The Porto Giunco tip of Sardinia 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. Here’s how to explore the Spiaggia di Porto Giunco, walk up to the tower and visit Cava Usai in Sardinia.
Where is Cava Usai in comparison to Porto Giunco
Cava Usai sits southeast of Porto Giunco and looking on the map you’d think they’re connected. If you’re adventurous and it’s low tide you might be able to make the trip round the rocks but there’s a bit of a cove and a hill in the way.
Cava Usai is part of the beach that sits to the opposite side of the Torre Di Porto Giunco which sits high on the headland. You’ll need a car to explore these areas.
We went looking for the lighthouse
Originally 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 on a tiny, single tracked road. Coming back down the hill gave us a fabulous view over the ocean, the tower, Cava Usai and the bay of Capo Carbonara.
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 near Cava Usai
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 but I am told this is unusual.
Cava Usai is not a well know tourist area so if you were to visit you’d be guaranteed of some privacy.
There’s also an old port at Cava Usai
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’ which sparked their interest all the more.
You can see rock formations
The rock here is mostly sandstone and it’s been worn greatly by the waves over the last few hundred years. Some of the rock has created rock pools along the way.
The pool below looks more like a swimming pool chair. I’d love to have visited in summer rather than March when the water was still cold. Or at least too cold to actually be sitting in it.
And then the sun came out…
Sardinia has quite a lot of sun, in case you hadn’t realised, for at least three-quarters of the year southern Sardinia benefits from sunshine. Whilst we were visiting in March we had one ginormous storm that rolled in some amazing black clouds and winds but that after that the sunshine reappeared.
Finding the path to Torre di Porto Giunco
To access the tower from near Cava Usai, 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 green gorse and yellow flower.
You can use the map below to see the track lines and where you should walk.
Wow, that 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 and see the ‘three seas’. It was one of those ‘do you think we’re lost moments’ even though we hadn’t strayed from the path. It didn’t help that the gorse bush grew above my head but the kids thought it was brilliant.
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 excitement that something spectacular was coming!
El Torre di Porto Giunco
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 Giunco, 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 and can be visited
- Cala Regina tower
- Tower on Fenogu
- Tower of Capo Boi
- The old fortress of Villasimius
- Tower of island Cavoli
- 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 of Torre di Porto Giunco
If you visit here, I promise that the view will not disappoint. It’s incredibly quiet and serene up there and we were the only ones visiting. It’s a big bonus visiting here out of tourist season because the weather is still nice enough to enjoy the beaches and we’re nearly always the only ones.
From up here the view is spectacular and the birds of prey are easily visible. The air feels crisp and clean and that feeling like you might be on top of the world… at about 100 metres above sea level! Probably not even that.
The Place of The Three Seas: Spiaggia di Porto Giunco
What you can see here is the sea around the beach at Giunco (right), the Notteri Protected Reserve (middle and the sea around the beach of Spiaggo del Riso (left).
Have a look at those Panoramas
This panorama comprises of about 20 photos stitched together.
Geographically speaking the 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 but it still gives you an idea as to the view up there.
Doesn’t the sea look amazing from up here.
Will Villasimius be your next holiday?
Despite all the places around the world we’ve visited, Sardinia remains one of our favourite. We hope it becomes one of yours too.
What else could you do in Sardinia?
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