Porto Flavia is an unmatched monument of industrial archaeology. It is a mining structure that is no longer operational, overlooking the beautiful southwestern coast of Sardinia. Every year, tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world are fascinated by the work that revolutionized the system of mineral transport in the 20th century.
1. THE HISTORY OF PORTO FLAVIA
Despite being part of the Masua mining complex, Porto Flavia has never been a mine, but rather a shipping port for material extracted from nearby mines.
The port was designed by the Venetian engineer Cesare Vecelli and built in 1924. In just two years, an unprecedented mining engineering work took shape and was named after the engineer’s eldest daughter, Flavia.
The work was carried out by excavating two overlapping tunnels inside the mountain. The upper gallery was used to unload the extracted materials, and the lower one to load them onto ships through a retractable conveyor.
Between the two galleries, nine enormous silos were installed, capable of holding up to 10,000 tons of mining material.
The port remained operational until the 1960s when it was gradually abandoned with the termination of mining activities in the area. In the 2000s, Porto Flavia underwent a restoration intervention and is currently open to tourists through guided tours.
3. HOW TO GET THERE
To reach Porto Flavia, take the State Road 130 Iglesiente to Iglesias, then take the State Road 126 Southwest Sardinia towards Gonnesa. Just before arriving in Gonnesa, take Provincial Road 83 following the signs for Masua and Porto Flavia.
Near the mining site there is a small parking fee, after about 200 meters walk you reach the ticket office.
4. TICKETS AND USEFUL INFORMATION
For safety reasons, access to the mining site is limited, so it is strongly recommended to purchase tickets in advance.
Tickets for the guided tour of Porto Flavia can be purchased:
- online from the form on this page
- at the ticket office of the Tourism Office in Piazza Municipio
- at the site’s ticket office
Due to extraordinary maintenance works, visits to Porto Flavia mining site will take place only in the upper gallery up to the sea overlook.
Until further notice,the tour will still have the same duration, which is 50 minutes.
We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
English tour at 11 am – 12 am – 2 pm – 4 pm – 7 pm
The guided tour lasts about 50 minutes and takes place on a fairly regular dirt path. For this reason, with the necessary evaluations applicable to individual cases, the site is accessible, with the presence of a guide, to those with motor disabilities.
It’s recommended to arrive at the ticket office, with the paper or digital ticket receipt, 15 minutes in advance. Latecomers will not be admitted and will not be entitled to a refund.
We also recommend sporty clothing and it is mandatory to have closed and comfortable shoes. Mandatory clothing suitable for visiting a museum site (no swimsuits, heels and flip-flops).
Pets are not allowed, children must walk for the duration of the visit, but in case of lack of autonomous walking must be kept in a pouch.
Full: 10.00 €
Reduced (children aged 6/12 and seniors +65): 6.50 €
Groups (at least 20 adults): 8.00 €
Schools: 6.50 € (not available for purchase online)
For groups larger than 20 people, please contact the Tourism Office.
Address: Ufficio del Turismo Piazza Municipio, 1 – 09016 Iglesias – SU
Telephone: +39 0781 274507
Telephone or email reservations are not accepted.
5. WHAT TO SEE NEAR PORTO FLAVIA
Porto Flavia is one of the wonders of the Iglesiente coast, but it is not the only one. Here are other suggestive places to visit nearby:
It’s the highest sea stack of the Mediterranean with its 133 meters of height. You can admire it from Porto Flavia, Masua beach or from the sea. In limited periods it’s also a popular destination for for rock climbing enthusiasts.
Masua beach is located in Iglesias. It’s a beach with fine golden sand. The sea has a mainly sandy bottom and a different color depending on the reflections.
It is a former facility that was used for sorting and washing minerals, a task predominantly carried out by women. Today, the structure, or at least what remains of it, dominates the magnificent Nebida cliff and is one of the favorite backgrounds for souvenir photos in the Iglesiente area.