Life in Sardinia is perhaps the best a man can hope: twenty-four thousand kilometers of forests, countryside and coasts surrounded by a miraculous sea should coincide with what I recommend the good Lord to give us as Paradise.
Fabrizio De André
Castelsardo, among the most beautiful villages in Italy
Located in the center of the Asinara Gulf, in the Anglona region, Castelsardo is an ancient medieval village perched on a promontory overlooking the sea, preserved pratically intact; almost comkpletely surrounded by the sea, the 360 degree panorama is truly breathtaking: the view extends from the island of Asinara to the Red Island and even further east, passing through Corsica. Even the inward view offers glimpses of remarkable beauty, characterized by limestone rocks that form plateaus and planks, carved by erosion phenomena that form valleys or cliffs.
Founded by the Genoese Doria family in the 12th century under the name of Castelgenovese, it was later conquered by the Aragonese in 1448 and renamed Castellaragonese. Today’s name Castelsardo dates back to the mid-eighteenth century, and is due to the advent of the Savoy.
The Castle, the highest point to enjoy the splendid panoramic view, houses inside the Museum of Mediterranean interweaving, dedicated to the art of working the dwarf palm and raffia, a tradition that has made Castelsardo famous for its baskets and other utensils for work for everyday life and for fishing.
From here you can continue for a walk along the walls overlooking the sea to then find themselves in the characteristic alleys of the village, meeting the women dedicated in weaving colored baskets, or the fishermen to prepare pots, eventually stopping to taste the local products in restaurants and bars.
Continuing the visit you will find the Cathedral of St. Anthony the Abbot, symbol of the city with its bell tower, inside which you can admire its splendid frescoes and make guided tours to the crypts.
Going down towards the Marina beach and continuing towards the tourist port, at the foot of the village is the tower of Frigiano; built by the Spaniards, with the function of guard to protect from the Barbarian and Saracen incursions.
Just outside Castelsardo there is the characteristic Rock of the elephant, so named for its shape. Inside there are two Neolithic tombs, known as domus de janas, or fairy house. A few hundred meters you can also admire the typical Sardinian construction: the nuraghe.
Other places of historical and archaeological interest in the surroundings are the Church of Our Lady of Tergu, the Church of St. Peter of Images in Bulzi, the Necropolis of Su Murrone in Chiaramonti and its Castle of the Dorias, the Castle of the Malaspina in Osilo, the Domus de Janas in Sedini, the Sacred Well of Predio Canopoli in Perfugas, the Romanesque-Pisan Church of San Michele di Salvenero in Ploaghe.
All these places are reachable by road routes surrounded by countryside, luxuriant forests and granite rocks … especially without traffic! In addition you will always find the warm welcome of Sardinian people with their typical products of land and sea accompanied by their excellent and renowned local wines.
A few kilometers from Castelsardo, towards Valledoria, there is the Coghinas mouth , a river that for a long stretch is the natural boundary between the Gallura and the Anglona regions, and that you can run across it by boat or canoe and where the natural landscape, the flora and fauna are very rich.
Nearby you can relax at the Terme di Casteldoria; open all the year, it offers treatments of the highest quality thanks to the salsobromoiodic thermal water.
Another destination not to miss is the island of Asinara.
Virgin coasts, isolated landscapes, rare and characteristic species of plants and animals, such as the typical white donkey, the historical events sui generis … the island located at the extreme north-west of Sardinia, which separates the open sea from the Gulf of the same name, is a world apart, all to discover.
The natural wealth of Asinara, spread over more than 50 km 2, has been a national park since 1997 and a full marine protected area since 2002.
Activities and fun
For those who love sports, from Castelsardo there are several walking routes, such as the beautiful walk from Vignaccia to the beach, and also for cyclists and motorcyclists; at the port you can book diving at the local diving; in Lu Bagnu, a beautiful beach 1 km from Castelsardo you can go surfing, while windsurfing and kitesurfing at San Pietro a mare beach, less than 15 km. Finally, from the port of Castelsardo it is possible to go canoeing, organize excursions for fishing tourism, sailing school, rent boats and sailing in the gulf.
Both in the old village and in the village you can find several restaurants and bars for aperitifs with live music; in addition there are organized cultural events, concerts, and events such as the Summer Carnival rio de Frijaneiro from 27 to 29 July; and for the youngest four jumps at the disco at Vogue.
One last gem: its spectacular sunsets …
Welcome where the sun shines longer!