Anyone who does not visit Sardinia for the first time knows that this land is not only crystal clear sea, beaches of fine sand, Costa Smeralda and nightlife: there is much more to discover here. In recent years, however, we have been so harassed by the concept that even the “unusual Sardinia” – represented by sites like Tiscali, Gorropu or the Autumn in Barbagia festival – has become mainstream.
Nothing against these places / events that deserve to be seen at least once in a lifetime but this time we want to take you to some hidden places for real, out of the main circuits and about which you will hardly read in the most popular guides.
We take you not far from Olbia, in the heart of Gallura.
The first stop on our itinerary is the millenary olive tree in Luras, a 45-minute drive from Altré. This majestic tree called “Green Patriarch” is, according to estimates, between 3000 and 4000 years old and is there to testify how much nature can be stronger than man and resistant to their madness. The tree is 14 meters high, has a circumference of almost 19 meters and is protected by a fence that force visitors at the right distance to avoid damaging of what nature has patiently grown over the millennia. On the same site you can visit two other olive trees, this time also visitable from below: one about 2000 years old and one over 500 years old.
Along the way, you can stop to admire the view in one of the viewpoints on Lake Liscia: an artificial water basin created in 1962 to supply water throughout the lower Gallura. you will necessarily have to walk along the lake to reach the site of the millenary olive trees.
Discovering archaeological treasures
We get moving again in direction of Calangianus, just 25 minutes away, to visit the Tomb of the Giants of Pascaredda, dating back to the Middle Bronze Age – Recent Bronze Age (1700-1400 BC) and in perfect condition. Arriving near the site, we leave the car and walk for 15 minutes on an easy path immersed in the cool of the vegetation until we reach the actual tomb, originally used as a collective sepulcher and ossuary.
Back to the starting point we move 10 km away in the municipality of Tempio Pausania to visit the Nuraghe Majori. Sardinia is scattered with these typical truncated cone shaped structures – there are about 7000 of them – whose usefulness is still uncertain but this nuraghe in particular deserves to be visited, as well as for its excellent state of conservation also for its characteristic that probably makes it unique: it is a breeding oasis of chiroptera, one of the smallest bats in the world, 6 centimeters high and with a wingspan of 22, which every year arrive here in mid-April and migrate in October together with the new generation of cubs.
At the end of the visit we can move on foot for a few tens of meters to enjoy a well-deserved lunch based on typical local dishes in the charming and inexpensive restaurant on the site.
A restorative bath
After lunch we leave for the last stage of our day, the most relaxing one: the natural pools of Rio Pisciaroni, particularly enjoyable in summer thanks to the fact that the level of the river is very low and the water temperature is mild. The perfect condition for a picnic before returning, tired but satisfied, to Olbia.
With our tour to discover the most hidden Gallura we hope to have aroused your curiosity, see you in the next article!