The authentic Sardinia - traditional and charming
Bosa is a unique and unspoilt town on the north western coast of Sardinia, about 40 km south of Alghero. Surrounded by beautiful, wild countryside, stunning beaches and coastline, Bosa has retained its ancient charm and Sardinian identity and has not suffered the over-development of many of the island's beach destinations. It has a relaxed Mediterranean buzz and is a perfect place to go to escape from the stresses of modern life. Guidebooks call it "an undiscovered gem".
Bosa is an exceptionally delightful town of cobbled streets, piazzas, gracious palazzos with wrought iron balconies and modern amenities such as bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, a museum and art gallery - a mix of the historic and contemporary. It is set along the palm tree lined banks of the river Temo, surrounded by a stunning landscape of rocky hills and fertile valleys. Being a real working town of 8000 year round inhabitants and not only a tourist resort, it does not shut down outside the summer high season of July and August. It is an active and interesting place all the year round, although most people visit during the spring, summer and autumn.
Historic town centre
The historic centre of the town, the Sa Costa district, is an intriguing maze of medieval streets, stone staircases and terraces of tall houses painted in bright or pastel colours, nestled under the hilltop Malaspina castle. One can see a vista of terracotta tiled rooftops, the multi-coloured dome of the cathedral and the river Temo stretching west to the sea, and east up the valley. All around are hills with colours ranging from the lush green of spring to the golden tones of summer and autumn.
In the centre of the historic old town there are many amenities within a few minutes walk - cafes, bars and restaurants as well as places to buy groceries, bread, fruit and vegetables, wine and of course delicious ice cream! In the evening you can stroll down to the main street with its gracious palazzos and join in "la passeggiata", when everyone comes out to chat, exchange news and opinion, or just watch the world. The streets immediately surrounding the house are residential and quiet at night.
About 2 kms from old town - a walk, cycle ride or drive down the river Temo - is Bosa Marina, the nearest beach. This beach is safe and sandy with a gradual slope into the sea. It is protected by a long causeway and has a lifeguard during the summer months. It is regularly judged to be amongst the cleanest beaches in Italy and is relatively uncrowded, even in the high season. Access is free, as is nearby parking. Around Bosa Marina beach are restaurants, clubs, cafes and bars with an Italian character, run by local people. It is very lively in the summer, with bars and clubs open until 3 am. As well as companies offering diving excursions and boat hire, there are also shops to buy beach goods such as buckets and spades, paddleboards and flip-flops.
There are many other beaches within a few kilometres of Bosa. Some are small cove beaches surrounded by lush vegetation and cliffs. Some are long sandy strands. Some consist of dramatic limestone shelves sculpted over the millennia by wind and water, with incredible rock formations and natural swimming pools. All are free, uncrowded and unspoilt.
Culture and history
Bosa has an air of deep peace and relaxation, but it also has a long and fascinating history as an important royal town and economic presence. The hilltop castle of the Malaspinas has an unparalleled view of the town and out to sea. Within its walls is a church with fifteenth century frescoes and a lovely wooden statue of Madonna and Child, which is carried in procession through the town during the festival of Regnos Altos in September. Along the river Temo are ruined tanneries, national monuments, from the days when Bosa exported fine leather all over Europe. The seventeenth century Cattedrale della Immacolata is large, gilded, has a colourful tiled dome and is painted with scenes of Bosa.
As well as being a cultural centre, Bosa also offers wonderful opportunities for active pursuits such as walking, cycling, diving, boating, golf, fishing, windsurfing, bird watching and horse riding. Several companies in the town run excursions to places of interest for those who like organised tours. The nearby Modolo and S'Abba Male valleys are a fertile paradise of vineyards and olive groves. The area is the home of Malvasia di Bosa, a famous fortified wine. There is a wine trail and tours are available. Nearby hilltop towns such as Magomadas and Cuglieri offer fantastic panoramas of outstanding natural beauty. Going out exploring one comes across hidden valleys which feel remote and timeless, hilltops looking out over the sea and miles of untouched coastline.
As Bosa is on the western coast of the island, evening brings a view of the sun setting over the sea, casting a pink glow over the hills, beaches and rocks of the coastline. Every evening people gather at Bosa Marina to watch the colours of the sky and sea change as the sun goes down.