History & Archaeology
Unearth the secrets of Sardinia’s past…
Bang in the middle of the Med, halfway between the Italian mainland and North Africa, Sardinia has been occupied by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Genoans, Pisans and Spaniards, not to mention frequent incursions by Algerian and Turkish corsairs. The influence of these diverse groups is evident in the island’s language, food and culture, but there are more visible traces too: mighty ruins, well-preserved tombs, sacred wells, ancient roads and causeways.
Of the indigenous Sards we know little, however the Nuraghic people, who thrived between about 1500 and 800 BC, left ample evidence of their culture. Nuraghic remains can be seen throughout the island—most conspicuously the strange and formidable fortified towers, or nuraghi, from which the people are named—but also sacred wells, assembly chambers and burial places. The area inland of Bosa holds some of the most notable sites: SANTU ANTINE, LOSA, MACOMER and SANTA CRISTINA.
Following extensive contacts with the Phoenicians and settlement by Carthaginians, Sardinia became an unwilling participant in the long-running struggle between Carthage and Rome in the 3rd century BC. At THARROS, beautifully sited on a promontory of the Sinis peninsula south of Bosa, can be seen important remains of both the Carthaginian and Roman cities.
The archaeological museum at SASSARI holds a wealth of Roman and Carthaginian finds, as well as Nuraghic pieces—notably a marvellous collection of bronze figurines representing farmers, warriors, chieftains and animals.
Our week-long History & Archaeology group holidays combine visits to all of these sites, with English-language commentaries. Group numbers may vary from 4 to 12.
We mix half-day and full-day excursions over six days, leaving time free to pursue your own interests, whether it’s relaxing on the beach, hiking in the area or scenic drives.
One day is left completely free, though we also offer extra excursions and activities as options for filling your spare time.
- All transport including transfers on Arrival/Departure days
- All tour services
- Introductory welcome dinner
What’s not included:
- Meals (apart from breakfast in B&Bs or hotels, and welcome dinner)
- Transport unrelated to our tours
- Your travel insurance
The following provides an idea of a typical week on our History & Archaeology holiday.
The timetable isn’t rigid, depending on local factors and weather conditions, and return times to Bosa are approximate.
Note that some activities may be substituted at short notice.
Day 1: Bosa (half day 9:30–1):
Walking tour of Bosa including cathedral, castle and tanneries museum. See Walking tour of Bosa
Day 2: Suni sites (full day 10–5:30)
Morning Tour of local nuraghic sites of Nuraghe Nuradeo and Domus de Janas (rock-hewn burial sites), both outside Suni.
Afternoon (from 3.30pm): Guided tour of Suni’s ethnography/archaeology museum, for examples of traditional art and artefacts, and background to Suni’s archaeological sites.
See Local ethnography and archaeology
Day 3: Macomer and around (half day 9:30–1:30)
Expedition to Macomer to see the extraordinary Tamuli (Bronze Age menhirs) and the Nuraghic sites of Santa Barbara and Santa Sabina.
Day 4: Tharros and Oristano (full day 9:30–5:30)
Morning Full-day expedition to the site of Tharros, with guided tour. En route stops at site of Cornus (paleo-Christian ruins) and the perfectly preserved 6th-century church of San Giovanni di Sinis. Lunch at Oristano.
Afternoon (from 3pm) Visit to Oristano’s Antiquarium Arborense museum, for finds from Tharros and beautiful 16th-century art.
Day 5: Sassari and Monte d’Accoddi (full day 9:30–5:30)
Morning Visit to Sassari for Sardinia’s second most important archaeological museum (after Cagliari’s), containing Nuraghic, Greek, Carthaginian and Roman finds.
Afternoon (from 3pm): Visit to the 2nd–3rd-millennium BC “ziggurat” site of Monte d’Accoddi.
Day 6: Nuraghe Appiu and Pottu Codinu (full day 10–5:30)
Morning Tour of Nuraghe Appiu, high above the coast. The site is not just the Nuraghe but a whole Bronze Age village, including burial sites and altars, in a beautiful setting surrounded by cork oaks and ilex trees. Lunch is taken here.
Afternoon (from 3pm): Visit the necropolis of Pottu Codinu. This burial area of the pre-Nuraghic, Ozieri culture (3500–2700 BC), features rock-cut tombs in a lovely grassy inland spot, with views towards Lake Temo.
Day 7: Free
DATES & PRICES
The cost of your holiday depends on the departure date and the type of accommodation you prefer. Please book as early as possible to ensure a place on your preferred date.
We’ll email you within one day with details of prices and how to make a payment.
**NO SINGLE PERSON SUPPLEMENT ON GROUP HOLIDAYS!**
For more activities that can be arranged for you while you’re in Bosa, take a look at the other options described on our Conversation & Activities and Conversation & Culture pages (prices available on application).