Ogliastra: Hidden pearl of Sardinia

It has been defined an amphitheatre on the sea because of the mountainous hinterland dominated by the Gennargentu massif and the Supramonte plateaus that plunge into the blue sea of the east coast of Sardinia and a coastline that alternates long beaches of fine sand and rocky cliffs overlooking the sea interrupted by small and lonely coves.

Until not many years ago Ogliastra was a territory almost unknown to tourism and this has allowed it to preserve an almost intact environment and to be appreciated by a conscious tourism and nature lover.

Those who want to spend their holidays in Sardinia not only with suntan and beach life, but are also looking for emotions and experiences that go beyond conventional seaside tourism will find in Ogliastra countless sources of inspiration. Climbing the little green train that from Arbatax goes up to the mountains of Gennargentu is a journey of another time, the slow pace of the convoy through curves, tunnels and bridges allows the traveler to contemplate the alternation of different landscapes often otherwise difficult to reach: from the Mediterranean of the coast you pass to the limestone plateaus of the interior to the green forests of the mountains. Along the way you can stop at intermediate stations to make wonderful excursions with a naturalistic background such as the Naturalistic Oasis of Montarbu and the caves of Is Ianas or archaeological-cultural among which stands out the Nuragic Complex Serbissi.

Adventure lovers can try their hand at the Selvaggio Blu (Wild Blue), an exciting and challenging trekking route overlooking the cliffs that go from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cala Luna towards the Gulf of Orosei. The itinerary lasts 6 days and allows, among exciting climbs and descents in double rope, to visit the most hidden corners of this coast sleeping in the ancient sheepfolds of the shepherds and in some of the most beautiful and unreachable beaches of Sardinia. All this stretch of coast is also a paradise for free climbing where fans can find rock faces and spires of all shapes and sizes and difficulty.

The paths and white roads of Supramonte are the ideal terrain for mountain biking with numerous itineraries at high altitude or to the many coves and beaches not reached by the asphalt, able to satisfy the most adventurous bikers as well as families with children.

And the sea? Here, too, there is something for everyone: from the long beaches of Orrì and Lido delle Rose, ideal for families and lovers of snorkelling and underwater fishing, to the famous and enchanting coves of the Baunei area, including Cala Goloritzè and Cala Mariolu, which can only be reached by a 2-hour trekking route or by sea and are considered among the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Fans of scuba diving will find a foothold in the diving centers of Bari Sardo and Arbatax and the opportunity to take a dip in the most diverse environments thanks to the presence of numerous wrecks and caves.

Obviously there are opportunities for a tasty and rewarding food and wine tourism, the typical product of the gastronomy of Ogliastra is the bread, worked in such a way as to take irregular shapes and the cuddly species of focaccia stuffed with various ingredients such as onion, pumpkin, tomatoes and fresh cheese. There are also cheeses such as pecorino cheese of various ages and ricotta and roast meats such as porceddu. Among the cured meats are the ham of Talana, Arzana, Villagrande and Urzulei, the dry sausages and the typical Sardinian pillow all characterized by a unique quality and flavor due to the origin of livestock farms in the wild where the animals graze and feed naturally in the mountains of Gennargentu. Last but not least, the wine, where the Cannonau di Jerzu is the most famous DOC and the Cannoanu wine route is an excellent excuse to visit wineries and farmhouses and refresh yourself between tastings.

A holiday in Ogliastra would therefore deserve more time than the canonical two weeks, those who intend to buy house in Sardinia for their holidays could consider the Ogliastra because of the unparalleled variety of activities available both in high and low season, an excellent investment taking into account the prices of houses well below other areas of the most famous Sardinia and the excellent prospects for growth in tourism and therefore revaluation. Those who prefer to limit themselves to a “taste” can find a fairly varied offer of accommodation in farmhouses, holiday homes for rent (ideal for families or groups of friends) and hotels including the luxurious Arbatax Park Resort that covers about 60 hectares at the end of the peninsula of Capo Bellavista in Arbatax.

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