Located in the southwestern part of Sardinia, Costa Verde is a long coast characterized by splendid, long sandy and somewhat wild beaches, cliffs and spectacular dunes overlooking the emerald sea. The golden colors of the sand mix with the lush green of the typical Mediterranean scrub.
Sardinia’s Costa Verde is a great place for those who would like to visit a lesser known part of Sardinia, to discover unspoiled beaches and venture into nature.
If you are planning a trip to the southern part of Sardinia in order to visit Costa Verde, then you should really read this guide. Here you will find information about the Costa Verde’s most beautiful beaches, places to see and much more.
Make sure to check out my post The Best Hidden Gems In Sardinia.
Table of Contents
Some Background Information On Costa Verde, Sardinia
The Costa Verde of Sardinia is 47 km (that’s little over 29 miles) long, located between two promontories: Capo Frasca in the north and Capo Pecora in the south. Along the coast you will find unspoiled long beaches, divided by cliffs and small coves.
Costa Verde takes its name from the Mediterranean scrub surrounding the beaches: you will be able to spot a great variety of trees and vegetation such as arbutus, juniper and myrtle. The Mediterranean scrub blends with the sand dunes and deserts, a unique feature of Costa Verde which is the main attraction for tourists and locals – though mind you, climbing the sand dunes is prohibited across the island.
The area of Costa Verde has had several important archeological discoveries, such as three skeletons dating back 8500 years. In the 17th century, like many other coastal areas of Sardinia, Costa Verde was lined with watchtowers overlooking the sea, while in the 19th century it became an important area for mining.
Nowadays, the Costa Verde is a popular tourist destination for those who prefer wild places to services and amenities. Of course, you have to equip yourself a minimum, precisely because many of the beaches on the Costa Verde do not have umbrellas, toilets or other kinds of services, which could be inconvenient for families traveling with children.
Constantly whipped by the wind, Costa Verde is a perfect destination for those who enjoy surfing and windsurfing.
Best Beaches In Costa Verde, Sardinia
Beaches are the main attraction of Costa Verde, especially during the summer. Most of the beaches are wild and unspoiled, so they are usually not very crowded. However, on the longest beaches of the coast, you can find facilities that rent umbrellas and sunbeds. One thing to consider is that the current can be very strong on this stretch of coast, so approach the water with caution, especially on windy days.
This is Costa Verde’s most famous beach, also known as Dune di Piscinas, where the sea meets a long sand desert. It has a unique landscape, where the wind lashes the dunes that change shape and size over time. Despite being a pretty famous place, Piscinas remains almost unspoiled, though you can find areas equipped with umbrellas and sunbeds for rent.
The wind and the deep seabed are perfect for surfing and windsurfing – not nearly as much for children. There is a small section that is dedicated to nudist.
Check out my post The Best Nudist Beaches In Sardinia.
Marina di Arbus
A beach characterized by fine, soft, golden sand washed by a crystal clear sea. The beach stretches for about 3 km (1.8 miles) and has a shallow seabed. The beach is bordered by a cliff covered by the typical Mediterranean scrub and spectacular sand dunes that create a truly unique landscape.
Connected to the Dunes of Piscinas, Scivu beach is characterized by the same desert landscape, with dunes covered by Mediterranean scrub and crystal clear sea. The most known feature of this beach is the so-called “talking sand,” which gets its name from a sound, similar to an echo, produced by the sand when stepped on.
At the southern end of Costa Verde is Capo Pecora, a pink granite promontory with small pebble beaches located in small coves. Not exactly the most comfortable place to relax, but great for adventure and nature enthusiasts, that should come equipped with everything they need, in order to enjoy their stay on the pristine beaches.
Portu Maga Beach
At the center of Costa Verde, Portu Maga is a beach with golden sand that can suit everyone’s needs. The crystal clear blue sea is perfect for those who love diving, while the shallow water is ideal for families with children. Like the rest of the Costa Verde, this beach is also very windy, so it is a preferred destination for surfers and windsurfers. The hills covered with Mediterranean scrub provide a wonderful backdrop to the beach.
This is a tiny, gorgeous cove beloved by locals. At the back of the beach there are beautiful sand dunes (though remember, you can’t walk on them) and the remains of a mine. A trail to its right will take you to an even smaller cove, while at its left your’ll find a trail to the Spanish Watchtower and a viewpoint from where you can enjoy magnificent views of the beach below. There are hiking trails that connect it to other nearby beaches.
For more information, read my post A Curated Guide To Cala Domestica.
Torre dei Corsari
This lovely beach takes its name from the Flumentorgiu Tower that – like other watchtowers in Sardinia – was built in the 17th century to defend the island from pirate attacks. The views from the promontory are breathtaking and span all the way to Is Arenas beach.
Best Places To Visit In Costa Verde
In addition to the beaches, Costa Verde has several interesting places to visit, mostly linked to the mining activity that took place in the 19th century, such as the Montevecchio Mines and the Ingortosu Mines.
Montevecchio is a mining complex that dates back to the 19th century. Before its closure in 1991, Montevecchio was one of the most important mines in Italy, due to the use of cutting-edge techniques such as drilling systems designed to safeguard the miners’ health.
Now turned into an open air museum, the mines can be visited by booking different guided tours. Tourists can visit the offices and the Palazzo Blu (Blue Palace) home to the founders of the mine, the Sanna Family. Likewise, it is possible to admire the mining tools as well as the miners’ homes.
The largest mine in Sardinia, Ingurtosu is part of the UNESCO Geo-parks network. The mining complex is located among the mountains and the dunes of Piscinas, where it’s possible to visit an ancient village once inhabited by miners and their families.
Close to the village you will find the church of Santa Barbara, the patron saint of miners, and the opulent villas where the president and vice-president of the British company that once directed the mining at Ingurtosu used to live.
Head over to my post A Guide To Visiting Ingurtosu Mine.
Places To Visit Near Sardinia’s Costa Verde
Tempio di Antas
Not far from Iglesias and close to Fluminimaggiore, this is one of the most beautiful archeological parks in Sardinia. You will find the ruins of a Punic Temple, a Roman Temple, a Roman Road, caves and several ruins that date back to the Nuragic times, all in a gorgeous natural settings. Easy to follow hiking trails will take you to all the sites.
For more information, make sure to read my post A Useful Guide To Visiting The Tempio Di Antas.
Porto Flavia Mines and Masua Pan di Zucchero
The mines of Porto Flavia are a particularly beautiful attraction. They can be visited on guided tours that depart behind the Masua Pan di Zucchero beach and at the very end of the visit you will get privileged views of the Pan di Zucchero stack. If you want to catch a glimpse of the Porto Flavia gate, you can hire a kayak, or go via SUP or on boat tours that depart from Masua beach.
Porto Flavia tours cost €10 and last approximately two hours. They must be booked in advance from the Tourism Office located in Piazza del Municipio in Iglesias, or online here.
Don’t forget to read my post A Guide To Visiting Porto Flavia and What You Need To Know Before Visiting Masua Pan Di Zucchero.
The tiny hamlet of Nebida is home to one of the most beautiful mines in Sardinia – the Laveria Lamarmora, built along the cliff of a hill and overlooking the sea.
It’s free to visit, but you may want to get a guided tour that also follows one of the hiking trails in the area and that takes you along the Canale di Nebida – a long, narrow valley has a tiny river meandering through it, and leads to a truly small, secluded pebble beach. Don’t forget to also visit the cave that has the same name!
Check out my post The Best Guide To Laveria Lamarmora, Nebida.
Practical Information To Plan Your Visit
How to get to Costa Verde
If are planning a vacation in Costa Verde, you’d better land at Cagliari airport, as it is the closest to Arbus, the main municipality of the area. I suggest to rent a car, as it is the only way to get from Arbus to the beaches on the coast and to the other locations. The trip from Arbus to the coast can be anything between 20 (12.5 miles) and 40 km (almost 25 miles) long, depending on which beach you want to reach.
Where to sleep
You can find various places to stay in Arbus. There are accommodations both inland and near the coast, but I still suggest booking well in advance, because, apart from B&Bs, rental houses and a few agriturismo, Costa Verde does not have many options.
There are no resorts or hotels, so it will be pretty hard to find a place at the last minute. As an alternative to Arbus, you can try looking for a place to sleep in Portixeddu or Buggerru, two south of Capo Pecora.
To find accommodation options in Arbus, click here.