Forgotten by time: Sardinia’s Moon Valley, in Capo Testa
Are you ready to leave the world and its technology behind? And to see things from a different perspective, without any prejudices, the perspective of those who have chosen to live a different life from you?
Well then, come along as I explore the Moon Valley. No, I am not venturing out in space, just to Sardinia, the beautiful Italian island.
WHERE IS THE MOON VALLEY LOCATED? AND HOW DO I GET THERE?
The Moon Valley is close to the town of Santa Teresa di Gallura, in the northern part of Sardinia, about 60 km from Olbia. If you want to know more, I suggest you read my article ‘All you need to know about Santa Teresa di Gallura’.
Head towards Capo Testa and I strongly advise against going there on foot because the road connecting Santa Teresa to Capo Testa is tortuous and very trafficked. The ideal would be to get there in your own car rather than with a public bus.
In any case, once you reach Capo Testa, you must continue towards Faro where the road ends. About 150 meters before the Faro parking lot, on the left, you will find a large wooden gate with a sign indicating the way to the Valley. The gate may seem closed, but you need to enter from its side.
Leaving the gate behind, you’ll need to walk for about 200 meters on a dirt road in good-enough conditions. After that, the walk is all downhill and the trail is anything but easy. The roads leading to the Valley of the Moon, according to the inhabitants of the area, are 3 and the most impervious one (the only one I tried) is the shortest. You have to walk for about 200 meters amongst the rocks, but it’s not too bad, if I managed to do it you can too 🙂
Once you get to the bottom of the hill, you’ll get a glimpse of the beautiful landscape.
TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT!
Since the 1960s, the Moon Valley has been a popular gathering spot for hippies who’ll meet here to party. 🙂
The geological formations make it a truly unique place to visit. The large granite rocks divide seven valleys with bays and caves that have formed due to erosion. The largest bay is also known as the “Big Bay” and is surrounded by caves where people still live throughout the year. The highest cave reaches 130 meters above sea level and is called “The Skull”.
IS IT LEGAL TO VISIT…OR NOT?
I heard that this area privately owned but that the landlord allows anyone to enter and stop there as long as they want. On the other hand, however, the Valley is also under the jurisdiction of the City of Santa Teresa di Gallura, which prohibits anyone from camping and living here. The police often comes here to fine those who don’t respect the rule, but at the same time, these fines are never filed so no real action is taken.
GOOD OR BAD?
Before I got here I didn’t know what my impressions of this place would be. I found myself talking to someone who lives in the caves and it was … surreal. I’m never short for words but I was in this case! The laidback attitude and spontaneity with which I was told: “why pay a mortgage when nature offers us all this?”. He disarmed me. After all, who gets to talk to someone who lives – by choice – in a cave nowadays?
Many city dwellers and tourists are annoyed by these people who, regardless of the law, reside in a place where they shouldn’t live. Others, however, remain fascinated enough to ask the “residents” to show them the caves, tell them their way of life and their habits. One of the aspects I want to highlight is the care that they have in cleaning the place up and I got to see, on the way back, all the garbage carefully divided according to type. Do you want to see a pic? Here it is!
When I went to the valley in May, with zero tourists and only a few hippies, the atmosphere was absolutely fascinating and surreal. I was not afraid to meet strange people nor aggressive animals (many caves are guarded by dogs that, when I arrived, were tied) but if I had read more reviews before going into that area, I would have probably had more prejudices. Maybe it was better this way!
And then the sun made its dip into the maternal arms of the sea. My eyes, dreamy, were lost in the shades of a sky too beautiful to describe.
I hope you get to visit this place, so different from anything we’re used to, where time seems to have stopped and where worries are left behind.