It’s hard to say which is more thrilling: the trail to reach it or actually seeing it once you get there. What is sure, however, is that to ‘conquer’ it you’ll enjoy an experience you’ll not soon forget. Piscina Irgas is one of three majestic waterfalls that furrow the granite rock faces at parco di Monte Linas – Oridda – Marganai, one of which, together with sa Spendula, lies within the borders of Villacidro, while the third, the highest, Muru Mannu, falls within the domain of Gonnosfanadiga. The waterfall is a preferred destination of enthusiasts of a variety of sports: hiking, canyoning and mountain biking, and it can be reached from diverse starting points.
Hikers generally set off at the entrance ‘gate’ of the Montimannu forest, some 15km from Villacidro, or from sa Duchessa, in the area of Domusnovas. The first trail bears the red/white banner marking CAI 113, which you’ll see all along the route. You’ll walk through an oak forest and cross to the other side of the Cannisoni river over a metal bridge, then hike up to the belvedere, at an altitude of some 600 mt. From here you can see Piscina Irgas from above in all its glory, not to mention the mountains of the Marganai massif and, further down, the gorge carved by the Oridda river. The walk continues downhill from here to the base of the waterfall not far away. The 45mt leap of the waterfall splashes into a lovely little emerald-green lake. The second trail passes through abandoned mining areas, towards the Oridda Valley, partly following – in the opposite direction – a section of route 11 of the Cammino minerario di Santa Barbara. An upwards section along the left bank of the Oridda river will take you to the top and another panoramic vista point, from which you can view, and hear, the waterfall from above. The trail, which is also marked with small stone figurines, will lead you down to the base of the fall. You can walk both trails – one going, the other returning – to create a 10km long ring walk.
Piscina Irgas, one of the first of Sardinia’s cascades to be equipped for canyoning, is now a favourite of those practising that sport, nestled in a gorgeous setting and blessed with plenty of fresh water. The route continues beyond the waterfall with fun smaller drops and pools. Mountain bike enthusiasts can set off along a trail which goes westward from the Campu s’Isca forest nursery to Bega Trotta point, and then northwards along the Oridda plains, and from there to the Piscina Irgas belvedere, then downwards along the Leni river back to the trailhead. The initial portion of the 113 CAI trail coincides with the route to get to Muru Mannu, which, with its 70mt drop, is Sardinia’s tallest waterfall! Closer to the village of Villacidro, and easy to reach, is sa Spendula, surrounded by a lovely park.