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Listen to the stars


Il percorso verso il Sardinia Radio Telescope

Motorbike tour route info

  • Level: challenging
  • Km: 260 ca
  • Track: on road

A nocturnal spectacle

At night, on the beach, far from the intrusion of artificial light, just a few steps from the hotel, it is possible to enjoy one of the most beautiful spectacles that nature can offer: an immense starry sky.

On nights when the moon is absent and the stars shine brighter, it is even easier to identify the different constellations and, if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of some stars breaking through our atmosphere.

While you scan the sky upside down and draw shapes in your imagination, a few kilometers away in San Basilio, in central Sardinia, there are those who listen to the stars.

One of the most important stops on this itinerary is at the foot of Europe's largest radio telescope, over 60 meters high.

There are more than 250 kilometers of this route, which, unlike the others, has the shape of an irregular ring.

The journey begins

The route begins in the Ogliastra Valley and, as always, our point of reference is the Baja Azzurra, from where we climb towards Loceri and Lanusei and then towards Gairo.

Just when the climb seems to have come to an end, it resumes between bends and hairpin bends to reach Ussassai and Seui.

In Seui, in particular, it is possible to visit the Spanish Prison Museum, located in the center of the town, which was in use until 1975, with very few changes from the past. A visit to the building will give you an idea of the living conditions of the prisoners: the windowless cells, the lack of flooring and other shortcomings give you an idea of how difficult it must have been to survive a long imprisonment. The marks left on the walls by the prisoners bear witness to the hardships of imprisonment.

A few kilometers further on, we arrive at Sadali, a small town that offers a unique sight: in the centre of the town you can admire the San Valentino waterfall.

The river route

The road continues towards the Flumendosa and Mulargia lakes. We skirt the former for a long stretch before crossing it to reach the shores of Lake Mulargia. Its beauty lies in the presence of numerous small islands that emerge and form when the water level rises seasonally.

Taccu, Nurri, Orroli and then Donigale and Donigala Sirigu are the centres that mark the rhythm of our crossing. The last village before the radio telescope is Silius. We cross its narrow, steep streets, as is traditional in mountain villages, and once outside, the plain where the Sardinia Radio Telescope is located opens up before us.

It is only in its presence that its true dimensions, accentuated by the plain, become apparent. Not far away is the building that houses the workshops, and this is where the guided tours start on Fridays.

The return

From here it is a long descent along the east coast of the island. We arrive at Villaputzu, where we stop for lunch. Villaputzu offers a wide choice of restaurants. It is easy to find restaurants specialising in land food and, being a fishing centre, there is no shortage of places specialising in seafood.

Our return is all on the old 125. There are 70 kilometres of fun separating us from the Bari Sardo marina, about an hour's walk before we reach our well-deserved rest at the hotel.

The itineraries have been drawn up thanks to the collaboration of the Chena Cabu Motorcycle Club, which tested the routes and drew up the maps.


Listen to the stars

The route to the Sardinia Radio Telescope Info Track A nocturnal spectacle At night, on the beach, far from the intrusiveness of artificial light, a few steps from the hotel


Ghost places

Itinerary Destination Gairo Vecchio The itinerary starts from the Baja Azzurra, we leave behind the Marina di Bari Sardo.After a short stretch on the old