The province of Oristano is located on the Sardinian west coast and is one of the five provinces on the island. Oristano is sparsely populated, and it is known for its beautiful archaeological sites, nature and beaches.

Holidays in Sardinia - Oristano

Oristano Sinis coast

The province of Oristano

The province of Oristano covers an area of 3040 square kilometres and counts only 160.746 inhabitants, only 53.7 per square kilometre on average! The largest city, which is also the capital is Oristano, with 31.670 inhabitants. Besides Oristano there are 3 fairly big town in the province: Cabras (9.165), Terralba (10.259) and Bosa (7.926).

Oristano: a bit of history....

In the time of the Phoenicians, a civilization that from Lebanon explored and traded in all the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia was a hugely important trading point. Due to its proximity to neighbouring countries, Sardinia was a strategic point for the trade routes in the Mediterranean. To this day there are still many archaeological sites with remnants from the Phoenician era, for example the ancient ruins of Tharros which was the most important cites in the area. In 238 BC. However, Tharros was abandoned when the Romans conquered Sardinia and pushed towards the inland. On the bank of the Tirso River, a city was formed, later to be called Oristano, which in 1974 became the capital of the province of the same name.

Near Tharros, another important archaeological discovery was made in the area called Mont’e Prama, between Tharros and the town of Cabras. A small army of stone statues of warriors, archers, fighters and priests where found in a necropolis, and they dated back to the 8th century B.C. 

Art and culture in Oristano

Carnival vent in Oristano SartigliaAccording to the tradition, the carnival is celebrated every year during February in Sardinia. There are four carnival events on the island that you should not miss. Two of these events take place in the province of Oristano. In Oristano, the traditional event of the Sartiglia is organized every year during carnival. Since the city's lore in the 16th century, this has been one of the highlights of the Carnival in Sardinia, originally conceived by the Spaniards and outsourcing the organization to the various professional guilds in the city. This can still be seen in the contemporary organization of the event. The Sartiglia takes two days to complete and one day is organized by the Carpenters 'Guild and the other day is organized by the Farmers' Guild. Ring stabbing or horse racing competitions are held on these days. All women, participants, riders, and musicians are dressed in traditional Sardinian attire. A visit to the Sartiglia is certainly worthwhile when you are in Sardinia.

Discover Oristano

Places to see in the city of Oristano

Tower of the cathedral of Oristano

The cathedral 

The cathedral of Oristano is the largest in Sardinia, it dates back to the 1131, and it was changed and enlarged over the years, so it presents characteristics of different styles: from the baroque to neoclassical. It features a hexagonal tower from the 12th century with unusual caricature decorations. The cathedral treasure consists of ancient silverware, sacred manuscripts, and sacred vestments.

Piazza Eleonora

On this square you can find the monument, from 1891, to Eleonora d'Arborea. The 14th century town hall is also located near this square with, among other things, many documents from the Aragonese time in its archives.

Antiquarium Arborense museum

The most important museum of the area, with finds from the pre-Nuragic civilizations, to the Spanish medieval times. The museum offers tours in English, check the Antiquarium Arborense museum’s website for more info.


Try one of the regional wines from the area. Oristano’s special wine is the Vernaccia di Oristano, a strong white wine with an unique taste. Or you can try the Monica or the Cannonau if you prefer a red wine.

What to see and do in the province of Oristano

Roman baths of Fordongianus: in this picturesque town in the inland, you can find the ancient roman baths built on a natural hot spring. There is also a modern SPA in the same area.

Sinis peninsula: a must-see if you are in Oristano, here you can see the Salt Lakes where the pink flamingos live, or the ruins of Tharros or just relax in one of the beaches.

The best beaches Oristano and the Sinis:

  •  Is Aruttas, near the town of Cabras features a long rice-grain sand made of quartz, and its perfect for snorkeling,
  • Torre Grande beach is the closest to Oristano, and here you can find plenty of beach bars, restaurants and watersport activities
  • Putzu Idu, a long white sandy beach, with shallow crystal clear waters, perfect for children but also a water sport hotspot where you can take windsurfing and sailing lessons, scuba diving lessons and boat tours to the desert island of Mal di Ventre.


a picturesque medieval town dominated by the Malaspina castle. The pastel-coloured houses along the river Temo colour the street scene of the historic centre of Bosa. This town is in the list of the most beautiful towns in Italy, and it’s worth a visit. The old town features picturesque cobblestone alleys, where you can find plenty of restaurants bars and shops, in the marina town you can enjoy the beach and the nightlife in the beach clubs, restaurant and bars. Do not miss the local wine: the Malvasia di Bosa is a great sweet wine with an unique character.

The pictoresque Bosa

The provinces of Sardinia

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