Your sustainable Sardinia holiday’s stay at Agriturismo Archelao

Alongisde a constant headache due to my unhealthy habit of spending most of my day in front of a computer screen, I’ve been developing a healthy obsession for all things natural. This is why as soon as I heard about Agriturismo Archelao I knew it was going to be the destination of my next excursion and also a way to dig into the always more frequent initiatives aiming at boosting sustainable tourism among the travelers planning their Sardinia holidays.

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Sandro, the owner of Agriturismo Archelao

Agriturismo Archelao perfectly fits the spirit of my blog, in fact, barely can we find a more unexpected corner of paradise. Truth be said, all of Sardinia is already pretty unexpected if you go beyond the Emerald Coast, but to find Agriturismo Archelao you will need the additional benefits of a good navigator or at least a good map. However, I guarantee, once you find it, you won’t regret it.

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Sheep in the farm

There are many things you can visit, see and do on your Sardinia holidays, from finding unspoilt beaches to seeing small horses that didn’t physically evolve to witnessing a thrilling horse race to wandering about a thousand-year-old funerary complex to staring at great and controversial street art. But Sardinia can also be synonymous with peace, silence and total relax, a proper celebration of doing nothing. Whether you are looking at escaping your city’s noise pollution or soaking in truly local lifestyle, Agriturismo Archelao is right up your alley. On the other hand, if you are looking for exciting nightlife, disco clubs and beach parties, this is not your place. Don’t get me wrong, both beach and town are only a couple of km away, but the raison d’etre of this farm stay is altogether another one.

Sandro, owner and manager, immediately made it clear. “I had a customer who misunderstood the aim of our facilities, and since I couldn’t bear seeing her unhappy, I drove her to our other hotel downtown Oristano.”

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Goats in the farm

Agriturismo Archelao, named after the owner’s father who actually started it, welcomes anybody interested in being surrounded by peace and nature, who is always up for a chat, who wants to explore how people live in inland Sardinia and also who wants to get dirty and give a hand in the farm. I only went for lunch and asked Sandro to show me around, but if I were to spend a week there I sure would have wanted to help. Probably the damage would be greater than the actual help, and very likely the employees would ask me not to bother and keep relaxing, but for sure I would try my best.

Agriturismo Archelao as a great location to start your Sardinia holidays from, peace, quiet, nature and delicious food.

This farm perfectly clarified to me the definition of sustainable tourism. How can we travel in a more sustainable way? Eating and buying locally is one of the first tips, to both save the energy for products’ transportation, and also boost the local economy. The farm stay Agriturismo Archelao makes this very easy: not only can guests eat local products, but everything is actually produced in-house. How? They have a farm with sheep, horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, cows, chickens, peacocks (just for beauty), they produce eggs, milk, cheese, meat, all sort of sausages, all range of local vegetables and fruits, jams, sauces, olives and olive oil. Not only, they even produce the food for their animals, which never eat pre-packed fodder but the hay and grains they make. There are only three things they don’t produce in house: wine, honey and bread, all obviously bought from surrounding local producers.

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Olive tree

When I was nose-in-the-air enjoying the smell of the apple orchard, Sandro told me they have even presented a project to use only their photovoltaic system and even produce the fuel for their tractors and machines out of particular seeds. As soon as they receive the authorization, they will be 100 per cent self-sufficient. Photovoltaic system? Renewable energy? My heart skipped a beat: “Eco-friendly, independent, the revolution starts here!” The thought did cross my mind but I managed not to say it out loud.

After having greeted all the animals of the farm, spent some quality time with friendly donkeys, goats and calves, and visited two of their five mini apartments (only one of which with the kitchen inside), I joined my parents who were waiting for me in the dining room.

Previously informed about my vegetarian diet, they served more veggies delicacies than usual, quite appreciated by my parents, too. Homemade cheese to be eaten with apple/onion and pear/lemon jams, delicious small panadas, typical tart usually filled with meat or fish, but for the occasion filled with aubergines, tomato sauce pasta and ravioli with a filling of rocket and walnut, small omelets with zucchini and a seada, typical cake, filled with fresh cheese and a topping of grape jam, instead of honey or sugar as tradition would have wanted, were just some of the delicacies in this Pantagruelian lunch that prevented me from having dinner (rest assured, it doesn’t happen very often). Traditional cuisine enriched by fresh ideas and initiatives of the chef who likes to try new dishes and daring combinations using the season produce, the right touch for perfect Sardinia holidays.

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Delicious ricotta cheese made at Agriturismo Archelao

On a table near us, another customer asked if they could have persimmon for fruit. “We don’t have it in the kitchen,” the waitress replied, “but if you want we can go pick them from the tree”. She was not kidding. Another heartbeat skipped: “Oh my god,” I thought, “here we can eat fruits directly from the tree! All organoleptic properties intact!” Again, I managed to prevent my thoughts from leaking out aloud.

Agriturismo Archelao has been open for ten years, so it’s a mystery how I didn’t know them already, given my perpetual quest on unearthing hidden gems and quality and sustainable tourism as part of Sardinia holidays. Nevertheless, it was a very welcome surprise.

Tourists are invited to participate in local life in the farm, contributing any way they wish with the knowledge they have. Schools often come to learn, or “re-learn” how to live in a natural environment, how to cook or make cheese, or understand how natural cycles work. As well as young students, here chefs too are formed and trained.

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Tomato topped with roasted ricotta cheese, mouthwatering treat at Agriturismo Archelao

Sardinia holidays spent in this farm stay will give tourists a meaningful experience and raise their awareness on both what local life is like and how to promote sustainable tourism practices. Even for only one day, I enjoyed the excursion and togetherness with nature to the extent that I’ll try as much as I can to find similar ecotourism initiatives in my next trips in other countries.

Despite the evident excitement, this is not a sponsored post. I wasn’t invited, I decided to go there for lunch with my family to visit the farm and eat out somewhere different, I didn’t even know they produced everything in the farm itself. I didn’t stay overnight because it’s actually close to where I live, but otherwise I wouldn’t have minded at all starting the day with the roaster’s wakeup call.

Agriturismo Archelao is in Località San Quirico Podere 80, Tiria area, 09170 Oristano
Mobile +39 335 265441
Email: a.archelao@tiscali.it

Sardinia holidays at Agriturismo Archelao

Typical Sardinian pastries at Agriturismo Archelao

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17 Comments
  1. What a great place to get back to nature. Sounds like Agriturismo Archelao is doing well in promoting sustainable tourism. I like the part about the waitress offering to go out an pick persimmon from the tree for the customer.

  2. Les photos sont très belles et rendent l’idée de ce qu’offre l’endroit: tranquillité, harmonie avec la nature,nourriture excellente et saine!

  3. Bellissime foto! Rendono molto bene l’idea della bella giornata che ci abbiamo trascorso!

  4. I could do this kind of stay. Not sure how that customer ended up there and misunderstood the facilities. Maybe her first time traveling?

  5. Agri tourism is big in Italy, because the Italian government has encouraged and underwitten it, we learned. We stayed in one in Le Marche, although it was run by a German group (a man and three women–whose relationships we never figured out)and they didn’t have a full-fledged farming operation. They did have gardens, olives and honey production and they made local herb-based liqueurs, plus delicious home-made meals. Food seems to be the unifying factor in all these places and the eco-consciousness is a natural.
    I’d stay in another of these places–particularly the one you describe–in a heartbeat.

    • Yes, the government helps in terms of benefits who wants to open an agriturismo, in fact many have opened even though they were not proper agriturismo just to have the benefits and they’ve been shut down by the authorities. An agriturismo is supposed to produce everything, or the major part of the products in house, if they outsource most of their products they are just a restaurant with a backyard. I had been to other agriturismo in Italy, but never got very impressed because in the end they were just restaurants with some bungalows. This one is almost 100 per cent self-sufficient, obviously the quality of the food is excellent, and also tourists’ experience is a quality one, if it’s what they are looking for, of course..

  6. I love staying in agriturismi in Italy, but haven’t tried one in Sardinia yet. This one sounds wonderful.

  7. I’ve only heard of Sardinia once, but your pictures make me want to go! I love that they’re embracing the Eco lifestyle.

  8. I don’t know how helpful I’d be, but I’d love to stay on a farm. I am in desperate need of time in the outdoors.

  9. I am really intrigued by these shots. I am now motivated to try something similar. Thanks!

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