A varied, dynamic landscape
In the Porto Conte area, the vegetation is characterised by Mediterranean maquis, lakeland plants, reforested pine trees and imported wood species
(such as eucalyptus, prickly pear, saline acacia and agave).
This vegetation has had to adapt to the Mediterreanean climate, the karstic substrate, the wind exposure and the nearby presence of the sea.
All of this combines to make the landscape very varied, encompassing flat areas, hillsides, sheer cliffs, promontories, creeks and bays, where nature has worked hard to create masterpieces.
Enter the realm of Mediterranean maquis and find yourself surrounded by mastic, asphodels and strawberry trees
This is a landscape dominated by low-level maquis - with cistus, asphodel,
buckthorn and euphorbia by the dozen - alternating with mature, high-growing vegetation such as mastic, heather, strawberry tree (with its edible red fruits), olive, phillyrea, holm oak and pine.
In certain areas, this scrub is replaced by coastal broom, juniper thickets and the types of vegetation that thrive on cliffs.
The fragrances of the scrubland
Making your way through the National Park provides a feast for the senses,
and in particular for the sense of smell.
Along the coast, close to the sea, you will come across aromatic helichrysum with its small leaves, which is used to season a number of traditional Algherese dishes.
On the promontories of Capo Caccia and Punta Giglio, the air is filled with the intense aroma of the hard wood of Phoenician juniper, which is one of the most characteristic species of maquis. Indeed, certain centuries-old examples of Phoenician juniper are even found growing out of the living rock.
In the inland areas, it is not difficult to pick up the persistent perfume of rosemary, with its blue, late-winter flowers.
Chamaerops - tropical queen of the landscape
This species is so ubiquitous within the National Park that its yellow flowers very much characterise the landscape. Chamaerops is the relic of an ancient type of tropical flora and is the only wild palm that grows in Europe. In the past, its leaves were used to make baskets, wickerwork and ropes.
Along the banks of the Calic
In the vicinity of the lagoon of the Calic, you will come across thick beds of great-cat's-tail that are mixed with sea purslane, sea lavender, reedgrass and bulrush.
The most predominant plant, however, is salicornia, which has water-resistant red stems. Further away from the sea, tamarisk and bulrush become the most common species.
> The Porto Conte National Park