In this post, we will suggest a very interesting itinerary to discover a world that could fairly compete with the extraordinary beauty of the Sardinian coastal landscape: we are talking about the Gallura, a region located in the northeast part of the island and characterised by cork trees that miraculously survive the impetuous and uncontrolled force of nature and the “stazzi” (small white houses inhabited by Sardinian shepherds and farmers).
The first place we are going to visit (leaving from the Olbia airport through the SS 127 road) is Calangianus famous throughout the world for the processing of cork.
This important agricultural and industrial centre hosts the international cork exhibition (since the first edition in 1978) proving not only the industrial vocation of this small town, but also the international appeal of this activity.
Calangianus hosts also a cork (“sughero” in Italian) museum: museodelsughero.com .
Located close to the Mount Limbara, this municipality is full of interesting trails and beautiful archaeological sites like the “Nuraghe Agnu” and the nuragic spring “Li Paladini” (both in the area of Monte di Deu).
In the locality of Campanadolzu, rich of cork trees, you may find another nuraghe the “Nuraghe Sa Pilea”.
From Calangianus you can drive to Luras (road SS 127, SP 135 and SP10). Here you can visit the ethnographic museum “Galluras”, a museum dedicated to the faithful reconstruction of the environment typical of the Gallura civilization.
The entire area is appreciable even from an archaeological point of view due to the presence of dolmens (prehistoric megalithic tomb) like the Dolmens of Alzoledda, Bais, Ciuledda and Ladas.
At 18 Km from Luras you can find the lake Liscia, an artificial lake created for water supply of the surrounding area, which is well worth a visit for the presence of numerous valleys covered with oaks and holm oaks and the breath-taking view.
We continue our trip through the SS 133 in order to reach the nearby Tempio Pausania.
Located to the Northwest of “Mount Limbara”, Tempio Pausania was inhabited since Roman times (its name was Gemellae); later it became respectively an important centre of the “Giudicato of Gallura”, a Pisan colony and an important town during the Spanish age.
In Tempio you can visit the city centre with buildings constructed with local granite stone, the Cathedral in the Saint Peter’s square and the famous “Rinaggiu” springs.
For those who love excursions we suggest the following itineraries:
- the route leading to the “nuraghe Maiori”, perfectly preserved.
- the climb to the “Limbara” mountain, from which you can see a landscape full of pines and spruces, cork trees, mastic trees and olive trees.
- the trail that leads to Punta Balistreri, the highest peak of the “Limbara” mountain.
From Tempio Pausania you can reach in a short time Aggius, surrounded by a vast landscape of granite and cork.
Aggius is rich with trails that are worth visiting like the “Capitza” park, rich of cork oaks, mastic and arbutus trees and the “Valle della Luna” (valley of the moon), characterized by a wide area of rocks and granitic rock masses.
What to eat in the Gallura area?
Do not forget to taste the extraordinary delicacies that Gallura region offers. Among them the famous “Gallura soup”, called “Cuata” (meaning hidden) by locals.
Moreover, enjoy the variety of sweets of Gallura such as “li cucciuleddhi meli” (with almond and honey), and the “origliette”, a diamond-shaped cake, made of fried dough.
Worth to remember also the “Seadas” – fried sweets and sweetened with honey or sugar.
Finally remember to sip a nice glass of Vermentino, the DOC wine of this extraordinary land!
Calangianus – Panorama: By Gianni Careddu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Windows Calangianus and Tempio Pausania Saint Peter Cathedral: © Benoît Prieur / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
Valle della Luna in Aggius: By Vera Buhl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons