Incredibly ancient sites, stunning beaches lapped by turquoise waves, eerie deserted villages and ominous-looking masked characters… A photography holiday in Sardinia is certainly an exciting adventure! The island, just off the west coast of Italy, also has a very photogenic capital in colourful Cagliari, lagoons with huge flocks of beautiful pink flamingos, and edgy partisan murals, all of which provide us with some magical photographic opportunities…
Our Sardinian photography adventure begins in the Island’s colourful capital city, Cagliari.
You’ll meet your photography leader and the rest of the group this evening for a brief chat about your tour.
Accommodation: La Clessidra
An early start allows us to take advantage of the morning light at nearby Molentargius National Park. Home to a number of bird species and a large colony of pink flamingos, the wetlands scenery gives us some great opportunities for wildlife and nature photography.
After a couple of hours in the National Park we head back to Cagliari and explore its old town. The ‘Castello Quarter’ consists of colourful houses, narrow streets, old doors and archways. We’ll wander through the streets, stopping at the Cathedral di Santa Maria del Castello with its ornate, marble facade and at one or two viewpoints for shots across the roofs of the city.
Sunset offers us another chance to photograph pink flamingos, this time at Santa Gilla Lagoon. Here we may also get to shoot cormorants and herons among the 70 species of birds that inhabit the wetlands.
Accommodation: La Clessidra
The pretty town of Iglesias, with its piazzas, churches and wrought iron balconies, is around a two-hour drive from Cagliari. An old Spanish colony, it has a more than a touch of Iberia about it, and its pretty streets are a joy to wander around, seeking to capture its essence with our cameras. Surrounding the town are a series of derelict mines, some overlooking the coast. The abandoned industrial structures and Art Nouveau buildings provide some unique architectural photography opportunities. We’ll spend the day shooting the town and the nearby mines, ending by the coast for the golden hour.
Accommodation: Sa Rocca
The ever-shifting sand dunes of Piscinas reach a height of up to 100 metres and are amongst the highest in Europe. They are dotted with twisted juniper, beach grass and wild olive trees, and run alongside the turquoise ocean, creating a wonderful contrast of colour for our images. If we are lucky we may spot the Sardinian deer that inhabit the area, adding a wildlife element to our photography in the dunes.
We then head for Bosa. Perhaps the prettiest town on the island, its pastel-coloured houses cover the steep hillside on which the town’s castle is perched, and small boats bob nonchalantly in the harbour. At sunset we’ll photograph the colourful houses from across the Temo River – it’s a photographer’s dream!
Accommodation: Hotel Mannu
This morning we visit the prehistoric Nuraghe of Santa Sabina. Large megalithic structures, they are thousands of years old and their actual purpose is still uncertain. Dating from a similar period are the famous ‘Tombs of the Giants’, burial sites made with massive slabs of stone. These give us the opportunity to photograph something unique and to try to work with the morning light to get the best images possible. Later we will explore the even older Domus Sas Soncas one of the ‘house of fairies’, 5000 year old tombs carved in to the rock.
In the afternoon we will reach the traditional village of Gavoi. It has cobbled streets and houses made of local granite. There are several old churches and workshops where craftsmen maintain old traditions, making musical instruments and leather goods. We’ll be able to get some shots of them performing their craft in the way it has been done for generations. For sunset we’ll photograph a nearby prehistoric Nuraghe and another of the mysterious house of fairies in the warm evening light.
Accommodation: Hotel Taloro
We start today with at the highest village on the island, Fonni before photographing the rugged scenery of the Gennargentu massif which includes Sardinia’s highest peaks. We’ll seek out the best locations for landscape shots, and hope to capture deer and possibly wild boar too. The area also includes one of the islands most impressive Nuraghe which we’ll shoot in the last light of the day. After dark we take advantage of the clear skies and lack of light pollution for some astrophotography.
Accommodation: Hotel Taloro
In the village of Mamoiada there is a unique tradition possibly dating back over 2000 years. The villagers dress up as ominous characters called Mamuthones, with dark masks made of wood and heavy rough overcoats. Nobody is entirely sure what the characters represent, their origins lost in time. But theories include prisoners taken by invading forces, or animals, so necessary to the survival of the island’s early inhabitants. While the characters are mainly displayed during the village’s festival, when they stomp through the streets in a rhythmic parade, they can be witnessed at any time of the year. We will have a specially arranged shoot with some of them and also visit a mask maker to see and photograph a craftsman at work. In the late afternoon we photograph the ‘vestazione’ – the dressing of the Mamuthone characters. Our location is next to one of the Tomb’s of the Giants, creating images that are very uniquely Sardinian and which evoke a real sense of an ancient and mysterious past.
Leaving Mamoiada we take a short drive to Orgosolo, known in times gone by as the ‘village of murderers’, when bandits from the nearby countryside would post death sentences on the church door. Today the partisan spirit lives on in the murals that adorn the walls of the village’s buildings, often dealing with political issues and generally protesting against the establishment. They make for great photographic subjects and their urban edginess contrasts with the old-fashioned feel of the mountain village.
Accommodation: Hotel Taloro
This morning we have the photographic treat of a completely abandoned village. The shots we’ll get will have a timeless feel to them, and offer a great chance to experiment with monochrome photography, focusing mainly on contrast and texture. Not far from the village are the spectacular beaches of Villasimius. They have the look and feel of tropical caribbean beaches, and will give us an opportunity to practice long exposure shots. We’ll stay around for sunset to capture that magical end of daylight before returning to Cagliari.
Accommodation: La Clessidra
Our tour ends this morning after breakfast in Cagliari.
Our photography holidays and tours are designed to maximise the chances of getting great images by visiting photogenic sites at times that are good for photographing them. This generally means trying to avoid crowds and being out when the light is best, just after sunrise, and again in the late afternoon. Occasionally we’ll stay out after sunset or make use of clear night skies. The middle of the day is often reserved for lunch, free time, travelling, downloading images and relaxing. We try to make the most of each area we visit so there may a lot of distance covered and sometimes days can be long. Please read the itineraries carefully to get an idea of driving times and any particularly demanding days.
Our holidays are planned for dates when the weather is expected to be suitable for photography; however, with an ever more unpredictable climate there is always the possibility that we’ll experience poor conditions. In this case we’ll give what advice we can to help you get good results from your photography, and we may make changes to the tour to try to make the best of the situation.
UK citizens should refer to the FCO advice on entry requirements here.
All other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consulate.
The joining time is 18:30 on day 1 at the hotel reception, your photography leader will meet you there.
We can arrange transfers for you at the beginning and end of your tour at a cost of £39 each way.
It is condition of booking that you are covered by adequate travel insurance. If you are bringing expensive photography equipment we recommend that this is insured too.
The following photography equipment is recommended:
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Wide angle lens
• Mid range zoom
• ND filters
• Remote shutter release
• Sufficient memory cards and storage devices
You’ll need light casual clothes and comfortable shoes. Early mornings can be chilly so a sweater is recommended. A sun hat and some long sleeved items are a good idea to help protect your skin against the sun.
Rooming is based on a twin share basis. If 2 people book together, they will automatically be roomed together. Those travelling alone will be sharing with another single traveller of the same sex unless a single room has been booked. If you desire privacy, are a light sleeper or a loud snorer then we’d recommend you book a single room.
All accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis. You’ll need money to cover lunch, dinner and your drinks. As a rough guide we’d recommend that you allow around £20-£25 per day.
|*Fri 03 May 19||Sun 12 May 19||£1899||£200||Renato Granieri||Available|
|Sat 04 May 19||Sun 12 May 19||£1799||£200||Renato Granieri||Available|
|*Fri 27 Sep 19||Sun 06 Oct 19||£1899||£200||Renato Granieri||Guaranteed|
|Sat 28 Sep 19||Sun 06 Oct 19||£1799||£200||Renato Granieri||Guaranteed|
* includes one day pre tour tuition
This photography holiday starts at 18:30 in Cagliari on day 1 of the tour, so your flight should ideally arrive before then. If you need to book a flight arriving later then please contact us and we can arrange a separate transfer for you. The tour ends after breakfast on the final day at the hotel in Cagliari so you can book your return flight for any time that day. Use the below to search for flights with Skyscanner.
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Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!
Tel: 020 8242 6618
Hours: Mon – Sat 09.00 – 17.00 Sunday CLOSED