The Best Things to do in Ogliastra
Ogliastra is the most virginal and wildest part of Sardinia. Italy’s sparsely populated province has chosen to make unspoiled nature its strong point and make it its main tourist attraction.
Those who choose Ogliastra want peace, nature, beautiful landscapes and close contact with nature.
Here you can make both unique excursions by sea, by knowing part of the 40 km long coast, which is one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean, as well as hiking, hiking, horse riding, horseback riding in a large, unspoiled and less populated area.
1st Excursion: The sea and the coves, which are almost abandoned in the middle of the tourist season.
From Santa Maria Navarrese and Arbatax there are several excursions to take in order to visit the beautiful coast of Ogliastra. Depending on your taste and availability, you can choose between excursions by inflatable boats, traditional boats or motorboats. Depending on availability, you can choose between full-day or half-day excursions.
The routes may vary slightly, but there are some points that are an absolute must see, such as the Cove of the Fur Seal or the Cala Goritzè, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The caves of the sea urchins are partially open to the public, with paths of 900 m. Visitors will be able to admire the stalactites and stalagmites reflected in the clear waters of an underground salt lake over one kilometer above ground, one of the largest in the world. The reflections form chromatic effects in various shades, which exert an attraction on the attraction itself.
The hall of stalactites and stalagmites is adjacent to the area where the monk seal lived and bred, mixing the waters of the subterranean rivers with those of the sea.
Cala Luna is near the Grotta del Bue Marino (Sea Ox Cave). It is a beautiful beach that can only be reached by sea or through a challenging walk on the trails. It’s just a taste of the clear blue waters that characterize the other beaches in the area.
Cala Goritzè is one of the most beautiful, although it is really difficult to make a comparison between such important beauties. The clear and transparent water seems to be enhanced by the contrast to the whitish limestone cliffs of the pyramidal peak that characterizes this beach. This tower is called “Tramontana Needlefish” and is 143 m high.
Cala Mariolu also has another name, Ispuligidenie. In the local dialect “Baunese” it means “snowflake” and refers to the small white pebbles that are typical of the bay. The name Cala Mariolu derives from the nickname that the fishermen gave to the monk seal “mariolu”, which in this dialect means “thief” because it stole the fish from the nets.
Cala Sisine is a 200 m wide beach which can be reached by the sea or by a dirt road which is only 2 km from the sea. The texture of the rocks that frame it gives one the idea of being “in the mountains” as it is the mouth of a winter creek descending from the nearby mountains of the Golgo Plateau.
2nd Excursion: The Green Train
This impressive route is a classic for those who wish to visit Ogliastra.
It is not only the most popular tourist line, but also the longest tourist route in Italy with 159 km between Arbatax (by the sea) and Mandas.
On the way it crosses the woods of the most important mountain of Sardinia, the Gennargentu.
As you will find out, you can start off from sea level and climb to over 800 meters above sea level during this route. You will traverse villages, forests and valleys on a varied route that consists of bridges (there is one at 40 m altitude) and tunnels necessary to ensure that you can reach certain parts of the area that are otherwise inaccessible.
Some parts of the territory can only be reached by train, otherwise it would take hours to navigate, which is not always possible on foot.
The stops on the route include Sadali, where the combination of the area’s beauty and good food has become a magnet, or even Gairo Sant’Elena. This village originated after the evacuation of Gairo Vecchia, destoryed by the landslides caused by the extraordinary autumn rains between 1951 and 1953. Interesting is a tour of Gairo Vecchia – (especially for lovers of photography) – now an old ghost town.
Arzana is the highest point of Sardinia, the Marmora, with 1834 m. Lanusei, on the other hand, together with Tortoli in the province of Ogliastra, houses an interesting museum with historical finds of the Nuragic age.
3rd Excursion – The heels of Ogliastra
“The heels of Ogliastra” – Limestone-dolomitic peaks so called because they resemble the heels of shoes. There are several peaks – or “heels”, but the most famous is Perda Liana, which covers an area of about 28 square kilometers between the communities of Ulassai, Osini, Gairo and Ussassai.
The heel of Perda Liana is easily accessible and you can reach it by any means of mountaineering techniques. However, it is only possible to visit the area with a quiet walk accessible to all. The heel of Perda Liana captures visitors with the aura of magic that surrounds it.
It is considered the most famous natural monument of Sardinia. It rises to almost 1300 m and offers some magnificent views.
After visiting Perda Liana you can continue for about 20 km (depending on where you visited it) and visit Jerzu, famous for its Cannonau wine. Also known as the “city of wine”, it offers the ideal refreshment after a hike in the open air.