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Monday, 03 May 2010 17:39

Supramonte

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A temple dedicated to nature lovers

The Supramonte (Supramònte in the Sardinian language) is a chain of mountains and plateaus of carbonate rock (limestone and dolostone of the Mesozoic Era) that is situated in the north-west of the Gulf of Orosei. It is divided in two parts by the national road SS125, Orientale Sarda, which forms the ideal border between the Supramonte Montano (mountainside) and Supramonte Marino (seaside) .

It is rich in subterranean waters and characterized by a wild and gashed landscape. It covers 35,000 hectares, not only the territories of Dorgali, but also those of Oliena, Orgosolo, Urzulei and Baunei.

Its northern border is the river Cedrino and in the south, the Rio Olai forms its boundary. The massif has got an average altitude of 900 metres a.s.l.. Its karstic plateaus were eroded by rivers that have created a spectacular concentration of ravines, gorges and canyons. Today, these rivers aren’t visibile any more on the surface but supply water to a dense subterranean hydrological system that has formed caves and grottoes like that of the Bue Marino (Sea Ox Cave) or springs like Su Gologone.

The most beautiful and visitable areas: the Supramonte di Orgosolo with its centennial holm oaks (Foresta Demaniale Montes – national forest of montes); the karstic springs of Su Gologone, the most important one in the whole of sardinia; the canyon of Su Gorropu, Europe’s deepest canyon with its up to 450 metres high steep faces; the sinkhole or dolina of Su Suercone, an immense swallow hole that embraces a grove of centennial yew trees (taxus), cavities and gorges; The caves Su Bentu e Sa Oche (The wind and the voice), 15 km long, and - last but not least- the Gulf of Orosei with its spectacular limestone steep faces, caves and enchanting coves.

The area, especially the Supramonte of Oliena and the Lanaittu Valley, are home of a host of important archaeological excavation sites: the Corbeddu Cave, where Sardinia’s most ancient skeletal remains have been found (Lower Paleolithic), the nuraghic village of Tiscali, which has been perfectly preserved in a huge sinkhole, and next to it, the village of Sa Sedda ‘e Sos Carros with its sacred area. The petroglyphs in the Sea Ox Cave (Grotta del Bue Marino) date back to the Neolithic Age. In the whole of the territory, there are a considerable number of pre-nuraghic (domus de janas – House of the Fairies, dolmens, menhirs) and nuraghic monuments (nuraghi, villages, sanctuaries, Giants’ Tombs).

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