Welcome to Ogliastra
Cala Gonone is probably the best known of Sardinia’s climbing areas and one that we’d visited before, this time we wanted to try the rapidly developing and diverse crags of Ogliastra.
With huge variety and an unspoilt feel it didn’t disappoint, even the best routes often had little sign of traffic and we often had whole sectors to ourselves. With just a few days we wanted to sample as great a variety of climbing as we could.
Baunei was the closest area to where we were staying and had incredibly varied crags just a short drive apart.
Pedra Longa was a spectacular needle of rock emerging from the crystal clear water that surrounds Sardinia. In peak summer season I suspect it’s a little different but in the quieter times with better temperatures for climbing it’s a quiet and idyllic spot that’s a great place for a couple of routes and a swim. There are only a few lines on the tower itself with the easier Marinaio di Foresta getting the most traffic at 6a+, we climbed the newer Marco, a 7a that felt harder than expected as the sun moved off the crag and the wind picked up!
Monte Oro was one of the closest crags to where we were staying and an obvious one to visit with its commanding position high on the hill side with spectacular views out to sea. After our rather too enthusiastic attempts at rallying up the rough, pot holed track I’d recommend leaving your hire car at the bottom of the hill to avoid any mishaps!
This was a great place to enjoy some slightly easier but still high quality climbing with arms tired from our efforts at Ulassai.
Ulassai was a little higher and further inland from our base in the town of Lotzorai and may soon become a destination in its own right thanks to an explosion of high quality single pitch routes in recent years, all on a range of aspects.
We were staggered as we walked round the corner of the approach path to Su Casteddu for the first time, an incredible sweep of steep limestone sat in a spectacular position that rivalled anything at a more famous Spanish or French crag. With a spread of high quality routes and only a few other friendly teams around it was a great place to spend a couple of days soaking up the sun and piecing together stunning routes.
As a popular tourist destination Sardinia is relatively easy to get to although flights do become a little more sporadic outside of peak season. We flew to Cagliari in the south and hired a car relatively cheaply, it would be very hard to make the most of the areas available without your own transport. There’s a wide variety of accommodation across a range of budgets but the Lemonhouse in Lotzorai is a fantastic base for exploring Ogliastri with the best breakfast on the island and limitless and enthusiastic beta from the owner, local legend Riky Felderer. Eating out wasn’t expensive and with a little asking around we found some fantastic food with the best often being found in the more unlikely looking places!