The architecture of their construction testifies to the extraordinary skills of the fascinating and mysterious Nuragic civilisation. The Palmavera complex is located on the promontory of the same name, one and a half kilometre from the sea, within the Porto Conte Park, in the province of Alghero. Built with blocks of limestone and sand, consisting of a central body with two towers and a bulwark, plus the huts of a village: today there are less than 50, but experts estimate that number to have ranged between 150 and 200 when the village was inhabited.

The village was built in several phases. The first phase (15th-14th centuries BC) included the main tower, eight metres high and with a diameter of ten metres, inside which there is a large central chamber with beehive roofs. A flight of stairs led to the upper level and a terrace. Later (9th century BC), another tower was added, connected to the first by means of a patio and a corridor. The large meeting hut was built in the same period. Inside it stands the chief’s round seat. Among the various decoration items found in the dwelling there was a small model of Nuraghe, a pre-historical art item typical of other Sardinian complexes (as many as 16 were found at Mont’e Prama). Today, inside Palmavera you can admire a copy of the model, while the original is held at the G.A. Sanna Museum, in Sassari. During the third construction phase (9th-8th century BC), a perimeter wall was built, with four towers. The village was later destroyed by a fire and repopulated during the Punic and Roman era.

Around Palmavera there is a track you can face on your mountain bike to go on a journey through time. In the Porto Conte bay – Portus Nympharum for the Romans – you can visit another Nuragic site: Sant’Imbenia (15th-8th century BC), the oldest Phoenician maritime stop on the island, where trade was done with the East. It remained in the core of commercial routes for Phoenicians, Etruscans and Greeks up to the 7th century. Not too far are the remains of a Roman villa, built for the otium – leisure – of the owner, with estates all around it. It consists of decorated rooms and service areas. To the north are the remains of a thermal bath area.