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.
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
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.