Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia
Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Sardinia is so well-known for its stunning beaches, nightlife, and famous visitors to the island. Most people aren’t even aware of what its wild nature has to offer, including the megalithic constructions, also known as nuraghi, that are found all over the island. There are almost 7000 nuraghi on the island, 200 of which have been excavated. Their era of construction is roughly dated from 2300 to 500 BC. Not very much is known of the ancient Nuragic civilization, except that it was a people of shepherds and farmers grouped into small communities who lived in Sardinia for 8 centuries. Although they are similar to other ancient constructions, in numbers Sardinia has no competitors. The nuraghi of Sardinia could, as a whole, be seen as one of the world’s greatest unknown treasures.

As a child I spent many summers in Sardinia, and I have fond memories the Nuraghi. This past Sunday we decided to be tourists in our own town, taking the kids out and about, touring the Nuraghi of northern Sardinia. Our first stop was Arzachena’s train station turned local museum, which just happens to be minutes from our home. Our knowledgable guide explained how the ancient civilization lived day to day; how they dressed and prepared food, how they prepared paint to draw the peculiar shapes and symbolic images on the stone walls, and also how they died. Corpses were buried in the fetal position, as a symbol of rebirth, and buried with personal belongings to take with them to the other side.

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

We then took a short car ride to the first, and also most well-known site; ‘Tomba dei Giganti’, or Giant’s Grave. The Nuragic civilization built these megalithic graves as collective burial sites for the townspeople. Although the name invokes images of the burial of giant human beings, the tombs actually have nothing to do with the burial of giants at all. The Nuragic civilization constructed two distinct types of tombs. The “slab type” was constructed from giant stone slabs which were placed upright, and buried into the ground. The slabs were placed side by side in a long row. They are uniform in height except for the center slab, which rises up to 4 meters in height and has a doorway carved into its center.

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Perfect location for an impromptu yoga pose photoshoot!

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

The second Nuragic site that we visited was La Prisgiona, located in Capichera, an area famous for its vineyards. This Nuraghe, which extends over five hectares, consists of a huge dolmen, or megalithic tomb in the center of the village, which is composed of about 100 huts, with many more still unearthed. Another main feature of the courtyard is a 7 meter deep well that still works!

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia

Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia



16 thoughts on “Touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia”

  • Looks like a great experience and lots of historic sightseeing!

  • I had never considered touring Nuraghi in Northern Sardinia until now. Learning about the construction of the two distinct types of tombs has been quite interesting. That’s something I want to see upon my arrival.

  • Angela Hanson 3 weeks ago

    Love all the travel knowledge
    you are sharing with us!

  • AlainaBullock1 3 weeks ago

    Oh wow! What a wonderful place to visit and explore. I’ve always been fascinated by older civilizations and cultures, and would love to visit Nuraghi! Thanks for sharing your trip and photos. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to take my family there one day in the future.

    • Sardinia should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list! It’s amazing how so many people have no idea these exist!

  • What an amazing experience and adventure. I am sure you were filled with history and tons of info. Thank you for sharing your trip. I would have never thought to take a trip to Nuraghi.

  • This is such an interesting place. I didn’t know it existed. I love travels that teach and connect you. What a great experience to see the remains of a civilization so long ago.

  • Wow. This sounds like another world. I love the thought behind corpses being buried in the fetal position, as a symbol of rebirth, and buried with personal belongings to take with them to the other side. I’ve always loved Ancient Egyptian culture for this reason. Having such a connection with death and the future connects to me so deeply.

    • It’s funny because they did what the Egyptians do. My husband and I were talking about the visit and we were curious as to how they followed many of the same traditions, yet they lived to far away from each other. I don’t think word of mouth travelled around the world back then, lol!

  • What a great experience. I wish would have had the means to travel more when our girls were younger. That is a trip your family will never forget. Love seeing your photos.

    • Our kids have been coming to Sardinia every summer since they were born…It’s kind of a must since my husband’s and my family live here 😉

  • What a wonderful destination. I have never heard of Nuraghi, thank you for bringing this place into my radar. The scenery and sites are interesting.

  • What a wonderful place to visit, learn about a different culture and its people and take in the beautiful sites. I have never heard of Nuraghi; thanks for putting it in my radar!

  • What an experience. I can only imagine how educational and fun this was for your kids. I think I need to take a trip to Nuraghi! Thanks so much for sharing!

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