Golden giants reflected in the turquoise sea, they constantly change shape due to the incessant blowing of the mistral that brings them to life, in this small Saharan desert dotted with Mediterranean maquis that shines on the west coast of Sardinia. The dunes of Piscinas, the pearl of the Costa Verde, leave those who discover this oasis of fine, warm, golden sand speechless.
A yellow-ochre expanse stretching from the coast to the hinterland, enlivened by the dance of the dunes, up to 60 metres high, which, blown by the wind, paint an ever-changing landscape.
The beach of Piscinas, which National Geographic has included among the twenty-one most beautiful beaches in the world, offers a breathtaking scenery of crystal-clear waters, rich in marine species of a thousand shades of colour.
The air is filled with the scent of vegetation that proudly resists the heat of the sand and grows luxuriantly: centuries-old junipers with twisted branches, mastic trees and wild olive trees that form small groves and, in spring, wallflowers, sea lilies and sand poppies.
A small world where it is easy to meet rabbits, wild cats and foxes. The white sand is often embellished by the presence of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta, which looks out from the sea to lay its eggs on the sand. But the undisputed king of this unspoilt part of Sardinia is the Sardinian deer, which proudly strides out into the sea to enjoy the beautiful nature.
The route to Piscinas, passing through Guspini or Arbus, is also a journey through the memory of the mining activities that for years were the pride of Sardinian industry, only to give way to the silence of rusty ruins, ghosts of the past. Along the road to the desert, we are accompanied by the Rio Piscinas, with its typical reddish colour, which flows through the Is Animas valley. The village, now abandoned, is part of Sardinia’s geo-mineral park and for over a century was the centre of the mines of the nearby Montevecchio complex. The road descends steeply between mountains of waste materials, rusty trolleys and abandoned wagons of the railway used to transport the minerals, as far as the mooring at the beach.
Piscinas is an echo of Africa and the ocean that perfectly embodies the wild soul of Sardinia, magically reconciling desert and scrub; a place isolated enough to maintain its beauty intact, far from mass tourism, unique and untamed like its sand dunes.