Sardinia was pushing us off the beaten track (well sort of) and out to the wild coast of the Costa Verde. We’d read in the Lonely Planet that the Costa Verde (meaning more or less, Green Coast) was one of the wildest stretches of coast on the island so thought it was worth a trip. Leaving Oristano, we headed south and then straight out to the coast to check it out before making our way any further.
We were hit with another dose of scorching sun, blue ocean and white sands – at which point we decided to pull up and immerse ourselves in wasps again as we sat down for lunch. We tripped around a few of the different beaches on the coast, each as remote as the next being the only two of a couple of people on each beach. One even had a run down ghost resort, which was strange – empty swimming pools, changing sheds and restaurants. This aside, the Costa Verde was definitely living up to it’s name of holding unkept, wild beaches with real character and not a (working) tourist venue in sight.
The coast didn’t convince us that there was much in the way of spots to stay at, so we ended up bunking down in a hotel in Arbus. We continued our rather impressive talent of arriving in a new town around about 2pm, right when the locals are heading home for the efficient 3hr lunch and nap – only to open up again at 4 or 5pm. We’d ‘booked’ a B&B which we struggled to find until a nice young girl printed out a map for us. Arriving to find a frazzled Italian woman who couldn’t speak English wasn’t quite what we were hoping for. She managed to communicate that she couldn’t accommodate us (even though the place looked empty) but that if we followed her friend, he would take us to another place…ok…After following this fella for about 10 minutes out into the countryside, we realised we weren’t going a nearby spot, but out to an Agriturismo. It looked like it was part accommodation, part farm, part junkyard, so we decided to pass and head back into town. Cel had spotted a hotel at the top of the hill in Arbus and managed to get us a big room, on the top story with a view out over the town below and the surrounding hills – good work Cel!
Arbus is a small town of around 7,000 and sits on the slopes of Monte Linas. We didn’t really spot too many other tourists about and felt like we were in the middle of a place that was going about it’s daily life without care of tourists or anything else. Although it makes a little bit more interesting in terms of language, directions and ordering, having few tourists around definitely makes you feel a lot more part of the culture and lifestyle – that is of course until you say something like ‘Yeah sweet, yeah just a wee bit’ when ordering cheese in a shop. While it was a mission to get to and was not full of tourist attractions, Arbus was a cool town that had something a little different to offer – local people, in local shops and not an internet cafe in sight! The hotel (Hotel Meridiana) we stayed at added to our experience; it was off season so it wasn’t packed, the young guy running it was a great host and it had it’s own stone pizza oven which seemed to be the only one in town as locals came in to pick-up takeout pizza and dine in the restaurant.
The beach highlight of the Costa Verde is Spiaggia di Piscinas, a remote beach that requires a drive down through a valley and across a set of sand dunes. The road opens out onto a long stretch of white sand and blue ocean as far as the eye can see. While still remote it’s definitely a favourite spot for tourists in the region, plenty of people lying about in the sun. Cel and I took a walk along the beach up to a set of rock pools, unfortunately there were not critters swimming about but was worth a try. There were a few lads with surf casters out in the ocean, but it didn’t look like that were getting any love on that front. Swimming was the call next, a bit of body surfing with what waves existed (pretty little due to an onshore wind). Then it was really just a matter of picking a massive carpet of sand to lie on, spreading out towels and keeping up the fluids!
Our final night in Arbus was relatively chilled out, red wine, meats and cheese on our balcony as the sun set; followed by stone oven cooked pizza from the restaurant in the hotel – yes Cel was still on the gluten buzz….