All the Via Ferratas in Sardinia

Via Ferratas have recently become "a thing per-se" and their number is increasing every year. Separated from their original link to the Italian and Austrian Alps, Via Ferratas keep cropping up, either to overcome difficult passages on trekking or just to enjoy spectacular scenarios.

In Sardinia alone we can currently count 7 "panoramic" Via Ferratas and 3 more "overcoming" ones. The Via Ferratas in north Sardinia, such as the Via Ferrata del Cabirol, the Via Ferrata di Giorre, the Via Ferrata della Regina and the Via Ferrata degli Angeli are nice and relatively easy routes anyone can enjoy. Their location is always a striking crag with a picturesque vie either on the sea or a valley below.

Via Ferratas Profiles

Via Ferratas Interactive Map

BIG WARNING though. In order to go on any Via Ferrata you must possess all the necessary equipment (harness, helmet and a Via Ferrata Set) and know well how to use it. Please do not improvise. The slightest accident or inattention could lead to death. There are many Guide Alpine and local associations that offer their professional knowledge in guiding novices to enjoy in total safety these beautiful routes.

Via Ferrata del Cabirol

Via Ferrata del Cabirol. Alghero
The Via Ferrata del Cabirol is probably the most beautiful and popular in Sardinia. It was created single-handed by Corrado Conca from 2002, who lately modified and added more equipment. The Via Ferrata del Cabirol is located on the west-facing crag in Capo Caccia and runs along some natural ledges overlooking the sea and the rocks below.

To access the Via Ferrata del Cabirol it takes a 15 minutes walk from the parking spot and it is easy enough to be enjoyed by anyone in a good physical and mental shape. The Ferrata runs on two parallel horizontal ledges for about 200 meters,  requiring a 25 meters protected climb to pass from one to the other. It can be started from either the lower or the higher ledge, making it probably easier for novices to climb -rather than down climb-.

 

Via Ferrata degli Angeli

Via Ferrata degli Angeli - Tavolara
The Via Ferrata degli Angeli is part of a beautiful trekking that leads to the summit of the island of Tavolara. The Ferrata is short and -as opposed to Ferratas such as the Cabirol, Regina and Medusa- represents only a section of the whole trekking.

Starting from the port below, it takes 3 hours to walk to the top, passing from exposed and panoramic passages. The trekking is graded EEA, recommended for Experienced Excursionists with knowledge on Alpinistic techniques. When reaching the small statue at 563 m a.s.l. the land and the sea below begin looking incredibly distant, as if they belong to a different reality.

 

Via Ferrata della Regina

Via Ferrata della Regina - Monteleone Rocca Doria
The Via Ferrata della Regina is situated on the north side of the crag below the town of Monteleone Rocca Doria. This crag is renowned for its panorama and the many climbing routes that were equipped on its west side. It is a purely independent Via Ferrata and it takes up to 3 hours max to complete its 600 meters. Only about half of its length is equipped with steel cables as the rest can be easily walked.

The Ferrata della Regina has a hard starting point on a overhanging section of the crag. It is all equipped but it takes some "balls" and arm strength to hold on to the steel ladder. The vegetation can be very annoying during some passages but the higher ledge offers some panoramas that will make up for all the sweat. Furthermore it also has a Tibetan Bridge, probably the one and only in Sardinia. More info (Italian only) can be found on the website ferrataregina.it

 

Via Ferrata di Giorre

Via Ferrata di Giorre, Cargeghe, Sardinia, Italy
NB: The Local administration closed the Via Ferrata di Giorré in 2015, due to an unstable rock.

The Via Ferrrata di Giorré is located on a crag about 4 miles south of Sassari, in the north of Sardinia. The nearest town is Cargeghe, but you can see precise location on the map at the bottom of this article.

This Ferrata, just like many other in Sardinia was created by Corrado Conca and runs on a high ledge of the crags that limit the plateau of Cargeghe. This ledge is very large in some sections, but gets narrower and even disappears in other sections. It takes about 3 hours to complete and has medium difficulty, with a spectacular view on the rocks and land that characterize the internal side of north Sardinia.

 

Via Ferrata della Medusa

The Via Ferrata della Medusa goes around a crag near Samugheo, where the ruins of the Medusa Castle still dwell. This is a short and panoramic Via Ferrata that overlooks the Araxixi river, gently meandering among the green vegetation far below. 

Starting close to the parking lot by the (abandoned) structure by the Castello della Medusa, the Via Ferrata starts with a 3 meters climb and settles on a panoramic ledge. A vertical ladder determines the difficulty of this Via Ferrata, forcing the necessity for some arm strength. 

Via Ferrata di Badde Pentumas

Close to the underground Via Ferrata in the cave Sa Oche, the Via Ferrata di Badde Pentumas is located on the enormous natural amphitheater at the end of the canyon Badde Pentumas.

From the parking by the Grotta Sa Oche (Oliena) it takes about 40 minutes walk to get to the start of the Ferrata di Badde Pentumas. Once in the amphitheater, a few zigzagging on the slanting ledges and a short scramble take to the real start of the Via Ferrata, on a exposed and very high passage. This is a truly spectacular Via Ferrata, with no sight of the sea, much in the style of alpine originals.

Via Ferrata di Pan di Zucchero

via ferrata pan di zucchero, masua, italy masua
The Via Ferrata di Pan di Zucchero is located on the sea stack Pan di Zucchero, in Masua. It runs from the base, where dinghy can dock, up to the top at 133 m  a.s.l.. From the top it is possible to have a little stroll, abseil to climb the famous DIDI, or get back to the dinghy by a 45 meters abseil.

Although quite nice and immersed on a very pleasant scenario, this Via Ferrata isn't for sure the best one in Sardinia. Sometimes being unbiased is very hard... Let's say that many times we walked the same path with heavy rucksacks and never felt the need for a protection. Let's admit that the length is ridiculously short that it looks like a waste of time and money to equip. And let's consider that the cables will need constant maintenance due to sea corrosion. For a day out it can be OK, but don't expect much

 

Via Ferrata di Goloritze

The Via Ferrata di Goloritze (aka Ledere di Goloritze) is NOT a touristic Via Ferrata but a wild variant of the famous trekking Selvaggio Blu. In order to avoid some difficult passages and create a sea-side variant, a group of guides lead by Marcello Cominetti has equipped in 2015 this short Via Ferrata to reach the Ledere di Goloritzé, continuing the trekking towards Ispulighedenie (aka Cala Mariolu).

The shortest way to reach Cala Goloritze is from the plateau Il Golgo, above the town of Baunei. The beach lays on a 1 hour walk away, walking on a steep path recently rebuilt by the local administration. From here the path goes north, either on sea-level or a higher path which connect at the northern end of the beach. Once terminated the Via Ferrata it is possible to abseil to Ispulighedenie or continue to the west-side return path.

You can read the full review of the works on this article by Alessandro Gogna

 

Via Ferrata di Plumare

The Ferrata di Us Piggius di Plumare was equipped in 2001 by Sebastiano Cappai, member of the association GEA from Nuoro. This was part of the project named Trek delle 7 Cale, which aimed to create a panoramic path to link Cala Sisine, Cala Biriala, Cala Mudaloru, Cala Mariolu (Ispulighedenie), Cala dei Gabbiani and Cala Goloritze.

The path starts in Cala Sisine and runs north to south, in opposite direction to the famous Selvaggio Blu. From the beach it takes about 2 hours to walk towards the great wall of Plumare, where the alpinistic route starts. On a narrow ledge the most exposed and dangerous passages are protected with a cable, but using an additional rope is recommended. The most exposed passage is about 30 meters long. At the end of the ledge it is required to climb down a IV grade to reach the anchoring point to the first abseil (35m). Walking 10 meters on the ledge below the second abseil (55m) takes to the path of the Selvaggio Blu, which will go back to the starting point. Following this path north there are two additional IV grade drops to climb or abseil. One more abseil (45m) takes to the thick wood below. Walking on the same elevation it is possible to reach a short ledge with the last abseil (20m) that takes to the Cuile Piras. From the Cuile the large path takes back to the beach (50 minutes).

 

Via Ferratas profiles

Name Time: approach Time: ferrata Time: return Difficulty Total Length Vertical Gain Vote
Ferrata del Cabirol 10' 3h 10' B3 1000 m 50 m *****
Ferrata di Badde Pentumas 45' 2h 40' C4 5000 m 150 m ***
Ferrata della Regina 20' 2h 20' B3 600 m 150 m ***
Ferrata di Giorrè 10' 2h30' 10' B2 2500 m 90 m **
Ferrata della Medusa 10' 1h30' 10' B2 1000 m 20 m ***
Ferrata di Pan di Zucchero 10' boat 1h 10' boat B2 300 m 150 m **
Ferrata degli Angeli 30' 3h30' 1h30' B3 4500 m 560 m ****
Ferrata di Goloritze 1h30' 10' 3h D4 10m ***
Ferrata di Plumare 2h 4h 50' D4 0m 0m ****

Via Ferrata Grading System

1 – Easy
2 – Straight forward
3 – Difficult and not for novice
4 – Demanding, steep ascending , require a degree of mountaineering experience
5 – Highest technical standard, only for the experienced mountaineer
A – For foot sure mountain walkers, easy and without problems
B – For foot sure mountain walkers free of vertigo, easy
C – Sure footedness and freedom from vertigo necessary
D – Absolute sure footedness and freedom from vertigo necessary
E – Additional mountain experience and climbing ability necessary
F – Good climbing technique on very steep rock required

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