Guide to S’Archittu Beach of Cuglieri, Sardinia’s West Coast

Angela Corrias in Tharros Sardinia

Angela Corrias

Some of the cleanest waters you’ll ever swim in are for sure the crystal waters of the pristine beaches of Sardinia, and S’Archittu beach might just be one of these.

I was born and raised in Sardinia and traveled to many countries myself but still, I find Sardinia beaches the most unspoiled.

While I have widely argued that the beauty of the island is not limited to its coastline but there is a whole traditional Sardinian side to discover, it goes without saying that if you are planning a summer holiday in Sardinia, you will inevitably end up swimming and sunbathing. Thankfully, wherever you end up during your journey, it will be a stunning piece of shoreline.

As for me, since every year I have the chance to spend some time in Sardinia in the summer, I managed to visit some of its beaches. One that sees us more often is S’Archittu, a small, secluded sea resort on Sardinia’s western coast not far from Oristano city.

Here is what you can do at S’Archittu beach if you ever end up here when you decide to take a break from sightseeing or relax far from the city.

Image: The limestone arch of S'Archittu beach.

S’Archittu sea resort In Sardinia – What to see and do

Literally translating into “the little arch”, S’Archittu is one of the pearls of Sardinia’s western coast and the Oristano province. Its small cove facing the natural arch is a rare beauty not to miss for whoever likes to relax and enjoy an untouched corner of the Mediterranean coast.

Sunbathe on the main S’Archittu beach

The primary and larger beach in S’Archittu sea resort is where most people and families go. Since there is a natural rock barrier some 50 meters from the beach, the waves reach the shore with a much-reduced intensity making it very friendly for families with children.

Image: Low tide in S'Archittu beach in Sardinia.

Go to the arch

This is the main highlight of S’Archittu sea resort and you can reach it by following the cobbled path starting at the edge of the Lungomare seafront.

The term S’Archittu, in fact, in Sardinian language means “the little arch”. This is a 15-meter-high rock formation shaped by the erosive action of the seawater in millions of years from the lower middle Miocene.

Facing the arch is a small white beach and in between a calm, and azure natural seawater pool.

I usually come here to swim early morning before the crowds arrive and by 11 am I’m already leaving. The morning is the best time to go to the beach in front of the arch because this is when it’s hit by the sun, while in the afternoon, it’s mainly under the shade.

Image: S'Archittu beach in Sardinia's Oristano province.

Look for a hidden cove

The longer beach and the small one facing the arch are the main stretches of sand visitors stop at. There are however some hidden coves at the edges of the beaches that most people don’t know of, don’t notice because very small, and because only a few years ago there were mainly rocks there and now there is also some sand.

These are cleaner spots, even in August when the larger beaches are very crowded, because not many people go there. I suggest you pay attention and if you spot some, you can enjoy there some tranquility.

Image: S'Archittu sea resort.

Take a walk along the seafront

When you arrive, right in front of the parking space is a concrete Lungomare framed with local houses, bars and restaurants, a small jewelry shop, and a concrete fence from where you can view the main, larger beach. On each square along the sea boulevard, there are stairs to reach the beach, while at the end of the boulevard, you will see a cobbled path.

Staying in this small and compact seaside resort, you can reap the benefits of a long sidewalk perfect for morning or evening jogging along the beach, as well as enjoying tasty local wine and pizza for dinner.

Image: Lungomare seafront in S'Archittu sea resort in Oristano province.

Go for a run…

Our very first appointment in S’Archittu is a long walk from one end to the other of the coastline early morning before the summer heat kicks in. If you are a bike enthusiast, you will love to cycle around the little village only surrounded by nature and blue water, far from traffic and pollution.

Image: Spiaggetta beach in S'Archittu facing the limestone arch.

… Or do yoga

And if you are a yoga fan, there is just nothing comparable to a full yoga session on the empty beach early morning or on your room’s balcony if your chosen accommodation has one.

Enjoy the sunset

When the day starts fading away, join the crowd of tourists and locals busy filming and photographing the sunset that somehow in S’Archittu always looks better than in other places and never fails to make people stop whatever they were doing.

Image: Sunset in S'Archittu beach.

Have lunch or dinner with a view

Wherever you eat in S’Archittu, whether you grab a table at one of the local eateries or you buy something on the go, you will always eat with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Take an evening walk

S’Archittu’s Lungomare seafront in the evening has a life of its own. You can enjoy an after-dinner drink at one of the bars/cafes, you can take a walk with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

Where to eat in S’Archittu

  • Altamarea. This is our favorite restaurant in S’Archittu. They serve lunch and dinner mainly seafood dishes but also some vegetarian and meat options. For dinner and only on Sunday for lunch, they also serve pizza. In August, they start serving pizza for lunch also during the week. Altamarea is open from March through October.
  • Food Truck 292. This is exactly what the name reads, a truck that serves food. It’s a truck so mobile, but it usually settles at the edge of the Lungomare near the entrance of S’Archittu. Last year, it settled near S’Istella, the former hotel and restaurant on the Lungomare at the entrance of S’Archittu beach resort. The food truck serves dishes like mixed deep-fried seafood, black rice with veggies and shrimp, fried potatoes, and hearty sandwiches.
  • Da Rino. This is a bar located right on top of S’Archittu beach that opens in the early morning where you can have a typical Italian breakfast with croissant and coffee or cappuccino. For lunch, they prepare easy salads and sandwiches, while for dinner they make pizza every day, also wholegrain.
  • Bar Centrale Marongiu. This is another bar serving food for lunch and dinner. For dinner, they make pizza, too.
  • Easy. This is the only kiosk on the beach in S’Archittu. It serves coffee and drinks as well as some simple dishes. It’s open only in summer so from June to September from the morning to late at night.
Image: Arco and spiaggetta beach in S'Archittu in Marina di Cuglieri.

Where to stay in and around S’Archittu

You can find a hotel and B&B right in front of the beach for affordable prices ranging from 50 to 100 € per night for two people. If in S’Archittu they have no vacancies, you can book a room in nearby Santa Caterina di Pittinuri and Torre del Pozzo beach towns or slightly more inland but still very close like in Narbolia or Riola towns.

How to reach S’Archittu beach from Cagliari Airport

The small coastal tourist resort in the Oristano province lies about 120 km away from Cagliari in the south and about 160 km from Olbia Costa Smeralda international airport in northern Sardinia.

You will reach much quicker driving, so if you didn’t come to Sardinia by ferry with your own car, you are better off renting one at the airport.

Reach S’Archittu beach by bus

ARST buses travel from Cagliari to Oristano twice every day and the ticket is 6€. In summer, from Oristano, a bus goes to S’Archittu back and forth four times every day and the ticket costs around 2€.

From Cagliari Airport by train

From Cagliari to Oristano there is a train every hour. It departs from the airport and the ticket, which you can buy online or from the ticket machine at the station, is 7€. From Oristano, you can only reach S’Archittu beach by taxi or bus.

Take a taxi to S’Archittu

From Cagliari airport, you can choose to take a taxi to S’Archittu, but that’s definitely the most expensive option. For about an hour and a half drive, the price is around 100/120 €.

Renting a car

Renting a car in Sardinia is by far your best option. Many agencies have their office right in front of the airport going towards the train station, but renting a car online has far more advantages.

First of all, booking online before arriving will be cheaper than reserving at the airport. Also, by booking in advance, you will be able to choose the vehicle you prefer, rather than trying your luck once at the airport. Especially in the summer months, Sardinia is pretty crowded.

If you are only planning to enjoy some beach time and stick to your place, then you probably won’t need to rent a car, but if you want to go around the villages and explore more of Sardinia, I strongly recommend you rent a car as the local public transport is not very efficient and buses are honestly seldom seen.

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