Discover the flamingo park in Cagliari, South Sardinia

a kid looking at the panorama in a park

Did you know that Cagliari is the only city in the world where pink flamingos nest in a stable way? And it is possible to admire this natural spectacle of thousands of waders at the park of Molentargius, among marshes, bridges, reed beds, flights of herons and seagulls. People come to Sardinia on holiday for the wonderful sea (and how to give them wrong), however in this island there is so much to see! Today we take you to discover the flamingo park in Cagliari, an unspoiled nature reserve of extraordinary beauty, located between the city and the promenade. Here you can admire thousands of pink flamingos that for the first time have nested in 1993.

 

WHY IS IT CALLED MOLENTARGIUS

salt flats in CagliariThe park is named after ‘Molenti’, that are the donkeys in Sardinia that were used to carry the salt. In fact the park is located where a system of ponds and lagoons formed in the plains of Campidano from 75,000 until 18,000 years ago. The summer drainage formed, in the past, a natural saline, whose production for centuries was carried out here and ended in 1985.

 

WHERE IS THE FLAMINGO PARK IN CAGLIARI

A wooden bridge and the 'Sella del Diavolo' on the horizon

Bridge with a view of Sella del Diavolo on the horizon

The natural reserve of Molentargius is located between Cagliari, Selargius, Quartu S. Elena, Quartucciu and the promenade of Poetto.

We are looking at an unique ecosystem in the world, because of the extreme closeness to two of the largest cities in Sardinia.

Composed of the salt water basins, Bellarosa Maggiore, the freshwater basins, Bellarosa Minoree Perdalonga, and a sandy area, Is Arenas, the park is one of the largest and most important wetlands in Europe, where you can admire many species of birds, including the flamingos.

You can access into the park through three different entries: Via la Palma in Cagliari, where you will find the Infopoint, via Don Giordi in Quartu Sant’Elena and in the seafront Poetto at the Marine Hospital.

 

WHAT TO DO WITH CHILDREN IN THE PARK OF MOLENTARGIUS

a kid in a park walking At the Infopoint in Via la Palma in Cagliari, you can rent bicycles and binoculars.

You can also take a tour in the park by bike with a guided tour.

In this natural protected area since 1999, you can admire, beyond to the flamingos, seagulls, cormorants, knights of Italy, Moriglioni, seagull chickens, sultans chickens, Nitticore, red herons, cattle herons, herons of cinerini, Egret, Coots, Avocets, spat teres and common teres. But also tree frogs and toads smeraldini, turtles, Water, baker and Luscengole, hedgehogs, women and wild rabbits.

The flamingos have nested in the areas of the ponds of Molentargius and Santa Gilla during the migrations for several years, providing an exceptional natural spectacle to all visitors.

We enjoyed getting on the wooden house to have a privileged point of view and to admire the flamingos without disturbing them. My son was very curious to see what the flamingos were doing, how they were moving and what they ate. We were there indefinitely, happy to be able to admire these beautiful birds.

a kid at the top of a lookout tower looking at the flamingos

My son at the top of a lookout tower looking at the flamingos

Do you know why flamingos are pink?

Because they feed mainly on shellfish and various aquatic insects that contain these pigments. In particular Artemia Salina is the main responsible for the pink coloration to the pens. The pink of the pens is therefore more intensive more shellfish they eat.

 

flamingo in a pondflamingo in a pond

 

The park stretches for several kilometers and it is possible to admire all the greatness thanks to the canals and the bushy vegetation that allow to admire the whole panorama, including the famous Sella del Diavolo, the promontory, which is one of the most characteristic landmark of Cagliari.

Nature in this park is the protagonist. An unspoiled nature rich in variety of plants, including , Euphorbie and Elicrisi. The park is perfect for any sport activity, but also for simple walks surrounded by an unchanged nature.

a detail of a plant

PRACTICAL INFORMATION ON VISITING THE FLAMINGO PARK:

  • Website:here
  • Free entry
  • Guided tour in English available
  • In the park there is also a playground, near the stadium of Quartu
  • We’d recommend this activity for any ages, but it is perhaps optimally suited for kids aged 2 and more

From here you can easily reach the Poetto and relax on the beach.

From the city of Cagliari you can easily reach some of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia. In this post I tell you about our holiday between Pula and Chia, just one hour drive from Cagliari.

 

 

If you liked this post, Pint it for later 🙂

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With love,

Francesca

 

Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays

 

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10 Comments

  1. May 14, 2019 / 19:39

    I love a wildlife surprise on holiday. Flamingos in Sardinia, who’d have thought. We’ve only been once, and stayed in the North, but I’d love to go back. Such a special place. #culturedkids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 22:16

      Happy to let you discover another part of this beautiful island 🙂

  2. May 14, 2019 / 20:35

    I have never seen a wild flamingo, no idea that you could see them in Sardinia. Always quite fancied visiting but now I HAVE to. Thank you for sharing with #CulturedKids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 21:53

      It’s such a great island 🙂

  3. May 16, 2019 / 14:53

    I always associate these gorgeous creatures with Florida and had no idea you could see them in Sardinia. Shame we can’t turn pink after a plate of prawns! #culturedkids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 16, 2019 / 15:56

      What a shame really LOL!!!

  4. May 20, 2019 / 09:49

    A beautiful post with lovely photos. I have always fancied Sardinia but never been before, it must have been a great treat to see those beautiful flamingos. #culturedkids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 21, 2019 / 10:10

      Thank you!

  5. May 20, 2019 / 19:14

    Oh wonderful! I have travelled extensively in Italy, but not yet made it to Sardinia. Now I know what to do when we go! 😀 Thanks so much for joining in with #CulturedKids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 21, 2019 / 10:05

      Sardinia deserves 🙂

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