Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 40.48070°N / 9.53240°E
Elevation: 3697 ft / 1127 m


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Punta Catirina - together with Monte Turuddo is the highest summit of the Monte Albo chain in Sardinia (Sardegna). The chain stretches for over 20km between the towns od Lula in the west to Siniscola in the east. The overall direction of the chain is WSW to ENE. It is composed of a beautiful karst high plateau - with lots of flowers (see sections below) - which huge drops of up to 400m to nearly all its sides. Especially the northern front is one huge northface, only interrupted by numerous gullies which make the views of the actual summits from the top very impressive.

Punta Catirina itself is located to the the southwest of Monte Albo, only Monte Turuddo is located further southwest. It offers great views of the Monte Albo chain itself plus a fine - but somehow often misty - view towards the Supramonte Range to the south. Both mountain ranges are very closely related geologically - they drifted apart due to massive tectonic shifts. A third "mountain range" - Isola Tavolara - got shifted so far off that now it builds a separate island on the eastern coast of Sardinia (btw: this island shows even more impressive north faces. They drop some 300m directly into the sea).

Monte Albo is a climbing destination. Its popularity however pales in comparison to the better known crags along the east coast or the huge walls of Supramonte. However I have seen quite a few bolts on the northface as well as along several of the huge boulders at its base and near the Pass Janna Nurei.

To me, however, its main attraction are the orchids to be found near its top.

Monte TuruddoPunta CatirinaPunta sae MussinuPunta RomasinuPunta FerulargiuPunta Cupetti

Interactive overview map of the Monte Albo mountain range. The summits which have been posted to SP are marked in red.

Summit Panorama: Monte Albo

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Getting There

Sardinia can be reached either by plane or by ferry. The main ports are Porto Torres and Olbia in the north and Arbatax and Cagliari in the south. Airports are at Alghero and Olbia in the north as well as (again) Arbatax and Cagliari in the south. For exploring the northeastern part of the island where most of the mountains are the best entry point is Olbia, which is where most flights go anyway.

Approaching the mountain from Olbia airport
Get on motorway SS 131 south in the direction of Siniscola / Nuoro. At the exit Lula / Dorgali get off and turn on SP38 north (again direction Lula). Here turn to SP3 east (direction Passo Santa Anna). 6km after the town on the right hand side first a dirt road (route to Janna Nurai), a little later a marked trail (Sentiero Italia) turn off. Park the car at either of the trailheads.

Capo d'OrsaPunta CugnanaMonte LimbaraPunta MaggioreCala LunaPunta GiradiliMonte AlboSupramonteGennargentuCodula della LunaBaccu Maore

Interactive map of Sardinia and its mountain regions. Click on the regions, red triangles (mountains) or stars (gorges).


Those of you who only love mountains - go on to the next section! When entering the meadow on the plain Su Campu 'e Sussu I couldn't help but stop every other step to have a look (and shot) at all of those orchids there. I did not have to leave the trail to take pictures of at least 7 varieties.

Ever since my late dad (a biology professor) took me on an orchid hunting trip in the vicinity of his university as an adolescent - I have been fascinated by these beautiful flowers. Unfortunately I'm a physicist myself so I can't guarantee that the names I put on the pictures are correct. So anyone with better knowledge please correct me.
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Red Tape

Fortunately in Sardinia there is absolutely no red tape to be found. You will see from the section below that there are lots of orchids in the area. These flowers are generally protected all over Europe so please leave them where they are!

When To Climb

Sardinia is a all year round location. Naturally weather turns worse in late autumn and winter but hiking - even climbing - is possible even then. The Gennargentu mountain range (according to its name which means "Silver Back") can be covered in snow. It even boasts a ski lift with two short downhill courses. But everything else is low enough not to be disrupted by snow.

The best seasons are spring and autumn, summer being far too hot in most of the places. I personally would recommend late spring since we encountered gazillions of flowers on the high plains and karst plateaus.


Accommodation... rather easy to find. Since all the interesting mountaineous regions are on the north and east coast - which is where the largest beaches are - you can book hotel rooms and appartments from any tourist office. The region around the towns of Siniscola or Lula should be the best staying places for exploring Monte Albo.

... is also easy to find in the vicinity of the beaches. Look for locations, using Free camping is frowned upon so only do it in remote areas.

Weather Conditions

Go for the following link, which is in Italian but with ALL the information you might want to have on weather on the island:

Head for the "meteo" button and then on the "Bollettino dettagliato" link in the left frame.

Maps 'n' Books

As for Maps I used only a road map scale 1:200000 since the guidebook I used has maps and is really quite good. Don't be fooled by the durations they state, you'll be much faster but the "getting there's" and "route description's" are very good.

The book is:
Sardinia (Sardegna / Sardinien)
M. Omidvar
Rother Verlag
ISBN: 3-7633-4800-X (English)
ISBN: 3-7633-4143-9 (Italian)
ISBN: 3-7633-4023-8 (German)