Discover the Unspoiled West Coast of Sardinia

This package was coordinated by MEET project parnter MedPAN and created by the managers and the people of the protected areas of  Sinis MPA.

The tour is provided by the local tour operator  Baire viaggi.

This test tour is a result of the MEET project’s objective to develop an integrated strategy to settle an Eco-Tourism Development Model for the Mediterranean Protected Areas that boosts a better seasonal distribution of tourism flows. By participating in this tour you will be part of a small group contributing to the development of a new sustainable travel concept which aims to support conservation and benefit the local communities…

NOTE: This tour is aimed at nature and culture oriented travelers looking for soft adventure (medium level 3-5 hour hikes, swimming cycling). Low to mid-budgets, flexible in terms of accommodation.

Sinis Mal di Ventre Marine Protected Area

Sinis Peninsula is one of the most characteristic corners of the Island of Sardinia (24.090 sq km), the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea, situated between the Balearic islands and the Italian peninsula, south of Corsica. The strategic position of Sardinia, in the middle of the Western Mediterranean sea and its mineral wealth in ancient times has facilitated the development of commercial trade and cultural exchange between its inhabitants and the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans.

The archaeological site of Tharros is a witness of these ancient trades. Sardinia’s 1.850 km of coastline alternates between long stretches of sandy beaches with rocky headlands and sheer cliffs walls. Its combined landforms create a variety of distinct landscapes which have influenced the island’s history, culture and economy. The countryside landscape is punctuated with Nuraghi (typical prehistoric stone towers) and monuments which bear witness to the island’s rich history. Sardinia island deserves to be explored and appreciated for its unique and unspoilt nature and its folk and gastronomic traditions.

LOCATION


Biodiversity & Conservation in Sinis

Sinis MPA hosts a high variety of endemic species of plant and animals: Posidonia oceanica is one of the most common among plant species in the Mediterranean sea. It forms vast submerged grasslands that cover it for about 40 meters deep.

The most endangered endemic marine species are the limpet Patella ferruginea, a marine gastropod and the Pinna nobilis the noble pen shell, a large marine bivalve mollusc that reaches up to 150 cm of length. In the MPA there are also others endemic endangered species like Epinephelus marginatus fish (IUCN red list species).

Thanks to its rich biodiversity, the Sinis Peninsula and Mal di Ventre Island form a Marine Protected Area (MPA) dates back to 1997 managed by the Municipality of Cabras. The MPA extends over an area of approximately 26,000 ha and is divided into three zones (“A”, “B”, “C”) with different levels of protection according to their management objectives: protection and valorisation of the biodiversity, environmental education, scientific research and sustainable development of the area. The entire area has been selected as EU EDEN Destination of Excellence in 2009.

Conservation Threats & Opportunities

Conservation threats for the MPA species and habitats are mainly due to illegal fishing both from professional and recreational fishermen.

Awareness campaigns and involvement of the local community in sustainable development programs provides promising conservation opportunities.

Contribution of MEET to the Protected Area 

This package aims to increase visitors’ awareness of the environmental and cultural values of the area and the principles of sustainable tourism development, supporting the local community.

Your participation will ensure that you contribute to supporting the marine rescue centre (CreS) that operates to rescue and rehabilitate injured sea turtles mainly belonging to the species Caretta caretta.

The activities of CReS are conducted in collaboration with the “Penisola del Sinis – Isola di Mal di Ventre” MPA. The Rescue Center is an important node of the Sardinian Regional Network for the rescue of the marine fauna, instituted in 2004, aimed at improving the conservation strategies of the Mediterranean populations of sea turtles and marine mammals, using the methods exposed in the Italian National Guidelines (ISPRA Manuals and Guidelines 89/2013).

Who will you MEET during your trip?

Thanks to the MEET tour you will have a chance to meet the Marine Protected Area Manager and the researchers of the Rescue Centre (CReS) that will allow you to explore and discover the protected area from another perspective. Some local fishermen will show you some traditional fishing methods and the traditional pointed boats called “is fassonis” that were used in the lagoon.

PRE DEPARTURE GUIDE

Before you depart, please consider the following:

Visa requirements

European Citizens whose country is under the authority of the Schengen Treaty may enter Italy with nothing more than a valid identity card or passport.

Citizens from all other countries must show their passport on the border; where a visa is required, this must also be presented to the border authorities and must indicate the length of the holder’s stay and his or her destination. Visa applications – specifying the reason for the trip – must be made to the Italian Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence, and are generally issued 90 days after the application was been made.

Passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area (Six months recommended).

Currency

Currency in Italy (and all the European Union) is EuroGoogle Currency Converter

All major credit cards are accepted in shops, hotel and restaurants.

Banks in Italy are open Monday through Friday from 8:35 am to 1:35 pm and from 3 to 4pm.

The ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in Italy are known as Bancomat, and there are 4 in Cabras.

Weather Conditions

Warm with plenty sun. In September temperatures range between 30°C (High) and 17°C (Low). For more information: weather.com

Clothing tips

To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip, please take with you light clothes, light jacket, hat, hiking or running shoes, swimsuit, beach towel, medium size backpack, sunglasses and don’t forget sun block and insect repellent.

Insurance

An insurance covering each participant during transportation and all activities which are part of the program, is provided. Participants are also advised to take out their own personal travel insurance.

In Italy water is always drinkable, unless otherwise indicated. In the same way all food is safe. Participants with any allergy or intolerance should specify this to their TO and tour leader.

All the activities have been planned following strict safety rules. However, the program includes outdoor walks and the tour leader requests the attention and cooperation of participants.

Electricity/adaptors

In Italy the electrical current is 220 volts AC (50 Hz).

ON ARRIVAL

Download the detailed trip itinerary here (please note this could be subject to minor changes).

Transportation

We will meet in the afternoon at Cagliari Elmas Airport according to your flight. Your tour operator will contact you to arrange arrival and departure transfers.

Accommodation

Overnight in single rooms with private bathroom, hair drier, SAT-TV, direct-dial telephone, independent air- conditioning and fridge.

The charming three stars Hotel Villa Canu, is an old typical sardinian style country house situated in the historical centre of Cabras.

Tipping

In Italy is not necessary to tip even if it is appreciated from most waiters in restaurants or coffee bar.

Food

The traditional cuisine of Cabras combines both sea and agricultural components. Try delicacies such as the fish of Cabras, prepared in several ways, as the merca, mullet boiled in salted water and wrapped in leaves. The typical product is the bottarga (salted, pressed and dried mullet eggs) called “the gold of Cabras”, either sliced or grated on a plate of spaghetti. Another excellent local product is the Vernaccia, a white wine grape who according to legend, was introduced to the island of Sardinia by the Phoenicians sometime after the ancient Semitic civilization founded the port of Tharros in 800 BC.

Any special dietary requirement must be communicated before the tour.

Shopping & Local Products

Shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 8.00 a.m. to 13.00 and from 17.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Important Cultural & Religious Considerations

The Italian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship. Most of the population is Catholic.

Italians usually have breakfast from 7.00 a.m. onwards. Hotels generally set a time (around 10.00 a.m.) after which breakfast may no longer be ordered. In restaurants, lunch is served from 12.30 to 2.30 p.m, and dinner between 19.30 and 23.00. These times are merely indicative.

Your MEET Tour Leader

Your MEET tour leader will meet you upon your arrival and be with you until your departure. They will be the connection between you – the traveller – and the local people & territory, sharing their local knowledge and advice on how best to enjoy your unique experience. Their role is to ensure that all aspects of your trip run smoothly. It sometimes happens that unexpected situations may occur, in which case your leader will keep you well informed and may require your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, they are there to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

USEFUL PHRASES IN ITALIAN

Basic greetings:

English Italian
Hello Ciao!
Good evening Buona sera
Goodbye Arrivederci
See you tomorrow A domani
Please Per favore
Excuse me / sorry Mi scusi / mi dispiace
Thank you Grazie
You’re welcome Prego
Have a good day Buona giornata!
Enjoy your meal Buon appetito!
Cheers Salute!

Introducing yourself:

English Italian
Hello, my name is… Ciao, mi chiamo…
What is your name? Come ti chiami?
How are you? Come stai?
Nice to meet you Piacere di conoscerti
I come from Italy, Spain, Germany..