Forests are one of Sardinia’s landmarks, wild, vigorous and unspoilt with thriving rosemary bushes, secular pine trees, fragrant myrtle and beautifully colourful strawberry trees. They are inhabited by deer and boars, their bashful presence spotted in the paths interrupting the luxuriant vegetation. The inland of the island is equally breathtaking as the stunning beaches, and therefore definitely a must see. This coming weekend, the 16th and 17th of October is dedicated to “open forests”. Forests will be open to the public and a variety of excursions and visits will take place, enabling visitors to fully appreciate and discover the magical itineraries and aspects of this beautiful nature often lying unnoticed at one’s doorstep.
This weekend, the territory of Urzulei, one of the most exemplary of the Island, “opens the doors” to the extraordinary Salina forest, rich in stunning scenery and nature, with abundant bushes and trees, granite and limestone mountains and evocative archeological sites.
The events taking place include excursions, environmental education, nature walks, mountain bike rides, horseriding, mountain climbing and the tasting of local products. There will also be the opportunity to experiment in speleology activities or see nature oriented photographic exhibitions.
The Silana forest is in Sa Portiscra, between the Gorroppu canyon and Codula di Luna in Urzulei. It extends for 3,800 hectares and is full of nature paths and routes that delight trekking and mountaineering lovers. The walk from the Cantoniera to Gorroppu, dominated by the majestic 400 metre mountain walls, is probably the most suggestive. Another lovely walk is along Codula di Luna, ending in the extraordinary beach of Cala Luna (Calagonone).
Bird lovers can try and spot the different kinds of hawks, buzzards and eagles, some very rare.
A number of human traces have been left over the centuries, marking the different historical periods. The ancient Sardinian Nuragic period has traces of the “Or murales” Nuragic village dating back to the Bronze age and it extends for over 2 hectares in a wonderful natural scenery that is nearly all intact. There are over 100 circular stone huts all beautifully preserved and quite thought provoking.
HOW TO GET THERE
To get to the Silana forest, drive along the S.S. 125 Orientale Sarda from Dorgali (heading south) or from Tortolì or Baunei (heading north) until you reach km 187 at Genna ‘e Petta.
For GPS coordinates sa Portiscra: N 40° 10′ 02” E 9° 32’ 08”.
On Saturday 16th October in the town of Urzulei there will be two exhibitions starting at 10. One is a photographic exhibition by the well known Sardinian comedian Benito Urgu who exposes creative and original shots of stones. The other exhibition will concern the very forests and entitled “the island’s treasures”.
Sunday 17th October is a full day rich in all sorts of walks and activities, below are listed some:
Excursion to Gorropu. The walk lasts 5 hours (with a packed lunch) and is a little challenging. Departure is at 10 at the car park in front of the Cantoniera Silana ( Km.183 of the S.S. 125).
– Cultural and natural walk with guide to the “Or Murales” Nuragic village. The walk lasts 60 minutes and is easy. Departures are at 10:00, 10:30, 12:00, 12:30, 15:00, 15:30.
Nature walk to “Pinnettos” and to the Or “Murales” Nuragic Village with guides. Walk lasts 3 hours and is a little challenging. Departure is at 10:15, 10:45, ” 11:45, 12:15.
– Nature walk to the “Su Crabargiu” cave with a speleologist guide from Urzulei. The walk lasts 2.5 hours and slightly challenging. Departures at 11:00 and 12:00.
Introduction to speleology in a cave using specific equipment and with a descent. The activity is organised by the Sardinian Speleological Federation of Urzulei. ( Federazione Speleologica Sarda e G.A.S.A.U. di Urzulei. Activity starts at 10. 30
– Nordic walking lessons lasting 90 minutes.
Lessons at: 10:00, 10:30, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:15.
– Introduction to archery with a qualified instructor: Lesson lasts 30 minutes.
Lessons at: 10:00-16:30.
Nature photography course and competition with the photographer Giovanni Paulis and Renato Brotzu.
Starts at 10:30 and finishes at 17:30;lunch break between 13 and 14:30.
–Environmental education for children
At 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-17:00.
– Honey tasting laboratory
max 15 people per laboratory, to be booked in advance ( Tel 070.7326446 Monday to Friday 9:00-12:00 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org) within the 16th October.
There are two laboratories at 11.00 and at 15.00 .
– Entertainment activities for children.
– Introduction to horse riding “Il battesimo della sella” (children only).
At: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:00, 15:30, 16:30.
– Exhibition of typical gastronomical and artisan products of the area with laboratories showing how cheese and acorn bread are made.
From 9.00 to 18.00;
– Biodiversity exhibition by Sardinia Forest Association.
From 10:00 to 18:00.