Arbus is an old mining centre situated on the western coast of Sardnia. The town’s history (both ancient and modern) is deeply connected to the sea, although the sea, in this part of Sardinia, is scary, often hostile and always extraordinarily impressive.
Many other mining villages can be found along the entire Sardinian coast; besides Arbus, one of the most charming is Buggerru (about 1250 inhabitants), which still keeps the old buildings once used for the zinc and lead industry. Actually Buggerru used to be a landmark for the national and international mining industry.
Visiting Buggerru, Arbus and the other mining centres such as Masua, Guspini, Montevecchio and Nebida, is sort of taking a step back into the past. Up until few years ago the mining industry was still operating and in some centres it is actually still partially active. However, everything seems finished and closed down.
A tombstone and three statues remind us of the revolt in 1904 when three labourers were killed by the military in Buggerru. It's a sad moment in history but also a reason of pride for this very unlucky population.
Today, the same population is trying to turn over a new leaf and look towards a better future in the tourism industry. Sea and rocks are its winning cards; during the summer the coastline from Buggerru to Capo Pecora and up to the Arbus marina is teaming with tourists who have come to enjoy this paradise.
The coastline is an uninterrupted succession of beaches and untouched cliffs. Also worth mentioning is the fantastic Cala Domestica, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia where you'll find an intact Spanish tower and the remains of an old mine.
Nebida and Masua, both old mining villages, have spectacular, breathtaking views including the "Pan di Zucchero"; a massive, pure white stack 133 m high. Traversed by two natural arches, it still has some mining traces.
Also to be mentioned is the Porto Flavia mine, whose entrance is situated in a cliff, and the wonderful Arbus marina. In the fascinating mining area of Ingurtosu, built in the nineteenth-century, you'll find a beautiful Liberty-styled building and the workmen's old dwellings. It's an extraordinary area, deeply hidden in a thick pinewood forest.
The Portixeddu gulf, at the end of Capo Pecora beach, with its wonderful dunes called San Nicolò, is another natural attraction in this area. Close by you'll find the Malfidano canal where, in the nineteenth-century, Buggerru was built in a beautiful, natural position that has easily been transformed into a unique tourist resort.