The Phoenicians used the gulf as their trading centre and built the wonderful city of Tharros; the most important evidence of the ancient Nuragic culture is still evident in this territory such as mysterious sacred wells, imposing nuraghi (megalithic edifices) and the fascinating Giganti (giants) of Monte’ and Prama.
The Gulf also features a sea with clear waters, protected from strong currents and winds; you can relax in this hospitable, spontaneous and familiar environment, far from the chaos of typical seaside resorts, and enjoy swimming, fishing and playing sports. It is the ideal destination for cycling holidays: little traffic and plain lands featuring a wide range of routes among, ponds, salt marshes and lagoonse.
You can discover the peaceful and uncrowded beaches of Santa Giusta stretching near the wetland that earned international importance as it is protected by the RAMSAR Convention; from the small village going along the pond, you will reach the large and solitary beaches with shallow waters surrounded by small dunes giving habitat to wild lilies.
The beach of Torregrande is among the most popular, but you will never find it crowded because it is a very long beach: in the evening, the waterfront bars and kiosks turn into venues for concerts, parties and gatherings or just a place to enjoy the sea breeze with friends.
Among the finest in the Gulf, you will discover the very quiet and peaceful beaches of Arborea with their crystal clear waters, white sand and a fragrant pine forest that offers a dash of fresh air during the hottest of summer days. This is the ideal area for those who love to go horseback riding which is also a passion of the locals and equestrian tourism lovers who will find the best riding schools and services. By riding a horse, you can go from the beaches to the lagoons where you will find nesting birds, some of which are very rare, and it is easy to bump into the flight of the pink flamingos.
Horses are the main attraction even in traditional festivals: at Sedilo in July, brave knights compete in frantic downhill race towards the sanctuary of San Costantino (Saint Constantine). In occasion of the Sartiglia, during the Carnival in Oristano, equestrian tournaments are held in which men, women and children perform with agility stunts and challenge each other trying to hit the centre of the star while running on their horses. The traditions of this Festival is repeated with the same rituals since the Middle Ages; it attracts thousands of tourists who, along with the locals, support and spur the knights that dress elegant traditional Sardinian and Spanish mountain clothes, ride on horses harnessed with coloured tassels and satins racing in exciting acrobatics and jousts.