Quiet and barren granite hills shaped over centuries by the wind and rain, valleys full of oak trees that cut the horizon, and streams that come together into pools and ponds. That is the gorgeous scenario of punta Senalonga, a promontory that dominates the high plain of Buddusò, home to a splendid example of a Nuragic sanctuary, the sos Nurattolos. This most remarkable archaeological treasure, located in the Alà dei Sardi region, is dedicated to water worship and was discovered in the second half of the XX century. It dates to between 1600 and 900 BC. To get to it you have to pass through the little ‘granite’ town on the border between Gallura and the Nuoro region. After parking your car, walk along a trail of steps and pebbles that leads up into the lush vegetation and to the summit at Senalonga, a thousand metre peak where the beauty of nature gives way to the precious prehistoric remains. The signs of the passage of Nuragic man are at the top: a sacred well inside an irregular courtyard where a circular hut, most likely used for rites and rituals, covers the well of the perennial spring that allowed pilgrims to seek purification. You can continue along the sacred trail after a dip to explore an ‘a megaron’ temple surrounded by a spiral enclosure. The building is made up of two concentric circular rooms. It is a characteristic and mysterious place which probably held animals soon to be sacrificed or where oracles were consulted. The rituals were perhaps aimed at a divinity that dispensed life from the bowels of the earth. The Nuragic peoples turned to this divinity to plead for health and fertility. A bit further on you will see another large hut, circular and with an entrance area and room. It seems to have been a public space, a meeting hut typical of many Nuragic villages. Pilgrims will have stopped here to consult with the priests about matters that concerned him.

From the sos Nurattolos hilltop you can enjoy a vast panorama and head down into the valley where there is the Boddò nuraghe and a Nuragic village known as su Pedrighinosu. A place where ancient remains blend seamlessly with nature, like the Fossu Malu falls. Not far away you’ll see the flat gravel roads of Alà, where every year they do test runs for the Rally d’Italia Sardegna, a leg of the WRC.