It was a cold and cloudy day on Sunday when we set off in the car to explore the Porto Guinco tip of Sardinia. It is the most southerly tip of Villasimius and it is dubbed the place of the three seas because from the tower (torre) you can see three separate strips of water.
We haven’t invested in a map for the area but instead we’ve been using google maps. It isn’t always the most accurate but it is fun! I have a knack for map reading us onto cracked and bumpy, dirt tracks which I promise look like roads on the actual map. It happens every time we go out and I’m sure Rich thinks I’m doing it deliberately HOWEVER, it had its rewards today.
We went in search of a lighthouse that sits above Capa Carbonara but we discovered it was part of a militarised zone and we were forced to do a U turn. Coming back down the hill gave us a fabulous view over the ocean, the tower and the bay of Capo Carbonara.
From the hill
From the hill, the building you can see is not a house, as we thought, but Cava Usai, an abandoned quarry factory. Built in the second part of the nineteenth century by Tuscan brothers, it was active until the mid twentieth century.
The beach area is mostly pebbley with a small patch of sand. The water, as always, is boringly clear and turquoise! (/sarcasm). There were quite a few clouds in the sky and the sea was a little bit choppy.
As well as the ruins of the disused plant, “Cava Usai” offers an old port and you can see many docking areas – for those that are brave enough to clamber the large and fallen rocks. There is NO path leading to these areas and at high tide it is impassable. Instead you must wait for the sea to subside before walking round. It is risky but the sea is relatively calm at the moment (spring).
We took all of the children over the rocks but just couldn’t make that final corner due to the sea. We had a brilliant time and the kids thought it was really ‘dangerous’ lol which sparked their interest all the more.
And then the sun came out…
Sardinia has quite a lot of sun, in case you hadn’t realised, and we were very pleased to get rid of the clouds and see the sun! It really brightened up the photos.
FInding the path
You can see from this map that we zigzagged all over the place before actually finding THE path to get up to the tower. The red line is the militarised zone where we tried to access and did a U-turn.
To access the tower from the beach, there is a pathway at the back of the quarry building that heads into the bush land. It’s a narrow, sandy path that leads you between big bushes of gorse and flower.
then you’re hit with the view
As we were meandering along the sandy path, we twisted almost back on ourselves and I did start to wonder if we would ever make it up to the tower. Then, all of a sudden, you’re hit with the view. Just a glimpse as the pathway dips down again but I got this sense of trepidation that it was coming!
The Tower – Porto Guinco
The tower of Porto Giunco was a Spanish watchtower from the mid 1500’s. It stands at 50 meters above sea level and its position dominates the Port Guinco, Timi Ama and Notteri areas. Built from local granite the original tower will have had a domed ceiling and a spiral staircase.
The tower of Porto Giunco is part of a system of coastal towers that were built by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth century on Sardinia’s southern coast headlands to spot Barbary pirates . From Cagliari these towers are listed in geographical order (some to come on the blog soon)
- Cala Regina tower,
- Tower on Fenogu
- the Tower of Capo Boi
- the old fortress of Villasimius
- the tower of island Cavoli
- the tower of Porto Giunco
- the tower on island Serpentara
- Cala Pira tower
Each tower is placed so that it is visible to the previous tower and the next, allowing fast communication along the coast with lights and signals.
Reaching the top
After what seemed an eternity we finally made it to the tower and the view did not disappoint. It’s very quiet up there and we were the only ones there too. It’s a big bonus visiting here out of tourist season.
The place of three seas
What you can see here is the sea around the beach at Guinco (right), the Notteri protected reserve (middle and the sea around the beach of Spiaggo del Riso (left).
I didn’t take my phone out with me so I decided to have a go at taking photos and stitching them together later into a panoramic.
Geographically speaking this first panorama isn’t true because you have to turn around to view the fourth beach of Capo Carbonara/Cava Usai on the top left hand corner.
The view of the three seas.
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