A Useful Guide To Siliqua, Sardinia

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Siliqua is a small town about 30 km (18.6 miles) from Cagliari, in the valley of the Cixerri River and with a territory that in part occupies the area of Monte Arcosu, Italy’s largest WWF Reserve. Albeit small, in the past Siliqua held a lot of value because of its position, close to the capital but also in a prosperous area of Sardinia, good for farming, and surrounded by hills with great military and defensive value.

Nowadays, several traces of the people who lived there throughout the centuries can still be admired. From the ancient Castle of Acquafredda to old nuraghe ruins, this town’s territory has kept a record of the many years of human activity in the area.

Since Siliqua is an easy place to visit on a day trip from Cagliari, I thought I’d share a bit more info so that you can prepare your visit.

Make sure to also read my posts The Best Day Trips From Cagliari and The Best Sardinia Hidden Gems.

A Short History Of Siliqua, Sardinia

The area where Siliqua is located was inhabited since ancient times, as the several nuraghe and Domus de Janas ruins found show. During the Roman Empire, Siliqua location was close enough to Cagliari and there probably were some villages around there, and this was enough to make it thrive – but what made it important for the Romans was the abundant water that led to the creation of a system of aqueducts.

The name “Siliqua” was written down for the first time in the 13th century, but the area where Siliqua was established had never stopped being inhabited since pre-historical times. Thanks to its great strategic position, it was contended between the Giudicati, and later the Aragonese and Pisan conquerors, and a castle was built on top of the area’s tallest hill to guard the town and its vicinity.

After the middle ages, there was no historic event of note and the village slowly disappeared from mentions in documents and simply kept existing and living off farming.

Acquafredda Castle Siliqua

What To See And Do In Siliqua

Castello di Acquafredda

The Acquafredda castle was built in the 13th century by the Count Ugolino della Gherardesca (yes, he’s the one Dante wrote about in his Divine Comedy) to guard the area, especially the mines, and the homonymous village that used to be under the hill where the fort is located. It’s a lovely place to visit and on clear days you can see all the way to Cagliari from the castle.

You can join a guided tour and discover every secret that this manor hides, and also find out about the hill itself, the “domo andesitico”.

The castle is located about 4 km from the center of Siliqua. It is open ever dat, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Tickets cost €5 and tours (which include the ticket in the price) are €8.

For a guided tour of Acquafredda Castle departing from Cagliari, click here.

Check out my posts A Guide To The Castello di Acquafredda and The Most Captivating Castles In Sardinia.

Domo andesitico

This is the scientific name for the hill where the castle is built, which is considered a very unique rock and therefore a natural monument. Shaped by the millennia of activity by the local, abundant water sources, this lava boulder hosts a huge variety of plants that decorate the area and make for a special ecosystem where some rare animals – such as buzzards – find their perfect home.


There are five churches scattered around Siliqua, small but worth a visit and some photos. They all have Aragonese features even though some of them might have been there from before and be the product of radical renewals. The churches are: San Giorgio Martire, Sant’Anna, Sant’Antonio, San Sebastiano, and San Giuseppe Calasanzio and you can visit them all in a few hours, with a stroll around the town.

Siliqua - Domus de Janas in Sardinia

Nuraghe and Domus de Janas

There are a few ruins in the surroundings of Siliqua that are worth seeing. You will find eight nuraghe and a Domus de Janas. The former aren’t, sadly, kept in a good state, so there’s not much to admire – although they can be visited anytime. The latter (Domu de s’Orcu Domus de Janas) can be reached with a short drive and sometimes there are guided tours – but you will need to ask the local tourist office for more information.

Check out my posts A Guide To Nuraghe In Sardinia and A Guide To Sardinia’s Domus De Janas.

Zinnigas Water Springs

Have you ever drunk the “San Giorgio” branded mineral water? It comes from a natural spring nearby Siliqua, in its lovely Zinnigas hamlet! There are five natural water springs in Siliqua municipality, and they all produce water that is sold on the (mainly regional) shelves of any supermarket.

Mount Lattias and Su Spistiddatroxiu waterfall

The area of Mount Lattias, near Siliqua, is home of several easy hiking trails. One of them – of about 12 km (about 7.5 miles) for a total of 5 hours of walking – will take you to Su Spistiddatroxiu waterfall, a 50 meters two-jumps waterfall in the area of Gutturu Mannu, inside Monte Arcosu WWF Reserve.

To get to the beginning of the trail you’ll have to take a (rather bumpy) dirt road found along SS 293 of Giba, nearby Medau Zirimilis lake and north of the gallery with the same name. Once you get to an abandoned building called “dispensa Antonietti” park your car and continue on foot.

Check out my post The Prettiest Waterfalls In Sardinia.

How To Get To Siliqua

As I have said before, you can easily visit Siliqua from Cagliari on a day trip. The two cities are about a 40-minutes drive apart. From Cagliari, you will need to take State Road E25 and SS 130 to Villaspeciosa, then take the State Road SP90 to Siliqua. You will be able to spot the castle from a distance. The road continues to Narcao and then to the beach of Porto Pino and is incredibly scenic.

For a guided tour of Acquafredda Castle departing from Cagliari, click here.

Check out my posts The Most Scenic Roads In Sardinia and A Short Guide To Narcao.

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Discover what to see and do in Siliqua, Sardinia - via @c_tavani

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