Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

If your passion is archaeology you are in the right place!

visit a mining site and wine tasting

Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia, an unmissable opportunity to discover the most authentic Sardinia and the true soul of the island in complete safety.
Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

If you are looking for a must-see excursion in Sardinia to make your holidays unforgettable


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Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

With your Inside Sardinia Guide you will discover villages where people are still earning a living through agriculture, farming and handcrafting; where time seems to pass more slowly and the chaos of the city is just a hallucination!

With our excursions you will travel through time hearing stories and tales of a unique land, and taste the flavors and wines of an ancient island:


During your next vacation, you will forget the routine, you will be led by the nature of our land, you will return home with renewed energy.

Discover Sardinia through friendly locals, iconic landscapes and legendary experiences.

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Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

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Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

visit a mining site and wine tasting

Between wine and mines: Porto Flavia, an unmissable opportunity to discover the most authentic Sardinia and the true soul of the island in complete safety.

On the west coast of Sardinia there was once an unusual port. It’s a small opening on the rock face of the limestone cliffs above the sea, that led directly to the Masua mines, where zinc and lead ores were extracted, via a 600-meter-long tunnel.

Ores were brought by conveyor belts to the mouth of the tunnel, from which a mechanical arm loaded the ore directly onto waiting ships.

The ingenious harbor was built in 1924 by engineer Cesare Vecelli, who named it Porto Flavia after his daughter Flavia.

Before the harbor was built, the ore had to hauled from the mines to the beach where they were loaded onto small boats and taken to Carloforte Island harbor 30 kilometers away.

The ore was then stored in the magazines or in the hold of waiting steamships until a full load could be shipped to the foundries in France, Belgium and Germany.

Porto Flavia is today one of the most significant and iconic mining-archaeology landscape structures on the coast of the Sulcis-Iglesiente: a Neoclassical façade, embedded in the cliff which conceals the ingenious internal gear, while the plastered surface hides a skilful blend of natural materials and elements derived from the mining production, such as reinforced concrete and the rails of the track.

Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia


We start from Cagliari and we reach the belvedere of Nebida (about 1 hour driving), with a view of the Laveria La Marmora, an imposing late 19th century building, built overlooking the sea.

The coast of Masua is not to be missed for those visiting Sardinia: sea and mines, a breathtaking landscape dotted with mining shafts and galleries.

Later we drive to Porto Flavia: a masterpiece of mining engineering unique in the world, in a spectacular location.

It is one of the most interesting places of industrial archaeology on the whole island, an integral part of the geomineral park of Sardinia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From here you have the most beautiful view of the Pan di Zucchero stacks, the highest in the Mediterranean.

In a panoramic position facing the sea, an aperitif with tasting of typical products.

The experience ends with a visit to the vineyard and the Aru winery, to discover not only the flavours of the wines and the food, but also, visiting the rural museum and discovering the rural culture that has always played an important role here.

Sea, mines, genuine flavours and peasant culture: these are the ingredients that make the southwest of Sardinia unique.

Book now Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

give yourself an unforgettable trip to Sardinia

Details of tour:

Duration of the guided tour: 6 hours
Difficulty: medium
Additional services: transfer


  • Appetizer in front of the sea

  • Meeting with the miners

  • Antas Temple

Where we are

Masua is an old mining town that rises 95 meters above sea level, part of the municipality of Iglesias, in the southern province of Sardinia, in the Sulcis-Iglesiente subregion.


Make the visit to a more experimental historical site combining it with one of our “Experiences” where you will be the protagonist: this will make the day even more complete and exciting.


Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia

 you will discover

Wine, sea and mines: Porto Flavia
How do we know that this land is the oldest in Italy?

Because the rocks are the oldest in Italy. Rocks from the Cambrian, around 560 million years old.ia.

Who was Flavia?

The daughter of the engineer Vecelli who in 1924 created this great work.

Vecelli surveyed the coasts of Masua, and found the perfect spot high in the cliffs in front of the Pan di Zucchero stack.

Here, the sea was deep enough for ships and well-protected from wind and waves to allow a safe mooring, while the ore could be loaded directly from the cliffs.

Where we can see the contrast between beauty of the place and roughness of the history?

Porto Flavia is a masterpiece of mining engineering, unique in the world, with a terrace overlooking the sea in an exciting environmental context and in front of the highest Mediterranean sea stack: the Pan di Zucchero.

The miners life was a hard one. They worked long hours for low wages. The potential dangers were always there for them and their families.

This created close comradeship and tight knit mining communities.

Working conditions in the mining industry with its inherent dangers were at their worst during the 19th century.

Increased demands for lead and zinc led to massive expansion and a search for richer deposits.

Bigger, deeper pits brought new hazards to the miner who risked life and limb everyday whilst working in confined spaces breathing in stale air and dust.

Which famous poet came to visit Masua in 1882?

Gabriele d’Annunzio visiting in 1882, a few years before the construction of Porto Flavia, wrote:

“Escono quasi carponi dalle strette aperture, come Esquimesi di sotto il ghiaccio: sono uomini pieni di cenci e di sudiciume, dal viso terreo, con gli occhi arrossati nel tormento delle polvere, con i capelli incolti;
…sono bimbi rachitici, col viso per lo più chiazzato di croste, con gli stinchi fiacchi, senza un lampo ilare nella pupilla, senza uno strillo di gioia in bocca, senza un impeto libero in cuore.”

Those who travel with me are an active part and make their own contribution to each experience, with their own character and personality

Laura Sedda tourist guide

Archaeologist specialized in prehistory of Sardinia

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