Total immersion in the purest and wildest nature, in a fairy-tale mountain landscape along the slopes of an imposing elevation. The forest complex of Monte Lerno, which is regional state property, extends for more than 2800 hectares in the territory of Pattada, at a height starting from 400 metres above sea level up to Punta Campanile, the summit of the mountain, at 1093 metres. Holm oak woods dominate this place, but there are also cork oaks competing with them, from which excellent quality cork is obtained, like in the locality of Trataxis. Entering the forest, you will also find downy oaks, holly plants, junipers and yews, while heather, strawberry trees, phillyrea and cistus are found in the thick undergrowth. The forest has been repopulated with protected species and, if you’re lucky, you will be able to admire the Sardinian deer and the mouflon, as well as a multitude of wild boar and hares.
In the artificial lakes of sa Pedrosa, sa Jone and sos Vanzos, you can admire colonies of mallards, while the golden eagle nests on the granite peak of the massif and you might also be surprised by hawks, sparrowhawks and goshawks flying overhead. Thanks to the patrimony of plant life and wildlife, the forest is a favourite destination for hikers and nature photographers, who also explore the area around Lake Lerno, an artificial basin at the base of the mountain. From here, you can take various paths on foot, by bike or on horseback. In the locality of Iscialzos, a convenient resting and picnic area has been set up.
On the shores of the lake, you can combine nature with archaeology. The nuraghe complex of the same name is here, built with granite blocks and consisting of a central tower and two secondary towers connected by a bastion. The keep still has its tholos roof, while the ruins of other adjacent buildings date back to the Byzantine age. Nearby, you will also see the remains of a medieval church, belonging to the village of Lerron that no longer exists and that gave the mountain its name.
Monte Lerno is a name also known to motor enthusiasts: it is one of the stages of the Rally Italia Sardegna, considered one of the most captivating, thanks to the hairpin bends and jumps: the spectacular Micky’s Jump, the photographers’ favourite as the cars pass by, has become the iconic image of the world rally. Lastly, a visit to the centre of Pattada is a must, to discover its artisan and food and wine traditions: the town is famous for its resolza pattadesa, a switchblade knife with a steel blade and mouflon horn handle and for its wooden objects, as well as its cheeses, pastas, breads and cakes.