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4. The Nuragic Village of Tiscali

4. The Nuragic Village of Tiscali

Oliena-Dorgali

The hike that takes place to reach the remains of the village of Tiscali is little more than a short walk… The context in which this excursion takes place, particularly wild and without signs, makes it all other than elementary – especially for those who are not used walking –  into an  impervious environment.

It is undoubtedly one of the best-known destinations of Sardinian hiking, but also one in which – perhaps due to too much improvisation – rescue workers must frequently mobilize to find missing excursionists.

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GENERAL ACCESS
From the Provincial Road 46 Oliena-Dorgali you exit at km 5.8 (about 5 km from Oliena and 14 km from Dorgali – signs for “Valle di Lanaitto”) to take the asphalt road that after 2.4 km ends in the parking karst springs of Su Gologone. Only 100 meters before you will have to take the right (still signs for “Località Turistica Lanaitto”).

This road will have to be followed for a long time, for a total of 8 km but, even leaving out the small secondary deviations, you will have to pay attention to some crossroads.

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ITINERARY
From the parking lot, several branches of the trail are all back on a dirt road slightly uphill (passable only by off-road) that you have to take on foot. This road climbs steadily, drawing some hairpin bends, with a prevalent south-west trend. In about 20 mins you arrive at a clearing where the road ends and you continue on the path again for about twenty minutes, until when, you must leave it to take on the left a trail of steep trail.

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Along this deviation, increasingly steep and bumpy, there are some red triangular trailers and others, faded, white/red. At the top of the climb you get close to a rocky wall where, following the signs and the path now more evident, you go through a narrow crack.
Legend has it that this narrow passage was a defensive access to the ancient village of Tiscali, which could thus be protected with few men.

Beyond the break, continue on a fairly wide rocky ramp that now heads north. At about 1h30 minutes from the start the trail passes on the edge of the dolina that houses the village of Tiscali.

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DOWNHILL
To return without having to retrace the same path done uphill you can opt for a variant that passes the ridge (Curtigia di Tiscali) on the opposite side. Therefore, after visiting the village once you have succeeded from the sinkhole, continue north-east for less than a hundred meters, until you find a trail that draws a narrow hairpin bend and descends steeply south-east.

After about twenty minutes of descent, you come across a first junction where the right deviation is omitted (in fact it is scarcely visible, at an altitude of 305 m) to continue descending towards the deep valley of Doloverre di Surtana.

Once you have reached the valley, near a large open space, you will miss a detour to the right to take the path that continues to the left to the north.

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The mule track, initially very clear and in an excellent state of preservation, becomes more and more ruined, so much so that it often has to walk in the dry riverbed. Always following the only evident trail you get to where the high walls of the valley end and where the path, now become a dirt road, changes orientation and turns left, towards the south-west. From here just continue along the road for the last 500 meters until returning to the car.

NOTE
The village of Tiscali was probably built during the final Nuragic era and in it there are clearly two different complexes: one consisting mainly of circular-shaped huts and another whose bases are quadrangular. The latter show that the village was also used in a later period, probably up to the High Middle Ages. Its particular location and dripping water collection systems suggest that the inhabitants could take refuge inside it for long periods of time and that this site may have represented the extreme defensive bulwark against invaders raids in Roman times.