It spreads out in the Mandrolisai region at the foot of Mt Mungianeddu, which protects it. Tonara is a town south-west of the parco del Gennargentu, one of the highest of the island at an altitude of between 800 and 900 metres. It gets its name from the toni and toneri, the calcareous rock on which it sits. The town came about from the fusion of the ancient subdivisions of Arasulè, Teliseri and Toneri, and it has narrow streets onto which the wooden balconies of the stone houses look out. The three original areas were later joined by the new su Pranu residential area and today the town boasts some two thousand inhabitants. One of the important houses to visit is the grand Casa Porru, once a prison and now a museum of ethnography and ancient trades.
Tonara is also one of Sardinia’s greenest towns, surrounded by woods dense with ancient stands of chestnut, walnut and hazel nut trees. Various trails lead hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders out of town to explore the highest peaks.