavior early in life.
Flamingos have an average lifespan of around 20-30 years in the wild. However, they can live up to 50 years or more in captivity with proper care and a suitable environment. According to National Geographic, one Australian zoo flamingo lived to be 83. The exact lifespan of a flamingo can depend on factors such as its habitat, diet, exposure to predators, and environmental stressors.
Flamingos produce a variety of calls, including honks, grunts, and growls, which they use to communicate with one another. These calls can be heard during feeding, courtship, and other social interactions. However, flamingos are generally not known for being particularly vocal birds, and their calls are not as loud or prominent as those of some other species.
When it’s springtime, the scents and colours in Sardinia are impossible to ignore.
What is so special about springtime in Sardinia?
For many people, springtime is the best time of year to visit Sardinia and a period in which the most enjoyable attractions can be experienced without the tourist crowds.
After all, the summer months are more popular, and it’s common to find much larger crowds at the beaches and attractions during the peak holiday period.
Spring arrives in Sardinia on 20th March every year and comes to an end on 21st June. The weather is generally more and more pleasant as this time passes. Still, a much quieter experience can be found in April or May. More tourists tend to arrive in Sardinia as the summer months and the holiday season gets closer.
And that’s just part of the story…
As the flowers and mother nature come into bloom, the scents and colors in Sardinia are impossible to ignore.
You can go hiking, biking, or driving without the tourist crowds, and there’s no waiting around when it comes to tables at a local restaurant.
Sardinia beaches are also less busy during spring. Many popular events take place in the low season, such as the Porto Cervo Wine Festival.
Now, let’s take a look at some photos of Sardinia at this time of year…
The Asinara Donkey
Asinara is located near Stintino, in the province of Sassari, just off the northwest coast of Sardinia. This island is known for having a breed of feral donkeys.
This white albino donkey (‘Asino dell’Asinara’) is actually indigenous to the island. It is a genuinely remarkable sight, given this is an unusual color for a donkey.
While they might be somewhat shy, the Asinara donkeys are very friendly. They are free to roam the entire island, which is a beautiful thing to see.
Alghero is a small medieval town in Sardinia and a lot less busy than the Costa Smeralda on the island’s northeast coast.
This was also a small fishing village at one time and filled with lovely restaurants, bars, and local amenities.
However, the town is also nestled on a spectacular coastline and right next to sublime beaches and ample opportunities to go swimming, sailing, and diving.
Almond Trees in Sardinia
Almond trees are one of the first trees to blossom in spring, and you can see them dotted all around the Sardinian landscape at this time of year.
Almond blossoms are deciduous (shedding their leaves annually) and similar to cherry, peach, and apricot trees. They are also a symbol of new life in many parts of the world.
Even Vincent Van Gogh borrowed these beautiful tiny petals in some of his work.
Pigface Flowers in Villasimius
Forget about the unfortunate name of the “Pigface flowers.” These gorgeous tiny plants are a beautiful sight during spring in Sardinia.
They tend to grow in rocky, dry, and sandy conditions, making Villasimius a famous home for the colorful flowers.
Villasimius is also a popular spot for tourists. This charming coastal town is situated next to some stunning stretches of white-powdered sands!
Blooming Pink Flowers on La Pelosa Beach
Spiaggia La Pelosa can get rather crowded in peak season. Still, you can expect more space and quiet during springtime in Sardinia.
Located in northwest Sardinia and just two kilometers north of Stintino, this is a beautiful beach with white sands, shallow waters, and many remarkable pink flowers!
Opuntia Flowers in Sardinia
Opuntia flowers are found on small cactus trees, and they are also known as ‘prickly pears.’
They grow nicely in warm, dry climates like the one you should find in Sardinia, and they look incredibly bright and cheerful in the spring.
While locals often grow these flowers in the garden, you can often find them across the wild and green landscapes of the island.
The Beach and Tower at Capo San Marco
Capo San Marco is probably best known for the iconic tower and yellow cliffs. Still, there’s also a pristine beach down below that never fails to impress.
Whether you enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or just lounging in the sun, this gorgeous beach has umbrellas and chairs and several local snack bars just a hop and skip away.
Sand, Sea and Granite Rock Formations in Costa Paradiso
The sight of the giant granite rocks makes Costa Paradiso a must-visit for many tourists. Still, the warm waters and sandy beaches are what make travelers want to stay.
Stretching from Castelsardo to Santa Teresa di Gallura on the North coast, this area is one of Sardinia’s most romantic and scenic parts.
Sheep Grazing in the Countryside near Bosa
You might find sheep grazing in many other parts of the world but rarely do they look as relaxed as those you will find in Sardinia.
The woolly friends in this photo are grazing near Bosa, a charming village with colorful houses and lush surroundings.
The town is surrounded by green rolling landscapes and plenty of fauna in between – as is the same elsewhere on the island.
View of Isola Tavolara from Capo Coda Cavallo
Capo Coda Cavallo is situated in the Gallura region and features more of the most beautiful rock formations and beaches in Sardinia.
This view reaches out to Isola Tavolora, a relatively small landmass off the coast of northeast Sardinia and features some incredibly steep cliffs.
Wild Yellow Daisies
The wild yellow daisy is common throughout Sardinia in the spring and brings so much color to the luscious landscapes.
With the castle tower as a backdrop, you can see just how striking is the appearance of these daisies.
They are borne on strong stems and have yellow petals, which open up beautifully at this time of year and appear rather unexpectedly all around Sardinia.
Wild Flowers in Santa Margherita di Pula
Santa Margherita di Pula is arguably one of the pearls of Sardinia and located near Pula.
This area features a series of bays and beaches with holiday homes in between and some genuinely wild and wonderful countryside not far from the coast.
It’s home to plenty of birdlife and fauna but also a long line of plant species – some of which you can see in this photo.
For many people, the lighthouses in Sardinia are not the reason for visiting this beautiful island.
However, these iconic towers will often leave footprints in visitors’ minds, such is the magical nature of their appearance.
That said, there is also a lot of history behind these lighthouses and the surrounding area. But what lighthouses should you actually know about? In this article, we take a look at the most beautiful Sardinian lighthouses.
The Most Beautiful Lighthouses of Sardinia
Faro Capo Spartivento
Faro Capo Spartivento is a gorgeous lighthouse in Chia, in south-east Sardinia. The establishment is located only an hour’s drive away from Sardinia’s biggest airport, Cagliari Elmas Airport.
This prime location and epic scenery is just the tip of the iceberg. The unique thing about this lighthouse is that it allows you to spend the night on the premises of a five-star hotel – your personal Lighthouse Experience in Sardinia!
The restoration of this 1950s landmark is the pride and joy of Sardinia’s naval brigade. The nautical team has made sure that despite the archaic history, the hotel has everything a modern hotel can offer.
This includes suites with parquet floors, stocked mini-bars, and air-conditioning and attached bathrooms.
Isola dei Cavoli Lighthouse
The Cavoli lighthouse is located in a protected marine park called Capo Carbonara, on the eastern end of the Gulf of Cagliari, south Sardinia.
It features a 16th-century tower, but the lighthouse was actually built back in the mid 19th century.
This lighthouse stands 37 meters above the ground. It is one of the most iconic lighthouses in Sardinia and sits beside a beautiful stretch of coastline.
The outer walls consist of a mosaic with vibrant colors that really make it stand out, and although now automated, the lighthouse is still active and worth a stop for visiting tourists.
Faro di Capo Comino
Located about 20 kilometers north-east of Orosei, the lighthouse of Capo Comino was built in 1903. It features a 20-meter high tower with a balcony and a large lantern attached.
Being an entirely white three-story lighthouse, it’s rather noticeable from the road, but this is also because of the precise location.
Faro di Capo Comino is situated 28 meters above the sea it emits a dazzling light after dark.
This is also another automated lighthouse in Sardinia which never fails to delight those who come to visit.
Faro di Punta dello Scorno
Faro di Punta dello Scorno is located in Asinara National Park, near Stintino. This lighthouse stands alone next to the ocean and dates back to the 19th century.
There’s an interesting story behind this one in which the daughters of the lighthouse managed to save three people from a small boat at sea.
The surrounding park is stunning at every turn, and it’s so remote that Parco Nazionale dell’Asinara was once the location for a maximum-security prison.
Capo San Marco Lighthouse
The Capo San Marco lighthouse sits on the Sinis Peninsula near Oristano, and there’s a popular path nearby that runs through some ancient ruins (Tharros).
You will also find white powdered sands and beautiful sand dunes here, while fauna is present due to the quiet nature of the area.
There are also more ancient monuments in the area that date back to Nuraghic times, but even just the sight of this lighthouse makes it worth checking out.
With this in mind, Capo San Marco is one of the most beautiful and exciting lighthouses in Sardinia.
The Sant’Elia lighthouse is one of the oldest leading lights in Sardinia.
Built back in 1850 next to Calamosca Bay in Cagliari, this lighthouse features a cylindrical tower with zebra-like black and white stripes.
After dark, the light can be seen for more than 20 miles and watches over Golfo degli Angeli.
There are also some ancient remnants on a nearby hill, including rock paintings, mosaics, and Roman cisterns.