Domus De Maria
Located in the southernmost tip of Sardinia, the area of Domus de Maria hosts a wealth of breathtaking natural beauty: from the splendid, bright beaches in the Chia district to the mountains filled with flourishing woods. The entire area is characterized by long stretches of strands with their imposing dunes - where juniper trees have been standing peacefully for centuries -, majestic rocky cliffs and flourishing woods where it is not unusual to see deer and wild boar. The Mediterranean brush is of extraordinary beauty, offering local fragrances and enchanting colours.
The town of Domus de Maria was founded originally as a farm by the Scolopi order around the 18th century. The area has been inhabited since Nuragic times as can be seen by the Baccu Idda nuraghe and the many Betyl sacred stones at Punta Su Sensu. The city of Bithia is fundamental: located in what is now the village of Chis. Originally a Phoenician-Punic colony, it extended along the promontory with the Tower where the ancient surrounding walls and dwellings are still visible. The burial grounds were excavated in the lower area of the village where the temple to the god Bes was built. The statue of this deity is still intact and on view at the Archaeological Museum in Cagliari. The tophet, a cemetery where bodies of stillborn children or those who died prematurely were cremated, was located on a small island overlooking the coast.
The marvellous forest of Is Cannoneria is very much worthy of a visit: along with the candid white beaches of Chia, the forest filled with magnificent Caesar mushrooms and royal penny buns is characteristic of the area. Some of the most important events of the area are the town festivals such as those dedicated to the fig, the festival held every July dedicated to fish products and the "S'Arroseri" festival dedicated to the Blessed Mary of the Rosary celebrated on the first Sunday of October.
CHIA is a district of the Municipality of Domus de Maria and features 6 kilometres of coastline, making it one of Sardinia's most renowned tourist resorts. The landscape here is still uncontaminated and the coastline is filled with tall, rocky cliffs and low, sandy beaches.
The clear blue sea with its shades of intense blue to emerald green, the wild atmosphere and intense fragrance captivate the eyes and soul of those choosing this area as a holiday destination for the first time.
The ancient Carthaginian city of Bithia is located on this coast, not too far from the better known Punic colony of Nora. Only a few traces of this city that dates back to the 7th and 6th century B.C. are still visible at the archaeological site. All ruins that came to the light during excavation are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Cagliari and the Museum at Domus de Maria.
The coastal wetlands where various species of aquatic birds stop and nest are right behind the dunes of Chia and Spartivento. The presence of these birds contribute to enhancing a natural scenario that is as special as it is rare throughout the Mediterranean; the pink flamingos that are habitual occupants of the area are often spotted by tourists passing along the shores of the ponds on their way to the beach. The symbol of Chia is its Tower. It is of Spanish origin and dates back to the 17th century. The Tower is visible from every beach and stands upon the promontory that once guarded the acropolis of the ancient Punic city of Bithia.