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The Ogliastra

L'Ogliastra Arriving at Ogliastra is always hard, it is necessary to take roads with continuous ascent and descent hairpins. Leaving from Cagliari or from Cala Gonone, you arrive at Arbatax, with the possibility of observing the beauty upsetting of the coasts, which change appearance and colour, from the red rocks of porphyry in the south, to the high limy reefs, interrupted by splendid coves, in the northern side.

The Hinterland deserves an attentive visit. The reasons of interest are above all naturalistic. A few kilometres from the seaside, there is a succeeding of mountain landscapes with green woods and vast panoramic openings.

Road Map


From Nuoro you take the government street to Mamoiada. Across pastures and vineyards you continue for some kilometres on the road to Fonni. You carry on ascending to the step of Caravai and arrive at 1246 metres of the Arcu Corru 'e Boi, the so-called "step of the Horn of Ox", the high pass between the mountains of Gennargentu and Supramonte which puts in communication the Nuorese and the Ogliastra district. Hence it begins the descent along the Rio Calaresu valley. On the right there are the highest peaks of Gennargentu bulky.

A short 4 Km deviation on the left at Villagrande Strisaili. Along the road you cross a small plateau with lollipops woods around the St Barbara Church. Here it is possible to enjoy lovely walks in the woods and on the mountains that offer spectacular panoramic openings.

Coming down long the reforested valley of pines, you reach Lanusei. It is a holiday resort frequented by people who love green and quiet mountain villages. The sea is however at a distance of 20 Km. The mountains at the shoulders are covered by lollipops forests. In the narrow Ibono valley you can see some Nuraghes and some domus de janas.

From Lanusei you go back up to the Gairo fork. The road goes down steep and the view spreads over the Ogliastra mountains, to the splendid and idolated tower of Perda Liana. Two towns are located along the steep slopes of the Rio Pardu valley, Gairo Sant' Elena and Gairo. The first one was rebuilt around the fifties to accommodate the inhabitants of the most downstream country, destroyed in part by a landslide caused by torrential rains and by the destruction of the woodland cloak. Gairo appears like a phantom town with the empty houses without any windows or doors.

SEUI (detour)
The Seui detour is reached after 33 Km. It is a hard route for its frequent hairpins, but definitely advisable for people who love mountain landscapes. The views are wonderful.

Continuing towards Ierzu you cross Osini, in part stopped and rebuilt as Gairo. A road on the right passes through the mountains and arrives at some small caves. In Ulassai it is possible to stop and visit the cave of Su Marmuri, one of the most attractive ones of the island with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites hanging from the vaults.

A 25 km detour takes you to Perdasdefogu, one of the most isolated centres in Sardinia, which for the vast and uninhibited hinterland has been chosen as the seat of the Experimental Polygon for shooting missiles.

Ierzu is the most important centre of the Rio Pardu valley. Its reputation is bound above all to the production of an excellent quality of Cannonau, a heavy Doc wine.

TERTENIA (detour)
Keeping on Tortolý, a 10 Km detour takes to Tertenia. From the town a road goes to the sea and to nice villages with isolated beaches and reefs. Along the coast there are some interesting Nuraghes.

Continuing across the plain you arrive at Barý Sardo, agricultural center surrounded by gardens and vineyards. The village takes its name from an attractive Spanish tower on a small promontory detached from a sandy coast.

Gone out from Barý Sardo, after some kilometres you see on the right some menhir driven into the ground. Tortolý is the most important centre of the Ogliastra district. In the south of the town you can see some interesting domus de janas, menhir and two graves of giants. The road continues in direction of Arbatax, a gracious town grawn up around the Spanish tower of the 6th century and the port.

Keeping on the Eastern Sardinia mainroad in direction of Olbia, you note on a small hill some ruins of the Medusa medieval castle, built by the judges of Cagliari to defend the northern boundaries of their kingdom. You arrive in this way to Holy Maria Navarrese. The glamour of the small centres is due to be immersed in ancient wild olives and to the position on the sea, to the beach limits of the plain and the rocks that precede the steep rising of the limy coasts. Holy Maria is the point of boarding for Cala Luna and the other small beaches more in the north, reachable only by sea.

The road climbs steeply opening the view, that spaces from the Ogliastra island to the Arbatax promontory, to the Rio Pramaera valley. Baunei is a suburb which has a large and attractive common territory, extended on limy plateau that continues Supramonte until the sea. Savage crests, gorges excavated by torrents that run through oleanders to the attractive coves on the sea, a very special flora and an ancient fauna make of this region one of the most interesting on the whole island - from the naturalistic point of view.

URZULEI (detour)
We want to propose a detour that runs to the town of Urzulei and to Genna Silana, at 1017 meters. On both sides of the road there are harsh rocky hills, on the left the view spaces to the sea. The whole breathtaking route runs trough deep woods and green mountains with frequent caves.

You must take the government street 125 to return to Nuoro up to Tortolý and continue in direction of Lanusei.