The Costa Verde
One of my favorite areas in Sardinia is certainly the southwest coast with the green hills, massive sand dunes and long beaches, also known as the Costa Verde, the green coast that turns a little further south into the Iglesiente. The highlights of the Costa Verde are definitely Piscinas with its enormous dunes and long stretches of beach, the mountains with Monte Arcuentu, 700 m as the highest peak. And the largely abandoned mining towns of Ingortosu and Montevecchio.
Ecological farmstay L’Oasi del Cervo in Arbus
One of the best places to stay in this area is definitely the Agriturismo L’Oasi del Cervo in Arbus. L’Oasi del Cervo litterally means “Oasis of the deer”, the wild deer (Cervus elephus corsicanus) still lives in this area.
The completely ecological farmhouse is situated in a beautiful natural setting of hills covered with herbs and of huge views of the mountains of the Arcuentu chain on one side and the sea and beaches of the Costa Verde, including Piscinas on the other side.
About the origins of the farm and the remarkable story of the owners Angela and Giuseppe take a look at the end of this article.
The last few years I have been coming there pretty regularly with groups of hikers to eat and sleep, fellow guides have already been coming for quite some time with their groups, and we are very fond of this special place and the owners of the farmhouse. It has become almost self-evident that everyone is always very satisfied.
It is also an ideal starting point for individual travellers as from here you can undertake numerous excursions in the beautiful surroundings.
The views from the terrace and all around are huge, the food is excellent and the rooms are spacious, with wooden furniture, they all have a private shower and toilet and are heated. Not in the last place the special atmosphere is also cultivated by the goats and kids running around loose here in large numbers.
This time we were there for the first time in the winter, it was an oasis of peace. The first day it was beautiful weather, in the evening under the full moon high above us the goats were passing by, shrouded in the mist, and we witnessed a beautiful sunset.
Upon our arrival, Giuseppe had already made a fire in the wood oven so that the radiator in the room was nice and warm. After a nice hot shower we were ready for dinner, that we enjoyed with our hosts. After the antipasti of home made sausage, cheese and pickled veggies, we got a solid minestrone with vegetables and lentilles, and then delicious braised pork meat, all this accompanied with a glass of red wine and finished with freshly baked cookies and a fruit salad. The porc meat of their own freeroaming pigs can’t be compared with what you buy in the supermarket, as for taste and texture it was somewhere in between wild boar and beef. We aren’t such big meat eaters, but if a pig has been freely roaming around for 5 years, digging up the soil and rolling in the mudd, and then eventually is slaughtered we don’t mind tasting some of it.
fter a nightcap in front of the wood fire it was bedtime, everyone had to get up early the next day, we had to continue to Cagliari, Giuseppe had to take care of the goats and Angela had to continue the activities around the slaughtered pig.
We look forward to coming back soon to enjoy some more of their wonderful hospitality.
Angela and Giuseppe
In the early eighties, Angela and Giuseppe with their three family of three small children got into serious economical difficulties, Giuseppe, back then a technician at a company in the mining industry was fired as a consequence of the overall recess in the mining industry in southwest Sardinia.
After 20 years of struggle and much perseverance they manage to set up an ecological farm with guest rooms.
It all starts like this: Angela goes to work making and selling homemade products such as jam, ravioli, vegetables from the vegetable garden and wild-picked vegetables such as asparagus, mushrooms and berries. Giuseppe also returns to the land of his parents and starts to work in the family business where goats are herded. It is not easy to start all over, but Angela and Giuseppe are humble people and with the necessary perseverance they slowly move forward.
Angela’s dream is to start an agritourism. They already have the beautifully located goat farm of the family with its related dairy and meat – products, and other ingredients can be found in the surrounding nature. Above all, they both have the knowledge to transform these basic ingredients into delicious meals and local products. In the meantime the children are growing up start to help out in the families activities.
At this point, grants for making guest rooms don’t exist yet, and an additional challenge is that there is no good water source. Several times they try in vain to bore for water, but unfortunately without success. The next bad news comes from the electricity company that considers their farm too far away from town to bring them power from the grid.
So they just start out making do with what they have, and slowly but surely people come to taste their home made cuisine of excellent local dishes from their own production grown on their own farm. Giuseppe has to bring the water in large tanks, and the electricity comes from a generator.
In 2000, the area is declared a protected nature park and suddenly grants for guest rooms become available.
In line with the nature park where they are, they decide to be totally ecological and switch to renewable energy. They make a big investment in solar panels.
In order to solve the water problem a three-kilometer-long water line is laid out to a nearby spring, the pump of the spring gets its own solar panels.
A wonderful example of an environmentally responsible company.