The unspoiled environment of the Sulcis Archipelago


Details and description

Do you like birdwatching and being in contact with nature? Sant’Antioco has some delightful and unique places for you to explore! There is a small group of islets off the south-west coast of Sant’Antioco; you get a good view of them from the promontory of Capo Sperone and from the coastal area of Peonia Rosa and Torre Canai. They include the island of Vacca, with the nearby rock of Vitello, and also the island of Toro, which is the furthest away and hardest to access, but important in terms of its bird life.

These little islands symbolise the natural richness of Sant’Antioco, and are classed as protected areas because of their special flora and fauna. You can see them up close by joining an organised fishing trip, or by rubber dinghy or sailing boat. The islands are in fact the habitat of some very rare birds, such as Eleonora’s Falcon: the Isola del Toro is home to the third largest colony in Sardinia, and also important in historical terms. It was thanks to the discovery of this colony that the species was classified for the first time. A significant event for both scholars of avifauna and enthusiasts!

This islet is also home to a very rare species which has managed to proliferate, despite the harsh conditions of this steep, very arid habitat: Podarcis tiliguerta toro, a sub-species of the Mediterranean lizard, can only be found on this little island. It is smaller but much more tenacious than its relative; dark green in colour with an attractive pattern of yellow-green spots. And if you ever land on the isle of Toro, you will find that there are very many of them and they are completely unafraid of man!

But the isle of Vacca also holds many surprises: if you decide to explore it more closely, you may be lucky enough to spot an occasional example of Eleonora’s Falcon here as well; or perhaps see a Cory’s Shearwater, a Herring Gull, or a rare Storm Petrel flying overhead. Who can tell? You just have to go and experience this in person!


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