Nestled in the Cedrino valley, surrounded by a landscape of gently rolling verdant hills cut through by streams and brooks, with a height of 860 m above sea level at the granite summit of monte Senes. Irgoli counts over 2,000 inhabitants and is known for its fine cured meats and quality cheese, for its craftsmanship with wood, iron and ceramics. The streets of town are decorated with wall paintings, murales, that tell of rural life and passion for music. Since 1986, every August they hold the festival dell’organetto (accordion festival), an international ethnic music event, and all year round a collection of some 120 bellow instruments are on display. The little parish church of San Nicola has, since 1500, housed a reliquary containing a thorn from the crown of Jesus. It is around this relic that Easter Week celebrations revolve. Several of the country churches were built on Nuragic Era remains: Sant’Antioco over a nuraghe, and the XIII century Santu Miali over a giant tomb, whose great stone slab was put to use as the main altar.
Part of Monte Albo, known as the Sardinian Dolomites for its steep white walls, gorges and grottoes – which served as prehistoric dwellings - belongs to Irgoli. Hiking trails lead to the top through woods that thin out all the way to the white peak, sos Aspros. The mountain is a fauna oasis and home to the European mouflon, as well as a hunting ground for the Royal Eagle. Along the trail you’ll come across sos pinnettos, circular stone and wood huts used by shepherds. Don’t miss the chance to walk in the centuries-old oak woods of Talachè. Nearby, on the slope of Mt Senes, is the Janna ‘e Pruna complex that dates to the late Bronze and early Iron Age (XII-IX century BCE). You’ll see a temple with a sub-rectangular atrium and circular cell, perhaps originally covered by a fake dome. Around it is a temenos (sacred enclosure) which is itself surrounded by a stone wall. 200 metres further on, at 500 m above sea level, is a sacred spring that dates to the same era, s’Untana ‘e su Zigante, an architectural gem built on a basalt blocks, a temple of water worship. The green mantle of Senes also includes the su Notante nuraghe and springs, dating to the Late Bronze Age (XII-X BCE). A portion of the façade (a facing used on the rocks) and the catchment well, complete with entrance, roof and basin still exist. There is even a stretch of a sturdy terracing wall. In nearby Ortola are the remains of the Tutturu nuraghe, rocks in natural, human and animal shapes, like sa Conca ‘e Caddu (horse head), and traces from the late Neolithic: domu de Janas at Conca ‘e mortu, a skull-shaped granite structure with two connecting rooms. The votive offerings of Janna ‘e Pruna and su Notante, utensils, vases, bricks, fusion forms, fusaroles, loom weights, necklaces, brooches and bracelets, a pintadera, a little basalt model of a nuraghe and items that came from other sites around Irgoli are all on display at the Antiquarium, in what used to be city hall.