Sardinia is an island well-known for its crystal-clear waters and magnificent white sandy beaches. But one thing many often overlook though is that the Mediterranean island also holds a hidden gem – its beautiful mountainous landscapes.
From rugged peaks to lush valleys, Sardinia’s mountain ranges offer a chance for hikers and nature enthusiasts to explore the unspoiled Mediterranean landscape. And for those just looking for a scenic drive, it can be a welcome getaway from the island’s busy beaches.
Read on to explore the beauty and diversity of Sardinia’s mountains, and to discover why they’re a must-see for any visit to Sardinia.
Discovering Sardinia’s Unspoilt Mountains
Sardinia’s mountains are a true natural wonder. They offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience a different side of the island. One far beyond the busy tourist havens dotted along the island’s coastline.
Located mostly in the island’s centre, they’re also home to many beautiful traditional Sardinian villages like Gavoi, Lula, and Fonni. These towns also offer visitors the chance to explore the island’s rich cultural heritage and its unique agro-pastoral traditions.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or, simply looking to explore, the Sardinian mountains are sure to impress.
Here are some interesting facts about Sardinia’s mountains:
- The main mountain range in Sardinia is the Gennargentu range. It reaches a height of 1,834 meters (6,017 ft) at Punta La Marmora, making it the highest point in Sardinia.
- The Gennargentu range covers an area of about 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 sq. mi) and is home to the Gennargentu National Park, which covers an area of 1,200 square kilometres (463 sq. mi).
- The Gennargentu range is made up of granite and schist rock formations and is characterised by its rugged terrain, deep canyons, and lush Mediterranean vegetation.
- Sardinia’s mountains are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. These include the mouflon – a wild sheep native only to Corsica and Sardinia – wild boar, and the Sardinian deer.
It’s also worth noting that owing to Sardinia’s ancient volcanic origins, many highland areas are mostly composed of granite and metamorphic rocks.
Geologically these areas are quite different to ‘traditional’ mountain ranges formed by tectonic activity, and visitors to areas such as Montiferru and Giarra di Gesturi can observe some spectacular volcanic formations.
Sardinia’s Mountains: How to Get There?
Thanks to the rugged terrain and sheer remoteness, the mountainous areas of Sardinia still maintain a sort of wild character, offering visitors the perfect chance to discover a hidden side of the island.
But one question remains, how do you get there?
By far, the best way to reach Sardinia’s mountains is by car – this is mainly because public transportation options are often very limited in these areas.
What if you’re arriving by plane?
If arriving from outside the island, visitors can fly into the Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport or the Alghero-Fertilia airport – from here, I strongly recommend renting a car!
Travelling to Gennargentu
The Gennargentu range is found in the central-northeast part of the island – with major nearby towns being Nuoro and Orgosolo. Both of these towns are located in the historic region of Barbagia. The drive from Olbia takes around 2 hours, whilst the drive from Alghero takes around 3 hours.
Once you’re in the mountain region, it’s pretty easy to get around by car. There are plenty of roads that wind through the mountains with various remarkable viewpoints to take in the stunning scenery. One important point to mention: some of the roads can be very narrow. That’s why it’s best to always take it slow and to drive carefully.
Things To Do in The Sardinian Mountains
Sardinia’s mountains offer a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are a few popular activities to consider:
- HIKING AND TREKKING
Hiking and trekking are the main activities in the Sardinian mountains, with countless marked trails for visitors to explore.
The Gennargentu National Park offers a wide range of hiking trails. These include the Punta La Marmora, which reaches 1,834 meters (6,017 ft) at Sardinia’s highest point, and the Gorropu Gorge, considered one of Sardinia’s most famous natural landmarks and one of Europe’s deepest canyons.
- CLIMBING AND ROCK CLIMBING
Sardinia’s mountain region is also popular for climbing and rock climbing, particularly in the Gennargentu National Park. Climbers can find routes for all levels of difficulty, from easy to technical and challenging.
- MOUNTAIN BIKING
The rugged terrain and narrow roads of the Gennargentu range offer great opportunities for mountain biking. Visitors can take their bikes on the trails, and cycle between the traditional villages in the area.
- NATURE WATCHING
Sardinia’s mountains are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna – including the Sardinian mouflon, a wild native sheep. Visitors can also spot many local species of birds, lizards, wildflowers, and butterflies.
Sardinia’s mountains are a perfect spot to relax, take in the spectacular views of the island, and to ‘disconnect’. Visitors can take a drive and explore the different viewpoints – or simply enjoy the peace and quiet!
- FOOD AND WINE
Sardinia’s mountain region is renowned for its delicious traditional food, made with only the very best local produce. Visitors can also sample the great range of local wines like Cannonau and Nepente.
Visiting Sardinia’s mountains is a unique experience that should not be missed.
The island’s rugged terrain, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture make it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Whether you’re looking to hike to the top of one of Sardinia’s peaks, take in the stunning views, or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty of the island, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
With a variety of outdoor activities and a rich culture, Sardinia’s mountains are a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of what this beautiful island has to offer.