The “AnticheTerme di Sardara” Resort is 50 Km from Cagliari and 40 from Oristano. The center is located at “Santa Mari Acquas”, just 2 km from the town of Sardara.
The resort is very close to the west coast of Sardinia, and can be reached easily from north and south thanks to the highway “Carlo Felice”, which links the Terme di Sardara to the most important cities and airports of the island.
The presence of a well temple dating from the 9th-8th centuries BC, known as“funtana de is dolus”, re-named in Christian times the well of Santa Anastasia, reveals the presence of human settlements in the territory of Sardara already in the Nuraghic period and is also an indication of the extremely ancient use of thermal waters, also for religious purposes.
The first historical references are found only much later, round the 3rd century BC, when the Romans settled in the area and constructed a bath complex, of which some remains can still be seen.
The Baths, known as “Acquae Neapolitanae”, mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD and in the Itinerarium Antonini at the beginning of the 3rd century AD, took their name from the nearby Phoenician-Punic colony of Neapolis.
With the spread of Christianity, the pagan temple associated with the Baths was dedicated to Santa Maria Aquas, hence the modern name of this locality. The Medieval hamlet which grew up round the Baths is indeed mentioned in the peace treaty drawn up in 1388 between theGiudicessa Eleonora d’Arborea and John I, King of Aragon, as “Villa Santa Maria de Is Acquas”.
The village of Sardara developed further, perhaps as a result of the presence of the nearby Castle of Monreale and formed part of the curatoria (administrative district) of Bonorzuli. In 1470, Leonardo Alagon, Marquis of Oristano, took possession of the important strategic centre, defeating the Aragonese at Uras. But this occupation was to last but a short time, since Alagon, in 1478, was defeated at the battle of Macomer. From that point onwards, the castle and the nearby hamlet passed definitively to the Aragonese.
Sardara was then included in the barony of Monreale and later incorporated in the County of Quirra, a feudal holding of the Carroz. Together with Siddi, Villanovaforru, Barumini and the Giara, it forms one of the most interesting archaeological areas in Sardinia, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Places to visit: the Archaeological Museum of Villa Abbas and the well temple of Santa Anastasia