5 places to photograph the best of Sardinia
For anyone that loves taking pictures, a trip to Sardinia is photography utopia. This Italian island in the Mediterranean has a landscape encompassing mountains, massifs, beaches, caves, and historic sites. Surrounded by the blues of the Mediterranean Sea, the photo opportunities here are endless.
Get your camera read and give your lenses a swift clean. These 5 places in Sardinia will leave your friends and family green with photography envy.
Best places to take photos in Sardinia
Sardinia photography – La Maddalena Archipelago
Why photograph one island when you can have over 60 islands and islets to choose from? La Maddalena Archipelago is an archipelago off the north-eastern corner of Sardinia. There are 7 islands in total here, which include Caprera, Santo Stefano and Santa Maria. Its namesake, La Maddelana, is the largest of the group.
Granite mountains married with the turquoise-blue of the sea form a primary backdrop. Isolated beaches and gentle rolling hills make for striking pictures.
The adjacent island of Caprera is the largest island in the archipelago and is also a nature reserve. It was also home to the Italian general that helped unify Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi, who lived here for 26 years. In fact, his home, Casa Bianca (white house) and Compendio Garibaldino (Garabaldi museum) are 2 of the most visited sites.
Explore more of Caprera in Sardinia
While in Caprera, make time to detour to Cala Coticcio. This stunning cove and beach in a fully protected of Maddalena National Park is one the island’s best attractions. You need to be prepared if planning to visit Cala Coticcio, as it isn’t the easiest place to access. The easiest way to reach the beach is by boat. They’ll take you directly to the shores of the rich blue sea meaning you can sit back and enjoy the views.
Alternatively, you can walk to the beach and cove sticking to the trail. However, take caution, as this trail isn’t paved, and it also takes you through rocky terrain. This makes it somewhat arduous and a tiring route. If you’re up to the challenge, be sure to wear running or even hiking shoes and plenty of water.
Your efforts are greatly rewarded, however, once you see the dazzling scene ahead of you, and the many photo opportunities. While in the area, you may also want to visit other coves such as Cala Portese and Cala Napoletana.
You can access Caprera from La Maddalena via a small bridge in the Passo della Moneta.
Gorropu gorge – Sardinia photography
Travel to one of Europe’s deepest canyons on the east side of the island. Gorropu gorge is between the towns of Barbagia and Ogliastra and is an ideal spot to test your photography techniques. Limestone walls tower up to 400m in height. You can reach Sardinia’s spectacular gorge by foot or mountain bike. Hiking trails enable you to fully explore the gorge, but it’s advisable to book with a hiking company. Needless to say, don’t take on this trek without having the right equipment and clothing.
Boulders line the ravine from the Rio Flumineddu riverbed. After 500m in, you reach the narrowest point of the gorge (4m wide). Good hiking shoes are also recommended as limestone rocks can be slippery.
The gorge also provides ample opportunity to photograph Sardinia’s nature and wildlife at its best. Yew trees — some of which are over 1,000 years old — and juniper trees adorn the landscape. Its wildlife inhabitants include the golden eagle and the mouflon (wild sheep).
Visiting Gorropu gorge is better in the morning. The earlier you go, you not only beat the crowds, but you also beat the heat — especially during summer.
“Granite mountains married with the turquoise blue of the sea form a primary backdrop.”
Photographing Sardinia is better with a local tour guide! I couldn’t have seen as much of the island without the knowledge of a local. They can tell you the best time to visit, and the best spots to photograph.
Photographing Sardinia – Su Nuraxi in Barumini
Around Gorropu gorge, and other locations in Sardinia are nuraghe villages. Nuraghe are ancient prehistoric structures dating between 1900 and 730 BC. One of the most important and well-preserved among approximately 7,000 nuraghe spread over the island is Su Nuraxi in Barumini.
This settlement features the 16th century BCE nuraghe, 4 corner towers and a village with 50 huts. These unique structures are made from basalt and volcanic stone dating back to the Bronze Age. It’s still not entirely clear what nuraghes were used for. Archaeologists have suggested they were religious temples or military fortresses.
The complex at Barumini is the finest example of prehistoric architecture, and was given UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997. Saying that, it’s a must for photographers visiting Sardinia.
How to visit Su Nuraxi
The settlement is near Giara, which is situated in central-southern Sardinia. There’s an entrance fee to enter the site, after which you have the option of taking a tour. It’s not obligatory, but if you do want to join, it departs every 30 minutes and lasts around 50 minutes.
Su Nuraxi in Barumini is the most visited nuraghe in Sardinia for the reasons listed above. Arrive early to avoid disappointment and the long queues. The sun in Sardinia is very strong during summer, so don’t forget your sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Birdwatching in Bosa – where to take photographs in Sardinia
In the north-west of Sardinia lies the pretty village town of Bosa. Highlights here include the medieval Castle of Serravalle and its delicious Malvasia wine. Bosa is also known for its outdoor and nature activities such as bird-watching and hiking.
Get your zoom lenses at the ready to capture the incredible wildlife in Sardinia. Bosa is home to the nature reserve of Badde Aggiosu, Marrargiu and Monte Mannu. And it’s here, where among other animals, you can spot griffon vultures. Depending on the time of year, you may also be able to spot peregrine falcons, golden eagles and wild cats. Though it’s a notable place for taking pictures, you must respect the boundaries.
They ask photographers not to get too close to the nests, as griffon vultures are extremely sensitive to disturbance. It’s also much better to visit during summer as the birds circle above the colony most times of the day. In winter, they’re less active and so more difficult to spot.
Capo Marrargiu marine biopark
After you captured the different species of birds in Bosa, you may want to turn your attention to its sea-life. Among the caves and creeks at Capo Marrargiu marine biopark, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive monk seal.
Sardinia photography – La Pelosa Beach (Spiaggia La Pelosa)
There are many beautiful beaches in Sardinia to visit, and it’s impossible to choose just one. However, for the purpose of taking photographs, La Pelosa Beach in north-west Sardinia is a very photogenic choice.
Over 300m in length, this beach near Stintino in the province of Sassari is a favorite among many Italians. Translucent waters, fine white sand, and views of Isola Piana and Isola Asinara in the distance only reinforce its popularity.
A notable feature of La Pelosa Beach is the ancient 16th century watchtower, Torre della Pelosa. It was once part of Sardinia’s defense system, and has now become a recognizable landmark. Keen divers will also appreciate that there are 2 diving centres in the La Pelosa area.
What makes La Pelosa so attractive to visitors is that it’s suitable for everyone. The waters are shallow in parts, making it ideal for families with young children.
Would you like to try out your photography skills in Sardinia? Let me know in the comments below!
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