Great beauty travels on the Green train

Trenino verde tra desulo e tonara

Great beauty travels on the Green train

On the tracks of the historic Sardinian railways, admiring fairy-tale landscapes and discovering the authenticity of the island
a unique experience in Europe

“After a long pull, we come to a station after a stretch of loneliness. Each time, it looks as if there were nothing beyond — no more habitations. And each time we come to a station.” This is the poetic description, aboard the locomotive that is today the Trenino Verde (Green Train) of Sea and Sardinia, the project dedicated by David Herbert Lawrence on his 1921 voyage to Sardinia. Following in his footsteps a century later, travellers from all over the world are attracted to this unique railway line, derived from the ‘old components’, designed and constructed between the late 19th and early-20th centuries. An Italian excellence, a unique experience comprised of four trails currently totalling 163 kilometres. The lines, never abandoned, have been preserved and protected, connecting the coasts and hinterland - and crossing bridges and tunnels -, integrating such with excursions to the lakes by boat, trekking, cycling and horse riding. 

Veduta dal finestrino del Trenino Verde - Tacchi d'Ogliastra
Social gatherings on wheels

At a leisurely pace, the locomotive glides smoothly along the rails, in the midst of lush forests, ‘choo-chooing’ along between corridors of rocks, olive groves and mastic trees, climbing with much effort to the peaks of reliefs. The sun illuminates the wooden details, the window frames glimmering, framed with damask curtains. In the early 20th century, social gatherings on wheels moved like those of elegant and distinguished society. Within, the luxury is from another era - red velvet lounges run along a corridor lit by yellow-tone ceiling lights. The on-board excursions will titillate all of the senses through the landscapes, scents and silences. From Mandas, a medieval village in Trexenta with a glorious past, today an important cultural hub, the line crosses the Sarcidano sub-region, passing the Giara di Serri, a town famed for its Santuario Nuragico di Santa Vittoria, the shores of Lago San Sebastiano and the hills of Isili, the ‘copper town’. After having passed through lush the countryside of Nurallao, it rises up to Laconi,  current end of the line, a village famous for Sant’Ignazio, for its castle and Marquis garden Aymerich and for its menhirs, safeguarded in the Menhir Museum. The Eastern course departs from the port of Arbatax, .It stops along the way at the  stations of Tortolì and Elini, passing through enchanting panoramas. The leg ends in Lanusei.

Trenino verde sul ponte san Gerolamo
Gallura and Planargia, an ever-changing spectacle

Granite landscapes modelled by the wind and a stretch of wild olive trees, cork oaks and vineyards of vermentino vines as far as the eye can see. This is the quaint and profound Gallura traversed by train. The journey commences in Tempio, on the slopes of Monte Limbara, a gracious town rich in springs and home to the island’s most famous allegorical Carnival. The spectacle of nature change colour continuously along the journey. The locomotive stops in villages overlooking the Lago di Liscia, festooned with tourist boats. The train tracks run just a short distance from the coast, the line crossing the valley of Calangianus, capital of cork, then Luras, a town of prehistoric dolmen and thousand-year-old olive trees, including the ‘patriarch’ of Europe. From the Sant’Antonio di Gallura station, you will glimpse the geometric Arzachena countryside, its landscape threaded with vineyards. The north-western line currently departs from Sindia, a flourishing town during medieval times built around a Benedictine monastery. After crossing the Planargia sub-region, the train reaches Bosa Marina, a coastal area in one of the most enchanting Sardinian villages, Bosa, its multicoloured houses rising up a hill dominated by the Castello di Serravalle, reflected on the Temo river. Along the way, you’ll discover Tinnura, Tresnuraghes and Modolo, famous for the malvasia grape variety, asphodel baskets and precious fabrics.