The Castellaccio

The Castellaccio

Panoramic views of the South

The Castellaccio trail starts by the jetty on the concrete road towards the prison of Fornelli. This path is named after the ruined medieval castle overlooking most of the island and the Strait of Fornelli.

After the prison, the road winds gently uphill among abandoned prison administration buildings, such as sentry boxes, old sports facilities, accommodation for supervisors, laundry and drinking troughs.

About two kilometres from the trailhead, on the hill which offers a scenic view on Cala Reale, follow the direction to the castle: turn left onto an old mule track.

You will find a clearing with a natural spring after one kilometre among large euphorbia shrubs and thorny broom. The uphill trail becomes more demanding but also very pleasant, and you may well encounter wild goats and herds of mouflons. A half-hour climb from the spring leads to the ruins of the castle, where the view stretches from the Strait of Fornelli to Isola Piana, Stintino and the whole Nurra peninsula. On a clear day, you can also see the defence towers built during the Saracen raids. Retrace your steps back to Fornelli.

Trailhead: Fornelli

Arrival: Castellaccio

Length: 8,5 km out and back

Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes out and back

Elevation gain: 201 m

Out-and-back trail 

The trail is partly suitable for cycling.

Start from the jetty of Fornelli on the northbound road.

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Trail highlights:


The Castellaccio fortress is a ruined medieval castle overlooking most of the island and the Strait of Fornelli. Its outer walls are on average 11 metres thick, and occasionally up to 14 metres thick. The entrance leads to a square with some ruined buildings, including a large rectangular one, which perhaps once served as lodging for watchmen who worked on the towers.
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View from the top

This great vantage point boasts stunning views on to the South of Asinara, Isola Piana, and the northwestern Sardinian coast.
Panorama 360°

Prison of Fornelli

The Fornelli prison was the first detention centre built on the island. It was built during the Years of Lead to imprison members of the Red Brigades, hence the maximum security cells.

Find your way

Print the description

You can download the trail description in PDF format on the page dedicated to the trail, so you can print it out and take it with you during the hike.

GPX trail

After choosing the trail, download the GPX track to make sure you find your way.