Porto Flavia

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Porto Flavia: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Cagliari: Porto Flavia Mine and Natural Beauty Tour

1. From Cagliari: Porto Flavia Mine and Natural Beauty Tour

Travel from Cagliari to Iglesiente, one of the oldest historical areas in Sardinia with a wild landscape famous for its mining history. Discover the Porto Flavia mine, an extraordinary monument of industrial archaeology overlooking an incredible coastline with a breathtaking vista of the Masua Sea.   Built in 1924, Port Flavia is an incredible work of engineering suspended between sky and sea that made it possible to load minerals directly onto the ships. Walk through the 600-meter-long tunnel and discover the history of the mine that remained functional up until the 1960s.  Next, see the Parco Geominerario della Sardegna (Geological and Mining Park of Sardinia), declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After the visit, enjoy a little stop to see the incredible coast of Nebida, walking through the panoramic street in front of the Laveria Lamarmora mineral washing plant before returning to Cagliari.

Cagliari: Porto Flavia Tour

2. Cagliari: Porto Flavia Tour

See how a special crew of miners expert in explosives and rock climbing was assembled. They worked in shifts, day and night, to complete the excavations in record time. Despite safety measures being practically ignored to speed up work, no casualties were reported in the building phase. Because the tunnel was without angles or trenches, the usual technique for dynamite drilling was impossible (the crew used those angles and trenches as shelter while blowing up charges just a few meters away). Instead, small cavities were excavated at regular distances to allow the workers to gain cover after igniting explosives. They are still visible in the guided tour.  The workers began drilling the upper gallery, 37 metres (121 feet) above sea level with dynamite and mechanical drills (many mines at the time mostly used pickaxes) until they reached the sea. They then hung from ropes and began drilling the lower tunnel from the cliff face, 16 metres (52 feet) above sea level, going the opposite direction under the upper gallery. This way, they could dump the removed rocks directly into the sea. Finally, the reservoirs were excavated by creating holes in the basaltic rock starting from the bottom of the cavities and going up. This again eased the removal of rubble, although this procedure was dangerous. Each storage reservoir was 4 to 8 metres (13 to 26 feet) in diameter and 20 metres (66 feet) high. Venting holes were opened on the side of the galleries. Mechanical iron hatches were installed along with the electric railway into the upper tunnel. The train brought the ore to the loading hatches of the reservoirs, while in the lower tunnel the unloading hatches fed the ore to the conveyor belt leading to the ships. The belt was covered with a steel casing to prevent the wind blowing away zinc oxide powder. It was extensible, and retracted after a load was delivered to the ship's hold. The main conveyor belt featured an innovative movable alignment system, designed to reduce the risk of the belt escaping the driving wheels under the pressure of the falling ore. The main belt dumped the ore on the slightly lower extensible conveyor belt, which could be protruded for 15 metres (49 feet) and channeled the ore powder into a vertical shaft going to the hold of a moored ship. Construction took only two years, ending in 1924, a remarkably short period of time for a work of that size. The ends of the tunnels facing the sea were adorned with concrete towers and decorative nameplates. They were not necessary to the operation, but were asked to be constructed by the owner of the company as a mark of prestige. Vecelli's daughter, Flavia, was born earlier in 1924 and the engineer obtained from the company to name the harbor after her.

Porto Flavia and Caves of Is Zuddas Tour from Chia

3. Porto Flavia and Caves of Is Zuddas Tour from Chia

Get back to nature in the Sulcis region of southern Sardinia, and discover how a crew of miners worked in shifts to excavate the amazing Caves of Is Zuddas in record time. Located near the town of Santadi, the network of caves is a magical destination with a natural history that dates back more than 530 million years! Be amazed by the unspoiled nature of the Mediterranean. Then, go inside the caves to hear how drilling began 37 meters above sea level and continued to create reservoirs by making holes in the basalt rock. Learn how mechanical iron hatches were installed, along with an electric railway to carry ore to the waiting ships. Take an unforgettable journey through the history of Sardinia and the oldest rocks in Europe. Explore the traditions of the Sulcis and enjoy an optional meal at the best trattoria in the area. Benefit from the inside knowledge of your local guide, and hear interesting anecdotes such as how Porto Flavia got its name!

Other Sightseeing Options in Porto Flavia

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