Eastern Sardinia is characterized by the rough mountains of the Gennargentu and the Supramonte, the highest peak is the Punta La Marmora with 1834 meters. Ever since prehistory the eastcoast has been difficult to approach and in large part inhabited, there are few villages to be found. In this respect Dorgali can be considered particular, the center of one of the major production area's of the cannonau wine. From Dorgali it is possible to participate in excursions with expert guides to the various natural beauties of this part of Sardinia: the great cave of Tiscali, the depp canyon of the Gola Gorropu or the far away beaches of Cala Luna and other small bays that can only be reached by boat or by foot. The official guides have all been registered with the government. It is possible to reach the various bays by boat from Cala Gonone. If you choose to go hiking by yourself or in a group without a guide, to Tiscali, the Gola Gorropu or Cala Luna it is advised to buy the detailed maps of the area and ask for indications what the best itinerary is. Ofcourse good health, excellent shoes and a lot of drinking water, especially in summer, are indispensable.
The Tiscali Cave
The excursion to the Tiscali Cave is probably the best known. The cave was formed in the course of millions of years until about 40.000 years ago the ceiling came crashing down. Inside the open cave as we now know it, sheltered by the walls, a micro climate has formed that allows trees and bushes to grow well. Remains of huts can be seen that would date back to the roman period and certainly were in use in medieval times, probably by refugees from the official authorities that sought shelter in the cave.
The excursionists are driven by landrover to the valley between the mountains of the Supramonte. From here a footpath leads to the entrance of the cave, a good climb up the slopes.
The Gola di Gorropu
The Gola di Gorropu is a deep canyon in the mountains of several kilometers. At the mouth of the canyon the steep walls tower over fourhundred meters high above. The canyon is considered to be the deepest of Europe. In the dry season the canyon can be entered. Excursions vary from longer to shorter walks to the canyon from the valley or from some point near the entrance. In the canyon itself large rocks block a normal passage which makes it more difficult, with climbing and crawling, to progress a few hundred meters inside. It is advisable to have good shoes with sufficient grip on smooth surfaces and it is advisable to have some practice with climbing and walking on steep slopes.
Watertaxi's connect Cala Gonone with a regular frequency to the various splendid beaches like Cala Luna, Cala Mariolu, Goloritzè and others. It is also possible to reach these beaches by foot and there are many organized excursions with expert guides. Usually the excursion is a combination of walking and returning by boat or the other way around. The area is quite uninhabited and the paths are difficult to follow, sometimes you will be walking along the steep slopes above the sea, then forced inland due to the deep rocky canyons with rivers running through it. It is however worth the effort considering the satisfaction of seeing such a beautiful environment as Cala Luna.
Excursions with guides
There are several cooperations around Dorgali and Oliena that organize guided tours with expert guides. They also provide detailled information and walking guides for the area and can advise on the best itinerary to follow. If you don't make use of the guided excursions make sure you have detailled maps of the area, good walking shoes and enough drinking water.
This short film of 6 minutes promotes the region of the Supramonte (Italian spoken)