Baia di Chia

From Cagliari we drive west along the coast. One of the regions of Sardinia highly recommended to us is the region around Chia. We've talked to quite a few people and everybody seemed to have enjoyed coming here. This is our next stop. On our way we find a surprisingly well equipped supermarket in Pula. Besides the usual things they have a huge section with local wines and even a very wide selection of different types of spirits such as gin and rum.

 

Well stocked we arrive at the campsite Torre di Chia only to learn that two days ago they closed for the season. Our guidebook said they are open the whole year. I guess this is no longer true. We don't have a choice as to continue and search for another one. There is a very basic site a bit further away, Area Camper Chia located behind Spiaggia Giudeu. Initially we are not very happy but decide to stay at least for one night as it is already quite late in the day.

The owner is super friendly and invites us immediately to an espresso. He also loves our old Bulli and immediately starts asking questions. He doesn't speak any English or German but with our little Spanish skills we manage in the end. He also does not mind that we don't park on the camping site itself but on the other side which during main season is reserved for the day visitors and their cars. However, here there is more sun and we like this side much better. Besides this we are the only ones camping on this side. The place is located next to a little Laguna behind the Spiaggia Giudeu which is part of the more than 3 km long beach of Baia di Chia.

 

The temperatures here are much warmer and as we get up shortly after 8 am the next morning we first go for a walk along the Laguna and the beach. It is completely deserted and we are the first ones along with a couple of flamingos stumping through the shallow water looking for food. There is no wind and the water is like a big mirror. Maybe it's not so bad at all here. Anyway, time for breakfast.

 

The other campsite is located directly behind a long sandy beach close to the Torre de Chia. As we are a bit disappointed that we could not stay there we decide to walk along the coast to check out this part of the beach. Through some narrow paths, passing by some small but lonely as well as some larger beaches we finally arrive at Torre de Chia. We even walk up the little hill to get a good view. From here we can also see the camp site and the beach. It is not sandy at all. Instead it has pebble stones and is full of sea grass. Not as nearly as nice as described in the book. The campsite itself is full with trees. Important during summer as this is the hottest part of the island but at the end of October we want to have sun. We walk the few meters down to the beach but are happy that we have found a much better place to camp with a much nicer beach.

 

We walk back and stay at the beach for the rest of the day, swimming, drinking a cold beer and just enjoy the fantastic weather. It's the end of October and we are close to 30 C.

This area is fantastic and so we decide to stay for the time being. Spending a day at the beach is fine but let's do some cycling. The next day is a bit overcast, still very warm but also very humid. Despite this we explore the region with our bikes. We drive along the coastal road SP71 west towards Porto Teulada. While there are some beautiful beaches along the way we do not see any better spot to camp. Cycling here is fantastic because the roads are in good condition and there are hardly any cars. Just before Porto Teulada we turn away from the coast into the mountains. Via a very beautiful and scenic but sometimes quite steep mountain road we cycle to Domus de Maria and from there back to our campsite. Overall it's nice drive with 50 km and 600 m difference in altitude. Time to go back to the beach, jump into the sea and enjoy the rest of the afternoon with a cold beer.

 

On the next day it's still misty and humid which according to some locals is very unusual here. For cycling and doing some sightseeing it is ok and so we cycle east to Pula to visit the remains of Nora. Most likely the oldest city on Sardinia founded by the Phoenicians. Most of what is visible today, however, dates back to the Roman times. We go on a guided walk and learn about the different parts of Nora. We walk through an ancient market area. In another section there used to be the living quarters, followed by a Roman bath and a theatre as well as some Roman villas that belonged to the richer people living in Nora. Some of the mosaic on the various floors are preserved quite well to this day. They are now protected with an invisible layer of paint that protects them against the sun and the salty water. The remains of Nora where only discovered after spring tide in the 1950s. This also means that this site is still very active and archaeologists explore it to this day. Next to Nora there is one of the many Spanish towers which we visit as well.

 

Back at our campsite we go for a quick swim but it's already very windy again. Tonight we decide that we go out for dinner in a close by restaurant. Food and wine are good and we are happy that we stayed here for a few days. This was very relaxing. Tomorrow however, it's time to move on. Vacation is coming to an end very soon ...

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