The Marine Protected Area of the Sinis Peninsula and mal di Ventre Island

Main basic figures

  • Name: Protected Marine Area “Penisola del Sinis – Isola di Mal di Ventre”
  • Where is: Sardinia (Italy)
  • Land area: 26.703 hectares
  • Lenght of Coastline: 30.080 m
  • Coordinates:  39° 53.008 – E 8° 26.075
  • Establishment: 1997
  • Management Organization: Municipality of Cabras
  • Official web site:


A tiny strip of land stretching towards the sea, the Sinis Peninsula lies in the Gulf of Oristano, Island of Sardinia, Italy. It is a unique area of stunning beauty: multi-coloured quartz beaches, sea cliffs, sand dunes, the Cabras marsh (that, together with the nearby Mistras, Pauli ‘e Sali and the Sale Porcus marshes, forms a wetland of international importance), sea turtles, flocks of migrating birds and gorgeous pink flamingos…

Thanks to its rich biodiversity, the Sinis Peninsula and Mal di Ventre Island form a Marine Protected Area (MPA) that dates back to 1997. The MPA extends over an area of approximately 25,000 ha and is divided into three zones (“A”, “B”, “C”) with different levels of protection according to their management objectives. This three-tiered protection system makes the zonation more effective and sustainable.

Zone “A” – that encloses part of the Mal di Ventre Island and the Scoglio del Catalano – accounts for the smallest portion of the MPA territory and enjoys the highest protection level for sea fauna and flora. It is surrounded from areas of lower protections, Zone “B” and “C”, where sustainable human activities are allowed.

For more information, visit in Italian, , (mainly in Italian)

The Sinis Peninsula and Mal di Ventre Island is part of the territory of the municipality of Cabras. The entire area has been selected as EU EDEN Destination of Excellence in 2009.

It is also renowned for its extremely rich and diverse tangible and intangible cultural heritage: from the ruins of Tharros, built by the Phoenicians over a Nuragic village and expanded during Punic and Roman period (for more information, visit, website in Italian and Germany) to the church of San Giovanni of Sinis of the early Christian period, to the impressive monumental statues “Kolossoi” of Mont’e Prama (, website in Italian and English), displayed in the Museums of Cabras and of Cagliari. And much more… including the traditional mullet fishing and the rich food culture.

For details, see (website of the Department of Tourism of Regione Sardegna) and (website of the touristic consortium “Sardegna Costa del Sinis”).


4 days itinerary in Cabras, Sinis (Sardinia, Italy).