The Great Trail of Supramonte is a beautiful 4 days trekking that crosses lengthwise the natural park of Supramonte. The landscape changes continuously and panoramas are always remarkable. Starting from the southernmost edge, the trail passes through thick woods and open plateaus, up to the northernmost edge.
Supramonte is a vast massif made of limestone and as such it is grooved with deep canyons, sinkholes and ponors. Under the surface, an extended groundwater system of underground rivers, lakes, caves and endless passages collects and joins the water to some famous springs and other hidden locations.
Above the ground there are only a few dirt-roads, so tortuous and rough that only 4WD can make it through. The only traces of human life are the rare refuges that charcoal-burners and shepherds built during the past centuries. They used to move to Supramonte during the summer in search for pastures for their goats, but slowly abandoned these lands since WW2. Local hikers are familiar with the harshness of Supramonte and approach its fascinating destinations with due prudence. It is very easy to get lost into the many forests and narrow canyons, and the terrain does not make rescue any easy.
If Supramonte is not a welcoming place for humans, it is the quiet and unspoiled home of animals such as deer, boars, goats, foxes, weasels and many more. The sky, on the other hand, is home for many birds of prey, hovering in circles in search of the occasional mouse or snake. The vegetation that covers it is typical Mediterranean, from oak and juniper forests to vast fields of perfumed shrubs such as myrtle, lentiscus, helichrysum and many other flowering bushes.
The total length of the Great Trail of Supramonte is 53 km, with only gentle slopes well distributed over the 4 days.
Afrer meeting in Oliena we checking our bags and equipment, a transfer will drive us to the starting point.
Our walk will start from the springs of the Flumineddu River, which cuts the mountains of Supramonte and created the enormous Gorroppu Gorge. Walking over the plateaus we will reach the characteristic tacchi (trans. heels) mount Fumai and mount Su Biu. The path keeps an altitude included between 1000 and 1200 metres above sea level and the only ascent will occur to climb up the stairs to the top of Monte Novo S.Giovanni at 1316m. This is the most panoramic spot for the day and only 1 hour away from the unattended hut where we will spend the night.
Meeting location: Oliena
Transfer: inlcuded (40 minutes drive)
Vertical gain: +470m
Passing through dense oak forests and open plateaus, our path becomes really fascinating with a continuous alternating of views. A little detour takes us to the remote Nuraghe Mereu, one of the masterpieces of the Nuragic civilization. Despite its 4000 years of age, the Nuraghe is still well preserved, and the location in which it was built is one of the most amazing in Sardinia. It oversees the mountains surrounding the Flumineddu River and the Gorroppu Gorge, possibly catching sight of invaders approaching the Supramonte.
Our day ends over the plateau Donanigoro, where we will set camp on the unattended hut Ziu Raffaele. The plateau is scattered with the rests of a Nuragic village, puzzling visitors about how life must have been here back then.
Vertical gain: +400m
From the plateau Donanigoro we will soon visit the enormous sinkhole Su Sercone, which measures almost 500 metres in diameter and 200 metres in depth. The path continues through a dense forest populated with secular oak trees and many abandoned shepherd huts. At the end of the forest we will steer north, following the crest of mount Corrasi up to the top of Supramonte (1463 m), from where we will witness one incredible view. The panorama extends over the regions Goceano and Marghine, making it possible to spot towns as distant as 50 kilometres away.
From mount Corrasi we will walk down on a typical Campo Solcato (literally plough field), a limestone expanse ‘ploughed’ by rain water. Not distant from this is the plateau Sos Prados with another unattended hut where we will spend the night.
Vertical gain +: 700m
We will reach the crest of mount Carabidda, which marks the north-west corner of the Supramonte and offers a superb panorama over the town of Oliena and the valleys below. From here we will steer eastward to follow the northern edge of Supramonte over the crest of mount Cusidore. Our itinerary goes downhill towards the bottom of the valley, descending from 1200 to 200 m at the end of our journey, by the renowned spring Su Gologone.
From Su Gologone a tansfer will drive us back to Oliena (15 minutes drive)
Arrival point: Su Gologone
Transfer: back to Oliena (15 minutes drive)
Dislivello +: 200m