It stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking one of the deepest canyons in Europe and, thanks to its light limestone blocks, it stands out in the heart of a dense forest. The nuraghe Mereu stands at a height of 835 metres on the Supramonte of Orgosolo. The inhabitants of this Barbagia village call it nuraghe intro ‘e padente, or ‘the nuraghe inside the wood’. The Mereu is, in fact, difficult to see if observed from below and from a distance, as it is surrounded by the forest of Montes. However, once you reach it, you will be able to admire a breathtaking landscape, especially the walls of the spectacular gorge of Gorropu to the north-east. Then, to the south, you can see the outlines of the Supramonte of Orgosolo and that of Urzulei.
The nuraghe, built entirely from limestone blocks found on site, has a complex structure, with a trilobate layout, a keep and two secondary towers connected by a curtain wall. Still standing are the main tower with a tholos roof, still intact and about five metres high, and the bastion on the west side. The original entrance was on the south side and led into a corridor that is still partly accessible and at the end of which there is a connecting room between the keep and one of the towers, now partially collapsed. The third tower, however, is now a ruin. The stairwell, to the left of the entrance and leading to the upper terrace, is also partially remaining. To the west of the fortress, you will notice several traces of the village huts, while, hidden inside the wood, there are a few Tombs of Giants, linked to the same settlement.
800 metres further on, heading north-east, you will reach the single-tower nuraghe Presethu Tortu, also known as nuraghe Gorropu due to its closeness to the gorge. It is also built in white limestone and is located on the edge of a rock wall, which conditioned its structure. On the east side you will notice a bastion more than three metres high, still in good condition, while the tower is currently six metres high. Like the Mereu, the Presethu Tortu is surrounded by traces of huts. The path between the two nuraghi crosses the dense forest, marked by stones purposely placed along the way. A visit to the two nuraghi ‘guarded’ by the forest of Montes will take you into the thousand-year-old wood of sas Baddes, one of the most ancient expanses of holm oaks in Europe, occupying a thousand hectares. A short distance away, a visit to the most famous natural monument, the gorge of Gorropu, on the border between the Barbagia area of Orgosolo and the Ogliastra area of Urzulei, is a must. The canyon with its majestic walls, a kilometre and a half long, was created by the patient erosion of the river Flumineddu, and it is a destination for trekking enthusiasts from all over the world.