I have talked about this before but I am not sure it reached as many ears as I would have liked. It sometimes feels like we are living in a beautiful, even stunning, but unknown world. How come? Well, Sardegna seems to be only visited in the summer, when the sun is scorching the earth turning her fields into patches of vibrant yellow. Water is scarce as the rivers dry up and the lakes lend their volume to the farmers in the south. People bake themselves golden brown at the crowded beaches, cooling themselves in the clear turquoise waters of the sea. They prowl over the full boulevards to hunt for souvenirs at the many market stalls. Often, the heat is too obvious, too apparent, to do anything but go to the beach.
I am not saying summer in Sardegna isn’t fun or worth experiencing. On the contrary, I completely understand the pull this island has to those who live in other cultures and colder climates. I also understand that visiting another country during the year isn’t possible for everyone. But for those who can travel outside this season, for those who are capable of taking a break in other parts of the year, I need to speak up!
Sardegna is like a well kept secret. Outside of the high season her beaches are almost empty, while the sun still caresses the island and offers her warmth, while the sea still glows after being heated up so many weeks. You can camp almost everywhere with a little tent or camper van. You will be able to actually undertake little trips around the island without melting. Visiting waterfalls, canyons, churches and archeological mysteries. You will be able to go on a hike through forests full with wildlife, a bike tour along nearly empty roads unwinding their way through the landscape. There are festivities and festivals all year long, with traditional clothing, dancing and singing, lots of homemade wines and gourmet foods and the exceptional masks and costumes of the mythical Sardinian beasts.
Visiting Sardegna in autumn means witnessing the awakening of nature, after the long dry summer months. Sardegna will be mostly green during the winter, offering beautiful scenarios full of life, enjoyable temperatures and the sun as a loyal companion. It is possible to visit the uncrowded beaches and sunbath until the beginning of November, with the temperature of the water slowly lowering from the 25° C of the summer till the 15° of the winter.
Autumn and spring are the best seasons to practice outdoor sports. The wind and the swells are consistent, and the sun gives a rest to rock climbers, permitting to climb the otherwise too hot spots (like Castello di Medusa in Samugheo). Trekking’s are also more pleasurable during these seasons, and reaching cala Goloritzè, the canyon of Gorropu or the ancient hidden village of Tiscali are much more fun in these more comfortable seasons.
As the first rains fall, water streams become more consistent. This enlivens the waterfalls and rivers (Sos Molinos, sa Stiddiosa, ecc…) and makes them even more attractive. The hot springs of the village Fordongianus are well worth the visit when the temperatures drop a little and the nights get cooler. The hot water meets the fresh water of the river where it is possible to create little pools of relaxation by placing the river stones just the way it suits you best.
Autumn is the month of the grape harvest, and there are many festivals that celebrate this distinctive and ancient fermented fruit juice, usually accompanied by regional and seasonal products. Autumn in Barbagia is a series of festivities in the heart of Sardegna. Every week, more than 30 villages open their doors to visitors, offering delicacies, showing their traditions and costumes. Cheese, wine, bread and sweets are the protagonists of these lively events. But as the traditions in Sardegna are kept alive, there will be plenty of authentic music, singing and dancing as well.
And last but not least, autumn is also the time for mushroom hunting! There are so many tasty edible mushrooms to be found in the forests around Sorradile. The most wanted one being the porcini, a wide stemmed mushroom with a round cap that has white or yellow spores. My goodness, this mushroom is a tasty one! And to be able to go out and find them yourself and prepare them for lunch is a rewarding and satisfying experience. We often go out by ourselves to hunt these fungi friends but there are several expeditions around this time that you can sign up for that bring a mushroom expert along and prepare the lunch for you.