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"Monte Limbara - Sardinia" Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Favorite Tip by iandsmith

Italy General: 753 reviews and 735 photos

  Punta Balestreri
by iandsmith

Favorite thing: This great lump of rock, sitting in the middle of northern Sardinia, is festooned with communications antenna on Punta Balestreri.
Monte Limbara is a granite mountainous range situated in the heart of the Gallura. To the north it looks over the plains of Tempio, to the south-west it is bordered by the river Coghinas and to the south-east by the depression of Monti, Oschiri, Padrogiano and Olbia. Although not reaching an elevated height (at just over 1300m), the Limbara appears imposing and evocative, characterised by rocky summits modelled by the elements that over the millennia have given them strange and eccentric forms. The highest is the Punta Balistreri, that reaches 1359m.
On the mountain two forest areas are found: one on the northern slope, the other on the southern. The first one, belonging to the municipality of Tempio Pausania, is included within the SIC (Sites of Community Importance). The area is rich in luxuriant Mediterranean brush, which near the summits is replaced by stepped moors and visible rock formations.
The southern part of Monte Limbara belongs to the municipality of Berchidda. The scenery is dominated by huge rocks that seem almost suspended in precarious equilibrium, modelled by phenomena of erosion and so taking on eccentric forms, punctuated by caves and hollows. The area is home to the golden eagle and Bonelli’s eagle, that flies over dense, luxuriant woods inhabited by wild cats and martens. At Littu Siccu, in the heart of the forest, traces of ancient human settlements are found at Pedru Fadda and Fighizzola. The vegetation is made up of heather and strawberry trees; in the cooler valleys the holm oaks are joined by manna ash and holly.
The northern and southern slopes are rich in springs from which high quality, low mineral content water gushes out, .
The Limbara is the theatre for the musical event "Time in jazz", that finds the scenery ideal for rhythmic artistic expression among rocks and woods. Moreover, the area has an eco-museum of art and nature - "Semida" - which in Sardinian means path. Here, spectacular installations of artists like Giovanni Campus, Clara Bonfiglio, Erik Chevalier, Paola Dessy, Bruno Petretto, Pinuccio Sciola, Giovanna Secchi, and Monica Solinas accompany the visitor in the discovery of the natural world where real works of art are insinuated, that through Land Art, artistic research founded in the seventies, creates a spectacular and amazing aesthetical game.
To get to Monte Limbara north, go out of the town of Tempio Pausania, along the SS 392 towards Oschiri. At the 7 km marker, in the locality of Coradoreddu, are the forest area offices. The southern slope is reached from the town of Berchidda along the SS 597 Sassari-Olbia or the SP 62. Coming from Tempio you reach the heliport of Valliciola and go as far as the small pond Su Sciucchi that is found inside the forest. There's religious statue up there, as you'd expect, and many minor offerings have been laid at its base.

Fondest memory: The domes on Monte Limbara don't reach the size of, say, the Californian domes. Most of them reach about 1100 - 1200m in elevation and show faces of some 200 - 300m. There are climbing possibilities but the region is far less popular than the limestone cliffs near the coast and less profound than the (again limestone) north faces of Supramonte and Monte Albo.
For the average hiker like me Monte Limbara offers quite a number of good trails and roads which wind their way between the domes and offer fantastic views from all sides. There is a serious drawback, however: the highest summit on Monte Limbara, Punta Balestreri is covered by radar, TV and radio towers. It's not a sight you want to remember but you can't forget it.
The processes which formed these domes are similar to the ones in Yosemite: moisture can penetrate the hard granite rock only just underneath the surface. Any erosion - heat or cold - thus will only make the rock come off in layers - forming these very smooth surfaces.
Limbara is crossed by a number of roads that, originating from Calangianus, Berchidda and from the Tempio - Oschiris road, reach Valliciola, a locality at 1053 meters above sea level. From the barracks of the Forest Authority runs a trail that leads to the valley carved by the Rio Pisciaroni. After having gone over the plain of the Valliciola, rich in holm oaks, cork oaks and hollies, you reach Punta Balestrieri (1359 metres), the highest point of this massif.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 27, 2009
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