Su Nuraxi was unearthed by archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu in the mid-20th century. And although it’s the only nuraghe complex in Sardinia that has been completely excavated, the ruins can be hard to interpret without the insight of a guide. Join a free tour to explore this settlement of interlocking dwellings, defensive walls, and numerous towers, and learn about the enigmatic civilization that built it during the Bronze and Iron ages.
Most travelers who visit Su Nuraxi also stop by the Casa Zapata Museum and Centro Giovanni Lilliu—one ticket gives you access to all three attractions. Or, pair your visit with a trip to the Giara volcanic plateau to spot Sardinia’s wild horses.
Things to Know Before You Go
Su Nuraxi can be accessed only with a guide—free tours are offered every 30 minutes.
The ruins are mostly outside, so wear a hat and sunblock if you’re visiting in summer.
Su Nuraxi isn’t accessible to wheelchairs, but the nearby Casa Zapata Museum and Centro Giovanni Lilliu are.
How to Get There
The site is located in the countryside just outside Barumini, north of Cagliari along highway SS197. It’s not easy to reach Su Nuraxi via public transit, so drive or join a tour that includes transportation from Cagliari.
When to Get There
Su Nuraxi is open year-round, but avoid going during the hottest midday hours in summer. Instead, take in the outdoor nuraghi in the early morning, then visit the indoor Casa Zapata Museum and Centro Giovanni Lilliu when the temperatures begin to rise.
Casa Zapata Museum
A 16th-century villa that was once the residence of the Zapata family, the Casa Zapata museum complex now contains the ruins of an Iron Age Nuragic settlement, artifacts uncovered at nearby Su Nuraxi, and exhibitions dedicated to Sardinian culture and the Zapata dynasty. Stop by after touring Su Nuraxi.
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- Giovanni Lilliu Centre (Centro Giovanni Lilliu)
- Casa Zapata Museum
- Molentargius - Saline Regional Park (Parco Naturale Regionale Molentargius - Saline)
- Devil's Saddle (Sella del Diavolo)
- Gulf of Cagliari (Golfo di Cagliari)
- Caves of Is Zuddas (Grotte Is Zuddas)
- Nora Archaeological Area (Area Archeologica di Nora)
- Cala Gonone Acquarium (Acquario Cala Gonone)
- Nuraghe di Palmavera
- Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju (Necropoli di Anghelu Ruju)
- Museum of Mediterranean Weaving (Museo dell'Intreccio Mediterraneo)
- Asinara National Park (Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara)
- Lu Brandali Nuragic Complex (Complesso Nuragico di Lu Brandali)
- Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena)
- Tower of Longonsardo (Torre di Longonsardo)