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Explore the wild mountains of Sardinia with a Cicerone guidebook - Sample Route

Cover of Walking in Sardinia
2 Feb 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
1st Published
24 Oct 2011
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Walking in Sardinia

50 walks on the Ogliastra coast, Supramonte and Gennergentu mountains

by Paddy Dillon
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook describes 50 day walks (7km to 31km) exploring the north east of Sardinia, across Gennargentu, Ogliastra and Barbaglia, from the mountains in the middle of the island to the dramatic eastern cliff coastline. Much of the walking is tough with some scrambling, through the wildest and most dramatic parts of Sardinia.

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This guide explores 50 walks in the highest and wildest regions of Sardinia. The island lies in the Mediterranean, off the west coast of Italy and south of Corsica. It has long attracted visitors to its beaches, but what of the walking? This guide unlocks the remote and secret potential of the island's mountains and coastline away from the bustle of the resorts.

The walks described in this guide uncover the cliff coastline of Ogliastra, and the mountainous inland areas of Supramonte and Gennargentu. It is only in recent years that these areas have become walkable with the paths being cleared and waymarked. Now the rugged beauty of the coast and the macchia-covered hillsides and rocky mountain summits are waiting and ready to be explored.

This guidebook is an ideal companion to exploring the wild, mountain potential in Sardinia. The routes range from shorter, easier rambles to more challenging walks, ensuring that there are routes for all abilities. As well as detailed route descriptions, the guide includes practical information on travel to and around Sardinia, language and currency, accommodation, mountain safety and details on the many sights along the way. 

  • All routes are illustrated with sketch maps and spectacular photography.
  • Information on the historic and cultural sights of Sardinia you can expect to see, from the megalithic, to Roman to the present day.
  • Many of the routes can be adapted and joined together, providing the walker with all the tools to create their own itineraries.
  • Seasons
    spring is the best season for temperate weather and flowers; autumn is also good; summer tends to be too hot; there may be rain and low cloud in winter, with snow on the higher mountains
  • Centres
    Nuoro, Oliena, Dorgali, Baunei, Lotzoraí, Ulassai, Laconi, Aritzo, Tonara, Fonni, Teti, Sedilo; most of the walks are accessible by bus
  • Difficulty
    some short routes, while others are long and difficult, sometimes traversing remote and rugged mountains; careful navigation is needed when walking away from trodden routes. Several paths and tracks have been cleared, signposted and waymarked in recent years
  • Must See
    rugged limestone coast of Ogliastra, Golgo plateau, the wild 'Supramonte', granite mountains of Gennargentu, Punta La Marmora, newly-waymarked forest trails, traditional shepherds' paths and mule trails through dense macchia, quaint historic mountain villages

OCT 2017

Appendix C - The Lemon House - Peter Herold and Anne McGlone have retired from running The Lemon House. The new proprietors, Riky Felderer and Elena Congia, are both enthusiastic outdoors people who are continuing to operate the business on the same lines as before. Contact details are unchanged.

Walk 6 - There is no longer parking available at Su Liddone. However, drive further along the road as the 'broken bridge' has now been replaced by a concrete bridge called Ponte Sa Barva. Cross it and turn right, then park beside the track. Walk along the track, passing a turning on the left, to reach another left turn where there is parking available and a wooden sign details entry charges to Tiscali. The path to follow is clearly marked with red/white paint marks on rocks. The route is now approximately 2km (1¼ miles) shorter than described in the book.

Walk 10 - The streambed below Coile Sa Tuvera is around 600m, rather than 550m. After leaving Coile Su Monte Istagiau, the path climbs, then before it descends as described in the book, there is now a well-worn path heading to the right. If this is followed, it is possible to reach the nuraghic village of Os Murales from the opposite site to that described in the book. Using this path would avoid having to retrace steps a short distance after visiting Coile Su Monte Istagiau.

Walk 21 - The sign for Su Runcu Nieddu has gone, but there are a couple of signs pointing the way back to Santa Maria.

Walk 24 - There is now an entry charge of €6 per person to access the popular walk to Cala Goloritzè.

Walk 29 - Some signposting has been done along a number of paths close to Perda Pera.

(Thanks to Jane Hart for the Walk updates)


Trees and flowers
The national park
Getting to Sardinia
Getting around Sardinia
Health and safety
Food and drink
Money matters
Tourist information
Walking in Sardinia
Where to stay
What to take
When to go
Waymarking and access
Maps of Sardinia
Using this guide
The Walks
1 Monte Ortobene from Nuoro
2 Monte Corrasi from Oliena
3 Punta Ortu Camminu and Sos Nidos
4 Punta Cusidore from Nostra Signora di Monserrata
5 Tiscali from Valle di Lanaittu
6 Tiscali via Scala de Surtana
7 Gola de Su Gorropu
8 Dorgali, Monte Bardia and Cala Gonone
9 Dorgali and Cala Gonone
10 Genna ‘e Petta and Sa Portiscra
11 Codula Luna and Cala Gonone
12 Cala Sisine, Cala Luna and Cala Gonone
13 Giustizieri and Sa Coronas
14 Genna Silana to Genna Croce
15 Coile Orbisi and Sa Pischina
16 Fennau, Televai and Urzulei
17 Talana and Nuraghe Bau e Tanca
18 Monte Olinie to Coe Serra
19 Talana and Coe Serra
20 Sa Mola and Paule Munduge
21 Santa Maria Navarrese and Monte Oro
22 Baunei and Punta Giradili
23 Irbidossili and Cala Goloritzè
24 Golgo and Cala Goloritzè
25 Serra Ovara and Cala Sisine
26 Genna Sesole to Golgo
27 Genna Ramene to Golgo
28 Triei and Osono
29 Perda Pera and Monte Arista
30 Ulassai, Canyon and Punta Matzeu
31 Ulassai and Baulassa
32 Osini and Nuraghe Serbissi
33 Taquisara and Is Tostoinus
34 Perda Liana from Genna Filigi
35 Laconi and Santa Sofia
36 Funtanamela and Gurduxiones
37 Punta la Marmora from S'Arena
38 Punta la Marmora from Bruncu Spina
39 Punta la Marmora from Cuile Meriagus
40 Arcu Guddetorgiu and Girgini
41 Monte Spada from Genna Luddurreo
42 Tonara and Punta Muggianeddu
43 Bauerì, Passo Perdu Abes and Tonara
44 Meana Sardo to Aritzo
45 Aritzo and Geratzia
46 Teti and S'Urbale
47 Teti and Craru Eridunele
48 Sorradile and Monte Cresia
49 Sedilo to Ponte Fiume Taloro
50 Sedilo and Nuraghe Iloi
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Useful contacts

Sample Route

Monte Ortobene from Nuoro
Start/FinishChiesa la Solitudine, Nuoro
Distance16km (10 miles)
Total Ascent/Descent650m (2130ft)
TerrainRoads and tracks, from farmland to wooded slopes, and a steep wooded path for the descent
MapsIGMI ‘Serie 50’ 500, ‘Serie 25’ 500 IV
RefreshmentPlenty of choice in Nuoro; bars on top of Monte Ortobene
Transport/AccessATP city buses run between Nuoro and Monte Ortobene
NoteDescent uses waymarked trail 101

Monte Ortobene is a very popular destination for motorists, although plenty of walkers also climb it. Farm and woodland tracks can be linked to approach the busy summit for exceptional views. A winding, waymarked path can be used on a well-wooded descent to return to Nuoro.

Start at a chapel, Chiesa la Solitudine, on the outskirts of Nuoro. A small bar and gelateria are available, and the walk goes up the road Via Monte Ortobene. When it bends sharp right, go through a gateway and down a concrete track into holm oak woods. Climb gently and turn right down to a picnic site in mixed woodland. Turn left down a track, and left again at a junction down to the road. Turn right and quickly right again, following a track running parallel to the road for a while. Cross a bridge and pass a turning signposted ‘Chiesa di N S di Valverde'. If visiting the chapel, return here afterwards.

The road reaches a ‘Km2’ sign at Janna Ventosa. Turn right and go through the middle of three gateways. A track descends steeply, then more gently past pines and eucalyptus, while the slopes of Monte Ortobene are dotted with granite tors. Climb a bit then continue down the track, across bouldery slopes of scrub woodland. Cross a stream-bed and climb gently, through a gateway and over a rise. The tallest trees are cork oaks, then the track climbs past olives, steepening and passing a ruin. The climb continues relentlessly on Cuccuru Sinnurtui, with dense macchia, cork oaks and pines alongside.

Turn left at a junction, undulating among mixed woodlands. Stay on the main track, avoiding all others to left and right, and later climb a concrete track with a power line alongside. A derelict sports centre stands to the right, around 700m (2300ft). Turn left along a road to reach a turning space beside a weed-grown sports pitch. Continue along and down a track into woods, then climb and watch for a vague path on the right. If you climb too far a grotesque outcrop is seen, with a gateway alongside. Go back down and look more carefully for the path.

The path is narrow and brambly, then clearer as it climbs through dense woods, a clearing, and more woods. Turn right up a broken concrete track and pass a few properties, reaching a road over 900m (2950ft). Turn left up the road, which curves round Cuccuru Nigheddu, offering splendid views, with Monte Bardia to the east, Monte Corrasi south-east, and Gennargentu sprawling south. Reach a couple of restaurants and turn right up a road, then go sharp left up a path to a chapel on a wooded hilltop. Follow a narrow path past a building further along the crest and head down to a car park. (This point is served by ATP buses from Nuoro.)

A pleasant, easy and obvious track runs round the northern slopes of Monte Ortobene

Follow a broad, stone-paved path, rising and falling through the woods. Climb stone steps to the huge bronze statue of Il Redentore (‘The Redeemer'), at 925m (3035ft) on Monte Ortobene. Enjoy extensive views, marred only by communication masts nearby at 955m (3133ft). Double back to the road and walk round the back of a nearby café/bar called Il Parco. A short concrete track leads onto a winding woodland track. Keep left of a house, passing a corner of a fence, to pick up a path flashed red/white, numbered 101. Walk down through the woods and cross an access track serving a youth centre. Continue down to a derelict building and turn left, almost to a road at Solotti, at 820m (2690ft).

Just before reaching the road, turn left through a brambly gap to follow a path. A fence and wall push the path away from the road, while red/white flashes show the way ahead, through a network of paths. An old track leads down to a road, but merely clip a bend and step behind ‘arrow’ signs to continue down the path. Either cross the road or walk under it at Funtana Milianu. Go down granite steps to follow a walled or fenced path that turns right down a steep track then quickly levels out among tall broom. Join a broader track and turn right, in effect straight ahead, to a cross-track where tall pines stand among holm oaks at Sos Frores, at 707m (2320ft).

Keep straight ahead, signposted ‘La Solitudine', following the path downhill until it rears uphill, worn and grooved. The trail is marked left – it is initially vague (flashed red/white), but becomes clearer as it climbs a groove past outcrops and boulders. Reach a clear track, but don't follow it. Turn quickly right and left to follow a narrow parallel path. Keep straight ahead along a clear path, going over a slight rise then down a groove. Pass between a covered reservoir and a house, walk down a concrete track to a transformer tower, then go straight ahead down a gritty path. Turn left up a road (or squeeze through a narrow bridge beneath), then turn sharp right and walk steeply down a narrow path. Fork left to finish in front of the chapel at La Solitudine.

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