The main historical, archaeological and natural monuments of Gallura
Whoever decides to spend their holidays in Gallura mainly goes for the beautiful sea, the hot yet breezy climate and the more relaxed rhythm of life that helps to heal body and soul. There are also many stunning monuments that capture tourists’ attention and immerge them in an often-ignored part of history. An archaeological and natural treasure, there is so much to admire in all parts of the territory both inland and on the coast.
The Olivastri of Luras
These are Oleaster trees that have lived undisturbed around the Lake Liscia for thousands of years – a majestic spectacle of breath-taking olive trees. The trunks can reach 14 metres in height and a circumference of over 12 metres. The entire grove expands over 600 square metres, including one of the trees known as the “Grande Patriarca”, considered to be the oldest olive tree in Europe. In 1991 it was named Natural Monument for its beauty, and the Grande Patriarca was proudly announced as one of Italy’s 20 most ancient trees. In the same area Lake Liscia itself is worth a visit, between Luras, Lugosanto and Sant’Antonio Gallura, three of the towns that surround the lake alongside the beautiful nature. It is possible to see all of them on a ferry trip.
From Tempio Pausania to Monte Limbara
Besides the beauty of the historic centre of Tempio Pausania with its ancient churches, its roads and houses of stone, the region is famous for the Nuraghe Majori. This is a monument from the Middle Bronze Age, built with enormous stones. The inside of the Nuraghe is home to a small species of bats known as Rhinolophus Hipposideros. For fans of hiking, Monte Limbara offers gorgeous sceneries including famous Sardinian rocks with realistic shapes, granite towers, natural glimpses of incredible beauty and rare birds to photograph and treasure.
From the Museum del Banditismo to the legends of Aggius
A few kilometres from Tempio Pausania we have Aggius. Going through the town’s small roads tourists will notice the beauties mysteriously hidden within and the many legends that go side by side with this location. The centre hosts the Museum del Banditismo sardo – this contains firearms and other authentic documents that are a testimony of the Spanish rule. Legend has it that the city centre has been the background to many bloody battles between bandits that were fighting for control of the area, and the atrocities were so bad that they made people think of Satan’s evil presence being there. Though obviously a legend, visitors get to relive a part of history of the territory. The viewpoint is also worth noting due to the magnificence of the landscape.
The Giants’ Tombs and the Nuraghe of the Prisgiona di Arzachena
Just outside Arzachena you will find the Giants’ tombs, from around 1400 BC. They are made up of a burial chamber 3 metres large and around 30 metres long, where tradition was to pay tribute to the community’s dead with gifts and prayers. Closely nearby you will find the Nuraghe la Prisgiona. Archaeologists think that this area used to have a full-blown Nuragic village, where the townspeople lived their everyday life between working the fields and the beauty of the landscapes the area has to offer.
The Conche Fraicate
The Conche Fraicate are natural rocky cavities formed by millennia of erosion often surrounded by walls of granite. These are only present in Gallura in several towns, and they have existed since prehistory. They have captivating shapes, and over the years they have been used as refuge when needed.
The town of Olbia is also full of cultural attractions that showcase an ancient and florid past that began around 4000 years ago. We’re talking about the famous Pozzo Sacro di Sa Testa and the nuraghe Riu Mulino, from the castle of Pedres and the ancient necropolis of San Simplicio to the Archaeological Museum of Olbia, all worth visiting to know the history of this part of the island.