One of the “historical” regional forests has a great picnic area, is ideal for outdoor activity, and boasts fabulous views from its highest reaches. The forest of Mount Olia spreads out over an area of 2,236 hectares located between the Monti and Berchidda territories. The forest sits on a substratum of granite and is home to holm-oak woods interspersed with conifers (domestic, black and Aleppo pines), downy oaks and young cork oaks, especially in the reforested areas. You will also notice many strawberry trees, heather, cistus and lavender bushes.
The altitude here varies from the 350 metres of the valley floor to the 811 metres of its highest point, the lookout post of Mesureris. Once at the top you’ll enjoy spectacular views that span from the Olbia valley in the north-east to the island of Tovalara, then to the Limbara massif in the north-west and to Lake Coghinas in the west. The fauna that lives here is varied: there are roe, deer, wild boar and mouflons, and it is also the refuge of a rare endemic species, the Bedriaga lizard, considered one of the most quick and agile of its kind in Italy. Eagles and red kites fly high above the treetops, while the rivers are home to Sardinian trout and stream trout. In sa Toa there is a natural pond, a picnic and camping area open in the summer, and trailheads that will lead you on hikes to explore the areas around the forest, especially heading towards the s’Eleme river, which marks the border between Mount Olia and the Bolostiu forest. Another great destination is s’Elighe, a natural pool, in Lada Pilosa. It is nestled in dense vegetation, and the surrounding area is dotted with pinnettas (straw shepherd huts) and wooden huts.
Now and again, you’ll hear the throbbing of powerful engines as Mount Olia is sometimes a venue for the Rally Italia Sardegna. Not far away, the territory is home to vermentino grape vineyards, the wine boasting DOCG status. Monti is an important vermentino wine district and there is a famous festival here in its honour in August, when you can sample fine local meals paired with it. The wine museum in Berchidda tells the fascinating story of winemaking in Sardinia. Berchidda lies draped over the southern slopes of Mt. Limbara and is famous as one the Sardinia’s jazz capitals, home of the Time in Jazz festival since 1988.