During your stay at La Cerra you can visit in close proximity sites of natural, historical, artistic and archaeological interest.
In just 20 minutes by car and driving along a very quiet and picturesque local road tipical of north Sardinia you will reach the nearest beaches.
The beach of Torre di Vignola is a beautiful bay with crystal clear water and fine white sand, from there you can walk along the coast on abeautiful nature trail where you will reach the tiny country church of San Silverio which overlooks the sea. Nearby are the beautiful beaches of Monti Russu Lu Littaroni and Naracu Nieddu where nature dominates unchallenged; The coastline has been recognized by the European Community as a Site of natural beauty. If you would like to spend a day exploring the archipelago of La Maddalena and Caprera with its magnificent islands, only 30 km away from La Cerra there is Palau: from there you can go on a boat trip and enjoy the truly enchanting places like Cala Corsara and Spargi.
Inland there is the spectacular and unique landscape of La Valle Della Luna (moon valley) or la Valle dei Grandi Sassi near Aggius, 11 km from us. The valley’s landscape is animated by the chaotic multitude of shapes and thor type inselbergs with blocks of granite scattered singularly or in stacks sometimes overlapping and looking precariously balanced. Going towards the town of Aggius there are spectacular alveolar sculptures (wind sculpture) called ” Cuncheddi ” that are characteristic of the area.
Once you arrive at the lovely village of Aggius we recommend you visit the Ethnographic Museum MEOC , where you can see the workshop for weaving handmade wool rugs, and the Museum of banditry both of which are located in the small historic center.
Also worth visiting are the old olive trees of the Santo Baltolu di Carana, only a few miles from Luras, they stand out against the background of the Lago Liscia in an environment of powerful beauty. S’Ozzastru, the older of the two ancient trees, watching over the enchanted valley with all its grandeur : 12 meters in circumference and 8 meters tall.
According to some studies, it is one of the oldest trees in Europe, dated between 3,000 and 4,000 years. In 1991, this ” patriarch of nature” has been declared a Natural Monument. A few meters away, another olive tree “a bit younger” (only … 2000 years!). From an artistic and historical point of view, another site of great interest is the Castelli di Luogosanto.
The Castle Balaiana:
Located less than two miles east of Luogosanto, is a crumbling ruin, having been destroyed by order of Alfonso of Aragon in 1442. Revealing the border and perimeter walls of the entire building , which seats on the top of the hill San Leonardo.
The construction of the castle began around 1050 ad by the decree of the gallurese Judge Constantino I di Balajana, is certainly the work of Pisan artisans . The castle often recorded in ancient chronicles had to be the residence of the Curator of Balajana. Used as a fortress, it is possible that it could be the residence of the judges of Olbia ( Civita ), capital of the county. A short distance away is the church of San Leonardo, probably the chapel of the castle. San Leonardo is a rare example of late medieval architecture of Sardinia, unaltered over the centuries.
The Castle of Baldu and The Hermitage of San Trano:
Still in the area of Balajana, just two kilometers away from the town of Luogosanto, is the Palazzo di Baldu , whose construction dates back to the twelfth century. In the same area there is a church dedicated to San Stefano the first martyr. The name Baldu Probably traces back to Ubaldo Visconti, son of Lamberto and Elena di Gallura who was Judge of Gallura from 1212 to 1238, when he was succeeded by his cousin Giovanni Visconti, who ruled until his death in 1275; Succeeded by Ugolino, known us Nino di Gallura ( 1275-1298 ). The Palazzo and the church can be reached from Luogosanto taking the road to Arzachena and turning left just 2 kilometers from the village.
The hermitage of San Trano:
The church of San Trano is certainly one of the most striking amongst the 22 rural churches in the territory of Luogosanto. It stands on a granite rock surrounded by the Mediterranean shrubs, from where you can appreciate the wonderful view over most of the territory of the North Gallura. The church is situated along the road to Arzachena and turning right at about 1 km from the village .
The church of San Trano has a granite altar embedded inside a “tafone” (outcrop) and was built around 1230. Saints Trano and Niccolò were hermits from the late fourth century and who chose to live in hardship for a good part of their lives inhabiting granite gorges and caves. When they died no bodies were ever found, then in 1227 their remains were discovered where they had always lived. On that holy place (hence the name of the village, which is about 2 km away ) was built a small church, set on a huge granite monolith.
In Tempio Pausania, the old capital town of Gallura, called “the stone city ” for its exposed granite buildings, the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle is of particular interest. Established as an oratory in the thirteenth century and greatly expanded between 700 and 800 ad ,it has two internal wooden altars dated from the eighteenth century; also at the centre of the vault is an exquisite painting of the patron San Pietro, painted by Paglietti in 1907. The extension works of the cathedral was completed in 1827. In that same year the arch was built in medieval style.
Oratorio del Rosario:
Built in the same era of the Oratory of San Pietro the Apostle, it has fresco in the Romanesque style on the front, and inside a fine wooden altar dated 700 ad,. On this site, possibly in roman times, there stud a pagan temple dedicated to the twins Castor and Pollux, patrons of the two garrisons placed to defend the city, at the time called ” Gemellae ” in tribute to the Demi gods.
For lovers of archeology there is also of considerable interest the Tomb of the Giants Pascaredda at the foot of Mount Limbara and is surrounded by a forest of cork oaks and represents a typical example of a funeral monument of Nuragic Civilization. The Tomb of the Giants is part of a circuit of collective graves in the shape of a bull’s head, an important sacred symbol of the deity who protected the dead. The Tomb of the Giants Pascaredda, set in a landscape of great archaeological interest, dates back to 1500 BC and was built from granite. Towards Arzachena you can visit the tomb of the giants of Coddu Vecchiu: This Nuragic tomb is very ancient, dating back to 2500 BC . The tomb Coddu Vecchiu is one of the best preserved in the area.
Nearby is The Nuraghe La Prisgiona , possibly the only classic type Nuraghe in Gallura, it stands on a hill dominating the plain of Arzachena. Inside the building,within the courtyard there is a seven-meter deep shaft that allowed residents to stock up on water and that certainly would have been the basis for the choice of the location where the Nuraghe was built. The ground surveys conducted at the site have allowed us to date back the settlement to a nuragic period around mid- IInd millennium BC. Another important Nuraghe at the entrance of Tempio is the Nuraghe Majori which is located about 498 meters above sea level to guard a wide area in Gallura surrounded by the mountains of Aggius and Monte Limbara.
And finally only ten minutes away from La Cerra is the Dolmen of Luras named by the inhabitants of Luras “Sepulturas de Zigantes or de paladinos.” The Dolmens ( from Breton tol: table and men: stone) made, from the fifth millennium B.C., for collective burials and as a place dedicated to worship, are considered the most important megalithic funeral monuments of the Neolithic period , which constitute a significant example of one of the largest concentrations of these burials sites in Sardinia. In the area of Luras there are four: the Allée Couverte of Ladas ,the simple structured dolmens of Alzoledda and Ciuledda and Billella.