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  • Flora of Sardinia

  • Oliena and Supramonte

  • Purple Gallinule

    Image by Shanthanu Bhardwaj licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • San Giovanni di Sinis

    Image by Unukorno licensed under CC BY 4.0

  • Sardinia

  • Nuraghi

Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director

  • Discover Sardinia’s wonderful flora and fauna in a variety of habitats including coastal lagoons, cork oak woodland and karstic mountain landscapes

  • The lagoons at Mari e Pauli and Sale Porcus offer opportunities to see uncommon water birds such as the purple gallinule, great white egret and red-crested pochard

  • Examine the island’s Bronze Age civilisation through its characteristic circular towers – Nuraghi

“Our guides gave excellent introductions and lots of detailed information on the flora and fauna, archaeology and geology of each site… They were also very responsive to the questions, needs and interests of individual group members”

– ACE customer on a previous Sardinia: Birds, Flowers & Nuraghi tour with Mark Welch and Harriet Allen

Based in the lakeside town of Cabras, where local fishermen still set out to sea in traditional reed boats, and Cala Gonone, bordering one of the most scenic stretches of the Mediterranean, this tour takes in Sardinia’s coastal waters and rugged interior on an exploration of its natural history and archaeology.


At the lagoons of Marina di Torre Grande, we are likely to see flamingos, stilts and ospreys. At Mari e Pauli and Sale Porcus we may spot water birds like the purple gallinule, great white egret and red-crested pochard. On the high basalt plateau of Gesturi we will meander through forests of cork oaks looking for Mediterranean spring flowers and survey the bountiful streams and pools for migrant birds. We also hope to find a variety of orchids, explore the island’s fascinating insect life and enjoy encounters with its wild ponies.


While this tour primarily concentrates on Sardinia’s natural history, it also touches on the island’s fascinating archaeological remains. The most striking evidence that survives of the indigenous Bronze Age Nuraghic civilisation that once existed here are the circular stone towers – Nuraghi – that are dotted across the landscape. We also hope to visit the museum in Cabras, time permitting, where the Nuraghic finds provide an ideal introduction to our Nuraghi visits on the island.

We will also discover the substantial Punic and Roman ruins at Tharros, standing high above the Mediterranean, and the UNESCO-protected complex at Su Nuraxi di Barumini, comprising a defensive stronghold and surrounding village – an unparalleled survival from the ancient world.


Experienced Tour Directors Harriet Allen and Mark Welch will offer complementary expertise, with Harriet shedding light on the botany of the region and Mark introducing the group to its birds, insects and geology.


In Cabras we will stay at the three-star Villa Canu, a small and simple family-run hotel, and in Cala Gonone at the four-star Hotel Costa Dorada.

This tour will be led by Mark Welch, BSc, PhD, and Harriet Allen, MA, MSc, PhD. Mark is a former research scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. He has a PhD in geosciences from Edinburgh University and has held research fellowships at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities. Harriet is a Geographer and Fellow and Director of Studies at Girton College, Cambridge. She has been leading field excursions for over 30 years, and has extensive experience of flora and birds across the world.


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