Time  5 hours 8 minutes

Coordinates 1364

Uploaded May 30, 2016

Recorded May 2016

  • Rating

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  • Easy to follow

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3,303 ft
1,240 ft
6.84 mi

Viewed 12481 times, downloaded 558 times

near Urzulei, Sardegna (Italia)

Beautiful hike from the pass Genna Silana down to the magnificent ravine Gola di Gorropu and back. The Gola di Gorropu canyon is one of the major nature attractions in Sardinia. The descent from Genna Silana is one of two major access hikes to the ravine, the other being the easier hike from Ponte sa Barva through the Riu Flumineddu valley. An entrance fee is required (5 € in 2016, see http://gorropu.info/en/). It is only possible to walk about 700 m into the canyon without guide and/or climbing gear.
There is ample parking at the pass. From there you can take a shepherd’s trail (left side) and a cobblestone road (right side). I did the first going down, and the second going up. The route takes you down with the steep slopes of Costa Silana on your left and great views along the Riu Flumineddu valley up to Dorgali on the right side. You will walk through forests with old holm trees, and you will occasionally meet cows, bulls, goats and shepherd dogs (at least I did). Sometimes you have to cross a scree slope. The path can be steep. There is not much risk of losing your way as the path is clear, and there are few bifurcations. You will go down from 1015 m to about 350 m before you get to the Riu Flumineddu. The water reappears here from having flown underground through the gorge, due to the Karst landscape. Unless there are flash floods or a lot of rain, the canyon itself will be dry. In the riverbed, you turn left and will soon find the entrance, where you have to pay and can get information about the canyon. At the entrance you will find large white boulders. From here you initially follow green signs painted on the rocks into the canyon, along a cave and then on to the narrowest part of the ravine with steep rock faces rising more than 500 m up from the canyon floor. Past the most narrow point the valley makes a right turn. There is some scrambling around large polished white boulders and rocks, with the occasional rope provided until you get to a left turn of the valley. Here starts the red zone, which you can only enter with a guide and proper gear. Otherwise, you need to turn back to the entrance. The way back is the same as the way going down, although you might change the last part of the shepherd’s path for the unpaved road (see waypoints).
At the Genna Silana pass is a bar-restaurant and there were two water sources near the entrance of the canyon (one of them indicated by a waypoint) when I was there (I am not sure whether these are there all year round; ask the guards at the entrance for the exact location). Be sure to take enough water. The GPS frequently lost satellite tracking in the steep canyon, so the indicated track there might be slightly off. Don’t worry, you will find your way in the canyon also without the GPS signal.

Bifurcation trail - cobblestone road

You can turn left here (going down) on the shepherd's trail or right on the cobbelstone road. They will take you to the same point.

Bifurcation trail - unpaved road

You can turn right here (going up) on the shepherd's trail or left on the unpaved road, which will turn into a cobblestone road just before the pass.


Here is a cave/overhang about 100 m after the entrance on your right hand. The green paint on the rocks point you to it.
Information point

Cuile or Sedas

You walk right up to the rock face where there are some (remains of) shepherd's huts.
Information point

Entrance to Gola di Gorropu

Here is the entrance to the Gola di Gorrupu. You have to pay the entrance fee here. The pictures are made near the entrance.

Holm tree overlooking river bed

Holm tree overlooking river bed of the Riu Flumineddu. The last photo is a bit further down.
Information point

Narrowest point of ravine

Here the canyon is at its most narrow.
Information point

Red zone

Here starts the 'red' zone at a curve to the left in the ravine. The first part of the canyon is in the 'green' zone: easily accessible. The second part is the yellow zone (here you need a bit more scrambling), and in the red zone you need a guide and climbing gear.

Riu Flumineddu

Here is the river bed of Riu Flumineddu. The water which disappears upstream of the canyon resurfaces here. Only when there is a lot of water, there will also be water in the canyon.
Information point


In this zone (yellow zone) you will find some ropes fixed to the rocks to assist you scrambling across it.
Information point


The trail crosses a slope of scree here. In front on the rockface I saw a lot of alpine swifts flying, probably having their nests there.
Information point

Shepherd's hut

An old shepherd's hut next to the trail. The other photos were made coming down to the hut.
Information point

Steep path

Here the path is at its steepest, across a steep slope with scree. Steps have been made in the path to assist your descent/ascent.
Information point

Water source

There was a water hose here carrying fresh water from a source. Ask the guides at the entrance of the canyon for a location if you cannot find it. I am not sure if this water source is there all year. The photos are made near the source, not of the source.


  • thegreatoutdoors Sep 9, 2018

    Easy to follow and as wonderful as described, a very helpful addition to the regular tourist info materials about the trail, thanks!

    Do make sure you fill up your water supplies on the drinking water sources in front of the canyon entrance. The way back up can be a bit challenging in hot summer weather and after your "rest" consisted of climbing around in the canyon :) There was just one source available when we were there, but the staff at the canyon entrance was indeed very helpful in finding it.

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Sep 10, 2018

    Thanks for your comments, 'thegreatoutdoors'!

  • alexandre.kraut Dec 9, 2018

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Easy to follow, beautiful scenery. The canyon part is really worth 5€w.
    Thank you for the info Tjaart

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Dec 10, 2018

    Thanks, Alexandre, for your review. Glad you liked it!

  • alexandra.duport Dec 11, 2018

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Very beautiful trail. Amazing canyon and views. I advise to do it during summer when the sun is high because the sun doesn't enter in the valley and canyon in winter (done in December).

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Dec 12, 2018

    Thanks, Alexandra, for your review. Glad you liked it. Thanks about the tip on the visiting time as well...

  • Photo of Davide Stefanelli

    Davide Stefanelli Apr 19, 2019

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Canyon Gorropu

  • daniau.william May 8, 2019

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Descente facile mais escarpée à la fin (attention aux genoux fragiles)
    Idem pour la remontée au retour, les cuisses ramassent un peu mais rien d’insurmontable si en bonne condition physique

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp May 9, 2019

    Merci pour votre commentaire et votre critique, Daniau!

  • Sarah Awan Jul 22, 2019

    Thank you this is incredibly helpful. We were going to take the jeep part way but I definitely want to see the shepherds hut so will walk this route instead! Do you know, if we did take the jeep, would we miss the beautiful intact shepherds hut?

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Jul 23, 2019

    You would miss this hut, Sarah, as it is about halfway down, and I think the Jeep takes you through the valley. But maybe the Jeep would take you past another hut, I don't know. Enjoy the hike!

  • noetta Aug 20, 2019

    Fatto oggi !! Bellissimo assolutamente da consigliare.

  • Sarah Awan Aug 22, 2019

    Thank you so much Tjaart! After reading this page and seeing the photos, I did the hike with my family last month. It was amazing! We had been thinking of taking the jeep, but I am so glad we did not miss this. I liked it even more than the beautiful gorge itself. I am not particularly fit so went slowly, with lots of photo stops - it was steep at times but overall it was very manageable. We took the jeep back as it was quite late -and don't think I would have managed it so well uphill! Thank you again so much.

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Aug 23, 2019

    I am glad you enjoyed it that much, Sarah! Thanks for the feedback.

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Aug 23, 2019

    Grazie, Noetta, per la raccomandazione!

  • Photo of ibrice

    ibrice Jan 27, 2020

    Hello Tjaart,
    thank you for detailed trail.
    I have a question about
    "and in the red zone you need a guide"
    If we come with our ropes and equipment (we are climbers) do we really need a guide, is it obligatory?
    Or we can do it on our own?

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Jan 28, 2020

    Leva, I am sorry, but I am not sure whether you can go into the red zone without a guide. The information is not on the official website (http://gorropu.info/en/), but there is contact information there (+39 328 897 6563; info@gorropu.info), so maybe they can help you!
    Enjoy your trip!

  • Photo of ibrice

    ibrice Jan 29, 2020

    Thanks a lot for information!

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