Green Train, Art & Wine
in the Trenino Verde (Green Train) from Arbatax to Gairo Taquisara
The Arbatax - GairoTaquisara route and the foothills area of Ogliastra, among Cannonau vineyards, modern art and ghost towns. Unique and famous places, but always authentic. A full day, that will fly lightly and will give you many ideas and many good memories. You will travel aboard the 1956 V2D passenger coaches, pulled by the 1956 diesel locomotive, restored and brought back to its former glory. You will meet your Tourist Guide, directly in front of the Little Green Train parked on the little station. You will travel across the flat territories of Tortolì, the ancient capital of the Marquisate of Quirra. Once at the Elini station, the quick stop will allow you to discover some of its secrets or, if you wish, to have breakfast at the bar. By 10:40, we will arrive by train in Lanusei.
Here we will let the Green Traingo but we will catch it back at the end of the line in the afternoon. After we will have discovered and enjoyed the Ogliastra foothills area, we will take the train back at the canyon in which Gairo Taquisara is located. We will cover the entire line by train towards the valley. In Lanusei we will walk through the alleys of the most important village of these mountains, through its historic center made of stone, adorned with some splendid murals. The panoramic view over the valley sloping down to the sea, while tasting a delicious homemade ice cream (included), will be even more enjoyable. We will let you discover unforgettable places along the line. A travel of about 30 minutes by bus will allow you to admire the landscape between the Ogliastra crops. Through valleys formerly terraced to host olive groves and vineyards, wheat and orchards, we will arrive at the next stop for some food and wine insights.
We will be in Jerzu, realm of Cannonau, king of all Sardinian vines, certainly the best known in the world. The small family-run winery is outside the town. It will awaits us with its authentic tradition and expertise, we will visit the production and the storage areas of wine, built inside the vineyard, which slopes around them, with a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys. The visit to the vineyard will allow us to appreciate "details that are substance", in order to get from nature everything that will delight us during the tasting (around 12:30), a mix of typical products accompanied by four different homemade wines. In short, it’s time to put theory into practice!
After lunch, with a short bus ride we will reach the Little green train which will awaits us at the end of the line. But first, we will make two more must-see stops, in the Ogliastra discovery. Still vineyards on which to talk about cultivation and production and then reach the “Stazione dell’Arte” ("Station of Art") in Ulassai. This famous contemporary art museum is dedicated to the work of the Ogliastra-born Maria Lai and housed in the rooms of the former railway station, which is no longer in service and it’s located downstream of the town.
In addition to the external exhibitions, on the green and panoramic garden, you can ask to make a short (the train awaits us!) visit of the exhibitions kept inside the two buildings (optional, with ticket purchase on site). After leaving by bus, we will briefly stop at the "ghost town" of Osini "Vecchio" (Old), gradually abandoned after the flood of 1951, like the nearby town Gairo. "Vecchio". Centenary villages that, with the weather conditions change, turned out to be "fragile blade of straw” over large moving landslides.
A few bends uphill and here we will be (approx 15:30) at the limestone valley of Gairo Taquisara. A short walk to reach the little train will allow us to admire this singular mountain hamlet, in a wild environment, with plenty of caves and karst water springs. The whole way back will be aboard the Little Green Train for the entire route (Gairo T. - Arbatax), travelling the way we left in the morning and seeing the one already traveled, but with different lights and view of the sea at the horizon. Starting at 16.15, in 40 minutes we will have travelled along the track of the upper Ogliastra, between limestone hills, overhanging on the side of the tracks. The “Villagrande” station emerges on the plateau, with the Gennargentu mountain in the background and the Bau Muggeris Lake (Alto Flumendosa) downstream, surrounded by characteristic wild farms. We will cross the Bosco Selene (Selene Wood) and we will be back in Lanusei, with an magnificent view of the Ogliastra region below, a magical land. Here we will stop briefly (approx. 15 minutes) for a walk or a snack at the bar.
We will leave in relax, arriving, as scheduled, in Elini at 18:00, in Tortolì at 19:15 and in Arbatax at 19:45, travelling with a different light, getting gradually closer to the sea at the end of the valley.
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