Santa Maria Navarrese

Hotel Mediterraneo is one of the top Hotels in Santa Maria Navarrese, a quaint little town in Ogliastra. Santa Maria Navarrese is set in a green valley full of olive trees, fig trees, carob trees, nettle trees and a dense Mediterranean scrub.
It takes its name from the Church built in 1052 of the Princess of Navarra, daughter of King Garcia Sanchez V, who probably fled or was banished for a sin of love or court intrigue – he wanted to thank the Virgin Mary for having escaped a shipwreck near the dreaded “Monti Insani” now Monte Santo.

According to another version, the princess was kidnapped and forced to land at Ogliastra after the ship she was in struggled to overcome a storm. According to the legend, which strays from the story, the princess and her entourage subsequently left and headed for the Sinis peninsula. Her story remains mysterious, resting in the cloudy history of the Middle Ages and the legend.


Church of Santa Maria Navarrese

Dating back to the 11th century, it was renovated in the 1950s. Legend has it that the church was built by Isabella, daughter of the King of Navarre, after a shipwreck that luckily ended up on the coast. The original church only had a single nave. Later on, it was extended and then enlarged by adding two naves that took the place of the pre-existing “Cumbessias” that the locals called “Errebustus”.
This lovely little church, standing among the green hinterland and sea, is built of stones and bricks. The roof is a gabled, covered with tiles and supported by eight juniper trusses.


Thousand-year old olive trees

Near the church there is a cluster of thousand-year-old olive trees, considered among the oldest in Europe. Among these, next to the church of Santa Maria di Navarra (1502), stands a thousand-year-old olive tree – Olea europea L.var.sylvestris (Miller) Brot – of considerable size: the crown stands at 9-10 m, while the knotty and mighty stem has a circumference of 8.40 m, measured at 1.30 m above ground. The vegetative condition is good, despite the obvious weather-related signs (partly hollow trunk, traces of fire, cavities). Its size puts it among the first in the national field.


The Torre Saracena

The Torre Saracena of Santa Maria Navarrese was built between 1785 and 1790 on a previous sixteenth-century watchtower. It has a truncated cone shape with a base of 12 m in diameter and an original height of 10 m. The reconstruction work of the second half of the nineteenth century involved the construction of a new office floor on the terrace. Today, the tower can no longer be visited.

The whole area around Santa Maria Navarrese preserves testimonies and monuments that attest to a strong Nuragic occupancy: the “fortress” of Doladorgiu, the tombs of the giants of Santu Pedru and Annida, the nuraghi Loppellai, Nuragheddu, Turru and, above all, Orgoduri, Alvu, Co’ e Serra, which also preserve remains of the village huts and megalithic tombs.