Sardinia was surprisingly green, with unspoiled landscapes, great food, and unforgettable hospitality. The friendly Sardinian people reached out and made us feel welcome on their island. Although we had no language in common, Sardinians were somehow able to make themselves understood and communicate with us.

We visited a variety of ancient pagan festivals: Gavoi’s Sortilla de Tumbarinos, Perda Pinta’s Mamuthones Festival, Montiferru’s Carrela è Nanti, and the carnivals in Sartiglia and Ovodda, each with their own taste and traditions. I can’t say I enjoyed one more than another as they were all different and fantastic. Our Trip Leaders, Stefano and Sebastiano went out of their way to make sure we saw everything in true detail and so we didn’t miss a thing!

Lunch with Sardinian shepherds
Our first lunch was spent with Sardinian shepherds.
seafood lunch
Our first lunch, yum.
Sortillia de Tumbarinos festival make up
In Gavoi, Stefano and Sebas convinced us to paint our faces to camouflage us for the Sortillia de Tumbarinos festival. Here I am getting my face painted.
Drummers in Sardinia
At the festival, we heard drums from all around, the heart penetrating sound made it impossible not to rush to the street and try to capture all that was going on. The whole town came dressed in black with black faces: children, young and old, men and women playing drums, flutes and triangles while gathering in the center of town to celebrate the last day of Lent. The festivities went on until late in the night, truly exiting.
our local guide in Gavoi, Valeria Sanna
This photo was taken by my fellow traveler, Paulette Hurdlik, of our local guide in Gavoi, Valeria Sanna.
Festival of Carrela è Nanti
In Santu Lussurgiu, horseback riders and neighbors strolled through the charming town celebrating the Festival of Carrela è Nanti. The festival consisted of many riders who, in teams of two or three, galloped through the narrow central street of the old town as they tried to decapitate two leather chickens, demonstrating bravery and tremendous riding skills. The riders looked like knights from medieval times.
 child in Santu Lussurgiu with leather chickens
After the festival in Santu Lussurgiu was over, this lucky child got to keep the leather chickens.

Great tour, greater guides, exquisite food, wonderful experience!

-Photos and text by WT adventurer Olga Pokorny, Pagan Festivals of Sardinia

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