Scenic viewpoints


The island of Sant’Antioco offers visitors many different scenic viewpoints, from which to admire the natural beauty and spectacular landscapes of this very special place. If you love sunsets and breath-taking vistas, you should definitely look out for these viewpoints. They are an ideal way to tune into the rhythms of nature, and to help offset the hectic pace of city life.

An observation post by the sea

From the Canai watch-tower, you can enjoy a scenic view over much of the Gulf of Palmas and its opening into the Sardinian channel. The tower was erected on the Su Moru promontory in 1757, as part of a complex system of defence around the Sardinian coast. This network was set up by the Aragonese in order to carry out sightings, which were then passed on to the departments responsible for defending the island. Visit the Tower and explore the surrounding garden, a living catalogue of typical herbaceous plants from the Mediterranean region. The Tower contains an exhibition of photos and documents, with a section about the historical events that led to its construction.

The guardian of the island

You are right in the middle of the Mediterranean. The “Semaforo di Capo Sperone” is an ideal place for viewing the coastline of two islands in the Sulcis archipelago, the Vacca islands, together with the neighbouring rock of Vitello, and the island of Toro. If you look east, you may see Capo Teulada, while to the west the dark blue of the boundless sea meets the azure blue of the clear sky. The Regia Marina began work on constructing the tower in 1887, deliberately choosing a site at the top of the hill for this semaphore and telegraph station, designed to control access to the Gulf of Palmas. The tower featured in various incidents during the first and second world wars, and continued to be garrisoned by the Navy until 1957. With its strategic position overlooking the Mediterranean, the hill has been occupied ever since the Nuragic era.

The infinite horizon

Look out to the island of San Pietro and the Mangiabarche Lighthouse from the Nido dei Passeri, a long cliff about 20 metres high that juts out onto the sea. From the top of this imposing cliff you can gaze out across the seemingly limitless sea, and watch the sun slipping slowly down below the horizon, surounded by a magical patchwork of colours. Near the cliff and a few hundred metres out from the coast, you will notice the Mangiabarche lighthouse, which was put into service in 1935 to help sailors. Indeed, the name Mangiabarche (“Boat Eater”) alludes to the fact that many ships foundered on the rocks during south-westerly gales. The lighthouse stands on a rock called Punta Mangiabarche, and when the waves break over it on windy days, it makes a very picturesque spectacle.

More details

Canai Tower

Località Torre Canai – 09017 Sant’Antioco (CI)


Site manager

Italia Nostra, Sant’Antioco section

Vico Dante Alighieri, 3 – 09017 Sant’Antioco (CI)

Telephone: (+39) 0781 800111



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