Piscinas Dunes

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The coastal dune system of Piscinas, one of the largest in Europe, extends for about 2 square miles in western Sardinia, in the municipality of Arbus. Nicknamed “the little Italian Sahara”, it has been acknowledged as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The dunes stretch inland for about 1.2 miles, and are among the highest in Europe, reaching a maximum height of 328 ft.
A true peculiarity of the area is the presence of the wreck of an English vessel carrying lead that has been lying on the sandy bottom, not far from the shore, for over 200 years.

The only existing building in the area is hotel Le Dune di Piscinas, built after the renovation of an old mining deposit (declared a National Monument) used to store the ore to be later taken by train to the harbour of Carloforte.


Constantly remodeled by the western winds throughout the year (in particular by Mistral), the dunes feature endemic vegetation perfectly adapted to this peculiar environment. In fact, there are specimens of centuries-old juniper, mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus), thorny broom (Calycotome spinosa) and spurges (euphorbia), alternating with large expanses of tamarisks (Tamarix pentandra in particular) and rush near the waterways.

In this fragile and unique ecosystem, the local fauna is mainly represented by Corsican red deers, Hermann’s tortoises (Testudo hermanni), and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta Caretta); the latter have found here the ideal place for laying eggs at night, in June and July.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


SP4 21, Costa Verde - Arbus(VS)

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