The Parco Regionale dei Sette Fratelli is one of the largest wildlife oases in Sardinia, with almost 60 thousand hectares, of which 10 thousand hectares are covered with forest. It is in the southeast of the region, less than 40km from Cagliari and is an ideal place for relaxing walks surrounded by amazing nature or, for the more active, for challenging hikes or mountain bike trails on dirt roads and mountain trails. The park covers the surface of eight municipalities, but the village of Burcei is the only town within the area.
The park takes its name from the mountain massif that dominates it, on which rise seven granite peaks that reach 1100 meters above sea level. The highest is Mount Serpeddì. From the top of the massif, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Golfo degli Angeli which is quite spectacular at sunset.
The king of the park: the Sardinian deer
The Parco Dei Sette Fratelli is the natural habitat of the Sardinian deer, a subspecies of the European deer that has adapted its morphological characteristics to the specific environmental conditions of the island. The Sardinian deer is one of the natural attractions of the wildlife oasis because it is one of the very few areas where you can observe it in its natural environment. It is slightly smaller than its continental cousin, its coat changes colour with the seasons (reddish in summer and tending to grey in winter) and is easily recognizable by a black stripe from the head that runs along the back up to the tail. According to a recent census of the chiefs, today only about 4000 of them survive and is therefore considered as an endangered species.
The deer, however, is not the only inhabitant of the area: in the forests of the Parco Dei Sette Fratelli, you can see wild boar, mouflon and wild cats.
The botanical garden of Maidopis
A botanical garden was built in Maidopis where all the plant species that live in the area are represented along an educational path designed to be enjoyed by the blind: is equipped with a handrail to guide the visitor along the route adorned with tactile panels and experiences. The garden of Maidopis is also an ideal area to stop during your walks: you can rest or have a picnic on the tables in the shade and, if you are lucky, spot some deer. For a relaxing walk, you can follow the path Nature Trail that runs along the perimeter of a fence of deer repopulation near the garden.
Not only nature: the Parco Dei Sette Fratelli is also of archaeological interest
In the Parco Dei Sette Fratelli, there are several archaeological sites. The nuraghe Sa Fraigada are of particular interest, located near the top of Monte Cresia, with a mono-tower structure that was originally rather imposing and built with large boulders. The building has partially collapsed, so it is difficult to reconstruct the planimetric structure, but what remains of the tower, which has a residual height of about 4 meters, conveys a charm thanks to its wild setting. In the park, there are also other archaeological sites, such as the Tomba Dei Giganti, a burial area probably dating back to the fourteenth century BC, and some caves used as shelter and dwellings in the Neolithic era.
Trails and walks in the park
There are several paths in the park marked and indicated with signs. The resort Maidopis is a good starting point for a relaxing walk. The marked paths are marked with numbers (from path 1 to path 8) and with different colours. Most of the routes are suitable for everyone, do not have significant differences in level and aren’t difficult. For the more experienced and above all more trained wanting to try out a challenging path, there is the Italy Path, which has a track of about 24 km with numerous climbs recently rearranged and with renewed signs.
Sport for the more adventurous
The Parco Dei Sette Fratelli is a particularly interesting destination for mountain bikers. There are many trails and dirt roads in the forest and on the slopes of the mountain massif. They do not generally present high technical difficulties and are accessible to cyclists of all levels, but guarantee great fun and contact with unspoiled nature.
The towers of the massif are also used by lovers of sport climbing who find on the granite of these cliffs a challenging rock gym: the cliffs of Becco dell’Aquila and the imposing wall that climbers have christened Asgard Tower, which has a smooth surface and few holds and presents high-grade technical difficulties, are quite popular.