Once known as the "capital of the bandits," the unassuming town of Orgosolo now offers visitors a unique culinary experience that delves into Sardinia’s enduring pastoral traditions. Nestled in the rugged Supramonte mountains, this remote corner of the Barbagia region invites travelers to gather with local shepherds for a traditional lunch, savoring the simple yet flavorful fare that has sustained generations of Sardinian herders. As you indulge in roasted lamb or goat, aged pecorino, and homemade red wine, you’ll be immersed in the region’s captivating history and breathtaking natural scenery – a true taste of Sardinia’s rich cultural heritage.

Key Points


  • Orgosolo, known for its history of banditry, offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a traditional shepherds’ lunch in the nearby forest.
  • The shepherds’ lunch consists of roasted lamb or goat, pecorino cheese, fresh salads, homemade red wine, and sweet Mirto liqueur.
  • This rustic meal provides an authentic glimpse into the simple, traditional way of life of Sardinian shepherds in the Barbagia region.
  • The lunch is served in the lush, forested surroundings of the Supramonte, a dramatic natural landscape with towering cliffs and jagged valleys.
  • Enjoying a shepherds’ lunch is an opportunity to take in the region’s cultural heritage and connect with the local pastoral traditions.

Tour Overview


This tour offers visitors an 8-hour excursion to discover the captivating landscapes and cultural heritage of the Barbagia and Supramonte regions in Sardinia.

The group size is limited to 8 participants, ensuring a personalized experience. Pickup from Arzachena is included, and the cancellation policy allows for free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

Along the way, you’ll enjoy scenic views and make stops in Orgosolo, famous for its murals, and the Supramonte, where you’ll have the chance to explore the Sham of the Virgins cave and enjoy a traditional shepherds’ lunch in the forest.

This tour provides an immersive glimpse into the rugged beauty and rich history of this fascinating area of Sardinia.

Scenic Drive to Dorgali


The journey from Arzachena to Dorgali takes approximately 1.5 hours, allowing visitors to soak in the scenic vistas that unfold along the way.

As the vehicle winds through the rugged terrain, travelers are treated to a mesmerizing display of Sardinia’s natural beauty. The drive offers a glimpse into the region’s diverse landscapes, including:

  • Towering limestone cliffs that rise dramatically from the surrounding countryside.
  • Lush, verdant valleys dotted with ancient olive groves and vineyards.
  • Sparkling azure waters of the nearby coast, visible in the distance.
  • Charming hilltop villages that seem to cling to the mountainsides.

This scenic journey sets the stage for the immersive cultural experience that awaits in the town of Dorgali and the captivating Supramonte region beyond.

Discovering Grotta Di Ispingoli

ORGOSOLO: LUNCH WITH THE SHEPHERDS - Discovering Grotta Di Ispingoli

Upon arriving in Dorgali, the group’s first stop is the captivating Grotta di Ispingoli, a geological marvel that showcases the region’s rich natural heritage.

Nestled within the rugged terrain, this cave system unveils a mesmerizing display of stalactites, stalagmites, and other intricate rock formations that have been sculpted over millennia by the relentless forces of nature.

Guided by knowledgeable experts, the visitors explore the underground labyrinth, marveling at the sheer size and complexity of the caverns.

They learn about the cave’s unique ecosystem, which supports a diverse array of flora and fauna adapted to the dark, humid environment.

The Grotta di Ispingoli offers a glimpse into Sardinia’s ancient geological past, leaving the group in awe of the island’s natural wonders.

Exploring Orgosolo’s Murals


After exploring the captivating natural wonder of the Grotta di Ispingoli, the group now turns its attention to the vibrant open-air museum of Orgosolo, known for its striking murals that depict the town’s rich history and social commentary.

As they stroll through the picturesque streets, the visitors are captivated by the colorful murals that cover the walls, each one telling a unique story:

  1. A large mural commemorating the struggles of the local shepherds and their fight for workers’ rights.

  2. A powerful piece depicting the region’s history of banditry and resistance against oppression.

  3. An intricate mural celebrating the traditional Sardinian culture and its enduring spirit.

  4. A thought-provoking work that addresses contemporary social and political issues facing the community.

Supramonte’s Rugged Landscape

ORGOSOLO: LUNCH WITH THE SHEPHERDS - Supramontes Rugged Landscape

Leaving the vibrant murals of Orgosolo behind, the group now sets its sights on the rugged and captivating landscape of the Supramonte region.

Towering over the area is the imposing Monte Corrasi, its limestone peaks reaching an impressive height of 4,800 feet, dominating the dramatic natural scenery that surrounds it.

Deep, jagged valleys known as ‘codule‘ cut through the chalky plateau, leading towards the distant sea.

The group will have the chance to explore this incredible terrain, taking in the breathtaking views and seeing the wild beauty of the Supramonte.

It’s a stark contrast to the artistic charm of Orgosolo, but no less awe-inspiring.

Shepherds’ Lunch in the Forest

ORGOSOLO: LUNCH WITH THE SHEPHERDS - Shepherds Lunch in the Forest

The group settles down in the shaded forest, eager to enjoy the traditional shepherds’ lunch they’ve been anticipating. The meal showcases the authentic flavors of the Barbagia region, featuring:

  1. Roasted lamb or goat, slow-cooked over an open fire to perfection.
  2. Pecorino cheese, aged to a rich, creamy texture, served with crusty bread.
  3. Fresh salads made with local greens, tomatoes, and herbs from the surrounding countryside.
  4. Homemade red wine and sweet Mirto liqueur, the perfect accompaniment to this hearty feast.

As they savor each bite, the group is transported to the simple, rustic life of the Sardinian shepherds who’ve sustained this land for generations.

About the Barbagia Region


Barbagia is a captivating region of Sardinia, defined by its rugged and diverse terrain.

The area’s striking landscape features deep, jagged valleys known as codule that lead towards the shimmering Tyrrhenian Sea.

Dominating the region is the Supramonte Ogliastrino, a vast chalky plateau crowned by the towering presence of Monte Corrasi, which rises to an impressive height of nearly 4,800 feet.

This fascinating area showcases Sardinia’s natural beauty, with its dramatic cliffs, hidden caves, and lush forests providing a glimpse into the island’s wild, untamed character.

For those seeking to explore the true heart of the Sardinian wilderness, the Barbagia region offers a captivating and unforgettable adventure.

Orgosolo’s Bandit History


Orgosolo’s storied past as the ‘capital of the bandits’ has long captured the imagination of visitors to this picturesque Sardinian town. Once a notorious haven for outlaws and lawlessness, the rugged terrain and remote location of Orgosolo made it an ideal refuge for those seeking to evade the authorities.

While banditry has declined in modern times, the legacy of this colorful history remains etched into the town’s identity:

Orgosolo’s bandits were known for their daring exploits and skilled horsemanship.

Many local families had members who participated in the bandit lifestyle.

The town’s network of hideouts and escape routes allowed outlaws to thwart capture.

Orgosolo’s reputation as a haven for bandits persists, attracting travelers curious about this unique aspect of its past.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Should I Bring for the Shepherds’ Lunch?

For the shepherds’ lunch, you’ll want to pack light snacks or finger foods that are easy to share. Bring some fresh bread, local cheeses, cured meats, and fruit. You’ll also need a bottle or two of water to stay hydrated.

How Can I Learn More About the Local Cuisine?

To learn more about the local cuisine, visitors can ask the tour guide about traditional Sardinian dishes and ingredients. They may have the chance to sample authentic specialties during the shepherds’ lunch, gaining insight into the region’s culinary heritage.

Is There an Option to Extend the Tour Duration?

Yes, the tour duration can be extended. Participants can opt to add an extra hour to explore the region’s cuisine and culture further, such as visiting a local shepherd’s hut for a traditional Sardinian lunch.

Do I Need to Have Any Special Skills for the Hiking?

The tour doesn’t require any special hiking skills. It involves moderate walking on well-maintained trails suitable for most fitness levels. Comfortable shoes and a basic level of mobility are all that’s needed to fully enjoy the Supramonte region.

Can I Purchase Souvenirs or Local Handicrafts During the Tour?

Yes, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase local souvenirs and handicrafts during the free time in Orgosolo. The tour includes browsing local shops and artisans, allowing you to find unique gifts or mementos of your Sardinian adventure.


Orgosolo’s transformation from a notorious bandit haven to a culinary destination offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy Sardinia’s rich pastoral traditions.

The shepherds’ lunch in the forest provides an authentic glimpse into the region’s enduring cultural heritage, while the rugged beauty of the Supramonte landscape complements the rustic, flavorful fare that has sustained generations of Sardinians.

This experience encapsulates the essence of Barbagia, blending its storied past with its vibrant present.

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