Punta Sae Mussinu is one of the summits of the Monte Albo
chain in Sardinia / Sardegna, which are lined along the 20km long northern ridge. Almost all of these summits show fine vertical drops on their north faces while having smooth slopes on the southern sides. The whole chain looks like a large long mountain, formed by almost white limestone rock. The mountain range is pretty old so that it shows the typical karst erosion forms with jagged plateaus, vertical but eroded walls and a number of caves.
Punta Sae Mussinu itself has an oblong form, a long, oval summit plateau and the obligatory (for Monte Albo) north face. The latter shows some very deep gullies which allow dramatic views into the valley and down to the neighbouring town of Lula. Apart from the ascent to the Monte Albo high plain the whole area is trail less - you won't see any marks. The best way to hike on Monte Albo is to stay as close to the north faces, not only because of the great vertical views. Near the edge vegetation is sparse and you are able to jump and scramble from rock to rock. The oak forest patches as well as the meadows are far more difficult to cross. The former because the trees have very low hanging branches and the latter because underneath the grass you still have the same jagged rocks. Hiking boots are a Must on Monte Albo - the thicker the soles the better.
Having mentioned the vegetation this is certainly one of the major attractions of the range, especially in spring. Lots of cyclamen, peonies, rosemary bushes and St. Pankratius lillies cover every spot that is not solid rock. They grow out of every crack and it is a challenge not to step upon them. And yes, those of you who have seen the other Monte Albo pages know already, that there are orchids of all kinds of species there. Most of them are of the orchis varieties but there are some beautiful ophrys ones as well.
Interactive overview map of the Monte Albo mountain range. The summits which are already (or will be) posted to SP are marked in red.
There is no red tape whatsoever. You should park your car so that it doesn't clog the field and forest roads but that's about the only "restriction". The orchids however are protected all over Europe and you have to leave them in their place. I don't know about Sardinia but in many places you have to pay heavy fines if you are caught red handed.
I have never seen as many orchids as on Monte Albo. There are many Orchis varieties and some beautiful Ophrys ones.
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 Monte Turuddo), a little later a marked trail (Sentiero Italia) turn off. Park the car at either of the trailheads, wherever you find room enough. The ascent starts where Sentiero Italia leaves the road to climb the mountain.