It is the most spectacular canyon in Europe and it is also one of the deepest: while driving down the eastern coast of Sardinia, you really must stop to visit it. Gorropu (or Gorroppu) is a gorge, created from erosion and located in the Supramonte area, between the territories of Orgosolo (Nuoro) and Urzulei (Ogliastra). It has been shaped over time by the force of the Rio Flumineddu rivulet that flows along its bed, at a depth of 500 metres. The width of the gorge varies from a few dozen metres to just four meters. You can reach it, departing from the Gorropu base camp, on the promontory of Su Cungiadeddu (altitude of 830 metres): in five minutes, you will be at the Genna Sìlana pass. From here, you can admire a unique landscape: from the Supramonte areas of Urzulei, Orgosolo, Oliena and Dorgali to Gennargentu and, on clear days, as far as Baronìa. It is the wildest territory on the Island: if you want to tackle its trails, place your trust in local hiking companies and equip yourself with technical equipment. The landscape is marked with long còdule - limestone gullies that sometimes stretch to the sea - narrow gorges and deep sinkholes, caves and ponors, cliff faces and peaks of over a thousand metres high. The area is covered with spectacular juniper trees, thousand-year-old yew trees, holm oak forests and Mediterranean species (among which oleanders and broom), is the habitat of typical Sardinian wildlife, like the golden eagle and the mouflon. There are also prehistoric remains: Nuragic villages and towers and Tombs of Giants, which blend into the environment and are positioned to watch over the territory.
You can reach the gorge along the Sedda ar Baccas-Gorroputrekking trail 'for experts', which is twelve kilometres long (in approximately three hours). Alternatively, you can leave Dorgali, crossing the valley of Oddoene (by car) until you reach the s'Abba Arvabridge and, from here, you can continue on foot for two hours, along a stretch of the Flumineddu river and the southeastern side of Mount Oddeu. These territories were the place of Sardinian resistance for centuries: the rulers had a difficult time here, as this was the area most hostile to Roman militia (Cicero's montes insani). The unusual nature of the place has generated legends: one tells us that, from the narrowest point of the gorge, where the vertical rock faces are over 450 metres high, you could see the stars in broad daylight. Or, it is said that the magical flowers of the 'male fern' bloom by night: only the bravest and greatest experts can pick them.