A panoramic road from the historical centre of the town of Orroli, that then looks out over it and leads to two ‘memory trails’, will take you back in time to the archaeological and botanical park known as su Motti. The trail that goes off to the left is an easy walk leading to the area of the stone domus de Janas chamber (homes of fairies) while the one leading to the right will take you to the Taccu Idda high plain to gaze out over breathtaking views. The woods are comprised of centuries-old oak trees and thick Mediterranean brush graced with the distinct fragrance of mastic and rockroses. Traces of man’s settlement here date to the Neolithic Era (3800 BCE) and it is dotted with massive basaltic boulders spewed out by nearby monte Pitziogu, a volcano that last erupted during the Quaternary Era.
In the surrounding park you will find a few single-tower nuraghes and an underground necropolis that is home to some fifteen stone domus di Janas chambers, pre-Nuragic tombs cut into the rocky face of sa Carona Arrubia and in great basaltic boulders. Some fabulous legends surround the huge masses, like the one about the terrible giant Impolla, a local symbol. The legends were handed down word of mouth over generations and imbue these prehistoric remains with a mysterious aura. Su Motti is an open-air museum that also has roots in XIX century history, when parcels of land were allotted and dry walls of basaltic rock went up to create is tancas, enclosed lots of land. The walls bear witness to the age of private property. The fencing in of the land was sanctioned in 1823 and lead to class conflicts between farmers and shepherds as herds had always gone to pasture on the open fields, considered the property of the entire community. Don’t miss the chance to see the sa Ucca Manna (large mouth) cave where the water from nearby streams and rivers converges. The grotto is full of long, intact stalactites. You can start off from Orroli to go on walks in nature and to see sites, go on a boating excursion on Lake Flumendosa and hiking to the unique five-tower Arrubiu nuraghe, covered in a fine mantle of red lichen, go to Sadali and stroll through its historic centre after stopping in at the casa museo di zia Carmela, see the water mill, the San Valentino waterfall and the Is Janas caves, steeped in legends featuring witches and fairies who remain petrified within. Take a trip to the valle dei nuraghi of Isili, to San Sebastiano lake to see the eponymous church that sits on an island at its centre, and walk in the woods surrounding Santa Sofia and Villanova Tulo.