On an island of ancient volcanoes, Montiferru was the largest. Today it is an immense basalt plateau furrowed by rushing waters, which on the border between Bonarcado and Santu Lussurgiu give way to the enchanting waterfall of sos Molinos. Underground currents rise to the surface in the hamlet of San Leonardo, within the forest of the same name, with the purest and most mineral-rich springs of Siete Fuentes. The waters of Montiferru also feed the Salighes stream, a quiet torrent that is the star of a phenomenon like no other in the world: it plunges directly into the sea from the cliffs of Cuglieri. The waterfall is called s'Istrampu de Capu Nieddu, a thunderous 40-metre drop that is even more impressive when heard from the sea. Further south, in the Medio Campidano, there is Mount Linas with the oldest rocks in Europe, a primordial land with few signs of human interference and populated by deer, foxes and wild boar. The peace of its forests is disturbed by the roar of three grandiose waterfalls: sa Spendula cuts through the forest like a blade, in the words of D'Annunzio, Piscina Irgas plunges 45 metres into a distinctive emerald-green lake and Muru Mannu, one of the highest in Sardinia, surrounded by a scenic amphitheatre
The Flumendosa rushes from the southern foothills of the Gennargentu. Still a stream, in the heart of the Barbagia di Seulo, it is fed by a dripping limestone wall, covered with maidenhair ferns, and forms small beaches and natural pools. It is the tropical landscape of sa Stiddiosa, more than a waterfall, a dense shower, a trickle whose name in Sardinian means 'dripping'. Not far away is another unusual waterfall, the san Valentino waterfall, which flows through the medieval village of Sadali. The romantic scenery continues in the nearby forest between the village and the nearby hamlet of Seulo, where a stream flows into the caves, creates a small lake and disappears into the valley after a 16-metre drop. This fairy-tale place is called su Stampu 'e su Turrunu. On the opposite side of the mountains, the Sarcidano stream forms the impetuous waterfalls of is Arinus in Nurallao and the elegant and monumental waterfalls of the Aymerich Park, a short walk from the historic centre of Laconi. Outside the village, the Bau Onu waterfalls cut through the Funtanamela forest, where wild horses have made their home.
On the eastern slopes of the Gennargentu, there are ever-changing water landscapes. Starting with the fresh water pools of Bau Mela, there is a harmonious series of small waterfalls and pools of crystal-clear water enclosed by smooth rocks and open towards the blue sky of Villanova Strisaili. And then there are the rushing waterfalls of the 'e Forru river, which plough through the deep gorge of Pirincanes and form pools and beaches downstream on the riverbed. Leaving Gennargentu behind, you will find the Tacchi d'Ogliastra in front of you. Here, the Niala forest shelters the swimming pool of su Tuvu Nieddu, a peaceful corner surrounded by towering, dripping rocks. Not far away, in the area of Ulassai, the island's most impressive waterfalls, Lequarci and Lecorci, 70 metres wide and dropping 100 metres, will take your breath away. It's time to head for the sea, where the last strip of Monteferru meets the marina of Gairo. Here the Piscina 'e Cerbu pool appears, surrounded by Mediterranean trees that shelter it from the sun. Just ten minutes from the beaches of Coccorocci and Su Sirboni, you will find yourself in a refreshing oasis of red porphyry pools and crystal-clear waters.
From the centre of Sardinia, the network of paths leads up to the peaks of the Limbara massif. On a clear day, you can see Tavolara and Lake Coghinas from up there, as far as the Maddalena archipelago and Asinara. These are popular paths for sportsmen and women, including hiking, trails, mountain biking and canyoning along streams that flow down into the valley through gorges and cliffs. On the Monti side they create the pools of s'Elighe, while the Pisciaroni stream, flowing through the gorge in the area of Tempio Pausania, gives rise to a series of small waterfalls and granite pools immersed in a forest of Mediterranean maquis. As we move closer to the coast, towards San Teodoro, we come to Monte Nieddu, a paradise for canyoneers who can follow the course of the Pitrisconi stream through gorges and thrilling drops. Not only are there routes for experts, some sections of the descent are ideal for those who want to experience the thrill of conquering the stream for the first time. If sport isn't your thing, there are plenty of natural pools where you can dive and swim, the most beautiful being Pitriolu.