Caribbean Sardinia: Le Dune di Porto Pino beach
A desert of fine sand, with talcum-powder dunes shaped by the mistral: a wonder of nature reigns at Le Dune di Porto Pino beach, on the far south-western tip of Sardinia.
1. A dazzling vision
The seas of southern Sardinia are among the most beautiful in the world. One of the most spectacular stretches of coastline is the beach of Porto Pino, in the territory of Sant'Anna Arresi/Teulada. It spans four kilometres divided into three parts: the first with pearl-grey sand, the second perfectly white, set between a pine forest and Mistral ponds, and the third beyond the ruins of a jetty. The latter is Le Dune, also called Is Arenas Biancas, a kilometre of sandy slopes that reach up to 30 metres in height, and are as soft as fluff. Due to the strength of the winds, they are in perpetual motion, presenting an ever-changing silhouette.
The beach, accessible only in the summer, is an absolute must for those who love the sea. Dive into the water, walk, swim, allow yourself to be lulled by the breeze. Watch the Mediterranean shrubs that appear here and there on the sand: sea lilies, Phoenician juniper, wild rosemary. It is the shrubs, with their roots, that enable the sand to accumulate. Follow the pink flamingos, herring gulls and egrets as they take flight. Look for shells hidden in the sand and admire the skeletons of logs sculpted by the weather and salt spray.
2. Outdoor pursuits for all tastes
The seabed is sandy, sloping gently for about ten metres before becoming deeper, making it suitable for safe bathing for children. A swim is almost obligatory, but you can also choose other activities in the sea. These include snorkelling and underwater fishing.
Some areas of Sardinia are a paradise for surfers, and this one is no exception. The wind blows and the sea provides the perfect currents. Then, for those who want to fly, there is always kite surfing! You will have no trouble locating schools and specialised centres where you can find instructors and equipment, and it will be just as easy to rent dinghies or other boats, or even to enrol in a sailing school, for an amazing water excursion.
3. The perfect ecosystem
Sea, dunes, beaches and headlands. Plus lagoons, ponds, pine forests, all packed into a few kilometres: an almost pristine landscape, protected for years.
Pine forests close to the beach are rare, as they consist of Aleppo pines, a species that thrives in Syria (hence the name) and other countries in the Middle East, southern Italy, Spain and Morocco. Then there are centuries-old oaks and junipers.
Take in the lagoon scenery of the wetland and lose yourself in the gullies and pools of water. Head for the Mistral ponds and the one named Is Brebeis, immediately behind Porto Pino beach: it is the summer home of many migratory birds, from pink flamingos to kingfishers.
4. The tour continues in the surrounding area
The entire area of the municipality of Teulada offers breathtaking views. From Capo Malfatano to Capo Teulada there are 60 kilometres of coastline with a variety of features. Take a trip to the heights to admire the coastline from above and take in all its splendour.
Take a walk in the shade of the Gutturu forest, among centuries-old holm oaks and cork trees, and climb Mount Ponte Sebera. From up here, your gaze sweeps across the Gulf of Cagliari to the south-west coast of Sardinia, and you can even make out the island of Sant'Antioco. In the evening, it is pleasant to visit the village of Teulada, with its small streets that wind their way towards the small squares.
This is a popular place for shopping, thanks to the many artist-craftsmen who keep their long tradition alive. You will find embroidered clothes and carpets, terracotta pipes, and paintings on ceramics depicting the incredible landscapes of the area. Some interesting items are the paintings depicting the old rural dwellings of shepherds, reproduced on old tiles.
Finally, take a break at one of the restaurants and try the typical pasta: frègula, or semolina balls, often served with a fish sauce. Sardinian cuisine has its origins in the sea, but even more in the land, and you may want to try the lamb or wild boar ragout.
At the end of the meal, relax with a glass of Mirto, a liqueur made from the aromatic myrtle plant.