Sardinia is the land of my ancestors, and the place I call home for now. Although I live in the north, close to the famous coastline of the Costa Smeralda, I long to see the many facets of this beautiful island. Our day trip to northwest Sardinia opened our eyes to the stunning diversity of this land. There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing your own land through the eyes of a tourist, acknowledging the familiarity of nature, the buildings, and the ocean, yet experiencing new places that although seem typically Sardinian, are so different than ‘home.’
We recently visited the stretch of northwest coastline, running from the Li Junchi beach in Badesi to Castelsardo. A few hours of driving in complete silence is the perfect antidote to a busy and stressful week. Greenery, serenity, cork trees, cows…lots of cows!
We stopped for photo ops in some of the small towns along the drive. Something so simple as a white granite place of worship nestled off the beaten path brought me such serenity and inner silence – and inspired a yoga pose or two!
Kilometres and kilometres of windy roads lined with bright yellow flowers (weeds never looked so beautiful!) was the perfect contrast to the bright blue sky. So many bright colours – and a reminder that spring is on its way.
We arrived in Castelsardo, a traditional medieval town that dominates the Golfo dell’Asinara, shortly before (a late) lunch. We took a brisk walk through the picturesque medieval old part of town, with its narrow streets and charming squares as far as the Castello dei Doria, the only fully intact castle in Sardinia and from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view towards Asinara.
After a mouth-watering seafood-inspired lunch, we headed to Badesi, stopping to admire the Roccia dell’Elefante (Elephant Rock), a large boulder of trachyte stone standing beside State Road 134, just outside Castelsardo. The origin of the rock is quite interesting: part of the rocky complex of Monte Casteddazzu broke off and rolled down the valley along the road. After years of erosion, the rock assumed the appearance of an elephant, with its trunk turned towards the road.
Our next, and last stop was Badesi, a small town along the coastline that welcomes thousands and thousands of tourists during the summer. We arrived just as the sun was setting along the horizon shining down on the calm sea along Li Junchi Beach.
We saw all of this in only one day, yet it felt like we were there for much longer. Time seemed to stand still, which often happens when immersed in the stunning nature of this island. Coincidentally, our cultural day trip was finished off with the perfect view of some nuraghe – just one of the thousands of neolithic stone formations that line the inlands and coastline all over Sardinia.