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The Supramonte, in Sardinia, is a world to discover: wild mountains, and a proud and wonderful nature. We started to explore it, following the itinerary that from S'Abba Arva (Dorgali) leads to the spectacular Gorropu Gorges, an impressive natural canyon. 

 

Trekking: from S'Abba Arva to the Gorropu Gorges (Sardinia)

 

Any photo is enough to make you understand that the Gorropu Gorges are worth a trip (see our slidegallery of the excursion). The Gorges are located in one of the wildest areas of Sardinia, the Supramonte, once sadly known for events related to kidnappings, and which today is trying to regain its identity as a land with a tourist vocation. Clear away your possible prejudices, and don't miss the beauty of this unique land! The Supramonte certainly has a considerable tourist potential, due to the beauty of its countryside and its mountains, which offer extraordinary sceneries.

A first taste of getting to know this corner of Sardinia can be an excursion to the Gorropu Gorges. One of the access paths is the one that starts from S'Abba Arva Bridge. This is the technically easiest itinerary (although not trivial due to its length) which leads to the Gorges.

Reaching the starting point is not immediate. From Dorgali you go along the entire Oddoene valley. Absolutely ignore any dirt road Google Maps offers you to reach the starting point, if you don't want to find yourself in complicated situations. The paved road that runs along the valley and arrives at the S'Abba Arva bridge, is long, but very panoramic, and allows you to admire all the beautiful cultivated countryside, and the walls of the surrounding limestone mountains.

At the end of the road, near the S'Abba Arva bridge, there is a paid car park with a refreshment point from which the excursion starts. Parking fare, in the 2022 season during the Easter period, was €7 for the whole day. Leave the car, walk south, cross the bridge and immediately arrive at a crossroads: the signs clearly indicate that to the south you go to the Gorropu gorges, and to the north to the archaeological area of Monte Tiscali, which is no less fascinating, and which will surely be the destination of our next itinerary.

Having taken the track towards the south (path number 485), the ups and downs begin which will characterize a large part of the itinerary to overcome some small valleys which descend towards the Rio Flumineddu, which has dug the main valley.

Trekking Gole Gorropu Sardegna 001 Trekking Gole Gorropu Sardegna 005 

 

As you enter the valley, the scene becomes more and more amazing: to the west, the rocky walls of the Orgosolo Supramonte; in the center of the valley, the Rio Flumineddu, which meanders among the boulders filling some pools with emerald green water; above the river, its valley covered by very thick and luxuriant vegetation, and of an intense green in spring; and finally, on the eastern edge of the valley, you can glimpse the legendary "Root 125", or rather the stupendous Eastern Sardinian Road, which connects Olbia to Cagliari.

The path is always clear and well signposted; there is no chance of error. The good degree of shading makes it, in our opinion, passable even in summer, provided you avoid the hottest days and hours.

 

Trekking Gole Gorropu Sardegna 002

Trekking Gole Gorropu Sardegna 003 

See the technical data of the excursion

 

After about an hour (and 3.5 km of walking), you reach a spring with a refreshment area equipped with tables in the shade, where, if necessary, it is pleasant to stop for drink or eat something, that you took in your sack. Beyond this point, the route begins to gradually turn towards the South West, to converge towards the entrance to the gorges. Another 30/40 minutes of walking, and you will be at the beginning of Gorropu Gorges. Just beyond this point, you also have access to the road where the Jeep Transfer passes.

Just before the gorges, the path steeply loses altitude with some rocky steps that will require some effort on the way back. Here we are: get ready for the natural show you are about to admire.

At the entrance to the gorge, you will find the ticket office (admission for adults: 5 euros - April 2022). Here, the staff gives instructions for the safe use of this natural monument, and also gives some descriptive information.

The gorge can only be visited in part without proper mountain gear for climbing equipped path. A first section, marked with green dots, is easier, and it is followed by a slightly more demanding and shorter yellow section, which ends at the start of the red section, which can only be walked if equipped with the right mountain set. 

Entering the gorge will surely cause you a feeling of wonder and amazement for the beauty of the place. The dry bed of the stream dominated by some imposing white boulders meanders under very high limestone walls, of various shades, in some points overhanging in an impressive way. Proceeding inside the gorge, even if for a short stretch, is a bit tiring, since in several places you have to climb the boulders, following the colored markers, sometimes improvising the track. Unfortunately, you won't be alone to visit the gorge, and the shouting of other people will inevitably deprive the place of part of its magic (unless you come here on a weekday away from holidays). Find yourself a quiet corner to contemplate the beauty and mystery of the place in peace.

 

Trekking Gole Gorropu Sardegna 004

 

The gorges can also be reached from the Genna Silana pass, along the Strada Statale Orientale Sarda (Eastern sardinian state road), with a shorter route, but which requires you to overcome, on the way back, the 700 meters in altitude made downhill on the outward track. We obviously returned, in an hour and three quarters, to the S'Abba Arva bridge (about 17 km in total round trip), where we had parked the car, and we took advantage of the bar in the parking lot to savor, satisfied, a well-deserved cooling beer.

Have a nice trip.

Fabio Muriano

Click here, for the complete slidegallery of the excursion

 

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