West coast hikes (central) From Alghero to Cuglieri

 

There are some really spactacular roads in Sardinia which show you instantly the very essence of this island. The one called sp125 (Orientale Sarda) takes you to the heart of the mountains of Supramonte as it climbs above the Valley of Oddoene with a stunning view over the magnificent canyon of Gorropu. Not to mention the wonders of the sp83  in the area of Buggerr which guides you from the mountainous landscape to the strikingly beautiful coast with its majestic cliffs and turquoise sea (more about southern coastal hikes here)

The road you are about to discover is called sp49 and it’s definitely one of these gems situated on the west coast, more precisely stretching out from Alghero to Cuglieri.

1. A tower with a view and the jungle beneath

After setting off from Alghero towards Bosa on the sp49 you will immediately get the vibes of a road trip. On your left the hills completely covered with small bushes and the typical shrubland become higher and higher whereas on the left you’ve got the vastness of the seemingly endless sea where you might spot some boats floating in the blue canvas.

As you can see the main road follows the coastline for many chilometers and there are quite a few places where you can pull over and take a look at the view. There are also quite a few beaches and coves that you can reach from the road or as an alternative there are some paths that lead to to the top of these hills (about 650m asl) or deep within the jungle – like woods.

There’s even a short canyoning route in these woods that ends with a 20m high waterfall called S’istrampu de su Signore
More about canyoning in Sardinia here
The tower of Badde Janas

Spanish coastal towers are the remaining witnesses of a period of time in which Sardinia was raided frequently by pirates (from the 8th century BC). They were the first line of defense against the invading forces and indeed it was a very efficient system to spot the approaching ships. They are not to be confused with the nuraghi which date back to at least 3000 years ago and had a more complex structure and use.

The tower of Badde Janas is one of my favourite coastal towers as it is situated at a spot with a breathtaking view and also because in just a few steps from it you can find one of the ancient burial sites called domus de janas which are even older than the nuraghi.

The steep hills above the sea and the imposing tower of Badde Janas still surveiling the area

2. Near the road right in the middle of nowhere

After about a 40min drive from Alghero you get to this point where you can park your car and make your first steps towards an area called Capo Marrargiu. The reason why I’m writing about this specific place is beacuse I’ve been there many times and the fact that 10 minutes after leaving the car I was walking on rarely beaten tracks surrounded by the most intense smell of the Mediterranean shrubland such as lentisk, wormwood and helycrisum boosted by the breeze coming from the sea.

Since most of the Sardinian wildlife seems a miniature version of the same species in the rest of the European continent it isn’t that easy to spot them but here, due to less human impact, it isn’t unusal to see wild boars, foxes and even some majestic vultures flying above your head (which might get a bit creepy sometimes especially on hot summer days).

The hut in the middle of nowhere

It takes about an hour walking to get to this little hut made of stones which had been abandoned for a long time before the local council decided to put it back on its feet. This area used to be populated by miners who conducted a rather lonely life out there. Supposedly the name of this hut sas bagassas (literally hookers) comes from those sporadic episodes of hot encounters.

Where the blue gets to meet the green
And where the brown meets the green
The only steep part is right before you get back to the car

3. A swimming pool in the sea

As you carry on rolling on route sp49 just before you get to the nearest town called Bosa (worth a visit for a walk along the river Temo and a sip of its famous wine called Malvasia) there’s a place called Cane Malu which I wouldn’t skip if I were you.

Moonwalking

Once you get to Bosa the landscape shifts significantly and some surprising scenes appear in front of your eyes due to the fact that here we’ve got magmatic rock in its sheer form which makes the whole situation similar to walking on the moon.

Cane Malu

So after a short walk you get to this amazing pool which seems deliberately dug into the rock with enough space for everyone to dive, jump and swim on the hot summer days.

Molten time

The road from Bosa will take you further south towards a little town called Cuglieri. As a matter of fact this woodland that appears along the road has a lot of secrets and some amazing places but that would take us far from the coastal road (and open a whole new chapter) but rest assured those lands are different but equally beautiful.

A glimpse from the woodland towards the sea from hills of Scano di Montiferro

But the reason we are still following the coast (apart from the fact that it’s fun) is to gaze our eyes upon one of the very few waterfalls that that drop directly to the sea. The most famous is undoubtedly Capo Nieddu and you can reach it with a short hike in the countryside after leaving your car in the vicinity of a resort.

From the top of the waterfall
Where the waters meet – It is a rather “seasonal” scene though as apart from winter/spring the waterfall dries off along with the creek that feeds it

Obviously there are numerous other places, spots, hills, cliffs, coves along this spectacular road but I wouldn’t prevent you from discovering them for yourselves just the way I did 🙂 Surely my favourite moments are the ones involving some sort of revelation. You know that kind that makes you feel that you are part of this newly discovered paradise.

However the journey doesn’t have to end here! So if you are into coastal trips all over the west coast check out these aticles too

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