The Ultimate Guide To Burgos, Sardinia

Burgos is one of the nicest small towns in Sardinia. Located in the province of Sassari, but closer to Nuoro, and also known by its Sardinian name of Su Burgu, this charming medieval town of Spanish origins is located about 600 meters (1.968.5 feet) above sea level, in the Goceano region, which includes the upper part of the Tirso River.

While the Goceano comprises 9 municipalities (which other than Burgos include Bono, Bottida and Esporlatu) and around 13,000 inhabitants, Burgos remains fairly small – but it’s a lovely place to visit for a day, and it is quite centrally located so that no matter where you are in Sardinia, you can plan a visit.

The main attraction in Burgos are the remains of Burgos Castle – but these are by no means the only thing to see here.

If you want to know more about Burgos, its history and its attractions, then you are in the right place! I have visited recently and in this guide I will share everything you need to know about this fascinating small village, including the best places to visit.

Burgos Sardinia

The History Of Burgos

The town of Burgos was founded in 1337 by Judge Marian IV of Arborea. Located at the foot of the castle, the village was created to house a colony of different families, to populate and cultivate the area around the fortress.

Even today, Burgos is a sparsely inhabited village, with about 1,000 inhabitants. The town is divided into two parts. The medieval part is located near the fortress and is characterized by small streets and alleys, while the lower part of the village has more recent buildings. Both parts are surrounded by vegetation and where built on slopes.

During the Middle Ages, Burgos was a very important place, precisely because of the presence of the imposing castle which served as a fortress during times of war.

In the 14th century, during the war between the Giudicato of Arborea and Aragon, the castle was a key strategic location.

In the 15th century, the castle became the property of the Marquis of Oristano Leonardo Alagon, and then passed into the hands of the Aragonese conquerors. With the abolition of the feudal system in the 19th century, the town of Burgos became finally autonomous.

Now that you know the history of Burgos, let’s look into the best things to see and do there.

Burgos Castle

What To See In Burgos, Sardinia

Burgos Castle, or the Castle of Goceano

Burgos Castle, also known as the Castle of Goceano, was probably built in the mid-12th century by Gonario I of Torres. It features triple walls created with granite blocks and stones.
Bricks and mortar were used to reinforce the walls.

In the center of the castle there are the courtyard and the main tower, consisting of two floors and 16 meters (52.5 feet) high. The tower, like the walls, was also built to last, with the use of limestone and red vulcanite.

Castello di Burgos

In the central courtyard, in addition to the tower, there is also a cistern for water collection and the ruins of old dwellings, probably used by servants and soldiers.

The solid structure and the strategic location made Burgos Castle one of the safest and most protected fortresses of the Middle Ages in Sardinia. For this reason, it was used as a shelter or refuge during wars and battles, although hideous crimes, betrayals and abuses of power often took place within its walls. For this reason, there are plenty of ghost stories around the castle.

You should also read my post The Most Captivating Castles In Sardinia.

Museo dei Castelli di Sardegna

The Museum of the Castles of Sardinia is located in the center of the village, in a late 19th-century manor house. It’s a nice place to visit to learn more about the history of Burgos and even about the history of Sardinia.

On the three floors of the museum you can see various exhibitions. You can either get an audio-guide or, if you are lucky enough, have the museum staff guide you around the exhibit.

There are various statues that represent the most important persons in the Goceano region, in the history of Burgos and in the overall history of Sardinia. You will get to know who they were and what they did, and why they were important.

Another exhibit is dedicated to castles, and you will also see thematic maps that show Spanish coastal towers and the various strategic points of the island. Finally, there is an exhibit that is dedicated to the rural life and the different tools used by the peasants in the region.

My advice is to visit both the museum and the Castello del Goceano in order to get an overview of the use and importance of castles in the Sardinian Middle Ages.

Looking for more museums in Sardinia? Then read my post The 18 Best Museums In Sardinia.

Foresta di Burgos
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti @shutterstock

Foresta di Burgos

Near the village of Burgos you can find the homonymous forest, well known for the presence of several horse breeds, such as the Anglo-Arab-Sardinian horse and the Sardinian pony, a cross breed between the Giara horse and the Arabian stallion, also known as Giarab.

The forest also hosts the Costa nuraghe (more about that in a bit) and an abandoned breeding center. The forest of Burgos strikes with its atmosphere and its silence that transports the visitor to an enchanted place.

The locality is also very popular with hikers, as it has several trails.

Badde Salighes
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti @shutterstock

Bosco di Badde Salighes and Villa Piercy

Located not too far from Burgos, the Badde Salighes forest is considered a real gem among the green areas of Sardinia. The name can be translated to Willow Valley, as in the past the area was full of willows.

Villa Piercy
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti on @shutterstock

Within Badde Salighes there is a small hamlet where you can admire Villa Piercy, an elegant 19th-century building built by Benjamin Piercy, a wealthy Welsh engineer. Upon visiting, you can explore the manor house, the garden and the surrounding park.

Near the Villa there are also a Xylotheque and a Botanical Garden, both created by Piercy.

You can also follow the path beyond the park in order to reach the beautiful and captivating Mularza Noa waterfall.

Villa Piercy is just about 16 km (9.9 miles) from Burgos in the municipality of Bolotana. To get there from Burgos, you will just have to follow SP 111 outside of Burgos about half way take SP 17 to Villa Piercy.

For more information on Villa Piercy, make sure to also read my post A Guide To Visiting Villa Piercy, Sardinia.


S’Unighedda archeological complex

The surroundings of Burgos will delight archaeology lovers. The S’Unighedda nuraghe is located near Foresta di Burgos, about 7 km (4.3 miles) from the village, and features a nuraghe complex consisting of several towers, of which, however, only the main one remains.

The structure was built using basalt. The central chamber has three niches and a roof, made of wooden mezzanines. Near the nuraghe you can find the necropolis of the same name, characterized by four decorated domus de janas.

For more information about domus de janas and other domus de janas in Sardinia, head over to my post The Prettiest Domus De Janas In Sardinia.

Nuraghe Costa

Nuraghe Costa

Finally, near the Foresta di Burgos you can also find the remains of the nuraghe Sa Costa, also known by the name Sa Reggia, which can be translated in “Nuragic Estate”.

This large nuraghe features a keep and ramparts with several added towers that encircle a central courtyard. Made of basalt, the Nuraghe is located on a hill found about 760 meters (2493,4 feet) above sea level, with a four-meter-long corridor that gives access to the central chamber.

Probably, the nuraghe was erected in order to protect the village, which featured about 40 dwellings but is now completely enveloped in the vegetation.

If you wish to know more about nuraghe, read my post A Guide To Nuraghe In Sardinia.

How To Get To Burgos

Burgos is actually fairly centrally located in Sardinia, so you can visit using various places as your starting point. The closest city to Burgos is Nuoro, but you can also visit on day trips from Cagliari (incidentally, that’s what we did when we visited), Alghero and Olbia.

The easiest way to get to Burgos is by car. Here’s how to get there from the various locations:

FROM NUORO – Follow SS129 Trasversale Sarda, then take SP84 all the way to Burgos. It will take you about 30 minutes. If you wish to travel by bus, take n. 9212. The trip will take a little over one hour.

FROM ALGHERO – Follow the direction to Sassari – you have to drive along SS 291 var. Once there, you have to take E25 / SS131bis southbound. Exit at Thiesi and follow SP21, SP43 and SP101 all the way to Burgos. It will take you about 1 hour and 10 minutes. I don’t recommend trying to visit Burgos on day trips from Alghero by bus at the trip is too long and involves several changes.

FROM OLBIA – Follow SS729 and SS597 towards Ozieri. After about 60 km (37.2 miles) you will have to take SP63 towards Mores. Once there, take SP 6 and SP 101 to Burgos. It will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes. I don’t recommend trying to visit Burgos on day trips from Olbia by bus at the trip is too long and involves several changes.

FROM CAGLIARI – If you are driving from Cagliari, take SS131 northbound all the way to Borore. Once there, take SP33. and then SS128bis Centrale Sarda to Burgos. I don’t recommend trying to visit Burgos on day trips from Cagliari by bus at the trip is too long and involves several changes.

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Read about the best places to visit in Burgos, Sardinia - via @c_tavani

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