Located in the southwestern part of Sardinia, the Grotte Is Zuddas are a unique place, caved in on a hill by water. The grotto presents a truly spectacular scenery that can be admired by walking through an underground route, among dolomitic rocks and gravity defying aragonites.
If you are planning a trip to southern Sardinia, you should definitely consider visiting this place, especially if you like nature in its purest form. In this guide you will find information about Is Zuddas Grotto, as well as interesting historical notes and directions on how to get there.
Enjoy your reading!
Looking for more caves to visit in Sardinia? Then head over to my post The Most Beautiful Caves In Sardinia.
Table of Contents
The History Of The Grotte Is Zuddas
A 530 million years old cave, Is Zuddas Grotto was created in Mount Meana by the disruptive force of water over time. Within the large underground natural tunnel, there are also three different halls.
During the 1960s, the grotto was used as a quarry to extract marble, while in 1971, the Santadese Speleo Club group began operations to monitor and control the grotto.
In 1985 the cave was finally opened to the public, attracting tourists from all over the world. Since 1990, at Christmas the grotto hosts a beautiful nativity scene in the Sala dell’Organo (Organ Hall).
What’s Inside The Grotte Is Zuddas?
The Is Zuddas grottos are part of an underground cavity complex that passes through Mount Meana, a 240-meter-high hill (that’s 287 feet, in case you are wondering). The entrance to the cave tunnel is close to Santadi, in the lower Sulcis region of Sardinia, which is very famous for its excellent gastronomy, and for the beautiful natural sites.
The tourist route inside the cave is about half a kilometer long (that’s 0.3 miles), and passes through stalactites, stalagmites and impressive formations similar to petrified waterfalls. Over time, some aragonites where formed into three like shapes, giving the Grotte Is Zuddas caves an almost magical atmosphere.
The strange shape of the arogonites is the feature that has made the caves famous worldwide. These aragonites have developed in different directions, defeating the force of gravity and becoming a real scientific and geological mystery that is still being studied to this day.
The Is Zuddas caves also feature three natural halls. The wide and imposing Sala del Teatro (Theatre Hall) is the first one you will see, the one that welcomes the visitors, with stalagmites formed after a landslide.
From the Sala del Teatro the tunnel continues to the Sala Eccentrica (Eccentric Hall), which is particularly striking due to the aforementioned aragonites.
The third hall is the Sala dell’Organo (Organ hall). It takes the name from a column of stalactite and stalagmite that resembles an organ. In this Hall you can admire a unique nativity scene, the union of nature and Giovanni Salidu’s sculptures.
Grotte Is Zuddas opening hours
The Grotte Is Zuddas are open on Saturdays and Sundays only, and you can only visit on guided tours that depart at regular intervals from the visitors’ center.
On Saturdays tours start at 12:00 and 3:00 pm.
On holidays and Sundays there is a greater availability, with tours departing at 11:00 am, 12:15 am, and 3:00 pm, 3:45 pm.
Admission to the Grotte is Zuddas is €12 per person (reduced fare is €8) and that includes the price of the guided tour. You can book tickets on the official Is Zuddas website: www.grotteiszuddas.com up to one before the start of the tour.
Alternatively, you can buy tickets at the ticket office, located near the entrance to the grotto. Personally, I recommend booking tickets, especially during the summer when there are more tourists.
How to get to Is Zuddas Grotto
The fastest and easiest way to get to Is Zuddas caves is by car. From Cagliari, you will have to SS 130 road (that’s the one that goes to Cagliari Elmas Airport) all the way to Siliqua. Once there, follow the directions to Giba-Santadi. The caves are a few km after Santadi. The overall trip should take you no more than 1 hour and 30 minutes.
On guided day trips
If you don’t fancy driving, there are a few guided tours that may take you all the way to Is Zuddas caves and other nearby attractions. The price of the tours online is quite expensive, but keep in mind it’s per group.
Other useful information
For the purpose of your visit, make sure to wear closed shoes and appropriate clothing to keep comfortable at a temperature of at least 16°C (around 61°F).
Photography is allowed, but be careful not to use flash, as it is against the rules.
Likewise, you are not allowed to touch the limestone formations, and abandon litter inside the cave.
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t admitted inside the caved either.