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Ristoro Norghio > Sant'Anna (Siniscola)

Altitude gain*
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Il simbolo + indica il dislivello positivo (cioè in salita) complessivo della tappa; il simbolo - quello negativo (cioè in discesa).

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A very long and strenuous stage, with really big differences in altitude and a rather complicated, often (almost) non-existent route: tough!

But the Montalbo ridge holds breathtaking moments, between memories of Western films and Majella landscapes.

Special Notes

This stage should be avoided in the middle summer months (a large part of the ridge section is completely shadeless); in any case, it is necessary to set off very early, also to be able to reach the end of the stage in the light.

The stage is really complicated in its entirety, in terms of length, physical effort required and difficulty of orientation: it is therefore reserved exclusively for the most experienced and trained people. If you wish, after about 20 km you can take a break in a shepherd’s hut (su pinnetu), but you must bring a mattress, a sleeping bag and a good will to adapt: The hut is very simply equipped.

Much of the initial descent from Pedra Longa to the asphalt road is without a clear route; even the signposts are non-existent, apart from a few red and white plastic wires: you have to monitor the GPS track. The same applies to the Montalbo ridge, from the last stretch before Corru de sa Mandra (i.e. the saddle from which we tackle the ridge) to the descent towards the Sadde valley: you have to sharpen your eyes to recognise the cairns placed on the ground (which are not always easy to spot) and keep a constant eye on the GPS track to avoid getting into risky situations.

Tick risk.

The only water points are near Ristoro Norghio (practically at the beginning) and many kilometres later near the asphalt road in the Sadde valley (just before the last climb to Punta Cupetti): bring a good supply, you will need it!

when to go
March - November
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

After leaving Ristoro Norghio, we again follow the paved road from the previous day until we pass the archaeological park on the left and shortly after reach the wide saddle from which we take a dirt track towards Pedra Longa. This is how we begin the long descent (about 400 m drop) to the bottom of the valley: after an initial stretch on a comfortable dirt road, we change to a path that is not always very clear and not signposted (we follow the GPS track and look out for the red and white plastic bands knotted to the branches), which becomes very steep at the end. Finally, we reach a small road and, in a sharp bend, we take the subway over the motorway, which we then bypass on the left on a small asphalt road that we follow for about 3 km.

We leave the small road and take the dirt road to the right. This marks the start of the first part of the climb (about 350 m height difference) to Montalbo on excellent ground; after the climb we enjoy a nice flat stretch in the shade of the holm oak forest. When we reach a pinnettu (where if you are tired, you can rest or interrupt the stage, as long as you have a mattress, a sleeping bag and a good adaptive spirit!), we tackle the second climb (about 300 m height difference) and soon continue on an increasingly impervious and steep path: the route tests us and culminates in the last stretch before the saddle, which is trackless and very difficult.

After reaching the saddle (Corru de sa Mandra, 983 m), we follow the ridge to the right, along an old dry stone wall; then there is a short but steep climb (always watch out for the cairns) until we reach the ridge of Montalbo, which we follow up and down; the route is spectacular but requires attention as there is no real path. After a stretch in the bush, we return to the open and skirt Punta Su Mutrucone on the southern slope, gaining some altitude until we cross a large, fairly bare plateau; we then tackle a steep climb (approx. 100 m height difference) until we reach Punta Gurturgius (1,042 m, great view!), from which, almost on sight, we quickly descend (about 250 m drop) into a valley to arrive near the asphalt road in the Sadde valley, where we find a well.

Refreshed, we leave the asphalt road and take the dirt track to the right; shortly afterwards, we take a small path to the right and begin the steep climb (about 200 m height difference) towards the northern shoulder of Punta Cupetti (1,029 m); once there, we cross a wide plateau in a beautiful dolomite landscape, after skirting a rocky rampart, and then begin the descent (about 250 m drop) along a well-maintained path. After passing a wire fence, we continue through the maquis and, just before an electricity pylon, we pass a second fence on the left and take the asphalt road, which we follow for a few kilometres until we reach the houses of Sant’Anna.

What to know

One of the most important pre-Nuragic civilisations is the Ozieri Culture, which developed around the 5th millennium BC.

The first discoveries of this civilisation were made in the town of Ozieri in the north of Sardinia, more precisely in the cave of San Michele - hence it is also called the San Michele culture. Numerous artefacts came to light in the cave, leading scholars to believe that a considerable cultural upsurge was taking place at the time, perhaps stimulated by contacts with the Near East; in particular, a certain similarity with Cretan pottery was noted.

The Ozieri culture, about which little is known, shows an urban reality without fortifications; even in the tombs (domus de janas) only a few weapons have been found.

What to see

The dunes of Capo Comino are beautiful: white sand and turquoise sea, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Baronia.

The beach of Capo Comino, not far from Siniscola, is characterised by the highest dunes of the entire east coast. The seabed in front of the beach is equally beautiful, enriched by the presence of an ancient Roman fleet, a World War II ship and a French fighter plane. It is windswept, the perfect place for Kite and Windsurfing fans.

what to eat

A typical dish with pork, besides Porceddu, is sa Manicatura - manic stands for food.

This is a typical dish from Lodè based on pork (the parts can vary, there is certainly no shortage of ribs - sa costiglia) cooked together with vegetables - mainly cabbage, potatoes and chickpeas. It is customary to wet the Carasau bread with broth to accompany the dish.

where to sleep

Agriturismo Sas Pretas, in Sant'Anna. Tel. +39333 848 5142


The starting point is reachable by car.

The starting point is NOT reachable by bus.

The nearest location that can be reached by bus is Siniscola, starting from the city of Nuoro.

Here is the LINK to check the timetables.

The starting point is NOT reachable by train.

“If the Dolomites rose above the sea, they would look like Montalbo”

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