A snow-covered Sardinia enhances the magical atmosphere poetically described by Nuoro-born writer Grazia Deledda. The villages of the Barbagia regions maintain the charm of yesteryear’s authentic mountain villages. There are no crowded ski resorts and the few artificial lights filter the bright blankets of stars. These are the skies celebrated in the pages of writers, in the poetry of shepherds and in the heart-rending traditional songs. These villages are surrounded by superb natural settings and many of them are painted with extraordinary murals, while in the surrounding areas there is always an archaeological site to visit. The best way to experience these places is among the hospitable and welcoming locals, by participating in the life of the community, visiting the artisan bread and pastry shops, enjoying the simple and tasty dishes and sipping some Cannonau wine. Not bad, between one snowshoe run and another.
...and if it snows, it falls heavily on the Gennargentu massif and on the majestic Mount Limbara. It also snows on the other higher mountains on the Island and on most of the north, from the Sassari area to Logudoro, and from Monte Acuto to Gallura. The little villages in the ‘heart’ of Sardinia turn white, from Barbagia to Goceano and from Marghine to Montiferru. The ski resorts are, however, on standby. You can speed down the slopes of Bruncu Spina on a sled or a snowboard or go at a slower pace on snowshoes along the trails, or set off along the cross-country skiing trails that start from the villages of Aritzo, Belvì, Desulo, Fonni, Gavoi and Tonara, winding through forests and chestnut and hazelnut woods, opening up into the silence of the enchanted valleys. The landscapes that you slowly encounter along the way are unusual, grottoes covered with snow, snow-covered monoliths, as it happens in Perda 'e Liana, a mouflon peeping out from between the granite walls, a “pinnetta” as a shelter. Accompanied by fa local guide, the excursions will be more exciting and safer, even until sunset, beneath the skies teeming with stars.
It almost never snows along the coast. There was a historic snowfall in 1956, when the island turned completely white, from the mountains to the sea. However, not far from Cagliari, it snows on the hills of Dolianova and on the mountains where the Is Cannoneris forest (Pula) lays, on the park of Sette Fratelli and upon Mount Linas, in the Gerrei and in the Barbagia of Seulo, at the entrance of Ogliastra. The snow always falls abundantly on the Gennargentu. If it snows further down, it is never enough to completely cover the landscape, but it is more like a brushstroke of white that enhances the rough nature of the island’s stony, granitic places, the typical Mediterranean vegetation of oaks and olive trees and the fragrant undergrowth with myrtle berries and strawberry trees, junipers stranded in the Supramonte limestone and the bare ridges of Mount Albo. It is pure poetry when it highlights the outlines of the nuraghi on the highest hills, the sacred prehistoric wells concealed on the high grounds, the domus de Janas dug out of the rocky crags and the Tombs of Giants on the slopes. It is like a snowy thread stretching across the history and legends that hover over the islands.