The Trenino Verde allows you to discover the wild heart of Sardinia without haste
In 1921, even the famous writer and poet D.H. Lawrence traveled with this train. The experience then inspired his work “Sea and Sardinia”
Sardinia is the perfect destination to live a sustainable and responsible slow tourism experience. After all, Nature is the undisputed ruler of the island and every panorama, from the crystalline sea to the mountain ranges, deserves time to be fully enjoyed.
Of all the possible slow tourism experiences in Sardinia, a trip on the Trenino Verde is definitely one of the most fascinating.
Discovering the Trenino Verde
The Trenino Verde (lit.: the little green train) is so called for two reasons.
First of all, the small size. The train moves along an ancient narrow-gauge railway line which is the longest in Europe (437 km).
Then, it connects almost all the Sardinian regions, crossing mountains, valleys, villages, lakes and an infinite number of unforgettable landscapes. It is definitely a trip into the greenery!
Moreover, the train itself has a certain charm. The furnishings of yesteryear and the small stations make a journey on the Trenino Verde a time travel into the past. The locomotives reinforce this feeling. Usually the train is pulled by diesel locomotives but there is also a steam one, which however is not used in the summer to prevent wildfires
After all, the Trenino Verde travels all year round, even if the routes are better in summer.
Here are some of the routes of the Trenino Verde in Sardinia.
– Mandas – Arise
In the central area of Sardinia, near Barbagia, is the Sarcidano plateau. The Trenino Verde initially crosses an enchanting submontane landscape and then reaches the Isili station. Nearby is the Nuraghe Is Paras, the remains of the ancient Nuragic civilization.
Then, the journey touches the Lake of Is Barroccus, which islands are the tops of submerged hills. On one of these, is the rural church of St. Sebastian, reachable only by boat.
Finally, the train reaches Laconi, where is the Aimerych Park with the waterfalls, the pond, and the remains of the castle of the ancient owner family.
– Mandas – Seui
The journey starts in the hillside and heads toward the Ogliastra mountains. The train crosses the splendid Garullo valley and the Flumendosa Lake. It also passes over suggestive bridges and through centuries-old tunnels. The presence, along the route, of the archaeological mining area of Fund’è Corongiu is noteworthy.
– Laconi – Arise
In the center of Sardinia is the hilly region of Mandrolisai, famous for the wine production.
The little green train crosses lush valleys, woods and the archaeological park of Biru ‘e Concas (lit.: path of the heads). This park hosts about 200 menhirs that once formed a semicircle. For this reason, it is compared to Stonehenge, which was, moreover, built in the same era.
– Arbatax – Gairo Taquisara
The Trenino Verde heads toward the Gennargentu massif. The train crosses the flat area of Tortolì and reaches Lanusei. Until a few years ago, this town was the smallest provincial capital in Italy, with only 5400 inhabitants. The journey then crosses the wooded area of Arzana and the valley of the Flumendosa river, the second longest in Sardinia. And the Gennargentu is always there in the distance.
– Palau – Tempio Pausania
This is the route to discover Gallura, the region to the north east of Sardinia. The train crosses the archaeological area of Coddu Vecchiu-La Prisgiona and Lake Liscia. Finally, shortly after Arzachena, the view opens onto the sea and the La Maddalena Archipelago.
Why explore Sardinia with the Trenino Verde
First of all, the Trenino Verde allows you to discover an unusual Sardinia. It is something different from the typical white beaches that made the island famous, but equally enchanting. Indeed, the hinterland is often excluded from the main tourist routes. Still, its beauty is evident.
Then, the train proceeds at only 20 km per hour. This slowness, together with the lack of telephone and internet coverage for most of the routes, makes it necessary to take the journey without haste.
You can regain your time, the pleasure of chatting with other passengers and admiring the views down to the smallest detail. In addition, the trips are often accompanied by tourist guides who can tell you all the wonders of the territory.
Lastly, it is a trip suitable for everyone, even for children. You can choose short routes, lasting up to an hour and a half, or more demanding trips. In addition, you don’t have to do the round-trip by train: you can use the bus to travel back.