The local area, a sparsely populated wilderness of olive groves, crags, gorges and megalithic towers, offers some of the most exciting history - and hiking - in Europe (you can read all about it from the big red sofa in the lounge or a chair in the garden). A short drive away is the hilltop world heritage site of Su Nuraxi, the most famous Nuraghic settlement on the island, dating from 1500BC and with huge views across the plains - breathtaking. Then it’s home to whitewashed walls and terracotta floors, logs crackling invitingly in the corner, antique dressers and beautiful bedrooms with chunky rafters and embroidered linen. There are bountiful breakfasts to wake up to - one of the best in Sardinia - and delicious homecooked dinners on request (authentic pizzas a short stroll down the road). If you're keen to look beyond the beaches and explore Sardinia's striking interiors, Domu Antiga is the perfect little base.
- An intimate hideaway, set in a peaceful walled garden, with gorgeous rustic-chic bedrooms
- Perfectly located for discovering Sardinia's vineyards, hills and Nuraghic ruins, plus a chance to see the last wild horses in Europe
- Excellent value for money
- Breakfasts to die for, with exceptional cheeses and meats, plus bread from the wood-fired oven
- The chance to learn age-old culinary secrets through excellent cookery classes, arranged on request
- Though the village pizzeria is an easy walk, other restaurants are a drive away
- There’s a bus to Gergei from nearby Mandas (connected to the Sardinian capital Cagliari by bus and train), but you’ll need a car to explore properly
- Check-in is from 5pm
- Only 4 rooms, so you’ll need to book early, and all are doubles. Note there are no in-room TVs, though there is WiFi
- Parking is 50m away
Best time to go
In late September, there’s still lots of sun, and the warmest water of the year down on the coast. Be aware that beach cafés and restaurants start closing in the third week, and the seasonal air operators stop flying. Domu Antiga normally closes for a few months during winter.
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- 4 rooms
- Breakfast (dinner on request / restaurants nearby)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Cooking lessons
Three of the bedrooms are upstairs, the fourth is in the old barn (and we're yet to personally view it). All are doubles: two large, one medium-size, one cosy. French windows open onto little balconies - a couple have a green garden view - and the feel is fresh, simple and old-contemporary. Find restored wooden beds on polished planked floors, doors and shutters ‘distressed’ in pale blue, and original rafters above. Traditional artefacts are dotted stylishly about - a weather-beaten travel trunk, an enamel jug, fresh posies of flowers.
Bed linen is crisp, and mattresses big and new; bed covers, handmade in Sardinia, are embroidered white on white (stunning). Bedhead hangings are of traditional cream-coloured wool. Two of the rooms easily fit a rollaway bed and all can take a baby cot, but note: one of the rooms, in the former granary, is reached via a steepish narrow staircase that could be difficult for children to negotiate. The room in the old barn has space for single bed on a mezzanine level only.
Bathrooms are spotless, with white and dusty-pink plastered walls, contemporary white fittings and fabulous walk-in showers.
Breakfast is worth bouncing out of bed for. A spread of Sardinian delights conjured up by Samuel’s mother, Maria, and served in the loggia, on the lawn or at a long table within sight of the kitchen's log fire, it includes homemade artisanal cheeses, hams, salsiccia (salami), home-baked cakes and biscotti, delicious rustic bread (once a week from their own wood-fired oven) and seasonal fruits: apricots, peaches, figs, grapes, melons, exotic prickly pears, plus 3 kinds of local honey. If you prefer fresh eggs, you can gather them yourself before they're cooked - there’s a chicken coop in the garden!
Authentic home-cooked suppers are available on request. The menu varies according to what's in season and available locally, but dishes might include malloreddus (Sardinia gnocchi), culurgiones (ravioli), rabbit with peas, red wine pork, rooster in tomato sauce, lamb with cardoon and artichokes, or classic rabbit chasseur. Wash it all down with a bottle of wine or maybe the popular Sardinian speciality, myrtle liqueur.
There's a guest fridge where you can store snacks and drinks; we recommend heading to Gergei's winery, Olianas, to buy a bottle or two to bring back. There's also a small supermarket a few doors down the road.
Your hosts strongly recommend Da Tzia Matilda, a 200m walk away, for lunch or dinner. Feast on traditional Sardinian dishes, made with fresh local ingredients; the pizza (fresh from the wood oven) is a must try. Also recommended is Osteria La Forchetta in nearby Mandas: choose from the locals’ menu (not the tourist one) and you could find a saffron-flavoured fillet of bream on your plate. Alternatively, just south of the Old Town, off a dusty road, tables fill quickly at the best agriturismo in the area, Le Vigne Ducali. The entire family cooks and it’s all delicious, from subtly flavoured goat stews to just-picked tomato salads with home-produced wine.
Following dessert, Samuel and some musical friends often perform traditional music for guests, including a few numbers on the astonishing launeddas - a pipe instrument specific to central Sardinia.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Learn how to make real pasta and a perfect panna cotta; Domu Antiga loves to offer cookery classes, and may put a session on just for you
- You can’t miss nearby Barúmini and the hilltop ramparts and towers of Su Nuraxi. Dating from 1500BC, this is the finest Nuraghic settlement on the island and a Unesco World Heritage site. Get there before the coaches do
- Also worth visiting are the villages around Santu Perdu, Santa Vittoria and Santa Maria Nuraghi, believed to have been inhabited until the Middle Ages
- Immerse yourself in nature and go hiking or biking - or take it easy and hire a guide and a donkey. Unmissable is the deep gorge 5km from Gergei, alive with plunge pools and splashing waterfalls
- Book a tour of the Parco della Giara with legendary guide Roberto, who knows every plant, path and tree of these hilltop plains. They’re home to the last wild horses in Europe, and with Roberto’s help you can get close to them
- Ride the Trenino Verde, an old steam train that puffs its way over the mountains from Mandas to the east coast. It takes 5 hours to travel 160km and you’ll need an overnight stop at the other end, but the scenery en route is stunning
- Elegant Cagliari, the island’s capital, is under an hour away. Don’t miss its medieval core of tightly packed churches and townhouses, its archaeological museum that reveals the mysteries of the Nuraghic people, its long sandy beaches, its Sunday flea market, and the stylish locals who turn out every evening for the traditional passeggiata. From the Piazza Martin d'Italia, climb the steep street to the medieval Castello district, enclosed by pale-stone fortifications. West of here, the Roman amphitheatre hosts open-air concerts during the summer
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
Although Domu Antiga is not the most obvious destination for families, children are welcome. There’s a guest fridge that’s handy for storing snacks and drinks, and dinner can be provided on request.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Three of the rooms can take an extra bed and all can fit a cot (note the steep narrow staircase to the largest room, and the mezzanine level in another).
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Domu Antiga is in the historic centre of Gergei, a small village in central Sardinia. It’s an hour’s drive north of Cagliari, and almost 3 hours south of Alghero and Olbia.
Cagliari is easily the closest airport (62km away), though Alghero and Olbia receive more year-round flights. Click on the links below for information on airlines serving Sardinia.
From the Airport
Gergei is 10km by bus from Mandas, which is connected to Cagliari by bus and train, but we'd recommend hiring a car for your stay (see below).
Sardinia is well-served by car ferries from elsewhere in Italy. You can arrive from Naples, Genoa, Fiumicino, Livorno, Palermo, Trapani and Civitavecchia. They sail into Palau, Olbia, Porto Torres and Golfo Aranci in the north, and Arbatax and Cagliari in the south. The quickest is Civitavecchia to Golfo Aranci (4 hours), the longest Naples to Cagliari (17 hours). Car ferries also connect Sardinia with Corsica.
See our car rental recommendations. Free parking is available 50m from the B&B.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you confirm a booking through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Sardinia and getting around
- Cagliari Elmas 62.0 km CAG
- Cagliari Elmas 230.0 km AHO
- Beach 60.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.5 km