A Bronze Age Sardegnan Mesa Verde in the Gennargentu Mountains of Sardinia

Among the best of the hikes in the Gennargentu Mountains near Dorgali is a stiff two-hour uphill thigh-burner to the ancient site of Tiscali, a Sardegnan version of Mesa Verde. These crumbling remains of a Bronze Age village are squirreled away under a cavernous rock overhang, the ceiling pierced by a huge "window" formed by an ancient cave-in.

As you follow the trail markers of stacked stone cairns, keep an eye out for rooting wild pigs and mufflone, the shy Sardegnan bighorn sheep. The trail eventually leads though a narrow rock slit, over a bizarre field of razor-sharp rocks, and along the ridgeline to Tiscali itself.

The reward for all the effort of getting there lies back at the trailhead: splurging on lunch at Ristorante Su Gologone, renowned for serving some of the best, most authentic Sardegnan cuisine on the island. Book ahead, and splurge on the tasting menu to sample the chef's seasonal best. It also has a lovely 68-room hotel with refined-rustic rooms and a swimming pool (doubles from €140).

Tips & links


Hike from Loc. Su Gologone, east of Oliena
Tel. +39-349-442-5552
May–Oct daily 9am–7pm; Nov–Apr daily 9am–5pm


Ristorante Su Loc. Su Gologone, just east of Oliena. Tel. +39-0784-287-512, www.sugologone.it. Meals from €40. Double rooms from €140.

The gateway to the region is Dorgali

The gateway to the region is Dorgali, but the main tourist town (and tourist office) is Cala Gonone, down the road from Dorgali on the coast.

Cala Gonone tourist office

Viale Bue Marino (in the pine woods just above town). tel. +39-0784-93-696, www.dorgali.it.

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