Discovering Oristano by bike is the perfect idea for those eager to know the naturalistic, cultural and archaeological heritage of the city and its territory on two wheels, crossing paths among the scents and colors of Sardinia, its wide spaces and its regenerating silences.
From the historic center, sinking its origins in ancient times, to the soft hilly landscapes interspersed with fish ponds and the most important river of the Island, all the way to the most famous coastal areas of Sardinia. Oristano by bike is a fabulous experience, capable of mixing together nature, history, culture, fun and adventure. It definitely is a must for any visitor.
The Tirso is the most important river in Sardinia in terms of length and width of its basin. After a route of about 159 kilometers, it flows into the Gulf of Oristano and is the guide which will silently accompany you along the historical and archaeological Archeo Tirso Bike itinerary.
Going up the river for just over 30 km, you will reach a mysterious abandoned village, ancient rural churches and Nuragic archaeological areas, passing through the unspoiled nature of the territories embracing Oristano, such as Simaxis, Zerfaliu, Solarussa and Siamaggiore.
The complete path measures barely over 30 km, almost all of which on comfortable dirt roads, alternating with rare but needed stretches of asphalt. The accumulated altitude difference is around 100 meters.
Respect of the highway code and caution are recommended, especially in the asphalted sections and inside the inhabited centers.
You will not meet any dogs during your journey, but you will pass through areas where farms are located, possibly with their grazing flocks.
The itinerary starts from Church of the Maddalena, on the outskirts of Silì, and by following a dirt road, you will immediately reach the left bank of the Tirso. Pedaling, you have to go up the river.
Coordinates: 39°54’57″N / 8°36’49″E
Leaving the building of the disused Simaxis railway station behind, after about 6 km, you will reach the “iron bridge”, on S.P. 15, dating back to the second half of the 19th century. Then, at the entrance to the town of Simaxis, take a dirt road leading to the first stage of the itinerary.
Coordinates: 39°55’40″N /8°40’2″E – Stazione ferroviaria dismessa
Coordinates: 39°55’58″N / 8°40’20″E – Ponte in ferro
Actually, this is not the current location of the town, which is on S.S. 388, but in the area where Simaxis was formerly located, along S.P. 9, as evidenced by the presence of two church buildings. The churches are dedicated to San Nicolao, bishop of Mira, and to San Teodoro respectively. They are both on the edge of the aforementioned S.P. 9, only a few tens of meters away from each other. In 2014, both churches were included in the list of assets declared of cultural interest.
Coordinates: 39°56’48″N / 8°42’29″E – chiesa di San Teodoro
Coordinates: 39°56’48″N / 8°42’28″E – chiesa di San Nicola o Nicolò
With a short 2 km-long asphalt stretch, you will reach the southern outskirts of Zerfaliu, where you will come across the church of San Giovanni Battista, built in the 13th century on the site of a Roman necropolis. The enlargement process underwent by this necropolis is evident: the difference between the two factories is so clear that it is easy to hypothesize the original size of the building. Several ancient tombstones are placed on the low wall delimiting the churchyard, testifying to the continuity of use as a cemetery area. Inside the town there is also the Pisan pointed arch with the bell gable, the last visible remnant of the original church, dating back to the 11th century.
Coordinates: 39°57’23″N / 8°42’27″E – San Giovanni
Coordinates: 39°57’30″N / 8°42’26″E – Arco Pisano
By crossing the town as you head North, you will reach the countryside of Solarussa, where the archaeological area of Pidighi is located. It is to the north-east of the town, and it is reachable by a dirt road; the site consists of a sacred spring, a large village and a nuraghe. The area has been partially excavated and documented by various publications, which have described its chronology and its probable considerable extension.
Coordinates: 39°59’57″N / 8°42’4″E – Villaggio
Coordinates: 39°59’57″N / 8°42’8″E – Fonte
From Solarussa, the return journey to Oristano begins by going back along a stretch of the dirt road that led to Pidighi, then turning right to enter the territory of Siamaggiore from the north west, crossing the town and reaching the last stop of the itinerary, in the territory of Siamaggiore. The small rural church of San Ciriaco (Santu Triagus in Sardinian language) is located barely over 1 km south of the town. In 2014, this building too was included in a historical-artistic report by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, accompanied by an essential bibliography.
Coordinates: 39°56’40″N / 8°38’8″E