On the Gennargentu by Train
By Trenino Verde (Green Train) from Arbatax to Gairo Taquisara
The Little Green Train leaves, crossing Ogliastra and reaching Gennargentu. You will travel aboard the 1956 V2D passenger coaches, pulled by the 1956 diesel locomotive, restored and brought back to its former glory. The famous writer and poet D.H. Lawrence, with his wife Frieda, chose this way of discovering Sardinia, and then wrote about it in the famous book "Sea and Sardinia". At 08:30, you will meet your Tourist Guide, directly in front of the Little Green Train parked on the Arbatax platform.
You will travel across the flat territories of Tortolì, the ancient capital of the Marquisate of Quirra. Once at the Elini station (+/- 10:30), during a quick stop you will be able to visit the Cathedral of Martyr Saint Gavinus or, if desired, make breakfast at the bar. Once you will leave, your mountain climbing will continue.
The vegetation will become thicker and then Lanusei, will appear in front of you. It was the smallest provincial capital in Italy but it is, still today, an important center for the territory. We will continue along the territory of Arzana, a luxuriant wooded area that reaches the Gennargentu.
You will then reach the valley of the Flumendosa, the second longest river on the island, and then will arrive at Villagrande station (11.50).
Here you will leave the Little Green Train to admire the Gennargentu. A short walk to the river, then through sheepfolds, goatfolds, pigsties and wild horse and donkey ranches, will give you a unique contact with nature. Here we will stop for the lunch break with tasting of local food and wine. In the early afternoon a bus for you will allow the Tourist Guide to take you close to the barren and austere Gennargentu Massif, along the shores of Lake Bau Muggeris (Alto Flumendosa), with the coniferous woods that carachterize the mountain environment. After this photographic stopover, the bus will take you to the mountains of the high Ogliastra, with virgin forests that cover the valleys and the slopes from which white limestone cliffs stand out: “Tacchi”.
"Perd’e Liana" will be there, a stone's throw away, as iconic as ever. Gairo Vecchia and Gairo Sant’Elena above, suddenly emerge at the bottom of the valley. Thus, we will enter to the great canyon of Taquisara (a hamlet of Gairo) from above. After leaving the bus, you will take a short guided walk in the village, among some murals and the illustrative panels of the "abandonment" route, and then you will reach the old Gairo Scalo station.
At 16:15 you will leave again by the Little Green Train, along the railway that in 40 minutes takes you to “Villagrande” station, where you got off in the morning. The journey continues on the route traveled in the morning, but the opposite direction and the different sunlight will offer you new views and impressions. Like the view from above of the great valley that slopes down to the sea: the Gulf of Arbatax. After crossing the Wood of Selene you will reach Lanusei, the cultural capital of this area (Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Civic Museum, the Diocesan Museum). Here the stopover of about 15 minutes will allow you to take a walk or a snack at the bar. We will leave calmly and we will arrive in Arbatax at 19:45.