Cammino Minerario di Santa Barbara Mining Trail – 4 Days

4 Days

The Santa Barbara Mining Trail is a fascinating route in the heart of the Sulcis Iglesiente mining region, in the South West of Sardinia. Mainly on the sea, the 4-day Cammino minerario Santa Barbara trek involves covering the first 3 stages of the route starting from the city of Iglesias.

The route includes an average of 15 km per day, with a certain variety of landscapes and differences in altitude, of a medium-easy level, accessible to those who have a certain familiarity with the multiple-day hiking .

The overnight stay (included) will always be in the B&B Pedra Rubia, a lovely structure facing the Iglesiente sea. A transfer is provided to and from the starting and ending points of the treks (transfer is not included in the cost).

We start on the first day with a 21 km route from the town of Iglesias inland towards the mining village of Nebida, immediately immersing ourselves in the impressive mining environment of the oldest rocks in Europe. From the historic center of Iglesias you will walk along the old miners’ paths to reach the spectacular seaside landscapes of the hamlet of Nebida. From here we leave for the second stage, shorter and full of historical places, such as the Laveria La Marmora and the famous Porto Flavia, a seaside masterpiece of mining art. From this stage the Pan di Zucchero stack, the highest in Europe, will characterize the landscape of the following kilometers of walking.

On the third day we will tackle the first part of the 3rd stage of the Santa Barbara Mining Route, from Masua to the splendid Cala Domestica beach (10 km).

On the fourth and last day we will start again from Cala Domestica to go north, to arrive, with a panoramic route close to the sea, in the suggestive mining village of Buggerru. Here, if possible, we will visit the Henry Gallery, a famous passage dug into the rock crossed by a small train.

At the end of the visit you will return via a private transfer to the place where the journey began, in Iglesias.

Notes: To get to Iglesias you can take the train that leaves from the city of Cagliari or from the Cagliari-Elmas airport (approximately 1 hour’s journey). Here is the Trenitalia link.

The included overnight stay will be in the B&B Pedra Rubia in Nebida, with a double room solution (single room with supplement).

A transfer is provided to and from the starting and ending places of the treks (transfer is not included in the cost).

Meals are excluded. For lunch there is a packed lunch that can be purchased in the supermarkets of the village of Nebida. Dinner will be autonomous, in the restaurants within walking distance in the town of Nebida. The group will have a maximum of 6/8 people.


Distance of 21 km - Uphill m. 750 - Journey time 7.00 hours

Departure from Piazza Sella in the center of Iglesias, in front of the first stone of the path of Santa Barbara. Thus you walk through the historic center of the town of Iglesias, the beating heart of the mining industry of the last century, but with an equally fascinating medieval past. From here the uphill route begins towards the Buon Cammino church from which you can admire the whole city from the top of the hill. Descent towards the Monteponi mine, one of the most important mining sites in Sardinia. Visit to the mining village of the same name, to the small church of Santa Barbara, to the imposing remains of industrial archeology such as Pozzo Sella. We continue the route towards the mining villages of Monte Agruxiau and Monte Scorra, always moving on secondary roads that are almost completely deserted. Arrival in the seaside mining village of Nebida and visit to the beautiful Laveria Lamarmora, defined as the Colosseum of Mining Art, a former UNESCO World Heritage Site and a place with a mystical and evocative atmosphere. Conclusion of the first stage with an aperitif at sunset at the B&B Pedra Rubia. Dinner in a typical restaurant in the village of Nebida and overnight stay in the B&B.

Distance of 7 km - Uphill m. 200 - Travel time 3.00 hours + visit Porto Flavia (1 hour)

Another of the most beautiful stretches of the Sardinian coast begins from Nebida, it is an itinerary from which you can enjoy the view of the 5 stacks: the first is Portu Raffa, then S' Agusteri (of the lobsters), Portu Banda, Portu di Nebida and the majestic Pan di Zucchero, 130 meters high. We start from the town and admire the series of mining sites visible on the surrounding hills and the enormous sinkholes (artificial caves) that mark the landscape.
The trek starts from the town of Nebida, from the historic Laveria Lamarmora, and in the first part uses the path that leads from Nebida to the beach of Portu Banda, marked by the rare and ancient puddinga rock from the Ordovician (480 million years ago). From here you go up north, towards the promontory from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view towards the stacks of Portu Banda and Augusteri, visible in sequence. We take the path heading towards Porto Ferro, which, like Portu Banda, is also a shipping point for minerals and from its promontory you can admire the Laveria Lamarmora di Nebida and the sequence of 5 stacks from afar. Looking north we begin to admire the Pan di Zucchero stack, which we gradually discover in all its magnificence. With an easy path you reach the beaches of Masua, from which Pan di Zucchero can be contemplated from a privileged point of view. From here, you can continue on foot towards Porto Flavia and visit the famous mining port on the sea, with an exclusive guided tour by the hiking guide. The return will take place via private or public shuttle (if available during the trekking period). Dinner in local restaurant and overnight stay at the B&B Pedra Rubia.

Distance of 12 km - Uphill 500 m - Journey time 6 hours
From Nebida we take a private vehicle towards Masua and continue the trek towards Cala Domestica. We gain altitude and head towards Monte Nai passing over the Masua cliff. We continue on the path from where the view of the Pan di Zucchero stack opens up and extends from Porto Paglia to Cala Domestica. After passing Punta Buccione we reach the upper edge of the Canal Grande. We go down to Cala di Canal Grande to enjoy the view of the Grotta delle Spigole (a tunnel crossed by the sea which often offers truly unique plays of light). We go back up the dirt road towards the north until we find ourselves overlooking Porto Sciusciau with its hundred meter high cliffs that drop into the green sea, from here you can admire the Su Forru cave. Continuing through the juniper forest we approach Cala Domestica, we pass under a bridge of the old railway that connected the Gutturu Cardaxiu mines with the sea and we reach Cala Domestica with its fine sand and crystal clear sea. Now you can rest, take a well-deserved swim and visit the Sabauda Tower (from the late 18th century) built to defend the ancient tuna fishery, then transformed into a warehouse for the storage of minerals. Relax on the beach and then return to Nebida by private vehicle (20 minute transfer, 14 kilometres).

Distance of km. 8 - Uphill 450m. - Journey time 4 hours

We start from Cala Domestica, from the second smallest cove reachable via a tunnel dug in the mining period, to facilitate the transport of minerals towards the landing place more sheltered from the winds of the small beach of Cala Lunga. We head into the small canyon behind the beach to go up to altitude and enjoy the panorama of the Cala Domestica fjord from an exceptional point of view. Then we head north along a path a few meters from the spectacular white limestone cliffs overlooking the sea, delighting us with a unique view of the rocky coast. We arrive at the remains of the ancient abandoned village of Pranu Sartu: until the 1940s it housed 2,000 people, mostly employed in the open-pit mine of the same name, of which the enormous extraction chasm remains visible. From above you will be able to see the area of ​​the mine which contained the steam engine, the workshop and the Santa Barbara, i.e. the explosives depot and the entrance to the spectacular Henry Tunnel, dug at the end of the 19th century into the rock overlooking the sea to transport the minerals of Pranu Sartu to the village of Buggerru. If possible, we will visit the Henry Gallery. Then we will begin the descent towards the village, which we will visit to identify the symbolic places of the mining epic of the Société de Mines de Malfidano, the French company that transformed a shepherds' settlement into what at the beginning of the 20th century was defined as the Pétite Paris, a modern town equipped with Art Nouveau villas, theatre, cinema, telegraph and boutiques with French boutiques. We will visit the places where the miners' massacre of September 1904 took place which led to the take-off of the workers' struggle throughout Italy.
Relax in one of the town's clubs or on the beautiful beach next to the tourist port. Return by private vehicle to Iglesias and departure of the group.


Cost includes:

  • English-speaking professional hiking guide
  • Complete and customizable organization
  • Help on Logistic and accommodation booking
  • External visit to the main attractions

Cost excludes:

  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (to be agreed)
  • The transfer: by private car or minibus (to be agreed)
  • The accommodation (special discount)
  • Tickets of attractions (e.g. Porto Flavia Ticket)

Trip Facts

  • 270€ (with overnight stay)
  • minimum 4 - maximum 8 people
  • on request - 25-28 April '24
  • by car or minivan (excluded)
  • b&b (included in double room)
  • medium-easy
  • Iglesias
  • hiking
  • italian, english, french