Domu Antiga

Gergei, Sardinia, Italy Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
Small but stylish village B&B in Sardinia’s rural interior, with bountiful breakfasts, great rates and warm hospitality
Beauty, serenity and an elegant restoration in the heart of old Sardinia. White pendant lamps hang from high sloping beams in the old loggia, and local bread and cheese (the best) are brought to the check-cloth table. Opened in 2013 in the little cobbled village of Gergei, this 4-bedroom B&B, managed by generous Arnaldo and his English-speaking son Samuel, is a perfect reconstruction of a 19th-century farmhouse - a stylish slice of paradise behind high stone walls.

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 holding country china, and beautiful bedrooms with chunky rafters and embroidered linen. There are bountiful breakfasts to wake up to - “the best in Sardinia”, say guests - and authentic pizzas a short stroll down the road. We have yet to visit, but by all accounts we're in for a treat when we do.


  • An intimate, simple and perfect restoration, set in a peaceful walled garden
  • Discovering a Sardinia of vineyards, hills, olive groves, wild horses and Nuraghic ruins; local guides are on hand to help you explore
  • Excellent value for money
  • Breakfasts to die for, with exceptional bread from the wood-fired oven
  • The chance to learn age-old culinary secrets through 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
  • Payment is by cash only, and 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

April and May are the loveliest months, when there are few tourists, the hiking is cooler and you can celebrate Easter - known as Pasca Manna, or ‘Big Easter’, in Sardinia (Christmas is merely Paschixèdda: ‘Little Easter’). In Cagliari, on Good Friday, the Confraternita della Solitudine carry statues of Christ and the Virgin to the cathedral. On Easter Sunday, church altars are adorned with flowers and grains, ancient symbols of rebirth and resurrection. On Easter Monday, 2 different processions meet by the cathedral as the Cantori sing to celebrate Christ's resurrection: it’s wonderful.

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

The rich soil and innumerable springs make this area perfect for wine. A 10-minute stroll away from the B&B is Gergei’s small, relatively young winery, Olianas, where the grapes (Cannonau, Bovale Sardo, Carignano and Vermentino) are harvested by hand. Visit the cellars, savour the wines, and buy some bottles to take home.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 4
  • Breakfast (dinner on request / restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • 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. Three 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 spacious and spotless, with white and dusty-pink plastered walls, contemporary white fittings and fabulous walk-in showers.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast is worth bouncing out of bed for. A spread of Sardinian delights served in the loggia, on the lawn or at a long table within sight of the kitchen's log fire, it includes 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. 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 grilled vegetables, fresh pasta (perhaps ravioli or malloreddus), local game and cheeses. Wash it all down with a bottle of wine or maybe the popular Sardinian specialty, 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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Cooking classes
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Guest fridge
  • 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
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • 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.

Best for:

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).

Kid Friendly: Cookery class

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